Most Dangerous Game

The Most Dangerous Game

3.7 4
Director: Irving Pichel, Ernest B. Schoedsack

Cast: Irving Pichel, Ernest B. Schoedsack, Joel McCrea, Fay Wray

     
 

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The first of many official and unofficial screen versions of Richard Connell's The Most Dangerous Game was put together by producer Willis O'Brien and directors Ernest B. Schoedsack and Irving Pichel in 1932. Leslie Banks stars as looney Russian count Zaroff, a renowned big-game hunter who tires of stalking animals and begins hunting down the "most dangerous…  See more details below

Overview

The first of many official and unofficial screen versions of Richard Connell's The Most Dangerous Game was put together by producer Willis O'Brien and directors Ernest B. Schoedsack and Irving Pichel in 1932. Leslie Banks stars as looney Russian count Zaroff, a renowned big-game hunter who tires of stalking animals and begins hunting down the "most dangerous game"-human beings. Luring unwary victims to his remote island, Zaroff wines and dines them, gives them a few hours' head start to run into the jungle, then hunts them down with rifle and bow and arrow. As his grisly trophy room demonstrates, Zaroff hasn't missed yet. Shipwreck survivors Joel McCrea and Fay Wray are Zaroff's latest quarry. "First the hunt, then the revels!" declares Zaroff, casting a lecherous eye towards the wide-eyed Ms. Wray. The original Connell story had no heroine, but who wants to watch Joel McCrea lose most of his clothing while scurrying through the jungle. The Most Dangerous Game was filmed on RKO's standing King Kong sets during a lull in the production of that classic film, utilizing most of the Kong personnel (actors Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Noble Johnson, Steve Clemente and Dutch Hendrian; producer O'Brien; director Schoedsack; composer Max Steiner). While the plot has been reshaped and recycled many times since 1932, RKO's only official remake of Most Dangerous Game was 1945's A Game of Death.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Robert Firsching
This classic horror film stars Leslie Banks in a tour-de-force of pure evil as the sadistic Count Zaroff, who waylays shipwrecked boats on his foggy island then unleashes his vicious dogs and hunts humans in the jungles for sport. Robert Armstrong and Fay Wray are among the prey and would be reunited the following year for co-director Ernest B. Schoedsack's wonderful King Kong, while the other co-director, Irving Pichel, would go on to act in Dracula's Daughter. The timeless adventure story has been copied many times, decades later by John Woo in Hard Target (1995), but few of the remakes compare to the somewhat tatty but effective original.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/22/2002
UPC:
0089218627599
Original Release:
1932
Rating:
NR
Source:
Alpha Video
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:03:00
Sales rank:
69,768

Special Features

[None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joel McCrea Bob Rainsford
Fay Wray Eve Trowbridge
Leslie Banks Count Zaroff
Donald Smith Martin Trowbridge
Steve Clemente Tartar Servant
Noble Johnson Ivan
William B. Davidson Captain
Dutch Hendrian Ships Crew
Hale Hamilton Ships Crew

Technical Credits
Irving Pichel Director
Ernest B. Schoedsack Director,Producer
Carroll Clark Art Director
Richard Connell Original Story
Merian C. Cooper Producer
James Ashmore Creelman Screenwriter
Henry W. Gerrard Cinematographer
Archie Marshek Editor
Clem Portman Sound/Sound Designer
David O. Selznick Executive Producer
Max Steiner Score Composer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
2. Chapter 1 [14:00]
3. Chapter 2 [14:56]
4. Chapter 3 [11:56]
5. Chapter 4 [11:10]

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The Most Dangerous Game 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the above summary, Willis O'Brien is listed as the producer of the 1932 Most Dangerous Game. I'm pretty sure Merian C. Cooper was the producer. Willis O'Brien did the animation and special effects for King Kong. Fans of King Kong will enjoy seeing some of the same sets used in King Kong including the swamp and the log across the ravine. Like Kong, this movie is fast paced. Leslie Banks gives an excellent performance as Count Zaroff.
ChandlerSwain More than 1 year ago
Clocking in at a mere 63 minutes, "The Most Dangerous Game" is certainly a watershed film of the cinema of the fantastic. Leslie Banks stars as the obsessed Count Zaroff, the mysterious denizen of a remote tropical island whose unfortunate visitors are set upon as the prey in a homicidal trophy hunt. Richard Connell's story has been adapted many times over the years (most interestingly in a low-budget chiller entitled "Bloodlust" featuring a young Robert {"The Brady Bunch"} Reed as one of the targets of the manhunt) but never with the grandeur of madness that Banks brings to the role; his Zaroff is a complex creation beyond the cardboard boundaries of most horror films of the era: narcissistic, proud, imbued with a perverse sense of honor, but completely homicidal and certainly sexually psychopathic. In many ways, his exotic turn is a bolder version of Colin Clive's mad scientist in the previous years's "Frankenstein", only in this case, Zaroff is his own man-made monstrosity. Joel McCrea is appropriately stalwart as the world-class big game hunter who just happens to shipwreck on the island and who Zaroff initially admires, (such coincidences are routine in horror films of the era, and perhaps are partly why this genre is identified as "fantastique") and Fay Wray screams with great authority. Interstingly, as well as Miss Wray, the lush settings were partly borrowed from the production of "King Kong" that the creative team of Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack were in the process of completing; the film also borrows "Kong" composer Max Steiner and cast members Robert Armstrong and Noble Johnson. But this is Banks' show all the way; a historically dynamic villain that this oft forgotten film presents as a worthy bastard sibling to other classic villains of the decade. (Laughton's Captain Bligh and Paul Muni's Tony Camonte come instantly to mind.)Criterion's disc is supplied with interesting liner notes and picture and sound of impressive quality for a film of this vintage.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago