Naked Prey

The Naked Prey

5.0 2
Director: Sven Persson, Cornel Wilde, Gert Van Den Bergh, Ken Gampu

Cast: Sven Persson, Cornel Wilde, Gert Van Den Bergh, Ken Gampu

     
 
Cornel Wilde's idiosyncratic adventure epic The Naked Prey has earned a cult following thanks to its wild, no-holds-barred action sequences and unapologetic embrace of man at his most savage, and the film's admirers will doubtless be pleased with the new DVD release of the film from the Criterion Collection. The Naked Prey has been given a widescreen

Overview

Cornel Wilde's idiosyncratic adventure epic The Naked Prey has earned a cult following thanks to its wild, no-holds-barred action sequences and unapologetic embrace of man at his most savage, and the film's admirers will doubtless be pleased with the new DVD release of the film from the Criterion Collection. The Naked Prey has been given a widescreen transfer to disc in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, letterboxed on conventional televisions and enhanced for anamorphic play on 16x9 monitors. In addition to respecting the film's CinemaScope framings, on this disc the bold colors are rendered in all their oversaturated glory, and this is the next best thing to seeing a fresh print projected on a mammoth screen. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono, and the quality is quite good, though time has been a bit kinder to the images than the location sound recording. The dialogue (what there is of it) is mostly in English, with optional English subtitles but no multiple language options. Bonus materials include a lively and informative commentary track from Stephen Prince, a short profile of John Colter (the trapper whose escape from Blackfoot Indians inspired the film) read by Paul Giamatti, the original theatrical trailer, and isolated cues from the original musical score by musicologist Andrew Tracey, accompanied by an essay by Tracey. The accompanying booklet also features an appreciation of the film by critic Michael Atkinson and a reprint of an article from the October 1970 issue of Films and Filming in which Wilde talks about his career as a director. Too self-consciously intelligent to be standard action fare and too visceral for art cinema, The Naked Prey exists somewhere in between, but at its best the movie is wild and satisfying stuff, and this DVD allows the movie's virtues to shine bright.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
African warriors track human prey, and the chase doesn't end until the final moment of this taut 1966 motion picture. After the first 15 minutes of the film, there is almost no dialogue -- just running, dodging, chasing, and stalking. Cornel Wilde is the quarry. He portrays a 19th century hunter leading a safari that insults local natives. In retaliation, the natives torture and kill all the safari members except one (Wilde). He must run for his life in a kind of game in which spear-toting tribesmen give him a one-minute head start. While fleeing, he retrieves the thrown spear of a pursuer, kills him, then escapes into the thick of the African bush. There, he lives off the land, trying to stay a safe distance ahead of the hunters. Wilde, who also directed the film, paces the action brilliantly, keeping viewers squirming as the hunters and the hunted attempt to outwit and outrun one another. However, though the film is very good, it has an annoying flaw: the frequent depiction of animals killing animals, a "survival of the fittest" metaphor that shows up again and again, ad nauseam. Although character development suffers in a film of this type -- it's the chase that matters and little else -- credit must be given to Wilde for investing the black African hunters with humanity. They stop and mourn their dead comrades, exhibiting deep emotion, thus showing other filmmakers of the '60s that black Africans are people too. Overall, The Naked Prey is a nice little tour-de-force film that deserves a place on the list of "best chase films."

Product Details

Release Date:
01/15/2008
UPC:
0715515027328
Original Release:
1966
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:36:00
Sales rank:
18,685

Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer; Audio commentary by film scholar Stephen Prince; "John Colter's Escape," a 1913 record of the trapper's flight from Blackfoot Indians - which was the inspiration for The Naked Prey - read by Paul Giamatti; Original soundtrack cues created by director Cornel Wilde and ethnomusicologist Andrew Tracey, along with a written statement by Tracey; Theatrical trailer; A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Michael Atkinson and a 1970 interview with Wilde

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cornel Wilde Man
Gert Van Den Bergh Second Man
Ken Gampu Warrior Leader
Patrick Mynhardt Safari Overseer
Bella Randels Little Girl
Jose Sithole Warrior
Morrison Gampu Tribal Chief
Frank Mdhiuli Warriors
Sandy Nkomo Warrior
Fusi Zazayokwe Warrior
John Marcus Warrior
Horace Gilman Warrior
Joe Diamini Actor
Eric Sabela Actor
Richard Mashiya Warrior

Technical Credits
Sven Persson Director,Co-producer
Cornel Wilde Director,Producer
Roger Cherrill Editor
Trevor Crole-Rees Makeup
Clint Johnston Screenwriter
Don Peters Screenwriter
Freda Thompson Costumes/Costume Designer
H.A.R. Thomson Cinematographer
Principal Warriors Songwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Naked Prey
1. Beasts [2:27]
2. Safari [3:22]
3. Custom [1:44]
4. Sport [2:35]
5. Consequence [1:53]
6. Approval [10:14]
7. Swift [4:26]
8. Survival [5:01]
9. Droplets [3:49]
10. Harmony [4:03]
11. Hunters [8:34]
12. Cunning [3:09]
13. Flames [6:20]
14. Savanna [1:42]
15. Opposites [8:47]
16. Fortune [7:25]
17. Trade [6:17]
18. Aid [4:32]
19. Two [3:39]
20. Targets [5:28]
1. Parable [2:27]
2. Collaborators [3:22]
3. Motivation [1:44]
4. Critique [2:35]
5. Identity [1:53]
6. Flamboyant [10:14]
7. Colter [4:26]
8. Depth [5:01]
9. Complex [3:49]
10. Subversive [4:03]
11. Predation [8:34]
12. Violence [3:09]
13. Paradox [6:20]
14. Nature [1:42]
15. Colonialism [8:47]
16. Wilde [7:25]
17. Resistance [6:17]
18. Languages [4:32]
19. Song [3:39]
20. Contradictions [5:28]

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The Naked Prey 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
JWales More than 1 year ago
Cornel Wilde's Naked Prey an excellent movie for those seeking viewing time of intense adventure mixed with beautiful landscape settings and gripping symbolism. An older movie that is a must for expanding ones' cultural cinematographic experience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago