The Most Dangerous Game

The Most Dangerous Game

Director: Irving Pichel, Ernest B. Schoedsack Cast: Joel McCrea, Fay Wray
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The Most Dangerous Game 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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
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.