The Most Dangerous Game


directed by Irving Pichel and Ernest B. Schoedsack, 62 minutes

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One of three remarkable films that involved actress Fay Wray, producer Merian Cooper and director Ernest B. Schoedsack.

THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME is a superb, Pre-Code action/adventure film. Based upon a famous short story by Richard Connell, it follows big game hunter Bob Rainsford (Joel McCrea) as he becomes quarry for another, the opulently deranged Count Zaroff (floridly played by Leslie Banks). Utilizing some of the amazing sets made for KING KONG, the film is sometimes thought of as a place-holder to keep key cast and crew available during KONGÂ’'s lengthy animation schedule. This included actors Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Noble Johnson and Steve Clemento, as well as editor Archie Marshek, composer Max Steiner, sound effects expert Murray Spivak, illustrators Mario Larrinaga and Byron Crabbe and optical effects wizards Vernon Walker and Linwood Dunn. The strong story and theme, excellent production values, vigorous action and fast pacing make THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME an exciting and more than satisfying entertainment after eighty years. Both picture and sound are scrupulously restored in high definition from the original 35mm studio fine grain master positive.

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Top reviewer
2 members found this review helpful Created about 2 years ago.

"The Most Dangerous Game," Merian C. Cooper's warm-up act for the phenomenon that was "King Kong", is a forgotten classic among action & adventure movies. Like "Kong", it is a tale of Man vs. the Incredible; a deadly encounter with a monster who resides on a strange, deserted island. In "King Kong," it is the notorious title character. In "The Most Dangerous Game", it is Zaroff, the mad Russian Count, who lives for the thrill of the hunt. His prey: human beings.

Heard that one before? Yeah. That's because it's a plotline that's been adapted, borrowed, or flat-out stolen countless times over the decades (it was the basis for an episode of "Gilligan's Island" for Chrissake). But this is the original, the template, the genetic source code for all that came after. This is the one to watch, a glorious video and audio restoration in high definition that transports the viewer back to a movie house in 1932.

This is pure, 1930's pulp adventure, a "Weird Tales" magazine cover brought to life on a moving picture screen. Though sections of the film are dated, the action is fueled by lurid savagery and violence: severed heads, vicious jungle man-traps, torture chambers, shark attacks, screams in the night. It's an old-fashioned jungle adventure mixed with classic Universal Monster movie aesthetics. Made during the Pre-Code era, this film takes advantage of that status and strikes like a bamboo stake in the solar plexus. You don't see anything this intense in "Gunga Din", "The Prisoner of Zenda", or other adventure classics of the 30's. "The Most Dangerous Game" stands out today, an 80-year old prototype for the modern action film.

Trivia Time: the amazing Noble Johnson as Ivan the Cossack. This is the first known case of an actor in a Hollywood film playing a role in "white face".

Created almost 3 years ago.

Actually made in 1932, may have been one of the first Hunt Humans movies, better than most that followed until Deliverance, which may have gone to far. Just not a good theme...better as short story.

Created 12 months ago.

Good movie.

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