7.2/10
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The Most Dangerous Game (1932)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Horror, Mystery | 9 September 1932 (USA)
An insane hunter arranges for a ship to be wrecked on an island where he can indulge in some sort of hunting and killing of the passengers.

Writers:

(screen play), (from the O.Henry prize winning collection story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Bob
...
Eve
...
...
...
Steve Clemente ...
Tartar (as Steve Clemento)
...
Captain (as William Davidson)
Oscar 'Dutch' Hendrian ...
Tartar Servant (as Dutch Hendrian)
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Storyline

After their luxury cabin cruiser crashes on a reef, Bob Rainsford finds himself washed ashore on a remote island. He finds a fortress-like house and the owner, Count Zaroff, seems to be quite welcoming. Apart from Zaroff's servant Ivan, the only other people present are Eve Trowbridge and her brother Martin, also survivors of their own shipwreck. Other survivors are missing however and Rainsford soon learns why. Zaroff releases them into his jungle island and then hunts them down in his grisly "outdoor chess" game! Then after Martin disappears, Bob realizes that he and Eve are to be the next "pawns" in Zaroff's deadly game. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 September 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A legveszélyesebb játék  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$218,869 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (preview)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The trophy room scenes were much longer in the preview version of 78 minutes; there were more heads in jars. There was also an emaciated sailor, stuffed and mounted next to a tree where he was impaled by Zaroff's arrow, and another full-body figure stuffed, with the bodies of two of the hunting dogs mounted in a death grip. Preview audiences cringed and shuddered at the head in the bottle and the mounted heads, but when they saw the mounted figures and heard Zaroff's dialog describing in detail how each man had died, they began heading for the exit - so these shots disappeared. See more »

Goofs

The island is described by Rainsford as "small as a deer park", but it contains a dramatic waterfall. Such a fall would have to have been fed by a large lake on a much larger island to flow at such a high volume. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Captain: The channel's here on the chart, all right, and so are the marking lights.
First mate: Then what's wrong with them?
Captain: Those lights don't seem to be in just the right place. They're both a bit out of position according to this.
First mate: Two light buoys means a safe channel between the world over!
Captain: "Safe between the world over" doesn't go in these waters.
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Connections

Version of The Suckers (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

A Moment in the Dark
(uncredited)
Music by Carmen Lombardo
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Working Up to "King Kong" With Style

Films from the 1930s often featured imaginary and exotic worlds brought to life on sound stages. For us today the sets are unreal, creations of both limited imagination and limited budgets. Most of those movies are justifiably in the "B" range. A few aren't and among those is the relatively little seen "The Most Dangerous Game."

Joel McRae is globetrotting big game hunter Bob Rainsford on a yacht bound for exotic adventure. Deliberately misplaced channel lights cause the vessel to hit rocks and founder. Only Rainsford survives to drag himself onto the shore of a nearby island. To his surprise the island is dominated by an eerie mansion owned by Count Zaroff, Leslie Banks. A Cossack attended by a retinue of his countrymen, Zaroff exudes silken hospitality and refined culture. Already there as guests are two people from a previous shipwreck, Eve Trowbridge, Fay Wray, and her perpetually drunken brother.

Zaroff is the film version of that familiar figure from Russian literature, the eternally bored aristocrat whose anomie can only be defeated by extreme diversions. In Zaroff's case it turns out that he, a skilled huntsman since boyhood, is only brought to vibrant life by stalking and killing the most dangerous prey - man.

Zaroff offers Rainsford a deal he literally can't refuse. Escape being slain by the count by outwitting him for a number of hours and he goes free. Eve elects to accompany the intrepid hunter on his journey through impenetrable backlot settings. Romance is in the humid air.

Zaroff is, of course, evil but he's also oddly sympathetic. What's a count to do when he can buy anything and only the most extraordinary hunting will bring him happiness? In that light his trophy room becomes understandable, his bloody diversion almost sympathetic. Banks is very effective in this role where he swings between culture and carnage.

Directors Irving Pickel and Ernest B. Schoedsack made "The Most Dangerous Game" on the same sets they'd employ a year later for the universally revered "King Kong." This film is only 63 minutes long indicating they intended it to be a second feature. What they got was a truly engrossing movie with Fay Wray and Joel McCrea turning in first-rate performances. Max Steiner's score is excellent (did he ever compose a bad one?).

Released on DVD by Alpha Video, it's both a bargain and a pleasure.

8/10


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