Rick Rainsford is trapped on a deserted island with his reluctant companion, Anna. While attempting to save another gravely injured survivor they find themselves hunted by Zaroff, a ... See full summary »
A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal giant gorilla who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.
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
Most of the standing sets from King Kong (1933) were used in the making of this film, including the gate (which was eventually burned down in the "Burning of Atlanta" sequence of Gone with the Wind (1939)). This film and "King Kong" were shot at the same time, though "Kong" was released later (probably due to the special effects required for it). See more »
A few seconds after Bob and Eve first enter the jungle together, the branches and leaves of a small tree in the foreground shake and sway dramatically. While the tree is swaying, presumably from the wind, the rest of the vegetation in the scene is absolutely stationary. See more »
The channel's here on the chart, all right, and so are the marking lights.
Then what's wrong with them?
Those lights don't seem to be in just the right place. They're both a bit out of position according to this.
Two light buoys means a safe channel between the world over!
"Safe between the world over" doesn't go in these waters.
See more »
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.
35 of 41 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?