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The Most Dangerous Game (1932)

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 story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Martin Trowbridge
...
...
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:

16 September 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A legveszélyesebb játék  »

Box Office

Budget:

$218,869 (estimated)
 »

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. But 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

When Rainsford and Zaroff are exiting the bedroom in a scene 14 minutes into the movie, Rainsford is quite clearly entering the door first. When we cut to the hallway, it is Zaroff who is leading the way. 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 Lethal Woman (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

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

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of my fave (really old) movies
7 June 2000 | by (The Penumbra) – See all my reviews

"Until you've hunted men, you haven't hunted" -Jesse Ventura, April 2001.

The story of a hunter having the tables turned on him is overly familiar to today's audiences. The basic premise of Richard Connell's short story "The Most Dangerous Game" has also been reinvented as a Game of Death, Run for the Sun, Hard Target, Surviving the Game, The Running Man, and even Predator (starring the Governor Ventura himself). But the irony and purity of the story are exercised best in this 1932 quickie, made by the King Kong team, using the same cast members and sets. It's legacy has been somewhat overshadowed by the popularity of Kong, but don't let it slip away, The Most Dangerous Game is a game worth playing.

Robert Rainsford (Joel McCrea) is a big game hunter who is shipwrecked somewhere off the east coast of South America. He washes up on a beach of a lonely island and makes his way through the jungle where he is greeted by the eccentric Count Zaroff who has settled in a restored Portuguese fortress. The Count escaped Russia before the revolution and travelled the world hunting animals. But having killed all of the most savage he has grown bored and needs an animal with wits, cunning, and intelligence. Man; the most dangerous game of all.

Finding his match with Rainsford, the Count releases him into the jungle, along with the screaming Eve Trowbridge (Fay Wray), and promises him freedom if he can survive the next 24 hours. The sets, the Gothic atmosphere, and even the loneliness creates a wonderful atmosphere. As one of the first "talkies" the film is backed-up by a score (in a time when music really had to carry wordless motion pictures) that really stands out to me for several reasons. It's certainly the earliest film I have seen with a recognizable melody and even goes as far as having the Count play the theme on his grand piano; a nice little in-joke. I never thought I'd recommend a score from a 1932 movie for being mysterious and action-packed but, if you excuse the pun, I suggest you hunt it down.

At 63 minutes the film doesn't outstay his welcome, but James Ashmore Creelman's screenplay was written as a film lasting no less than 85 minutes, so I'm curious to know what RKO Pictures cut out to keep the budget down.

Criterion did a good job with the DVD, but the film desperately needs a full HD restoration. I suppose the original camera negative is gone, but a 4k master from a complete 35mm print is what this film needs. No nicks, no scratches, no missing frames. If The Most Dangerous Game doesn't get this an overlooked classic may be lost forever.


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