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The Most Dangerous Game
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The Most Dangerous Game More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Original premise for its time, but uneven execution

Author: funkyfry from Oakland CA
21 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I feel this film had an interesting premise at the time it was released, but that the execution -- particularly the direction of the actors -- failed the film in many places. I actually prefer "Run for the Sun" to the original. I think the performances of the actors were all very under-whelming, some of the actors like the one who played the Captain in the early scenes seemed to be reading from cue cards. Joel McCrea can be a good actor when well directed, but stiff as a board when not. Here unfortunately he is the latter, thrust as he is also into a very one-dimensional macho hero role, his character does not register the changes that a hunter would go through when he becomes the prey, but instead he was directed to simply become even more aggressive and heroic at which point he just goes over the top. It's really disappointing they couldn't either get a better actor than Leslie Banks, or that the director could not get a better performance from him. It could have been a great part, Banks was barely adequate though I did enjoy his death scene.

Overall, a great disappointment to me since I had heard so much about it. The scenery and visual elements in general are interesting, but without any visual element as overpowering as "Kong", Schoedsack's lack of ability to work with actors (I personally would rate him about equal with William Beaudine) hampers this film and ultimately IMHO hobbles it, keeps it from rising to the next level of fear.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Fascinating little thriller from the talented team behind King Kong

Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England
3 May 2006

The Most Dangerous Game serves as an obvious prelude to Ernest B. Schoedsack's masterpiece King Kong, but still makes for a fascinating film in its own right. The film features many ideas that were prevalent in King Kong, such as a ship's passengers becoming stranded and an isolated island in the middle of the ocean where strange things are afoot. The similarities end there, however, as while King Kong took in ideas of Beauty and the Beast and the ills of taking something out if it's natural habitat and putting it where it doesn't belong, The Most Dangerous Game follows the equally fascinating idea of the hunter becoming the hunted. The lead character is a famous hunter by the name of Robert Rainsford, who finds himself in the company the enigmatic Count Zarkoff after his ship crashes off the coast of a small island. It's not long before we learn that the two people in his company - brother and sister Eve and Martin Trowbridge - also happen to be victims of a ship wreck, and it's not long after that we learn of what it is that Count Zarkoff is hunting - the most dangerous game, his fellow men!

It's clear that this film is limited by its budget constraints, and this is shown by the large amount of dialogue scenes and the short running time. However, this isn't as big a problem as it could have been, as the talented filmmakers have put together a film that works more from it's ideas than action scenes; and this in itself is always enough to captivate the audience. The cast isn't a strongpoint, with only Fay Wray standing out among an all-male troupe of performers. Joel McCrea is a little flat in the lead role, while Leslie Banks overacts as the enigmatic Count. It doesn't matter, however as Schoedsack is on hand to ensure that the film has a great atmosphere and the jungle settings - while clearly the same ones from King Kong - make the central location intriguing as we are lead to believe that there's a lot to it. The Count's castle makes for a great location to set the prelude to the central set-piece in, and once we get into the jungle the film really takes off. The frenzied climax is a treat and overall, it is without hesitation that I recommend this film to all fans of classic film.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Great Horror Flick

Author: SonchitoRaspberry from Washington D.C.
16 March 2005

I have certainly seen my share of movies, and although I am a fan of many of the genres out there, unfortunately I never really enjoyed really old films from like the 1920's and 30's. That was until I saw The Most Dangerous Game, which was an all-over great movie. It had a great story, great acting, and it wasn't cheesy like many horror movies tend to be. I really liked the Count, Count Zaroff. He was an interesting character because even as he was being oh so nice to his guests, you could still see just a hint of pure evil in his stare, and it really added to the mystery behind everything he would say. But, despite how much I liked the Count, Ivan would have to be my favorite character. He didn't have any lines and almost no screen-time, and I don't know why, but I found him very funny. Maybe it was just the way he looked, who knows? Anyways, unless you are a fan of those mindless 'lets blow everything up' movies, I would surely recommend this movie to anyone. It has great dialogue, great characters, a great plot, and will hold your complete attention for its 63 minute runtime.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Remade dozens of times this is still great

Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
4 July 2004

You've seen any number of variations of the plot, shipwrecked hunter is hunted by a madman who think people are the most dangerous game. You know whats going to happen and still you sit there on the edge of your seat.

Filmed on the sets of King Kong this movie has atmosphere in spades. The acting is first rate. Everything about this film makes you forget its being made was almost an after thought to Kong.

What I love about this movie is that its one of those films that hasn't been lessened by the remakes and rip-offs. Few films have ever survived being remade as many times as this one and still managed to knock your socks off upon first or sixth viewing.

I truly regret not ever being able to see this on the big screen, where I could get lost in it.

8 out of 10

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Death is for others not ourselves

Author: sol1218 from brooklyn NY
1 May 2004

Count Zaroff, Leslie Banks, was brought up in Czarist Russia and instilled by his father with a passion that took over his life, the passion of the hunt.

when his country was taken over by the Communists in 1917 the Count escaped with most of his riches intact and while in exile found hunting his only reason for living. After hunting down and killing big game for over a decade on three continents Zaroff found it to be to boring and predictable and bought a deserted Portuguese island with a massive castle in the South Pacific to spend his time and thoughts. It's there where the Count found the perfect adversary the one that would put all his great hunting skills to the test. Something so dangerous that all the animals in the jungle cringe with fear at just the scent and sight of it, the worlds most dangerous game.

Timeless classic that has been imitated dozens of times over the last 70 years and still holds up well since it's release in 1932 when we had propeller planes to 2004 where we now have inter-planetary rockets. For the most dangerous game then is still what it is now: MAN.

Big game hunter Bob Rainford, Joel McCrea, who washed up on the island when his ship hit a coral reef and his love interest in the movie Eve, Fray Wray, a previous ship-wreck survivor, are given until sunrise to survive Count Zaroff's attempt to hunt them down in this deadly game of cat and mouse. You realize that the Count is no more of a villain then Bob is a good guy for they both like to hunt and kill game that are no threat to them until they make them a treat by their actions.

Tense and terrifying movie with the Count pulling out all stops to get both Bob and Eva. With at first a bow and arrow then a high powered rifle and finally a pack of blood-thirsty hunting dogs with the hunted on the run through the dangerous canyons and thickets of the Counts island. With their only hope for survival is the rays of the morning sunrise in this both thought-provoking as well as exciting film.

P.S The same sets of the film "The Most Dangerous Game" was used a year later in the all-time movie classic "King Kong".

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Good Old Fashioned Fun

Author: joe (usualsuspect77) from Virginia
18 May 2003

This movie is something I could picture being my favorite movie if I was ten in the 1930's because it's fast, fun, and furious. If you are sick of the lack of good adventure flicks out there, rent this. It has Leslie Banks doing an over-the-top performance as Count Zaroff, complete with accent overuse and scar, great jungle sets for the time, and plenty of excitement. It's never boring throughout it's 63 minute running time. If parents want to get there youngsters (especially boys) into some older fare, this is a great starting point. For film buffs it's good old fashioned fun, nothing more, nothing less.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

why was it forgotten?

Author: MichaelM24 from California
14 March 2002

The same producers of KING KONG. Two of the same stars. The same legendary composer. The same year of release. So why was THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME forgotten? I'll never know. I remember the first time I discovered Richard Connell's short story in my ninth-grade English class. I was expecting a story about football or something. I was hooked from the first sentence to the last and read it many more times. I was thrilled to learn of the existence of a movie, and when I was finally able to find a copy a couple years later, I was pretty pleased.

There's only minor differences (a change in character names, the addition of more guests on the island), but for the most part, it's the same story. I also liked seeing Count Zaroff's trophy room, which was only mentioned in the story, and that floating head in a jar was probably pretty shocking back in 1932. Joel McCrea makes an appealing hero, but the lovely Fay Wray never really gets to do much beyond panicing and looking scared. Leslie Banks (in his first film after his debut eleven years earlier in a silent film) is a terrific villain, never resorting to camp, and maintaining an underlining sense of menace early in the film until letting it completely come out once the characters learn exacting what it is he's doing on his island.

From that point on, the film becomes a non-stop adventure with close encounters, booby traps, and a pack of wild dogs, eventually erupting into one of the most thrilling chase sequences ever filmed, complete with Max Steiner's adrenaline-pumping score to shove things along at full speed. For nearly seven minutes, it's nothing but visual and musical action. The DVD looks and sounds great, with an informative commentary by a film instructor/historian, though it would have been nice to have had the few deleted scenes and the trailer included as bonus material, but they're probably long gone by now.

While the story (and film) may be forgotten, it's influence has not. Countless films and television shows have used the story of "man hunting man" time and time again, from the films HARD TARGET and SURVIVING THE GAME to even an episode of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND. Even PREDATOR, if you think about it. Though officially remade twice, this version still stands as the best adaptation to the story. Another true remake would be nice, though in today's world of entertainment, it would probably be dumbed down for teen audiences with "hip" actors and a rap-filled soundtrack. As an aspiring filmmaker, it's my dream to one day remake this great story myself. If you're ever in the mood to see a good, early action movie (and if you can find it), check it out. And the short story is a great read as well.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

It Keeps On Running!

Author: VictorianCushionCat from United Kingdom
1 November 2001

I discovered this aged gem when it came on the TV one late Friday night a few years ago. Well-known as the blueprint for many a chase movie ever since, though few come close to the 1932 master.

Leslie Banks is fantastic as the creepy yet comically camp Count Zaroff, one minute the perfect debonair host, the next a deranged killer willing to take his hunting convictions to the extreme. Joel McCrea is the likeable hero of the show forced to play the most dangerous game, though he at least has Fay Wray for company and she manages to keep the screaming to a minimum. Then again she was probally saving her voice for King Kong (made at the same time)

The oft witty dialogue scenes are a decent build up and well ahead of most movies of the period and once the chase is on, aided by a superb score by Max Stiener, it's an estatic dash to the end (it has to be, the film is just over an hour long). And it is worth remembering how new a concept sound in movies was back in 1932.

It's not easily availible and apparently rarely televised, but if it comes up in the schedules then I strongly recommend you check this film out.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

This is how action movies should be forever

Author: Karahde Khan from Pofesional Ville
28 June 2000

This movie is 68 years old. It's only 63 minutes long. It had a limited budget. But it's far better and more entertaining than almost the 100 per cent of the action/adventure movies of today. It didn't need big stars or millionaire FX to be a complete, unforgettable success. Only a good storyline, a fistful of decent actors (among whom shines Leslie Banks as the villain Zaroff), and good directing by the same people who made 'King Kong', another adventure classic. That's enough, you don't need to blow things up every two minutes.

The proof of the great quality of this masterful film is that it has been remade and ripped off lots of times in movie history, from Robert Wise's A Game of Death (pretty uninspired, it adds 15 minutes of useless scenes and features footage from the original, I'd even swear I've seen Leslie Banks around there, while the villain of this version doesn't look like him at all) to John Woo's Hard Target (starring Van Dumb... 'Nuff said). I think I don't need to say that no version can even hold a candle to the original. See this, Tinseltown moguls? Learn how to make good action flicks!

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A film ahead of it's time

Author: Dan Grant ( from Toronto, Ontario
29 July 1999

What I enjoyed about this film is that it asks us to feel helpless and it shows us what it would be like to be the weaker species. Besides our intelligence, if you really think about it, we would get killed by almost every wild animal if it came down to hand to hand, no weapons. We are weak and slow compared to anything else that we would be put up against. And when the hunt starts in this film, it makes up feel that fear. Sure, the hunter is evil and the hero is, well, the hero, but I think this film was ahead of it's time and had something to say. It was only 63 minutes in length so it doesn't leave much time to develop the plot, only time for the hunt. And that is what makes The Most Dangerous Game such a good film, and it surprisingly stands up well against time. It would be interesting to see this film get remade for a 90's audience. How about the hunter be played by Sean Connery or Jack Nicholson and the hunted be played by Tom Cruise or Edward Norton? Would you see it then? Probably. If you can find this film ( and it is not easy to find ) I highly recommend giving it a shot. It is B&W, but it is very entertaining and that 63 minutes flies by.

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