7.2/10
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98 user 82 critic

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:

James Ashmore Creelman (screen play), Richard Connell (from the O.Henry prize winning collection story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joel McCrea ... Bob
Fay Wray ... Eve
Robert Armstrong ... Martin
Leslie Banks ... Zaroff
Noble Johnson ... Ivan
Steve Clemente Steve Clemente ... Tartar (as Steve Clemento)
William B. Davidson ... Captain (as William Davidson)
Oscar 'Dutch' Hendrian 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:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

16 September 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A legveszélyesebb játék See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$218,869 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$965,740
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (preview)

Sound Mix:

Mono (recorded by) (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The drunken Armstrong is a loaded script element: he's supposed to be annoying. At the time this film was released, Prohibition was still in effect, but the law was widely ignored. Producer Merian C. Cooper was strongly critical of alcohol use and of the glamorization of drunkenness in movies. There is a similar scene in both Mighty Joe Young (1949) (where inebriated nightclub patrons precipitate the creature's escape and rampage) and The Son of Kong (1933) (where drunkenness proves disastrous for the heroine's father). Zaroff's reveling in his hunting exploits was also deliberate beyond the needs of the story, downplaying its glamorization in other movies of the period. See more »

Goofs

When a gunshot causes a flock of birds to flutter out of a tree, strings are visible suspending the birds. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Captain: The channel's here on the chart, all right, and so are the marking lights.
First Mate on Yacht: 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 on Yacht: 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

Referenced in The Banker (1989) 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

 
One of my fave (really old) movies

"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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