HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Birth of the Dragon
Revenge of the Pink Panther
Thelma
Stratton
February
Taking of Beverly Hills, The
Marjorie Prime
Hotel Salvation
Mangler, The
Shiraz
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
   
 
Newest Articles
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
   
 
  Most Dangerous Game, The Coming Ready Or NotBuy this film here.
Year: 1932
Director: Ernest B. Schoedsack, Irving Pichel
Stars: Joel McCrea, Leslie Banks, Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Noble Johnson
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Adventure
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: A ship is sailing near to a remote island, and the captain notices the buoys marking the perilous areas next to the coral reefs are not in the correct position. The passengers, including big game hunter Robert Rainsford (Joel McCrea), don't believe they are threatened, that is, until the ship hits one of the reefs and quickly sinks. Those who are not drowned are picked off by the hungry sharks, and only Rainsford survives to manage to swim to the shore of the tropical island. Exhausted, he staggers up the beach and into the jungle, where he eventually finds a sinister castle - the home of Count Zaroff (Leslie Banks)...

This golden age chiller remains the most effective rendering of the short story by Robert Connell, here adapted by James Ashmore Creelman, which sees humans being hunted for sport. There have been many variations on the old chestnut, even Jean-Claude Van Damme had a go at it, but this version is where the idea was best displayed. Made by many of the same team who gave us King Kong the next year, this film's place in movie history tends to exist in the shadow of the giant ape, and it certainly has a similar look in its jungle scenes, but this is a whittled down, more economical tale, with no padding, that gets straight to the point - the point at the end of the wicked Count's arrows.

When Rainsford first meets Zaroff, the Count makes the traditional entrance for all baddies who live in a castle, as he appears at the top of a large staircase. He introduces himself as a Russian nobleman exiled after the Revolution, explaining that many people are shipwrecked on his island, and that there are two other survivors present at his home, Martin Trowbridge (Robert Armstrong) and his sister Eve (Fay Wray). Martin is a lush, and not much help, but as the evening wears on Eve seems to be trying to tell Rainsford something. As the Count entertains them on the piano, she whispers to Rainsford that they are in danger - the boat to take them to the mainland is not being repaired after all, and two of her party have mysteriously disappeared since arriving.

It takes almost half the movie for the real reason for keeping them there to be revealed, but it's worth waiting for. The whole theme of the film is the hunter becoming the hunted, as Rainsford has the tables turned on him by Zaroff. Zaroff has read his books, and sees him as a potential ally in tracking and killing what he terms the most dangerous game: man. He had become bored with hunting animals, and needed to revive his interest - or obsession - so he moved up to the next step. Rainsford is horrified, especially when Martin returns from a trip outside as a corpse under a blanket, and he refuses to go along with the scheme. Thus he gets a taste of his own medicine, when the Count gives him (and Eve) twenty four hours to hide on the island.

As the classic villain Zaroff, Banks cuts an imposing figure, his twisted logic making perfect sense to him, but naturally sounding insane to everyone else. He is a cultured man, but we can see by the way he fingers the scar on his forehead, or casually strokes the fang of a tiger skull, that he is preoccupied with his deadly sport to the exclusion of everything. The chase, when it comes, is absorbing and exciting, as Rainsford and Eve grow increasingly harrassed while their plans and traps to foil the Count all fail. By the time the hounds have been released, there's apparently no hope for them - Rainsford will be killed and mounted on the wall with the rest of the collection of heads, and Eve will be ravaged. "Outdoor Chess" Zaroff calls it, and while not as intellectual as that, the film is a thoroughly entertaining and surprisingly visceral hour and a bit. Music by Max Steiner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 13529 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
The Elix
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
   

 

Last Updated: