The Most Dangerous Game (1932)
Director: Ernest B. Schoedsack, Irving Pichel
Screenplay: James Ashmore Creelman based on “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell
Stars: Joel McCrea, Fay Wray, Leslie Banks, Robert Armstrong, Noble Johnson, Steve Clemente and James Flavin.
Tagline: Arresting, strange and terrible in the story of the polished Russian sportsman who lured ships to their doom…then drove the male survivors into his inland jungle, to be hunted down like animals!
Bob Rainsford (McCrea) is a well known big game hunter on a ship traveling near an uncharted island. The ship hits something that causes it to quickly begin sinking and explode. Bob swims to the island only to discover he is the sole survivor.
Bob is surprised to find a huge house owned by Count Zaroff (Banks). Zaroff welcomes Bob into his home. The Count introduces Bob to Eve (Wray) and her brother Martin (Armstrong). Eve and Martin survived an earlier ship wreck and made it to the island.
Count Zaroff is pleased to have the pleasure of hosting Bob Rainsford, the famous big game hunter. Zaroff explains that he is also a hunter. Zaroff claims to have hunted every kind of animal and was getting bored until he discovered “the most dangerous” game.
When Bob and Eve are alone, she says that two sailors who survived their shipwreck have gone missing. Bob shares his belief that the ships were sunk on purpose. As Eve and Bob go through Zaroff’s mansion they stumble onto his trophy room. To their horror, they discover that Count Zaroff hunts humans. They will soon be his prey.
Thoughts (beware of spoilers)
The Most Dangerous Game and King Kong share a lot in common. Both films were produced by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. Ernest B. Schoedsack co-directed both movies. Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, James Flavin and Noble Johnson appeared in both films. Both movies used the same sets!
“The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell has been adapted and used as inspiration for countless movies.
A preview of “The Most Dangerous Game” contained a more detailed look at Count Zaroff’s trophy room. It featured mounted human heads, heads in bottles and stuffed full figures of men Zaroff had murdered. When several in the preview audience walked out, the scene was shortened.
Beware of bad copies. The Most Dangerous Game (1932). Iy fell into public domain and there are some shoddy prints out there.
The Most Dangerous Game (1932) rates 5 of 5 stars.