Most Dangerous Game, The (1932)

“I was thinking of the inconsistency of civilization. The beast of the jungle, killing just for his existence, is called savage. The man, killing just for sport, is called civilized. It’s a bit inconsistent, isn’t it?”

A shipwrecked man and woman (Joel McCrea and Fay Wray) must find a way to escape from an isolated island owned by a human-hunting madman (Leslie Banks).


Response to Peary’s Review:
Based on Richard Connell’s beloved short story, this “classic thriller” is primarily known as the predecessor to its more famous counterpart, King Kong (1933), which borrows many of the same visuals and features the same leading lady. While I agree with Peary that it contains many “exciting, quickly paced action sequences”, I was frustrated by how substantially Game‘s script strays from the original story (which has long been one of my favorites). Nonetheless, The Most Dangerous Game has much to recommend it, including atmospheric, mist-filled jungle sets; heart-stopping action scenes; and Leslie Banks’ powerhouse performance as the crazed hunter.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Leslie Banks as Count Zaroff
    Most Dangerous Game Banks
  • Atmospheric sets
    Most Dangerous Game Sets

Must See?
No, but it’s worth a look.


One Response to “Most Dangerous Game, The (1932)”

  1. Not a must.

    FFs may want to give it a look for historical reasons, but I can’t muster up much enthusiasm (though I wouldn’t mind hanging out in the Count’s mansion).

    I don’t think I’ve read the original story since high school, but I find this film version on the ho-hum side. There is a bit of excitement near the end, when the Count is hunting McCrea and Wray – but that comes with a few unintended giggles, as does the denouement.

    The one scene I genuinely find effective comes when Wray first attempts to explain to McCrea about the danger they’re in – while Banks is playing piano.

    The premise has potential for a much scarier film adaptation.

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