Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Most Dangerous Game, Not Quite King Kong

Almost "King Kong, which would premier in 1933, but 1932's "The Most Dangerous Game," one might say, birthed the classic gorilla flick.  Like "King Kong," this film stars Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong.  Both these films had David O. Selznick, Merian Cooper, and Ernest Schoedsack involved in the making and production.  Also, like "King Kong," this film has also been re-made, but even more frequently than the gorilla epic.  In fact, readers of this blog may find the plot of today's feature a bit familiar.  Both Turkey Shoot and Awaken , which have been reviewed on this blog, are terrific rip-offs of "The Most Dangerous Game."
Bob (Joel McCrea), a big game hunter, is the only survivor of a shipwreck.  The wreck was no accident. The evil and eccentric Count Zaroff (Leslie Banks) lures ships into a coral reef near his island, with the intention of sinking them.  Survivors who make it to his island are welcomed into his castle, treated with much hospitality, and then set loose for the Count to hunt.  Bob arrives and meets some earlier castaways including the lovely Eve (Wray) and her brother Martin (Armstrong). Eve warns Bob that the other survivors were taken out hunting by the Count and never returned.
You guessed it, the Count is bored with animals and now seeks the most dangerous! As Eve and Bob snoop around, looking for Martin, they find the Count's trophy room and the severed heads of his human kills.  The game is on, our evil host sets the two budding lovebirds loose on the island for a hunt no one has ever survived.  But wait!  Bob is no ordinary prey.  He is an expert hunter himself, and instead of behaving like prey, he and Eve will also turn hunter.
Faye Wray is stunning and will be wet a lot as her clothes are gradually torn to shreds...not that we care about this.  For 1932, this film is very gory, showing a graphic shipwreck with sharks eating passengers, and also the aforementioned severed heads.  Will Bob and Eve have a chance to cultivate their love?  Will Count Zaroff be fair in his hunting methods? If she survives the hunt, will Eve emerge as the diminutive wallflower she was before the hunt?  Treat yourself to one of the most re-made films in cinematic history, catch "The Most Dangerous Game" on YouTube.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of those movies that keeps eluding me. Always intending to watch it; usually pass it up for something more contemporary. Certainly one of the most cloned plots in movies.