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The Most Dangerous Game (Criterion Collection)

Joel McCrea , Fay Wray , Ernest B. Schoedsack , Irving Pichel    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
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The Most Dangerous Game (Criterion Collection) + The Most Dangerous Game - Richard Connell's Original Masterpiece
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Product Description


The Most Dangerous Game is a classic, one of the first talkies to get pictures moving after five very static years following the birth of sound. The plot finds resourceful hero Joel McCrea and heroine Fay Wray being hunted on the island of the insane Zaroff (Leslie Banks). One of the grandfathers of the summer blockbuster, the film's setup has been reworked many times since, notably in John Woo's Hard Target (1993). By modern standards it's technically primitive, though still gripping stuff, complete with the jungle set built as a test run for King Kong (1933) and graced by Max Steiner's prototype of all Hollywood action scores. --Gary S. Dalkin

Product Description

"One of the best and most literate movies from the great days of horror," The Most Dangerous Game stars Leslie Banks as a big game hunter with a taste for the world's most exotic prey-his houseguests, played by Fay Wray and Joel McCrea. Before making history with 1933's King Kong, filmmakers Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack wowed audiences with their chilling adaptation of this Richard Connell short story. Criterion is proud to present the DVD premiere of The Most Dangerous Game in a new digital transfer.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man is the prey Nov. 23 2006
What if hunting for sport was taken to its extreme?

That's the chilling premise of "The Most Dangerous Game," an adaptation of Richard Connell's story about a madman who hunts other men for sport. It's a taut, tightly-written movie with some wonderfully shocking moments, and a sense of suspense that doesn't let up until the final seconds.

A ship is wrecked on a reef, and her crew and passengers eaten by sharks. Only big-game hunter Bob Rainsford (Joel McCrea) makes it to the shore of a jungle island, where he is welcomed into the palatial home of the bizarre Count Zaroff, who has several guests waiting for a boat back to civilization. Except according to another "guest" Eve (Fay Wray), his guests have a nasty habit of vanishing.

Bob and Eve find out why, when they break into Zaroff's trophy room... and find other humans on display as trophies. Now that they've found out his secret, Zaroff decides to have Bob as his next prey, with Eve accompanying him. If Bob can get away by sunset, they'll both go free. If not...

Surprisingly, "The Most Dangerous Game" was only made because of another movie -- the original "King Kong." The monkey movie shot during the day, and then the sets and actors were used on "Most Dangerous Game" during the night. It certainly accounts for the lush jungle sets and island setting.

That's where the resemblance ends. "Most Dangerous Game" is a more psychological, suspenseful movie, taking a look at what happens when "killer fun" is extended to human beings. It's a bit on the short side -- just over an hour -- but it's stripped of all extra scenes or dialogue. This is raw filmmaking.
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By mackjay
The Alpha DVD of THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME gets 5 stars from this commentator. The price is nearly impossible to pass up, even with a merely acceptable transfer of the film. But what Alpha offers here is superb image and sound quality. The way this 70 year-old film looks on this disc is nothing short of astounding. The blacks are deep and rich, and the image has a silvery, film-like luster. Speckles and scratches are few and far between. This is the kind of quality we may expect from Criterion, who also has this title on DVD, with a comentary track. If you can live without the commentary, go with the Alpha. It's hard to imagine that Criterion, or anyone, could improve on this film transfer.
Other comments here can provide backgound on THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME. It's an amazingly exciting, beautifully shot and scored masterpiece of adventure. The acting is mostly pretty hammy, but that only adds to the enjoyment. Was Irving Pichel a great director? Who knew?
A great addition to any DVD collection.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and atmospheric classic Sept. 29 2003
Format:VHS Tape
The Most Dangerous Game was a pet project of its producer,Merian C Cooper,and he did a bang up job of translating the Richard Connell short story to the screen.
The evil genius of the movie is demented Russian aristocrat ,Count Zaroff, who has his own private unchartered island .His passion is hunting and having become bored with the usual wild game hunts ,Zaroff has turned to the hunting of human beings for his kicks.
The objects of the hunt are a group of Americans headed by the resolute and stalwart Bob ,played strikingly well by the greatly under-rated Joel MacRae ,and including Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong.
The atmosphere is genuinely menacing from the sinister decor of Zaroffs home to the misty promordial swamp through which the relentless Zaroff and his baying hounds pursue the prey.The tone is grim and the pace unrelenting-here truly is a lean and economical movie that wastes not a single frame.
In some ways this can be viewed as a warm up for King Kong which re-used many of the personnel and ingredients from this movie --Fay Wray ,Robert Armstrong ,and a stirring brass heavy score from the great Max Steiner ,not to mention the producer/director team of Scoedsack and Cooper.It also used the same oppressive ,gloomy, miasmatic sets for the jungle and swamp scenes and these help give the movie its potency and power.
It lacks the one added dimension that helped transform King Kong into a genuine cultural phenomena-the mythic dimension -but is a gripping well made movie that still holds the attention over half a century from when it first saw the light.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Still the best March 17 2003
By blue-59
Still the best screen adaptation of one of the great short stories of all time. The theme of Richard Connell's masterpiece has been used countless times, from "Woman Hunt" to "Slavegirls from Beyond Infinity." The movie was made on the set of "King Kong," and Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, and Noble Johnson were in both. Total running time may be short, but it's still longer than it takes to read the story.
In the original, the only characters on the island are Zaroff, his servant, and the shipwrecked Rainsford. Naturally, though, Hollywood needed romance, so Fay Wray, no stranger to playing a damsel in distress, makes a fine heroine. Robert Armstrong, on the other hand, grossly overplays the part of the drunken American boor. But overall, it's a good, enjoyable picture.
By the way, the original story is politically incorrect from every angle and could not possibly be faithfully adapted to the screen today. (Zaroff expounds on how easy it is to hunt men of certain races.) And some otherwise intelligent people insist that "dangerous game" in the title refers to the game Zaroff plays of hunting humans. But it obviously means that, for the hunter, the most dangerous game to stalk is man.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent service & product
Excellent sur toute la ligne. Produit de première qualité et expédié rapidement ! Read more
Published 19 months ago by MFJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Excellent Release - 75th Anniversary Ed. in Color & B/W
This review is for the 75th Anniversary Edition of The Most Dangerous Game from Legend Films. This RKO film from 1932 was originally shot at around the same time as the original... Read more
Published on Sept. 19 2012 by Movieman, Montreal
5.0 out of 5 stars Criterion is the best
Since many have written of the awesome, original story. i will comment on the quality of the dvd. i owned a copy before criterion remastered it from the original 35 mm. Read more
Published on July 22 2011 by Marcia
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Creepy and it's Kooky, it's Altogether Ooky
A ship full of mysterious characters is interring a harbor that is either misscharted or mislight. We are introduced to them and in two minutes and they are old friends. Read more
Published on July 20 2010 by bernie
3.0 out of 5 stars insane count hunts humans on his island
this is an old movie(1932).it's about an insane count who lives in a
castle on an island.every once in a while,a ship wreck occurs on the
island(not accidentally)and the... Read more
Published on Sept. 4 2007 by falcon
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent movie!
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
This movie, made by RKO radio pictures was the last picture they did before releagsing King Kong. Read more
Published on April 23 2004 by Ted
4.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling game of human chess
The Most Dangerous Game is a pretty familiar story, and that foreknowledge somewhat blunts this movie's shock value and effectiveness to modern audiences. Read more
Published on Feb. 1 2003 by Daniel Jolley
5.0 out of 5 stars DEADLIER THAN THE HUNTER....
Florid and exciting film of Richard Connell's famous short story stars Leslie Banks as the mad Count Zaroff, a Cossack big game hunter who has discovered a superior form of prey:... Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2003 by Mark Norvell
4.0 out of 5 stars Manhunt in Kong's Jungle.
Bob, a big-game hunter shipwrecked off a remote island, encounters Zaroff (Leslie Banks). Typical of guys named "Bob," Bob (Joel McCrea) is handsome and rugged. Read more
Published on Dec 23 2002 by Robert S. Clay Jr.
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