Shot on a budget of $200,000, The Most Dangerous Game turned out to be more bankable than the 1933’s expensive King Kong, with which it shares actress Fay Wray, and certainly rivals it for entertainment value. The set-up is simple but brilliant, and even though the eventual outcome is obvious to the modern viewer, the suspense is kept up at a decent pace. As with many other contemporary films, the acting and screenplay are excessively camp, particularly Leslie Banks’ hammy portrayal of a Russian count, but fans of Béla Lugosi and early B-movies should recognise this is par for the course. Funny and sinister in equal parts, The Most Dangerous Game deserves a revival.
Sunday, 11 July 2010
Based on Richard Connell’s short story, The Most Dangerous Game follows a group of people who find themselves on a remote island for different reasons. Eve and Martin are siblings who, alongside two sailors, were the only survivors of a shipwreck. The four have been guests at the home of the Russian Count Zaroff when newcomer Bob, freshly marooned from a shipwreck, arrives on the scene. Bob and Zaroff appear to hit it off quickly, having both made a living through hunting, although Zaroff claims to have found an even more exhilarating prey on the island that he refuses to name. In a matter of days, Martin and both sailors have disappeared, and as Bob and Eve search the house for him, they learn of Zaroff’s horrific pursuit, correctly guessing that they are next in line.