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Criterion Collection: Naked Prey [DVD] [1966] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: NR (Not Rated) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000XPSC0M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,822 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 25 July 2008
Format: DVD
`A hundred years ago, Africa was a vast, dark unknown. Only a few explorers and missionaries, the ivory hunters and the infamous slave traders risked their lives on its blood-soaked trails. Gleaming tusks were the prize and sweating slaves, sold by their own kings and chiefs in the ceaseless tribal wars or seized by slavers. The lion and the leopard hunted savagely among the huge herds of game. And man, lacking the will to understand other men, became like the beasts, and their way of life was his.'

Cornel Wilde is `Man,' and Man is The Naked Prey. How tough is Cornel Wilde? Not only could he star in a film that sees him chased across a hostile environment by murderous tribesmen but could direct it as well in a primitive location in terrible conditions while seriously ill. While not the world's greatest actor he's the right physical presence for the part: there's something primal enough about him to convince as the kind of man who, when spattered with the blood of an enemy, just rubs it in rather than brushes it off. Indeed, Wilde was even planning to make a sequel decades later while dying of cancer.

Based on John Coulter's escape from Blackfoot tribesmen during the Lewis and Clark expedition and originally intended as a Western before South African tax breaks prompted a change of locale, it's a simple story well told. Wilde is leading an ivory hunting safari that, thanks to callous employer Gert Van Der Berg, falls foul of Ken Gampu's tribesmen, who later attack them and deal out various imaginative tortures and deaths to all except Wilde, who shows no fear. Reasoning that because he looks like a lion, he deserves a lion's death, they give him a chance: stripped naked and completely unarmed, they'll give him a head start before chasing after him and killing him.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Reg Roberts on 5 Sept. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Chatting with friends I mentioned this film as one that made a huge impression on me when I saw it on TV , aged about 12 (around 1975). It hasn't been televised for many years in the UK, so I decided to get a copy. I guess some of the content could make it tricky for UK transmission now - it's pretty clear that the slaying of animals was real footage rather than special effects and some of the black African tribesmen and women are, to some extent, portrayed as savages, although no less moral and, in many cases, nobler and more respectful than the white characters. For a 40+ year old film, it certainly still packs a punch and it's a real tribute to Cornel Wilde that he made such an exciting film with virtually no dialogue, atmospheric music or special effects. I don't know whether Mel Gibson had seen this, but Apocalypto certainly appears to owe it a debt of gratitude!

One point about the Italian version - I had concerns, but there was no need as it played perfectly on a standard DVD player and Laptop and it was easy to choose the English language, un-subtitled version (not that the dialogue plays a big part anyway).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. E. A. Williamson on 21 Oct. 2015
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Cornel Wilde's 1965 survivalistic adventure epic The Naked Prey makes it's Blu ray debut here in the UK from Eureka as part of their prestigious Masters of Cinema range presented completely uncut and uncensored. Included in the package is a brand new and exclusive interview with film historian Sheldon Hall and as always from Eureka another of their gorgeously produced glossy insert booklets. This edition comes complete as a dual format release with both a Blu ray and DVD included.

Produced, directed and starring dashing 1950s swashbuckler and occasional leading man turned auteur Cornel Wilde, The Naked Prey is a stark, gruelling and truly compelling chase movie of one man's battle of endurance against the terrain and nature of a foreboding and mysterious land whilst being hunted by an swiftly advancing indigenous African tribe.
Set in the vast, dark, unknown of colonial era Africa, Wilde's unnamed character is known simply as "Man" an ivory safari expedition leader out one last time before his retirement. Funding the hunt is the ruthless capitalist white man Gert van den Bergh who only wants to do things his own way, slaughtering elephants who carry no ivory in the name of sport and proving what kind of a man he is by proposing that he wants to enter into the slave trade once his expedition is over as according to him is an extremely lucrative business. Unfortunately (or some would say fortunately considering what the intentions of the men are) the small group of great white hunters unknowingly cross into the territory of a local tribe.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Paul Ess. on 24 April 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
'The Naked Prey' is the story of one man's battle with the wild and the wilderness, with nothing but his wits as a weapon.
Not a very complex plot, but its simplicity is one of its (many) major strengths.
There's few secondary characters; no sub-plots; no asinine, pointless romances; simply a visceral, survival-at-any-cost chase to the death through the jungles and plains of undiscovered Africa.

Directed with some energy by former matinee idol, Cornel Wilde, 'TNP' is a rugged, belligerent story of one man's will against apparently insurmountable odds.

Briefly, it's the tale of a safari leader, who, having seen his expedition ritually slaughtered by a delighted and jubilant bush tribe, is given a chance for freedom. He's stripped and given a head-start before chosen warriors set off in chase with the sole intention of running him through with eye-wateringly nasty spears.
To survive he must become as savage as his pursuers and this is his greatest disadvantage - savagery comes natural to them.

It's not a perfect film and it's main flaw is the presence of Wilde himself both on and off screen: his is a suitably intense performance, not without vital humour, but after a solid first hour or so, his film gives way to typical Hollywood cop-out. He rescues a native child from some splendidly swarthy Arab types slave traders, and then is saved from a river by another child whom he befriends.
The film goes off at a complete tangent here when it should press on to its climax. As Wilde is the only white person with any respect or understanding of the natives, it's hardly a turnabout when one of them helps him. It seems contrived to calm the film down a bit; lessen the impact of some of the brutality we've endured.
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