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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC companion piece for 'KING KONG';,
This review is from: Most Dangerous Game [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)Made in tandem [in 1932] with RKO true classic 'KING KONG'-----[the two movies were shot 'day-and-night' using much of the same studio jungle sets]------this is a teriffic early talkie horror/suspense effort that is up there with many of the finest UNIVERSAL horrors from the same period.
Feauturing prime performances from FAY WRAY [no explanation of who she is neccessary] and ROBERT ARMSTRONG ['DENHAM', KONG'S showbiz charlatan captor] this views almost as a seperate thread to the classic events of KONG.
Also containing a memorable appearance by NOBLE JOHNSON [the tribal leader of the natives in KONG], here unrecognizable as baddie ZAROFF'S mute leading manservant. The plot recounts the tale of shipwrecked victims marooned on COUNT ZAROFF'S [LESLIE BANKS, in career-defining demonic form] tiny island, and after charmingly entertaining them [complete with 30s 'dinner suit' garb and choice wine]forces his victims to become his quarry in a sadistic jungle shooting chase.
I cannot overstate just how effectively staged the melodramatic atmosphere is presented here; practically every frame [discounting a routine first 3 minutes or so] is steeped in gothic, eerily-effective, relentless period drama, a true feast for fans of this material, with a driving pace, fantastic matte paintings and process shots clearly recognizable as being crafted by the selfsame team responsible for KONG: indeed, all that's really missing here [that would have cemented this movie's status] would have been a quick appearance from KONG himself!
Great to see a quick, stunning shot of the LOG RAVINE itself ----still clearly recognizable here------but this movie has plenty of merits of it's own accord, including a teriffic scene where hero McCREA stops abruptly on a vast staircase, taking in a startling mural of a lurid cyclops: PRICELESS! This version contains at least one scene usually missing from TV prints [involving one of ZAROFF'S lackeys being gruesomely impaled in a jungle trap]and happily, the celebrated scene of decapitated victims in the trophy room remain intact.
All that I lamented being missing here was the iconic RKO 'beeping tower' logo...though I can't confirm for sure if it was ever officially present.
Some points on the DVD quality itself: this disc is from a company called ALPHA VIDEO, and the transfer on offer here is truly superior, crispily clearer than the finest KONG print thus far, and it's glowing qualities are a credit to ALPHA: the ultra-clear picture puts many much-touted releases from major studios in the shade.
Lastly, I'd like to point out that there is another version of this DVD available, [with a 'colourized' option supervised by Ray Harryhausen]that I haven't yet seen, but may yet indulge in: the cover on this one has lettering created by stick on a beachfront.
Overall, though, if you want early 30s thrills and melodrama framed in cheerily gothic gloom, look no further: FANTASTIC!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a most enjoyable film.,
This review is from: Most Dangerous Game [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)I was surprised how good this film was when i recently purchased it, as i do not remember seeing it before.As another reviewer mentions about the link with king kong i wont go into it.The only thing i can add is that the legend films version ,as shown in the graphics,has a very good colourised version,a restored b/w version and it also has a few featurettes ,1.ray harryhausen talks about the importance of a music score(2:30).2.james d`arc(curator of the merian c. cooper papers) is interviewed(4:29).3.john morgan(composer)talks about max steiner(7:14) and also trailers for "things to come"(1:39) and "she"(1:26).
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Most dangerous indeed,
This review is from: Criterion Collection: Most Dangerous Game [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)"Until you've hunted men, you haven't hunted" -Jesse Ventura, April 2001.
The story of a hunter having the tables turned on him is overly familiar to today's audiences. The basic premise of Richard Connell's short story "The Most Dangerous Game" has also been reinvented as a Game of Death, Run for the Sun, Hard Target, Surviving the Game, The Running Man, and even Predator (starring the Governor Ventura himself). But the irony and purity of the story are exercised best in this 1932 quickie, made by the King Kong team, using the same cast members and sets. It's legacy has been somewhat overshadowed by the popularity of Kong, but don't let it slip away, The Most Dangerous Game is a game worth playing.
Robert Rainsford (Joel McCrea) is a big game hunter who is shipwrecked somewhere off the east coast of South America. He washes up on a beach of a lonely island and makes his way through the jungle where he is greeted by the eccentric Count Zaroff who has settled in a restored Portuguese fortress. The Count escaped Russia before the revolution and travelled the world hunting animals. But having killed all of the most savage he has grown bored and needs an animal with wits, cunning, and intelligence. Man; the most dangerous game of all.
Finding his match with Rainsford, the Count releases him into the jungle, along with the screaming Eve Trowbridge (Fay Wray), and promises him freedom if he can survive the next 24 hours. The sets, the Gothic atmosphere, and even the loneliness creates a wonderful atmosphere. As one of the first "talkies" the film is backed-up by a score (in a time when music really had to carry wordless motion pictures) that really stands out to me for several reasons. It's certainly the earliest film I have seen with a recognizable melody and even goes as far as having the Count play the theme on his grand piano; a nice little in-joke. I never thought I'd recommend a score from a 1932 movie for being mysterious and action-packed but, if you excuse the pun, I suggest you hunt down Steiner: The Son of Kong/The Most Dangerous Game (Original Score).
At 63 minutes the film doesn't outstay his welcome, but James Ashmore Creelman's screenplay was written as a film lasting no less than 85 minutes, so I'm curious to know what RKO Pictures cut out to keep the budget down.
Criterion did a good job with this DVD, but the film desperately needs a full HD restoration. I suppose the original camera negative is gone, but a 4k master from a complete 35mm print is what this film needs. No nicks, no scratches, no missing frames. If The Most Dangerous Game doesn't get this an overlooked classic may be lost forever.
8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic adventure!,
This review is from: Most Dangerous Game [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)Great film,price a real bargain.Very good picture quality.Fay Wray is stunning,though the real star of the show is Leslie Banks.His performance as the deranged Count Zaroff is excellent.Highly recommended!
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Most Dangerous Game [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] by Irving Pichel (DVD - 2007)