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on 6 September 2008
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!
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on 11 January 2016
Insane hunter played by Leslie Banks is on an island and orders shipwrecks as so survivors will be stranded on his island. Here he 'beefs' them up so to speak before hunting them, because animal hunting has become so boring. Fay Wray and Joel McCrea play the humans being hunted in the jungle. It's quite tame stuff but with this movie being made in 1932 it was always going to be. However the bodycount actually doesn't come from any hunting at all but from the actual shipwreck at the beginning where we see a shark attack a sailor, blood n' all.

The setting in the eerie castle is done well and Wray lets out her infamous screams KING KONG style, indeed many of the sets in this movie have been used from the same film. Banks as the hunter is usually good however his Russian accent wavers between a few countries, most notably a hint of Scottish. The chase scene is the outstanding segment and the movie was directed by two directors. The only real down side to the movie is that it all ends in very predictable fair, even though Zaroff the killer isn't one too lie down too easily.

This edition comes with a great picture and we have the choice to watch in original black and white or colour. The colour is literally stunning. You would never know, trust me. Also included is a Ray Harryhusen very short interview, some documents on screen and a trailer.
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on 23 September 2009
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).
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VINE VOICEon 18 October 2010
"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.
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"The most dangerous game" is a film from 1932 based on an earlier short story by Stephen Connell. It tells the tale of a deliberately ship-wrecked American big game hunter "Bob Rainsford" (Joel McCrae) who is hunted, along with "Eve Trowbridge" (Fay Wray), on the private island of deranged cossack "Count Zaroff" (Leslie Banks, channeling his Count Dracula impression). It is a lot of fun.

Yes, it is a bit cheesy at the start (the captain's last words being; "Oh, it got me" as he is eaten by a shark) but once on the island, the film really gets going in a big way. It is very atmospheric. Banks does a fantastic turn as the piano-playing, wide eyed, bonkers Count, with a habit of rubbing a scar on his temple (given to him by a cape buffalo, apparently) when contemplating his next evil move. He even has a mute helper "E-van" (Noble Johnson).

It comes in at just over an hour and cracks on at a good pace, famously using both the sets and some of the cast from "King Kong". The film itself is a very accomplished, very atmospheric, little gothic chase thriller. The story itself went on to be very influential and has been remade and reinterpreted dozens of times over the following decades. While I have seen quite a few of them over the years (E.g. "A Game of Death", "Run for the Sun", "The Naked Prey", "Turkey Shoot", The Running Man", "Hard Target"....), this one is easily still my favourite, mainly because of Banks, but also because the film just has a great feel to it.

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on 23 December 2014
The other reviews here are of DVD issues - I'm reviewing the Amazon Prime Video streamed version. This is a famous and first class horror/thriller (also known as 'The Hounds of Zaroff'). Unfortunately this is a pretty dreadful print, evidently 16mm, very fuzzy, with some mark, and a very noisy sound track. I don't know whether better prints exist (the other revues seem to suggest that they may) but though the film is still enjoyable the quality may make viewing different for some viewers.
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on 17 September 2014
This movie was made way back in 1932 with some of the sets and cast that was making KING KONG during the day and shooting this movie on a night.FAY WRAY and ROBERT ARMSTRONG were shooting KONG during the day and back on set shooting this movie on a night.Now about the movie i wont say to much as i dont want to spoil it for the buyer but will say it has humans being hunted.Now about the disc the print looks fantastic the b/w is nice and sharp and the sound is very good.This disc comes from ALPHA but dont let this put you of this time they have come up with a winner and the print here is as good as the one used by another company that costs a hell of a lot more than this.When this movie first came out in england it ran into a lot of trouble with the censor were all the scenes of the counts trophies were taken out but on this disc they are back in .So if you enjoy a good old b/w horror with a good print and a very low price then try this.Oh by the way this disc is REG 0 and not 1 as some adds say
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on 15 November 2004
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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on 8 November 2014
I know the film and rate it highly, but I was disappointed by the poor quality of this DVD which is said to be digitally remastered. There are others on the market which are better.
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on 21 December 2015
Great price - fast delivery
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