View Full Version : The most dangerous game - aka The hounds of zaroff

05-09-2003, 12:18 PM
I hadn't seen this movie since I was a kid, and one of my friends taped it from cable the other night.

I'm glad he did, as this is still a brilliant movie (1932) and everything I remember about it from my youth holds up well, even after all these years:)

Going to order the Dvd this evening, which im glad has been given the Critereon treatment.

Noted hunting writer Bob Rainsford(Joel McCrea), is on a yachting expedition with several friends. But when it travels between buoys that are supposed to be warning of dangerous reefs the ship is wrecked. Bob is the only survivor to make it past the sharks and ashore on the nearby island. He makes his way to an old Portuguese fort where he is welcomed by Count Zaroff (Leslie Banks) , a Cossack aristocrat displaced by the Russian Revolution. He also meets Eve(Fay Wray) and Martin Trowbridge(Robert Armstrong), survivors of another shipwreck. Zaroff tells them how he has tired of hunting ordinary animals and now hunts ‘the most dangerous game’. They discover Zaroff’s trophy room mounted with human heads and realize that the ‘most dangerous game’ that Zaroff hunts is people. Discovering them there, Zaroff gives Bob and Eve a single knife and the opportunity to win their freedom if they can survive until dawn as he hunts them across the island.

I wonder how many times this plot has been done in various shapes and forms over the years?.

Has anyone else seen this little gem. if so what are your thoughts on the movie?


Wolf Man
05-09-2003, 11:27 PM
I saw this several years ago in a film history class and thought it was one of the more entertaining of the films we saw.

I thought I had it on tape, but I can't seem to find it now. Maybe you can verify a hazy memory for me: a scene in which (if I remember correctly) not yet aware of Zaroff's plan, Fay Wray wakes in the middle of the night and knocks on Joel McCrea's door, wanting him to investigate some strange noise, or something of the sort. He comes to the door in his pajamas and tells her he'll meet her downstairs. A few minutes later, they're back downstairs and not only is he now dressed: he's wearing his tie! Because of course when you go to investigate strange noises in the middle of the night, it's uncivilized to show up in anything less than your Sunday best.

05-09-2003, 11:55 PM
Holy crap!!! I dumped this into my WISH LIST just last night! Did you get the Criterion, or the cheapo?

05-10-2003, 02:33 AM
Hi Guys,
I bought the Critereon version ( wouldn't settle for anything less:D :D , I didn't care for the cover though:mad:, looks like an old negative.

An amazing movie, which I've always wanted to own, since seing it as a kid, it always stuck in my mind.

Wolfman - your'e correct mate, but can you tell me? - is the tape version still available, and what is the print like? + it must have a better cover than the critereon DVD:(

Dwatts - I think we have the same great tastes in movies m8..
Still waiting for your review of Abominable though, Did it arrive or are you still waiting of it shipping?, I though it had great atmosphere + a nice looking transfer, and a great commentary track.
I know my wife aint to happy, with all these gems getting released this year, I wonder if she gets angry with hearing Please all the time:lol:

05-10-2003, 06:06 AM
Huh, I read the short story for school and always thought it was a movie. I guess it is. Does it actually follow the same story, or just use the basic plot?

Wolf Man
05-10-2003, 09:50 AM
Originally posted by studio1
Wolfman - your'e correct mate, but can you tell me? - is the tape version still available, and what is the print like? + it must have a better cover than the critereon DVD:(
Sorry, I meant that I had taped it from TV. I never owned the movie. Although I may have to get the Criterion DVD some day.

05-10-2003, 11:11 AM
Andrew, I'm at a loss mate as I've never read the short story, but i'm now eager to do so. any ideas as to where I can find it?

Wolfman - sorry m8, I thought you had the original, try and get the critereon disc, you won't regret it:)


05-10-2003, 11:31 AM
I have the Crit Disc, and very please I am too with it.

What really stuck out for me though was the dolly camera shot (grammer?) towards Dr. Zarkoff's face on the bottom of the stairs. Amazing shot for it's time. :cool:

05-10-2003, 12:21 PM
Short story: http://mbhs.bergtraum.k12.ny.us/cybereng/shorts/danger.html

I got Abominable, and saw it once. I will watch it today and post comments! Glad to hear about Dangrous game, I will elevate it from Wish List to Buy List when get back from the US.

05-10-2003, 12:27 PM
Too bad MDG is Leslie Banks' only American movie, he went back to England and never made another acting trip to Hollywood. -Had he stayed maybe he could've become a horror icon like Karloff, he certainly had the right look and he was just as fine an actor as dear Boris.

05-10-2003, 03:54 PM
Dwatts, thanks for the link, class story, I thought it adapted to the big screen really well.

Hernster, I think there is some wonderful camera shots in there, and some of the chase footage is superb

Ahh Dear Boris Indeed, just watched the bio of him on the Biography Channel, what a gentleman he was, miles away from what he potrayed on screen
Same as when I saw an episode of Jim'll Fix it ( yes I admit to watching it on a saturday:( ) when Peter Cushing had Jim fix it to name a rose after his wife Helen, a very nice man.

Staying on the Peter Cushing subject, has anyone got a copy of the Amicus anthology "tales from the crypt"?, well a good mate of mine pointed out that in the episode with Peter, when he is talking to his dead wife, the photograph on the table is Peter's real life wife Helen.
I looked in my Autobiography of Peter and there indeed is the same photo:D
I know in the book it comes across quite clearly that Peter loved Helen more dearly than anything in the world, and couldn't bear to be without her after her death.


07-25-2007, 03:09 AM
Is this one of my favorite DVD's? I've sure watched it a lot. Tonight was another in a long line of viewings, and there's just too much to love here to cover it all in a brief post. The performaces are great, Fay Wray is beautiful, the sets are gorgeous, and the music sublime.

I can just watch this over and over and get ever more delight from it. I have the Criterion release. It's short at 62 minutes or so, but back then they told the story as quickly as possible and then moved on.

I am particularly fond of the opening sequence, right up to - and including - the sinking of the boat. So much humor, drama, and excitement. And then the wonderful Count and his cohorts. It's well known this was shot on the sets used for King Kong, but the films are completely complementary.

Glorious film this.

07-28-2007, 07:46 PM
I watched King Kong recently, and was half-expecting Count Zaroff to pop up, somewhere between the trees. He would've fit right in.

07-31-2007, 02:48 AM
I also recently rewatched this movie (first time in 15 years maybe) and I absolutely loved it. For me, Leslie Banks's performance and the thrilling chase sequence are the main reasons. My kids also really liked it.

The theme of hunting a man for sport has been done many times - some recent ones are Hard Target and Surviving the Game. One I really want to see is Run For the Sun (1956). Anybody seen that one?

Shock Waves
10-12-2007, 04:09 AM
This is a wonderful film that is often forgotten (see Island of Lost Souls). The atmosphere is literally oozing, and the "trophy room" rules.