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The Most Dangerous Game (1932)

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 1:35 pm    Post subject: The Most Dangerous Game (1932) Reply with quote



A terrific short story was turned in great movie!

During the filming of King Kong , Irving Pichel and Ernest B. Schoedsack decided to use the Skull Island jungles to make this hair raising adventure, and brought along Robert Armstrong, Fay Wray and Noble Johnson as well.

Joel McCrea is the brave hero who takes on sadistic Leslie Banks, who loves to treat the guest on his island estate to a little hunting.

Unfortunately, the guests are the game he hunts.

YouTube has a good B&W copy, but the colorized version does an amazing job of creating images in the jungle which benefit enormously from the variety of colors. The pale purplish fog around the green jungle foliage set off the characters and the brown hunting dogs to tremendous advantage.

It's like the difference between 2D and 3D! Shocked

In addition to several Kong cast members and all the wonderful jungle sets, the great Max Steiner provided a score that constantly reminds us of that big ape movie.

IMDB has 25 trivia items for this production, and I've chosen some of best ones below. Very Happy
________________________________

~ The trophy room scenes were much longer in the preview version of 78 minutes; there were more heads in jars. There was also an emaciated sailor, stuffed and mounted next to a tree where he was impaled by Zaroff's arrow, and another full-body figure stuffed, with the bodies of two of the hunting dogs mounted in a death grip.

Preview audiences cringed and shuddered at the head in the bottle and the mounted heads, but when they saw the mounted figures and heard Zaroff's dialog describing in detail how each man had died, they began heading for the exit — so these shots disappeared.


Note from me: I'm sure I'd be pretty repulsed by those scenes, but I wish they could be restored. (Or maybe I don't . . . Sad)

~ The original story by Richard Connell is one of the most anthologized short stories of all time.

Note from me: I read it — and loved it — while I was in high school.

~ Some of the screams of the sailors as the ship sinks are the same as the screams of the sailors in King Kong (1933) when Kong shakes them off the log.

Note from me: In the Kong long-crossing scene, the scream of the sailor who hung onto the log as it dropped into the chasm is very disturbing . . . Crying or Very sad

~ The actor playing "Ivan the Cossack" was Noble Johnson, a multi-talented black American who was a childhood friend of Lon Chaney. This is the earliest known instance of a black actor playing a Caucasian character.

Note from me: Mr. Johnson was also the native chief in King Kong who was hoping to trade a few local girls for "the woman with the golden hair".

~ The first of five film collaborations involving Ernest B. Schoedsack, Merian C. Cooper and Robert Armstrong, the other four being 'King Kong', 'Son of Kong', 'Blind Adventure' and 'Mighty Joe Young'. And Cooper and Armstrong also collaborated one more time without Schoedsack with 'The Fugitive'

Note from me: Blind Adventure was shown on TCM a few weeks back, and it's a terrific comedy/mystery which reunites Robert Armstrong and Helen Mack from Son of Kong. It's so good that I'm keeping my DVR to watch again on some rainy day in few months. Very Happy

~ This film has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 16 critic reviews.

Note from me: High praise indeed!

~ Most of the standing sets from King Kong (1933) were used in the making of this film, including the gate (which was eventually burned down in the "Burning of Atlanta" sequence of Gone with the Wind (1939)). This film and "King Kong" were shot concurrently, though "Kong" was released later (possibly due to the special effects required for it).

Note from me: This is what the log scene looks like in the colorized version! Gorgeous! Cool





__________The Most Dangerous Game colourized


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____________ The Most Dangerous Game (1932)


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Krel
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found the movie to be better than the story.

WARNING: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR BOTH.



I like the story, but the movie has a better version of how the hero ended up on the island, where in the story he got careless an fell overboard.

The Director was very anti hunting, and had the script written to reflect his view, unlike the story.

A female love interest who was not in the story was added to the movie. Not a bad move in this movie. Although it did alter the end from the story.

The Count's weapon of choice in the story is a .22 rifle, this is to make the hunt more challenging.

The hero in the story could be VERY ruthless and cold. In the story he throws the Count to his doom to be eaten by his own hounds. He then sleeps in the Counts bed.

In 1987, the story was made as "Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity", a low budget (big surprise, huh?) T&A movie, that wasn't that bad. The Director borrowed from the movie version.

Years ago, I bought a DVD of "The Most Dangerous Game". The company had a sense of humor because it came bundled with a DVD of "Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity". Laughing

I wonder just how many movies and TV shows have copied the story's plot over the years.

David.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Thanks, David!

I'd forgotten most of those differences between the story and the film — except for the climax, where the hero throws the Count to his dogs and sleeps peacefully in the villains bed.

I agree that the movie made some good changes, such as the fact that the Count had ruthlessly rigged the channel marker lights to cause shipwrecks and provide him with survivors he could turn into prey.

The addition of the damsel in distress was good, too, because it gave our hero someone to act heroic for, thus making us like him even more and root for him to succeed.

Ditto for the nature of the hero's character, a man who hunted for sport and then acquired a better understanding of what his prey had suffered.

I also liked the fact that the Count used a rifle at first, and then switched to a bow and arrow. I forget why he did that, but it made him seem more "sporting" — in his own twisted way.

But in the climax, he was so outraged that he'd been beaten fair and square that he broke his promise to let the man and woman leave if he survived. I like that, because if he'd acted "honorably" in the end, it would have seemed uncharacteristic for such a thoroughly evil man.

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Krel
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course Bud, if the Count had let them go free, then he would have been neck deep in Law Enforcement Agents in no time, and he knew it. Laughing

So I believe that the Count never had any intention of letting ANY person ever leave his island alive.

The shipwreck scene was BRUTAL, even by today's standards. It had the crewmen being scalded to death by the steam power plant. Shocked I'm surprised that scene wasn't edited out.

David.
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