One of the best and most literate movies from the great days of horror, The Most Dangerous Game stars Leslie Banks as a big-game hunter with a taste for the world’s most exotic prey—his houseguests, played by Fay Wray and Joel McCrea.
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The first two thirds may build a psychological reasoning for the Count's sport, but these scenes aren't just too dramatically stagey, but take half the run time to get to the human hunting twist, and 8 minutes later when the game is on, it only has 25 of its 63 minutes left. Most Dangerous Game is economic in the wrong places, betraying not just its log line, but purposeful smarts and succinct exposition.
This is a nice little adventure film that features a badass Joel McCrea. This is nice adaptation of this short story, since they used the leftover sets from King Kong to make this film. I just love pre-code Hollywood films, it's like a whole other world.
If I enjoyed this at all, it's 'cause it's perfect for easy Zizek-style armchair analysis: The island as projection of the hero's unconscious, full of those violent, pathological, phallic drives that his conscious self likes to call 'sporting' and 'civilized', with the ensuing conflict being the one that brings them into awareness... But mostly it was just oversimplified nonsense; not really compelling at all. 2.5
Classic public domain thriller that finds the "Kong" production team adapting an oft-filmed short story concisely and well. A madman hunts the most dangerous game...man, until a fellow hunter rises to the challenge of survival. At barely an hour the film barrels along providing a great villain, a beautiful girl and a fairly decent hero. Both copied and maligned since this classic 'B' deserves more praise.
Have sex after killing, the villain says, giving his advice on primal urges. He is, of course, a psycho nutjob—but then what are we to make of the inevitable ending, where McCrea kills his way out of the villain's fortress and escapes arm in arm with the gorgeous Fay Wray? And so you get a hint of how old B-movies can play with provocative, subversive themes. They know what we want. The question is, do we?
Mmm. Doesn't hold up especially well. I think the film might have been better if we got to the hunt faster. I think it doesn't quite live up to the promise of its premise. Still, it boasts some rather impressive sets and the actual hunt is entertaining enough. I just think it could have done without some of its stereotyping, and the buildup is kinda wasted on some obvious twists.