Archive for July 16th, 2010

“This world’s divided into two kinds of people: the hunter and the hunted. Luckily I’m the hunter. Nothing can change that.”

Anyone who has seen Zodiac (2007) will remember the reference to this movie, if the events of that movie are to be believed it even provide inspiration for the real life Zodiac killer. It has also inspire filmmakers for nearly 80 years with numerous, copies imitators and remakes. The idea was even used for an episode of The Avengers (The Superlative Seven) and is spoofed in The Simpsons (Treehouse of Horror XVI).

Count Zaroff (Leslie Banks) lives on a remote island. Using fake buoy’s to lure ships on to a reef in shark infested waters. His guests become his prey as his hobby is to hunt “The Most Dangerous Game”. Bob Rainsford (Joel McCrea), a big game hunter washes up after the motor-yacht he is travelling on sinks. He soon meets other “guests” Martin Trowbridge (Robert Armstrong ) and his sister Eve (Fay Wray). Eve already suspects something is wrong, together with Bob could present Zaroff with what truly is his most dangerous game.

Made in 1932 parts of the movie look dated, the most notable of these are the use of close-ups of exaggerated facial expressions, a clear hangover from the silent era. The movie starts onboard a ship, all exterior shots are clearly a model and not up to the standard of King Kong (1933) that it actually shares a lot with (including one of its directors, sets and cast). Other than this the movie stands up really well and is wonderfully atmospheric. Due to the relatively low production cost it actually made more money than the better known King Kong. Coming in at only a fraction over an hour the movie is incredibly short, but its stripped down simplicity is to its credit.

For those not used to older movies don’t expect a masterpiece but it is certainly a movie that is worth seeing and one that a few modern filmmakers fond of bloated and overcomplicated plots should take a look at.

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