The Most Dangerous Game (1932)

61 or 63 mins | Adventure | 16 September 1932

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HISTORY

This film was described in news items as the first in a series of adventure and mystery films to be made by producer-directors Ernest B. Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper at RKO. Contemporary sources conflict concerning the producer credit. Some sources list Schoedsack and Cooper as co-producers, while others list Schoedsack and Irving Pichel. On the film, however, Cooper is listed as associate producer, and Pichel is only credited with co-direction. According to studio production files, some sets used in The Most Dangerous Game were shared with the King Kong production (see above). Schoedsack, who co-directed King Kong with Merian Cooper, directed Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong in this production during the day, and then at night, he and Cooper directed them in King Kong . The budget for The Most Dangerous Game was $218,869, according to studio records.
       MPH lists the film's preview running time as 78 minutes, suggesting that the picture was cut substantially before its general release. According to modern sources, the production ran from 16 May to 17 Jun 1932. FD news items, however, suggest that the production began in mid-Jun 1932. A Jul 1932 FD news item adds Cornelius Keefe, Creighton Chaney, Walter McGrail, Arnold Gray, Alfred Codman, Ray Milland and James Flavin to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Modern sources give the following additional credits: Makeup Wally Westmore; Photog eff Lloyd Knechtel and Vernon L. Walker; Optical eff Linwood G. Dunn; Cam oper Robert de Grasse; ... More Less

This film was described in news items as the first in a series of adventure and mystery films to be made by producer-directors Ernest B. Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper at RKO. Contemporary sources conflict concerning the producer credit. Some sources list Schoedsack and Cooper as co-producers, while others list Schoedsack and Irving Pichel. On the film, however, Cooper is listed as associate producer, and Pichel is only credited with co-direction. According to studio production files, some sets used in The Most Dangerous Game were shared with the King Kong production (see above). Schoedsack, who co-directed King Kong with Merian Cooper, directed Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong in this production during the day, and then at night, he and Cooper directed them in King Kong . The budget for The Most Dangerous Game was $218,869, according to studio records.
       MPH lists the film's preview running time as 78 minutes, suggesting that the picture was cut substantially before its general release. According to modern sources, the production ran from 16 May to 17 Jun 1932. FD news items, however, suggest that the production began in mid-Jun 1932. A Jul 1932 FD news item adds Cornelius Keefe, Creighton Chaney, Walter McGrail, Arnold Gray, Alfred Codman, Ray Milland and James Flavin to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Modern sources give the following additional credits: Makeup Wally Westmore; Photog eff Lloyd Knechtel and Vernon L. Walker; Optical eff Linwood G. Dunn; Cam oper Robert de Grasse; Art tech Mario Larrinaga and Byron L. Crabbe; Spec eff Harry Redmond, Jr.; Miniatures Don Jahraus and Orville Goldner; Spec props Marcel Delgado and John Cerisoli; Cost Walter Plunkett; Piano solos Norma Boleslawski; Sd eff Murray Spivack; Set dec Thomas Little. Cast members from modern sources include Landers Stevens as "Doc" and James Flavin as "First mate." Many of the these contributors also participated in the making of King Kong . Richard Edward Connell's short story, which won the O. Henry prize, has been filmed several times, including a 1946 RKO version, Game of Death , directed by Robert Wise, starring John Loder and Audrey Long and featuring Noble Johnson, and a 1956 United Artists film, Run for the Sun , directed by Roy Boulting and starring Richard Widmark and Jane Greer. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
2 Jun 32
p. 7.
Film Daily
1 Jul 32
p. 8.
Film Daily
10 Sep 32
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Aug 32
p. 7.
International Photographer
Sep 32
p. 34.
Motion Picture Herald
Jul 32
p. 32.
New York Times
Nov 32
p. 21.
Variety
Nov 32
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Cooper and Schoedsack Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Cam op
Asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
MUSIC
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Edward Connell in Collier's (19 Jan 1924).
DETAILS
Release Date:
16 September 1932
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
Copyright Date:
6 September 1932
Copyright Number:
LP3249
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Photophone System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
61 or 63
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

While sailing through treacherous shark-infested channels, the yacht carrying Bob Rainsford, a noted big game hunter, strikes a coral reef and sinks. Bob swims to the shore of a tiny island, the only survivor of the wreck, and locates a mysterious fortress, which is owned by the Russian Count Zaroff. A gracious if intense host, Zaroff introduces Bob to Eve Trowbridge and her brother Martin, who are also recent shipwreck survivors. Zaroff, finding Bob a kindred spirit, reveals his obsessive passion for hunting and refers obtusely to his favorite island pastime, the pursuit of "the most dangerous game." As the evening progresses, Martin becomes more intoxicated, while his sister tries to warn Bob to be wary of Zaroff. Later that night, Zaroff invites Martin to his "trophy room," which boasts several mounted human heads, and informs him that his head will soon be joining the others on the wall. When Martin fails to return to his room, Eve solicits Bob's help, and they soon end up in the trophy room where they are caught by Zaroff. Once Martin's corpse is revealed, Zaroff tells Bob that he is to be the next unwilling player in the game. According to Zaroff's rules, the prize if Zaroff kills Bob will be Eve, but if Bob escapes death before 4 a.m., he will receive freedom and Eve. With Eve in tow, Bob runs into the swampy, fog-enshrouded forest, where he successfully eludes Zaroff's arrows. While Bob battles one of the count's killer hunting dogs, Zaroff shoots at him, and dog and man fall over a cliff into the ocean. Confident that he has ... +


While sailing through treacherous shark-infested channels, the yacht carrying Bob Rainsford, a noted big game hunter, strikes a coral reef and sinks. Bob swims to the shore of a tiny island, the only survivor of the wreck, and locates a mysterious fortress, which is owned by the Russian Count Zaroff. A gracious if intense host, Zaroff introduces Bob to Eve Trowbridge and her brother Martin, who are also recent shipwreck survivors. Zaroff, finding Bob a kindred spirit, reveals his obsessive passion for hunting and refers obtusely to his favorite island pastime, the pursuit of "the most dangerous game." As the evening progresses, Martin becomes more intoxicated, while his sister tries to warn Bob to be wary of Zaroff. Later that night, Zaroff invites Martin to his "trophy room," which boasts several mounted human heads, and informs him that his head will soon be joining the others on the wall. When Martin fails to return to his room, Eve solicits Bob's help, and they soon end up in the trophy room where they are caught by Zaroff. Once Martin's corpse is revealed, Zaroff tells Bob that he is to be the next unwilling player in the game. According to Zaroff's rules, the prize if Zaroff kills Bob will be Eve, but if Bob escapes death before 4 a.m., he will receive freedom and Eve. With Eve in tow, Bob runs into the swampy, fog-enshrouded forest, where he successfully eludes Zaroff's arrows. While Bob battles one of the count's killer hunting dogs, Zaroff shoots at him, and dog and man fall over a cliff into the ocean. Confident that he has won Eve, Zaroff returns to his fortress, only to discover later that Bob is still alive. After a fierce fight, Bob kills Zaroff and his men, and escapes the island with Eve. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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