The Most Dangerous Game
Special Edition, The Criterion Collection
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Sporting Count Zaroff gives a shipwrecked couple a knife, then hunts them with hounds by bow and arrow.
The Most Dangerous Game is a classic, one of the first talkies to get pictures moving after five very static years following the birth of sound. The plot finds resourceful hero Joel McCrea and heroine Fay Wray being hunted on the island of the insane Zaroff (Leslie Banks). One of the grandfathers of the summer blockbuster, the film's setup has been reworked many times since, notably in John Woo's Hard Target (1993). By modern standards it's technically primitive, though still gripping stuff, complete with the jungle set built as a test run for King Kong (1933) and graced by Max Steiner's prototype of all Hollywood action scores. --Gary S. Dalkin
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