Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Most Dangerous Game (Pichel/Schoedsack, 1932)

The Most Dangerous Game, a film made by the men responsible for King Kong, is a film so insignificant and slight that it barely manages to improve upon the experience of reading the plot synopsis on the back of the DVD cover. The plot concerns a big game hunter who shipwrecks on an island where he finds himself on the receiving end of a rifle aimed by a maniacal nobleman with a taste for hunting humans for sport. The tables are turned! How you like that, Mr. Big Shot? Not feeling so tough now, are ya? Anyway, the protagonist actually says towards the end of the film that now he knows what the animals felt like when he was hunting them and that’s about the extent of the film’s insight. The trouble is that lions and tigers are not humans, so putting a man in their place does not create the sort of psychological twist that I think the filmmakers were going for. But this failure to distinguish between the mind of man and beast should not be surprising coming from the team who saw no reason why a romantic attraction couldn’t occur between a human female and a gigantic ape. The rest of the film is mildly entertaining I guess if you like coarse acting choices, oodles of unnecessary exposition and ridiculously over-the-top orchestral accompaniment. Even with a running time of just over an hour, The Most Dangerous Game is a waste of time.



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