Thursday, August 23, 2012
The Most Dangerous Game (1932) review
I don't know why I didn't like this that much, aside from the several ways it's different from its source.
PLOT:After getting in a shipwreck off a boat headed to a hunt, world-renowned hunter, Bob Rainsford (Joel McCrea) swims to a mysterious island where he finds a castle lead by a Count Zaroff (Leslie Banks), a Russian Cossack that has also has a passion for the hunt. While there, Rainsford also discovers two more shipwreck survivors, heavy-drinking Martin Trowbridge (Robert Armstrong) and his beautiful sister, Eve Trowbridge (Fay Wray). They chat for a while, and Rainsford finds out by Zaroff that, on this certain island, Zaroff hunts the most dangerous game. Zaroff tells about how he got bored hunting some usually dangerous animals (such as tigers), and how he wanted a prey that can use reason. Through this we find out the most dangerous game is humans. After a suspenseful turn of events, Rainsford and Eve must play the role of the hunted and win against him within a day. It's a great plot executed decently.
ACTING:The acting in here is not so great. You can tell by far that it's dated. McCrea plays a decent part of Rainsford, but the screenplay does him almost no justice. Wray did a pretty great job of playing her usual damsel-in-distress character. She was a little over-dramatic, but overall she did great, as did Banks as Zaroff. Banks did a pretty great job as Zaroff as well, but he sounded angry almost all the time, as opposed to his role in the story of being smooth and calm. I think Zaroff's character would've much better been played by the likes of Bela Lugosi. It has the dramatic death scene and everything! The minor performances overall didn't really matter as well.
SCORE:The score was pretty cheesy, but for its time, it was pretty top notch, so I'll give it credit for that much.
CAMERAWORK:I noticed in here a pretty good use of the camera to capture the emotions of the actors, as used in old horror films. The director actually hit spot on with trying to capture the emotions with the camera.
OTHER CONTENT:I really don't know why I didn't like this film as much as I wanted to. I read the story before I watched it, and as early as the start of the film, I spotted about a thousand differences from the story that make the film lose some of its wit. That kind of ticked me off. If a film strays too far from its source material, I tend to get frustrated. The film also seemed to lag a bit in the middle and lose the suspense it did acheive. The film did have a good bit of suspenseful scenes, and it even used a handful of horror tactics to make things better. However, it altogether ended up pretty dated and mediocre.
OVERALL,an ok film with a decently-executed plot, dated acting, top notch score for the time being, pretty good use of the camera, some great suspense, and even some horror techniques, but the screenplay did the actors hardly any justice, the film falls from its source material greatly, and it lagged a good bit in the middle.