The Most Dangerous Game (1932)

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Ernest B. Schoedsack and Irving Pichel direct Leslie Banks, Joel McCrae and Fay Wray in this man hunts fellow humans early actioner.

A B movie, filmed with a lot of the same elements as King Kong while effect works on that masterpiece were being finished, that served as an inspiration for a lot of spare little actioners right up until this very day (and allegedly the Zodiac killer in real life too). An exploding steam ship and a chase across the swamp are great little action beats but the mainly drawing room set dialogue makes up the bulk of the hour runtime. Luckily Leslie Banks’ enthusiastic portrayal as a psychopath makes these worthwhile too. His Zaroff is the antecedent for many a Bond villian with his panache, manners, henchmen and secret island. Not the classic you’ve been lead to believe but a solid, short, cheap thriller from yesteryear.

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