Directors Irving Pichel, Ernest B Schoedsack US Horror | Cast: Fay Wray, Joel McCrea, Leslie Banks
Based on: “The Most Dangerous Game”; 1924 story in Collier’s; by Richard Connell
Talking Pictures’ screening was prefaced with the usual disclaimer about outdated dialogue and offensive racial stereotypes, but the British should take umbrage at seeing yet again an English accent and a vocabulary equated with evil (although Count Zaroff actually describes his kinfolk as “we Cossacks”, and he has a henchman called Ivan who provides the film’s scariest moment when he smiles in greeting).
The visceral contents of Zaroff’s trophy room were cut from postCode reissues while he lascivious designs on comely brunette Fay Wray (“Kill then love. When you have known that you have known ecstasy” he gloats) is another sure sign that the film hails from the preCode era. @RichardChatten