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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Audio commentary by Bruce Eder

The Most Dangerous Game


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Ernest B. Schoedsack, Irving Pichel
Starring: Joel McCrea, Fay Wray, Leslie Banks, Robert Armstrong, Noble Johnson, Steve Clemento, Dutch Hendrian
1932 | 63 Minutes | Licensor: Janus Films

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $24.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #46
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: June 8, 1999
Review Date: March 26, 2011

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SYNOPSIS

"One of the best and most literate movies from the great days of horror," The Most Dangerous Game stars Leslie Banks as a big game hunter with a taste for the world's most exotic prey-his houseguests, played by Fay Wray and Joel McCrea. Before making history with 1933's King Kong, filmmakers Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack wowed audiences with their chilling adaptation of this Richard Connell short story. Criterion is proud to present the DVD premiere of The Most Dangerous Game in a new digital transfer.

Forum members rate this film 6.9/10

 

Discuss the film and DVD here   


PICTURE

As a victim of public domain hell, The Most Dangerous Game has received numerous DVD editions, all of them (well, the couple Iíve seen) offering awful transfers. Criterionís edition, sadly, doesnít offer a significant improvement.

Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this single-layer disc, the image is a blurry, fuzzy mess. The print is in horrendous condition, filled with scratches and marks, splice cuts, and stains. But the digital transfer is laced with compression artifacts and noise, blocking being a regular problem. The image is also far too dark, and any possible details that can be extracted from the picture are lost.

Compared to other versions Iíve seen this presentation does look better but itís faint praise; itís still a mess of a presentation.

2/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The audio is awful. The mono track we get here sounds to have received little in the way of restoration and damage is still prominent, with background noise and scratches present. The track is flat and lacks anything in the way of fidelity, making dialogue hard to discern, and music comes off harsh and edgy.

2/10

SUPPLEMENTS

This is a budget release from Criterion ($24.95 MSRP,) but still contains one supplement, a decent one at that.

The sole supplement is an audio commentary by film historian Bruce Eder. I like Ederís track and this is another solid one with Eder covering everything about the production. He supplies stories about the production (even pointing out King Kong sets that were reused here), back stories to the actors, and supplies information about where their careers went. Itís a breezy, fun track, worth listening to.

Then there is the booklet by Bruce Kawin. This booklet is an okay read, going over the history of Schodesack and Cooper and touches a bit on the production of this film and King Kong.

Not much, but the commentary is a good one and for the price I canít really complain.

4/10

CLOSING

Though the commentary is good (and is only available on this disc as far as I know) the video and audio transfer is pretty bad, both delivering weak, unsatisfying presentations. Unfortunately itís still the best edition I know of for the film.


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