Joel McCrea Double Feature: "The Most Dangerous Game"/Bird Of Paradise [DVD]
- SKU: 14000555
- Release Date: 11/16/2004
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- Classic cartoon-Betty Boop's Bamboo Isle (1932)
- Original theatrical trailer "King Kong"
The first of many official and unofficial screen versions of Richard Connell's The Most Dangerous Game was put together by producer Willis O'Brien and directors Ernest B. Schoedsack and Irving Pichel in 1932. Leslie Banks stars as loony Russian count Zaroff, a renowned big-game hunter who tires of stalking animals and begins hunting down the "most dangerous game"-human beings. Luring unwary victims to his remote island, Zaroff wines and dines them, gives them a few hours' head start to run into the jungle, then hunts them down with rifle and bow and arrow. As his grisly trophy room demonstrates, Zaroff hasn't missed yet. Shipwreck survivors Joel McCrea and Fay Wray are Zaroff's latest quarry. "First the hunt, then the revels!" declares Zaroff, casting a lecherous eye towards the wide-eyed Ms. Wray. The original Connell story had no heroine, but who wants to watch Joel McCrea lose most of his clothing while scurrying through the jungle? The Most Dangerous Game was filmed on RKO's standing King Kong sets during a lull in the production of that classic film, utilizing most of the Kong personnel (actors Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Noble Johnson, Steve Clemente and Dutch Hendrian; producer O'Brien; director Schoedsack; composer Max Steiner). While the plot has been reshaped and recycled many times since 1932, RKO's only official remake of Most Dangerous Game was 1945's A Game of Death. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Betty Boop's Bamboo Isle
Bird of Paradise
Having inherited the warhorse stage piece Bird of Paradise from his predecessor William LeBaron, RKO Radio production chief David O. Selznick opted to do the property up brown, hoping to transform the Richard Walton Tully original into RKO's "prestige" offering of 1932. Joel McCrea stars as a handsome South Seas soldier of fortune who falls in love with Dolores Del Rio, the daughter of a Polynesian native chieftain. Alas, their idyllic romance is destined to come to a sudden and violent end: tribal custom decrees that Del Rio is to be sacrificed to the local volcano. After initial resistance, the heroine nobly resigns herself to her fate, realizing that there is no place for her in her white lover's civilization. A more conservative (and far less costly) version of Bird of Paradise was filmed in 1952, with Jeff Chandler and Debra Paget. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Joel McCrea - Bob Rainsford
- Fay Wray - Eve Trowbridge
- Leslie Banks - Count Zaroff
- Robert Armstrong - Martin Trowbridge
- Steve Clemente - Tartar Servant