The Naked Prey [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1966]

Cornel Wilde's idiosyncratic adventure epic The Naked Prey has earned a cult following thanks to its wild, no-holds-barred action sequences and unapologetic embrace of man at his most savage, and the film's admirers will doubtless be pleased with the new DVD release of the film from the Criterion Collection. The Naked Prey has been given a widescreen transfer to disc in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, letterboxed on conventional televisions and enhanced for anamorphic play on 16x9 monitors. In addition to respecting the film's CinemaScope framings, on this disc the bold colors are rendered in all their oversaturated glory, and this is the next best thing to seeing a fresh print projected on a mammoth screen. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono, and the quality is quite good, though time has been a bit kinder to the images than the location sound recording. The dialogue (what there is of it) is mostly in English, with optional English subtitles but no multiple language options. Bonus materials include a lively and informative commentary track from Stephen Prince, a short profile of John Colter (the trapper whose escape from Blackfoot Indians inspired the film) read by Paul Giamatti, the original theatrical trailer, and isolated cues from the original musical score by musicologist Andrew Tracey, accompanied by an essay by Tracey. The accompanying booklet also features an appreciation of the film by critic Michael Atkinson and a reprint of an article from the October 1970 issue of Films and Filming in which Wilde talks about his career as a director. Too self-consciously intelligent to be standard action fare and too visceral for art cinema, The Naked Prey exists somewhere in between, but at its best the movie is wild and satisfying stuff, and this DVD allows the movie's virtues to shine bright.
$29.99
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Overview

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary by film scholar Stephen Prince
  • "John Colter's Escape," a 1913 record of the trapper's flight from Blackfoot Indians - which was the inspiration for The Naked Prey - read by Paul Giamatti
  • Original soundtrack cues created by director Cornel Wilde and ethnomusicologist Andrew Tracey, along with a written statement by Tracey
  • Theatrical trailer
  • A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Michael Atkinson and a 1970 interview with Wilde

Synopsis

The Naked Prey
In the bush country of South Africa in the late 19th century, chauvinistic hunter Gert vanDen Bergh calculatedly offends a local tribal chief. Given several opportunities, he refuses to apologize. As consequence, vanDen Bergh and the rest of his hunting party are captured by the tribesmen and grotesquely tortured to death. The only white man spared is safari-guide Cornel Wilde, whom the natives respect and vice versa. The tribesmen offer Wilde a chance to survive; stripping him naked and giving him a knife to defend himself, they set Wilde free in the jungle, in preparation of hunting him down like a lion. Given a head start equal to the distance one of the tribesman can fire an arrow, Wilde is pursued by the tribe's six most accomplished warriors. The rest of this thrill-a-minute film follows Wilde into the underbrush in his desperate, resourceful flight for life. Cornel Wilde's The Naked Prey was filmed entirely on location under circumstances nearly as dangerous as the plight of its protagonist. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Cornel Wilde
    Cornel Wilde - Man
  • Image coming soon
    Gert Van Den Bergh - Second Man
  • Ken Gampu
    Ken Gampu - Warrior Leader
  • Image coming soon
    Patrick Mynhardt - Safari Overseer
  • Image coming soon
    Bella Randels - Little Girl
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