Greatest Film Scenes
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The Most Dangerous Game (1932)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Most Dangerous Game (1932) (aka The Hounds of Zaroff)

In co-directors Irving Pichel Ernest B. Schoedsack's adventure chase-thriller:

  • the opening sequence on a luxury yacht in the early 1930s, when one of the passengers, big-game hunter and author Robert "Bob" Rainsford (Joel McCrea), confidently stated - to be proved otherwise later on: "This world's divided into two kinds of people: the hunter and the hunted. Luckily, I'm the hunter. Nothing can change that"
  • the spectacular shipwreck and explosion on a dangerous reef (and subsequent shark attack), leaving Rainsford as the sole survivor on a tiny tropical island
  • Rainsford's arrival at an island fortress, where he was greeted by a strange mute Cossack servant named Ivan (Noble Johnson), and tuxedoed, mad Russian Count Zaroff (Leslie Banks): ("Welcome to my poor fortress!...Built by the Portuguese, centuries ago. I have had the ruins restored to make my home here. I am Count Zaroff")
Robert Rainsford
Mute Cossack Servant Ivan
Mad Russian Count Zaroff:
"I am Count Zaroff"
Eve Trowbridge
  • that evening, Count Zaroff's conversation with fellow hunter enthusiast Rainsford and two other shipwrecked South Pacific survivors, Eve Trowbridge (Fay Wray) and her drunk brother Martin (Robert Armstrong); Zaroff described his passion for hunting: ("Let me see. How did you put it? 'Hunting is as much a game as stud poker, only the limits are higher.' You have put our case perfectly, Mr. Rainsford...We are kindred spirits. It is my one passion... "); when Rainsford asked what Zaroff obsessively hunted, he answered: ("I'll tell you. You will be amused, I know. I have done a rare thing. I have invented a new sensation...Mr. Rainsford, God made some men poets. Some He made kings, some beggars. Me, He made a hunter. My hand was made for the trigger, my father told me. He was a very rich man with a quarter of a million acres in the Crimea, and an ardent sportsman. When I was only still up high, he gave me my first gun....My life has been one glorious hunt. It would be impossible for me to tell you how many animals I have killed"); he showed off a major scar on his forehead inflicted by a cape buffalo in Africa, that he often rubbed with his finger
  • Zaroff's description of a major turning point in his life - and his ominous and mysterious description of his discovery of new 'game': ("Hunting was beginning to bore me...When I lost my love of hunting, I lost my love of life - and love...I even tried to sink myself to the level of the savage. I made myself perfect in the use of the Tartar war bow...Even to this day, I prefer to hunt with it, but alas, even that was too deadly. What I needed was not a new weapon, but a new animal...Here on my island, I hunt the most dangerous game....My one secret. I keep it as a surprise for my guests")
  • the scene of Eve's words of warning to Rainsford, about how two other Zaroff guests had mysteriously disappeared: "There were four of us a week ago. The other two have disappeared...One night after dinner, the count took one of our sailors down to see his trophy room at the foot of those stone steps...Two nights later he took the other there. Neither has been seen since...He says they've gone hunting"
  • the intense tracking (zoom-in) shot onto Count Zaroff's face, after he spoke the words: "Indeed I shall" - referring to his 'taking care' of Eve's drunken brother - for good!
  • later in the middle of the night, Rainsford and Eve entered the basement's trophy room and were shocked by the sight of a mounted human head on the wall - one of the recently-shipwrecked sailors; they watched as Zaroff entered with a draped corpse on a stretcher - the body of Eve's brother; Eve accused Zaroff of murder: "You killed my brother!"; Rainsford condemned Zaroff's sanity after learning that humans were his "most dangerous game": ("So that's your most dangerous game...You hunted him like an animal...You raving maniac!...You take half-drowned men from ships you've wrecked and drive them out to be be shot down in cold blood...You murdering rat. I'm a hunter, not an assassin") - Zaroff counter-argued that he always allowed his prey to have hunting clothes, a woodsman's knife and a full day's head start - and if a victim was able to survive from midnight to sunrise, he would win the game, but then Zaroff bragged - "to date, I have not lost"
In the "Trophy Room"
Mounted Human Head
Rainsford and Eve
Rainsford to Zaroff: "You raving maniac!"
  • the scene of the preparation for the flight of Rainsford (with Eve) - Zaroff's new victims; the Count called the game "outdoor chess. His brain against mine. His good craft against mine"; they were promised freedom if they could survive in the foggy-misty, swampy jungle (with the deadly Fog Hollow) until 4 am's sunrise
  • during the hunt, the scene of Zaroff's circumvention of the ambush - after Rainsford had constructed a 'Malay Deadfall' with a leaning fallen tree: ("A man-killing contraption the natives use. It would stop that madman, all right") - after discovering the ploy, Zaroff taunted his human prey: ("But surely you don't think that anyone who has hunted leopards would follow you into that ambush? Oh, very well. If you choose to play the leopard, I shall hunt you like a leopard"); soon after, Zaroff appeared with a high-powered rifle
  • the intense hunt and pursuit in the last half-hour into the Swamp after Count Zaroff summoned (with a horn) his vicious, bloodthirsty pack of Great Dane hounds to track the two, cornering them at an impasse (a raging waterfall); Eve was captured alive while Rainsford fell into the raging water
  • the concluding confrontation back in the fortress between Rainsford (who had survived the fall) and Zaroff; Rainsford approached the astonished Count who exclaimed: ("Why, you're, you're not even wounded"); the Count admitted defeat: ("I cheerfully admit defeat. Here's the key of the boathouse. The door is in the trophy room. You and Miss Trowbridge may leave at once"); however, they then fought one-on-one fight to the death; the Count's servant's neck was broken and then Zaroff was back-stabbed with an arrow
  • Eve and Rainsford escaped in a boat, looking back as the mortally-wounded Zaroff (with the film's last word: "Impossible") attempted to shoot at them with his bow/arrow from an upper fortress window frame, but fell dead into the pack of his ravenous hunting dogs below (off-screen)
Zaroff Mortally-Wounded
With His Own Arrow Shaft Stabbed into His Back
Last Attempt To Shoot at Eve and Rainsford As They Escaped in Motor Boat
Zaroff's Last Spoken Word: "Impossible!"

Big Game Hunter Bob Rainsford: "Luckily, I'm the hunter"


Zaroff: "Me, he made a hunter"

Zaroff's Forehead Scar

"Here on my island, I hunt the most dangerous game"

Eve's Warning to Rainsford About Others Disappearing

"Indeed I shall"

Preparations for The Hunt

Rainsford and Eve as Hunter Zaroff's Prey: "We're ready - let him come"

Zaroff in Pursuit with Bow and Arrow

Zaroff With High-Powered Rifle

Zaroff's Great Dane Bloodhounds


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