Classic Cinema: The Most Dangerous Game (1932) – By Jason S. Lockard

Films that take us on a thrilling roller coaster ride what film lovers crave. In 1932 Merian C. Cooper brought to the screen the thrilling little tale, "The Most Dangerous Game" featuring our Star of the Month Joel McCrea.

Joel Albert McCrea was born in South Pasadena, California on November 5, 1905. As a boy, he had a paper route, and delivered the Los Angeles Times to Cecil B. DeMille and other film industry professionals. McCrea graduated from Hollywood High School and then Pomona College in 1928. He than acted on stage and worked as an extra and stunt man until he signed a contract with MGM, where he was cast in a major role in The Jazz Age in 1929.

Joel McCrea married actress Frances Dee in 1933, they had three children, David, a rancher; Peter, a real estate developer; and Jody, who followed in his parent’s footsteps and became an actor as well. Joel and Frances remained married for 57 years till the time of his death.

Joel made many great films over his career including, 1940’s Alfred Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent, 1941’s Sullivan’s Travels, 1942’s The Palm Beach Story. In 1932 he starred in our film of the month, The Most Dangerous Game.

The film follows ship wrecked survivors Bob Rainesford (Joel McCrea) and Eve (Fay Wray) who find themselves on a on a remote island. They find a fortress-like house and are greeted by the owner Count Zaroff (Leslie Banks), all seems to be well and fine, but looks can be deceiving. What they soon find out is that Count Zaroff is insane. He likes to play ‘the most dangerous game’, he releases his guest into the jungle where he hunts them down and if he does not find them by sunrise he will set them free. Will Bob and Eve escape the grim reaper twice or has their time come? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

Joel McCrea made his final public appearance on October 3, 1990, at a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Wilson in Beverly Hills. He died less than three weeks later, on October 20, of pneumonia, he was 84 years old.

If you have never experienced Joel McCrea’s acting skills I highly recommend you check out one of his films and The most dangerous game is a great place to start! So until next month this is Jason S. Lockard reminding you if you want to see a great film; check out a classic!

Moral Rating: Mild Violence
Audience: Teens and Adults
Genre: Thriller
Length: 63 Minutes
Released: 1932