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A few words about...™ The Most Dangerous Game -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About

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#1 of 25 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted September 09 2012 - 06:08 AM

Watching Cooper & Schoedsack's The Most Dangerous Game, makes me wonder how many films were created by the partial cast and crew of other films, temporarily shut down for re-writes, effects or any other reasons.


Take even a cursory glance at TMDG, and you'll be immediately aware by sets and set pieces, that it's shot in the same studio, and at the same time as King Kong, for which effects shots were being created.


Cast and crew would switch off, from one film to the other as time and technicalities permitted...


and so, much like (as I recall) Behold a Pale Horse, used cast from Lawrence of Arabia, while re-writes were in progress, we have that little gem known as The Most Dangerous Game.


Derived from a 35mm fine grain master, and with some wear showing through even after some restorative efforts, this is the best that I've ever seen the film look, and by that I mean on film.  DVD, laserdisc and VHS are irrelevant in such discussions.


A wonderful little film, with a great deal of history imbedded within.


And a necessary viewing experience for anyone who loves King Kong.


Image - 3.5


Audio - 3


Recommended


RAH


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#2 of 25 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted September 09 2012 - 06:52 AM

Old and creaky though it is, I relish every frame of The Most Dangerous Game and Criterion offers it in the best shape. I gather it can't be improved any? The work of Ernest B. Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper is endlessly fascinating and entertaining. Before they undertook King Kong and The Most Dangerous Game Schoedsack and Cooper collaborated on two amazing documentaries, Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life (1925) and Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness (1927). The DVD's released by Milestone / Image went out of print several years ago and are now hard to come by. I would like to see them on Blu-ray. Not to mention The Four Feathers (1929) and The Last Days of Pompeii (1935).

#3 of 25 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted September 09 2012 - 07:09 AM

Originally Posted by Richard--W 

Old and creaky though it is, I relish frame of The Most Dangerous Game and Criterion offers it in the best shape. I gather it can't be improved any?
The work of Ernest B. Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper is endlessly fascinating and entertaining. Before they undertook King Kong and The Most Dangerous Game Schoedsack and Cooper collaborated on two amazing documentaries, Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life (1925) and Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness (1927). The DVD's released by Milestone / Image went out of print several years ago and are now hard to come by. I would like to see them on Blu-ray.
Not to mention The Four Feathers (1929) and The Last Days of Pompeii (1935).

I'm unaware of a Criterion release in Blu-ray.


The Flicker Alley release, which also includes Gow, The Headhunter is beautifully crafted, as it opens the edges of the frame farther than I've ever seen -- almost to the perfs., exposing the actual corners of the frame, as photographed.


RAH


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#4 of 25 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted September 09 2012 - 07:26 AM

I miss-spoke. Slip of the tongue via the fingertips. I'm still used to the Criterion DVD and the Flicker Alley Blu-ray is still new. I'll take another look at Gow the Headhunter.

#5 of 25 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted September 09 2012 - 07:33 AM

I'd like to buy this just for the cover art. I'm not familiar with Flicker Alley, is the a subsiderary of Criterion? BTW, over at Amazon, An early reviewer is a coproducer of the BD.
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#6 of 25 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted September 09 2012 - 07:48 AM

Flicker Alley specializes in silent and early films from around the world. They bring Europoean restorations to the USA and fund some restoration work of their own. They are not a subsidiary of Criterion, but their standards are just as high and their product every bit as good. Flicker Alley brought us Chaplin At Keystone, the collected shorts of Georges Méliès, and two features by Abel Gance (whose epic La Roue, 1923, has left a lasting impression on me) among others . Check out their website: http://www.flickeralley.biz/ They are bringing out Merian C. Cooper's This Is Cinerama in smilebox format Septermber 25: http://www.flickeral...d=100&Itemid=54

#7 of 25 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted September 09 2012 - 08:04 AM

I have to admit, despite FA's undoubted Herculean efforts, to being a little disappointed that the end result still betrayed so much damage. I also found that opening up the frame as far as they did - betraying the rounded corners, and trouble down the right hand edge (something I believe Criterion would have fallen shy of) - more than a little distracting. Just a personal view; Flicker Alley still have to be applauded for their efforts.
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#8 of 25 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted September 09 2012 - 08:37 AM

Is this title PD? It's unusual for the Criterion DVD (spine 46 from the early days) to remain in print while another entity releases a BD...
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#9 of 25 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted September 09 2012 - 09:23 AM

I think it must be. There are number of PD copies out there. Alpha and Mill Creek for example. For picture quality, the Criterion Blu-ray and the Flicker Alley are the only choice.

#10 of 25 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted September 09 2012 - 09:25 AM

I thought FA might be related to Criterion because the cover art looked like something they would do. A closer look reveals there is no Criterion logo.
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#11 of 25 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted September 09 2012 - 09:46 AM

I think it must be. There are number of PD copies out there. Alpha and Mill Creek for example. For picture quality, the Criterion Blu-ray and the Flicker Alley are the only choice.

You mean the Criterion DVD? I certainly wouldn't mind a CC Blu upgrade though...

I thought FA might be related to Criterion because the cover art looked like something they would do. A closer look reveals there is no Criterion logo.

I haven't seen it, but it as to look better than the current Criterion art. It was designed not by the current design regime there which does beautiful work, but by others who did more... Interesting designs shall we say. The only sub-label of Criterion is Eclipse, and on rare occasion titles have been released under the Janus name without spine numbers.
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#12 of 25 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted September 09 2012 - 10:02 AM

I've got the Roan Group LD and Criterion DVD, neither of which I've watched in a hundred years, and this will make three.  Different commentaries on all three, too, which I appreciate.  Sounds great!



#13 of 25 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted September 09 2012 - 10:03 AM

And that does look like a contemporary Criterion cover.



#14 of 25 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted September 09 2012 - 10:06 AM

Charles, the Bruce Eder commentary on the Criterion laser-disc was carried over on the DVD, but who did the commentary on the Roan Group? How is it? Different?

You mean the Criterion DVD? I certainly wouldn't mind a CC Blu upgrade though...

I mean the Criterion DVD and the Flicker Alley Blu-ray, yes. The framing is different and the transfers are different but the quality is the best out there. Anyone who likes this film needs to keep both.

#15 of 25 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted September 09 2012 - 10:17 AM

Charles, the Bruce Eder commentary on the Criterion laser-disc was carried over on the DVD, but who did the commentary on the Roan Group? How is it? Different? I mean the Criterion DVD and the Flicker Alley Blu-ray, yes. The framing is different and the transfers are different but the quality is the best out there. Anyone who likes this film needs to keep both.

Agreed, for the commentary alone. Though as I am attempting to build a complete Criterion set, I shan't be getting rid of any of them anyhow...
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#16 of 25 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted September 09 2012 - 10:32 AM

The commentary on Roan is by George E. Turner, and I vaguely recall there being a framing difference between Roan and Criterion.


Will listen to all three eventually, as I don't remember much of either of those.



#17 of 25 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted September 09 2012 - 11:47 AM

Chart the escape before you join Count Zaroff on the manhunt: Posted Image

#18 of 25 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted September 09 2012 - 01:37 PM

Originally Posted by Richard--W 

Chart the escape before you join Count Zaroff on the manhunt:
 


I loved that chart so much that I had it scanned and copied it when I showed the Criterion disc to friends a few months ago.  Now that is what promoting films is all about. Thanks for sharing it.

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#19 of 25 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted September 09 2012 - 02:06 PM

Is that map from original poster art?



#20 of 25 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted September 09 2012 - 02:11 PM

Yes, but not from the one-sheet. It's from a 1933 broadside that was inserted into newspapers.





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