By far the most chilling version of Richard Connell's much adapted and imitated short story, boasting an authentic touch of de Sade in Leslie Banks' performance as the world-weary big game hunter and connoisseur of arcane pleasures, possessor of a remote island fortress to which he ensures that passing ships are attracted and then wrecked on the reefs. 'First the hunt, then the revels' he purrs - with Fay Wray clearly destined to be the reluctant object of those revels - as he suavely entertains his guests while outlining the rules of the hunt against a human quarry he has devised to tickle his jaded palate, highly delighted to discover a worthy opponent in McCrea, a hunter almost his equal in celebrity. Still one of the best and most literate movies from the great days of horror, it is particularly effective in its measured graduation from words to action with the long, ferocious, beautifully choreographed hunt sequence, in which the human prey ironically wins the day by drawing on all his reserves of animal cunning.
Cast and crew
Ernest B Schoedsack, Irving Pichel
James Ashmore Creelman
Leslie Banks Robert Armstrong James Flavin Steve Clemento Fay Wray Joel McCrea Noble Johnson