The Most Dangerous Game (1932) Script

The channel's here on the chart. So are the marking lights.

Then what's wrong with them?

Those lights don't seem to be in just the right place.

They're both a bit out of position, according to this.

Two light buoys mean a safe channel between the world over.

"Safe between the world over" doesn't go in these waters.

Look here. You'll see the water shoals on the island side... while the deep soundings run to the mainland.

Have any of you seen the captain today?

No. He wasn't down for dinner. No, and he wasn't down for lunch.

He hasn't left the bridge since you decided to come through the channel.

What are you driving at?

Ever since you gave him those orders yesterday to cut through these waters... he's had the jitters.

There's something wrong. I... Hey, I'm getting nervous myself.

Doc, what do you recommend for nerves?

Give him a shot of scotch. Give the whole bottle.

No! I've got nerves too. Here you are, Doc.

Just what you need.

Well, maybe you're right. And how, boy.

Good evening, Captain. Good evening, sir.

May I speak with you? Why, certainly. Go ahead.

We're heading straight for the channel between Branca Island and the mainland.

Good. But the lights are just a bit off, according to the chart.

The charts are never up to date in this part of the Pacific. You know that.

I know, sir, but...

Doesn't Branca Island mean anything to you?

Well, not a lot. Perhaps if I spoke with Mr. Rainsford...

Bob's not a sailor. He's a hunter.

He's made many of these trips. He's young, but he has judgment.

I'll call him.

Oh, Bob. Bob! What is it?

Come up here, will ya? Just a minute.

What's bothering you, Captain?

There are no more coral-reefed, shark-infested waters in the whole world than these.

Boy! Just take a look at these.

You didn't turn out so hot as a hunter, Doc, but oh, what a photographer.

If we'd had you to take pictures on the Sumatran trip... they might have believed my book.

If you'd had me on the Sumatran trip, you'd have never had me on this one.

Say, here's a swell one of the ship, Skipper. What's the matter?

These old sea dogs tell yarns to kid each other... and end up believing it all themselves.

I think that Mr. Rainsford should know... that the channel lights aren't just in the position given on the charts.

Oh. Well, what do you think, fellas?

I think we should turn back and take the outside course.

We'll go ahead.

Very well, sir. It's your ship.

"It was the schooner 'Hesperus,' and she sailed the wintry sea."

Now, wait a minute, fellas. Let's talk this over.

There's no use taking any chances. Chances? That's fine talk... coming from a fella who just got through slapping tigers in the face.

Get an eyeful of this.

And he talks about taking chances.

Here's the doc charging the enemy with an unloaded camera.

Get the expression on Doc's face, Bill.

He looks more frightened than the tiger.

He is. What'd you have on your mind, Doc?

I'll tell you what I had on my mind.

I was thinking of the inconsistency of civilization.

The beast of the jungle killing just for his existence is called savage.

The man, killing just for sport, is called civilized.

Hear! Hear! It's a bit contradictory, isn't it?

Now, just a minute. What makes you think... it isn't just as much sport for the animal as it is for the man?

Take that fellow right there, for instance.

There never was a time when he couldn't have gotten away.

He didn't want to. He got interested in hunting me.

He didn't hate me for stalking him... any more than I hated him for trying to charge me.

As a matter of fact, we admired each other.

Perhaps, but would you change places with the tiger?

Well, not now. Mm-mm!

Here comes that bad-luck lady again.

Third time tonight.

Here. Let me shuffle them. Wait a minute. Don't evade the issue.

Yeah, speak up. I asked you a question.

You did? I forgot. Oh, no, you didn't.

I asked you if there'd be as much sport in the game... if you were the tiger instead of the hunter.

Come on. What's your answer now, Bob?

That's something I'll never have to decide.

Listen here, you fellows.

This world's divided into two kinds of people... the hunter and the hunted.

Luckily, I'm a hunter. Nothing can ever change that.

Hang on!

Hello! Hello, down there! Hello, Engine Room!

The panel is flooded! If the water hits those hot boilers...



You trying to drown me?

Where are the others?

See anybody?

Nobody left but us two and... that fella.

Doc! Help!

Look! Shark!

Ohh! It got me!

Hello! Is anybody here?

Anybody around, I say.

Oh, hello. Is this your house?

I'm not trying to break in, but I've been in a wreck.

Our yacht just sunk with all hands.

I got ashore and found your place here by accident.

I'm not trying to intrude, but I'm in sort of a jam.

Don't you understand any English?

Ivan does not speak any language.

He has the misfortune to be dumb.

Oh, hello. Are you the owner here?

Yes. Welcome to my poor fortress.

Fortress? It once was.

Built by the Portuguese, centuries ago.

I have had the ruins restored to make my home here.

I am Count Zaroff.

My name's Robert Rainsford. Glad to meet you.

Very glad.

Ivan is a Cossack.

I am afraid, like all my fellow countrymen, he is a bit of a savage.

Smile, Ivan.

I was trying to make him understand there'd been a shipwreck in the channel.

But how appalling!

And you mean to say that you are the only survivor?

Yes, I'm afraid I am.

You're certain?

I'd have never left the spot if I hadn't been.

The swellest crowd on Earth... my best friends.

It's incredible. Such things are always incredible.

Death is for others, not for ourselves.

That is how most of my other guests have felt.

Your other guests? You mean this has happened before?

My fellow, we have several survivors from the last wreck still in the house.

It would seem that this island were cursed.

That's just what the captain said.

Only he thought it was uninhabited.

We Cossacks find our inspiration in solitude.

Well, it's a break for me, anyway. My house is yours.

Oh, by the way. You'll want to change those wet rags immediately.

Yes. They look about the way I feel.


I have some loose hunting clothes which I keep for my guests... that you can possibly get into.

Ivan will show you to your room.

Thank you. You'll find a stiff drink there also.

Thanks a lot.

All pleasure is mine.

Come in.

Ready, Rainsford? All set.

I'm afraid we have finished dinner.

But I have ordered something for you.

Thanks. I don't feel like eating, though.

Oh. Well, perhaps later.

Now, then, what do you say to coffee... and most charming company?

It is hard to forget your comrades' fate, I know... but our feminine guest is easily perturbed.

If I could beg you to put a good face upon the matter.

A-Assume a cheerfulness you may not feel.

Why, sure. Of course. Thank you.

Miss Trowbridge, may I present Mr. Robert Rainsford.

Miss Eve Trowbridge. How do you do?

How do you do? And her brother, Mr. Martin Trowbridge.

How are you, old chap? Pretty well shaken up, I guess, huh?

Coming out of it now, thanks. We know how it feels, don't we, Eve?

Indeed we do.

Perhaps Mr. Rainsford would like some hot coffee.

Oh, yes, of course. Mr. Rainsford, please sit here.

Vodka, that's the stuff!

One shot'll dry you out quicker than all the coffee in Java.

Have to toss it off, though. Like this.

Now, Martin, you don't have to drink it all tonight, do you?

Don't be ridiculous, sis. We are victims of circumstance.

Same as Mr. Rainsford.

And if anyone has a right to his liquor, it's a victim of circumstance.

Isn't that so, Count? Of course, yes.

You were in a shipwreck too? Yes.

Our lifeboat was the only one saved... my brother and I and two sailors.

The count found us on the beach with nothing but the clothes on our backs.

Those channel lights must have been shifted.

I wonder it hasn't been reported. Well, we'll report 'em... just as soon as we get back to the mainland.

You see, the count has only one launch... and that's under repair.

Russians are not the best mechanics.

I'm afraid we'll have to be patient a few days longer.

It's all right with me. I feel as if I were living on borrowed time right now.

Speaking of that, perhaps now you'll tell us... a little bit about who you are.

Just sketchily, you know... born, married, why I left my last job.

No, no, no, no. One moment, please.

Mr. Rainsford need never explain who he is in my house.

We entertain a celebrity, Miss Trowbridge.

Wait a minute, wait a minute. Don't tell me. Let me guess.

I know. Flagpole sitter.

I know. He wrote some books. No, he lived some books.

If I am not mistaken, this is Mr. Robert Rainsford... who hunts big game so adventurously.

Yeah? Here's to ya.

I've lugged a gun around a little. "I've lugged a gun around a little."

No, I have read your books. I read all books on hunting.

A papiroso? Thank you.

Only in yours have I found a sane point of view.

What do you mean, "sane"? Cigarette?

Hmm? Yeah. Thanks. You do not excuse what needs no excuse.

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. Then you're a hunter yourself?

We are kindred spirits. It is my one passion.

He sleeps all day and hunts all night.

And what's more, Rainsford, he'll have you doing the same thing.

We'll have capital sport together, I hope.

Don't encourage him.

He's had our two sailors so busy... chasing around the woods after flora and fauna... that we haven't seen them for three days.

But what do you hunt here?

I'll tell you. You will be amused, I know.

I have done a rare thing.

I have invented a new sensation.

Yeah, and is he stingy with it.

What is this sensation, Count?

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.

Good for him. My life has been one glorious hunt.

It would be impossible for me to tell you how many animals I have killed.

But when the revolution... Look out.

Oh, I'm so sorry.

Count Zaroff was so interesting...

I didn't realize the danger.

Oh, it's all right now. What were you saying about the revolution, Count?

Oh, merely that I escaped with most of my fortune.

Naturally, I continued to hunt all over the world.

It was in Africa that the Cape buffalo gave me this.

That must have been a close call.

Yes. It still bothers me sometimes.

However, in two months I was on my way to the Amazon.

I'd heard that the jaguars there were unusually cunning.

No, no, no. No sport at all.

Well, conditions are bad everywhere these days.

One night, as I lay in my tent with this... this head of mine... a terrible thought crept like a snake into my brain.

Hunting was beginning to bore me.

Is that such a terrible thought, Count?

It is, my dear lady, when hunting has been the whip for all other passions.

When I lost my love of hunting...

I lost my love of life... of love.

Well, you seem to have stood it pretty well.

I even tried to sink myself to the level of the savage.

I made myself perfect in the use of the Tartar war bow.

Tartar which?

Tartar war bow...

That one up there.

It's cute.

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.

A new animal? Exactly so.

You found one?


Here on my island...

I hunt the most dangerous game.

"The most dangerous game"? You mean tigers?

Tigers? No.

The tiger has nothing but his claws and his fangs.

I heard some queer beast howling back there along the water. Was that it?

It's no use, Rainsford.

He won't tell.

He won't even let you see his trophy room... till he gets ready to take you on a hunt of the great whatsit.

My one secret. I keep it as a surprise for my guests... against the rainy day of boredom.

You let me in on that game... and I'll bet you I go for it.

You know, Rainsford, he hasn't failed yet.

If he says a thing is good, it is good.

He's a judge of liquor, wizard at contract... plays the piano... anything you want.

He's a good host and a good scholar, eh, Count?

Yes, yes.

You want me to go hunting? You just say the word. We're pals.

We'll have a big party, get cockeyed and go hunting.

A completely civilized point of view.

I tell you what you do. You come to my place in the Adirondacks, see.

We'll have a private car, liquor and gals on the trip... and the guides will make the deers behave.

I think we'd better change the subject.

All right. Change the subject.

Oh, I know! Play the piano, huh?

If you wish.

Good idea. Play the piano. Leave it to me, and I'll fix everything.

Perhaps the count doesn't want to play.

There you go, sis, throwing cold water.

Leave me alone. I know where the piano is.

I'm perfectly sober.

Charming simplicity.

"Completely civilized," did you say?

He talks of wine and women as a prelude to the hunt.

We barbarians know that it is after the chase... and then only that man revels.

It does seem a bit like cocktails before breakfast.

Of course, yes. You know the saying of the Ugandi chieftains...

"Hunt first the enemy, then the woman."

That's the savages' idea everywhere.

It is the natural instinct.

What is woman... even such a woman as this... until the blood is quickened by the kill?

Oh, I don't know. "Oh, I don't know."

You Americans.

One passion builds upon another.

Kill! Then love.

When you have known that... you will have known ecstasy.

Oh, Martin!

Here you see Zaroff, the keyboard king... in his Branca Island hour.

Come on, Count. Now, you show them.

What do you suggest? Oh, just a good tune.

But not highbrow, like last night.

Just a good tune, see? I see.

Oh, his hunting dogs.

Keep your voice low and listen.

It isn't true about the launch needing repairs.

I heard it leave the boathouse last night. It returned this morning.

You mean he's keeping you from returning to the mainland?


Well, perhaps he enjoys the company of two very charming people.

Two, maybe. There were four of us a week ago.

The other two have disappeared. What do you mean?

One night after dinner, the count took one of our sailors... down to see his trophy room... at the foot of those stone steps.

That iron door? Yes.

Two nights later he took the other there.

Neither has been seen since.

Have you asked him about them?

He says they've gone hunting.

Oh, be careful. He's watching us.

Will you smile, as if I'd said something funny?

Now look here. You must be mistaken.

Not now.


Attaboy! Attaboy! Thank you.

What did I tell you? Smacks a mean ivory, eh, Rainsford?

It was splendid. Don't stop, please.

I'm afraid we have failed to hold the full attention of our audience.

Well, I expect it's rather difficult for Mr. Rainsford... to concentrate on anything after all he's been through.

My dear lady, you are pleading for yourself.

I can see the drooping of those lovely eyes.

Excuse me.

You know, the count's worse than a family governess.

Every night he sends us off to bed like naughty children.

Oh, no, my dear. No.

Charming children.

There, you hear that, sis?

Now trot along upstairs and don't bother us grownups anymore.

Well, after that I guess... I guess I'll have to go.

Good night, Mr. Rainsford. Good night.

We'll be seeing each other at breakfast.

Good night. Good night.

Good night, sis. We won't be seeing each other at breakfast.

Oh, my dear Rainsford, I have been most inconsiderate.

You must be feeling the need of sleep too.

Yes, I am just about all in. Then Ivan will show you to your room.

Oh, Martin, turn in early, please?

Don't worry. The count'll take care of me, all right.

Indeed I shall.

Well, good night. Good night, sir.

Sleep well.

Oh, uh, well, here's to long life.

A long life.

Tell me, Mr. Trowbridge... are you also fatigued?

Tired? Me?

You know I'm not.

You know, Rainsford, we two are just alike.

Up all night and sleep all day.

Well, good night.

Well, what are we gonna do, huh?

What's the big idea?

I thought that perhaps... tonight you would like to see my trophy room?

Your trophy room?

I'm sure you will find it most... interesting.

Say, that's a great idea.

Ho-ho. Now we're pals. No more secrets now, huh?

We'll make a night of it. I hope so, Mr. Trowbridge.

Just you and I... pals. We'll have fun together, huh?

Precisely, yes.

Fun together.

Attaboy, County, old boy, old boy, County.

Please let me come in.

I'm sorry to disturb you, but I'm frightened.

What was it? Those dogs? My brother.

I've been listening for hours for him to come upstairs.

I've just gone to his room. He isn't there!

He's probably somewhere with the count. That's just what I'm afraid of.

Count Zaroff is planning something... about my brother and me.

You don't really think anything has happened to your brother?

Oh, I don't know, but we've got to find him.

Won't you help me?

Why, of course I'll help you.

Where do you think he's gone? Where did the others go?

The iron door.

I'll meet you downstairs in five minutes.

Thank you.

That's queer. It's unlocked.

Zaroff! He's coming down.

Back here, quick!

Where is my brother?

Where is my brother?

You killed him!

You killed my brother!


Why, you...

Come, come, my dear Rainsford.

I don't want to treat you like my other guests.

You and I, we are hunters.

So that's your most dangerous game.

Yes. My dear fellow, I intended to tell you last night... but you know, Miss Trowbridge...

You hunted him like an animal.

I know what you think, but you are wrong.

He was sober and fit for sport when I sent him out.

An hour or two strapped up in here brought him to his senses.

You raving maniac!

Yes, yes, yes. I'll take it off... when we've finished.

The stupid fellow tried to escape through the swamps of Fog Hollow.

You see, when I first began stocking my island... many of my guests thought I was joking... so I established this trophy room.

I always bring them here before the hunt.

An hour with my trophies... and they usually do their best to keep away from me.

Where do you get these poor devils?

Providence provided my island with dangerous reefs.

But there are light buoys to mark the safe channel.

They do not always mark it.

You shifted them. Precisely right.

Too bad your yacht should have suffered... but at least it brought us together.

You take half-drowned men from ships you've wrecked... and drive them out to be hunted.

I give them every consideration... good food, exercise... everything to get them in splendid shape.

To be shot down in cold blood. Oh, no, no.

Oh, I admit, with this annoying fellow... but usually I give them hunting clothes... a woodsman's knife and a full day's start.

I even wait until midnight to give them the full advantage the dark.

And if one eludes me only till sunrise... he wins the game.

Suppose he refuses to be hunted.

Ivan is such an artist with these.

Invariably, Mr. Rainsford, invariably they choose to hunt.

And when they win?

To date I have not lost.

Oh, Rainsford, you'll find this game worth playing.

When the next ship arrives, we'll have gorgeous sport together.

You murdering rat! I'm a hunter not an assassin.

Come, Rainsford. Say you will hunt with me.

Hunt men?

Say you will hunt with me!


What do you think I am?

One, I fear, who dare not follow his own convictions... to their logical conclusion.

I'm afraid in this instance, Mr. Rainsford... you may have to follow them.

What do you mean?

I shall not wait for the next ship.

Four o'clock. The sun is just rising.

Come, Mr. Rainsford. Let us not waste time.


Your fangs and claws, Mr. Rainsford.

Bob! Bob!


Bob! Bob, what are they going to do?

I'm going to be hunted. Oh, no. No, Miss Trowbridge.

Outdoor chess.

His brain against mine.

His good craft against mine.

And the prize? The prize?

You may recall what I said last evening.

Only after the kill... does man know the true ecstasy of love.

Suppose you lose.

If I do not...

What shall I say?... find you... between midnight and sunrise tomorrow, freedom for both of you.

I'm going with you. No. He'll kill you too.

Not at all. One does not kill a female animal.

If you lose, I can easily recapture her alive.

All right. I'll take her with me then.

We'll set him a trail he'll remember.

It's only fair to advise you against Fog Hollow.

Outdoor chess, Mr. Rainsford.

Don't lose your nerve. We'll beat this thing.

The others didn't. We will.

Come on. Let's get going.

It seems as though we've come miles.

Yeah, but three hours doesn't take you far in this jungle.

Come on. Let's keep going.

Come on.

Just a little more of this, then easy downhill going.

We'll soon be safe.

No wonder he was so sure.

This island is no bigger than a deer park.

Oh, Bob!

Come on, now.

What are we going to do?

We didn't each live through a shipwreck to let this crazy man hunter worry us.

I shouldn't have come with you. You might beat him if you were alone.

Alone? And leave you here with that savage?

Not a chance.

Now we've got to think of something to worry him.

You'd never get near him. He'd shoot on sight.

Weapons aren't everything in the jungle.

Say, did you notice that leaning tree down there?

The one we just passed? Yes. I want to show you something.

You see? If that supporting branch were cut away... this fallen tree would make a perfect Malay deadfall.

A Malay deadfall? What's that?

A man-killing contraption the natives use.

It would stop that madman, all right.

Trouble is, it takes quite a few hours to build.

He said he wouldn't follow till midnight.

That's right. If you help me, I think we'll have time.

Come on. We'll cut some strong vines.

There. Almost ready.

This bracelet of yours makes a fine guide ring for my necktie.

He'll have been on his way almost an hour now.

Look out! Don't touch that trip line.

You'll have a two-ton tree down on your back.

Jungle wood's as heavy as iron. Will it really work?

I've never known a living thing to get by one yet.

Look here. You touch that trip line... it'll pull that trigger free.

Once that's loose, there's nothing to keep the log from coming down.

It'll crash down and kill anything underneath it.


We're ready. Let him come.

Give me that knife.

Come out, Rainsford.

Why prolong it?

I'll not bungle this shot.

You'll never even feel it.

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.

Wait. Maybe it's a trick.


Why did he go?

He's playing with us... like a cat with a mouse.

What do you mean?

You heard him say he'd hunt us as he'd hunt a leopard.

That means he's gone for his high-powered rifle.

His rifle? Oh, Bob, we must get away from here!

Run, quick! Eve, wait.

No, I tell you, no! Don't stop! No!

Wait. That's Fog Hollow ahead.

Fog Hollow? The swamp where he caught the others.

We haven't a chance of keeping ahead of him there.

But there's no place else to run. That's just what he's counting on.

We've got two hours till dawn. We've got to use our brains instead of our legs.

But he'll have his rifle.

And we'll have a man trap. Look.

It makes me dizzy.

Cover this over.

When Mr. Zaroff falls down there, he'll be all through hunting.

Quick. Gather some leaves and grass. I'll cut some branches.

Yes. Very good, Rainsford.

Very good.

You have not won yet.

Look at your watch.

Are you looking at it?

Still half an hour till sunrise.

Swamp or no swamp, we can keep ahead of him that long.

As you are doubtless saying, the odds are against me.

You have made my rifle useless in the fog.

You cannot blame me if I overcome that obstacle.

Those animals I cornered... now I know how they felt.

Achmed, Miss Trowbridge... bring her here.


My dear Rainsford, I congratulate you.

You have beaten me.

Not yet.

Oh, but of course. I insist.

Why, you're...

You're not even wounded.

You hit the dog not me.

I took a chance and went over with him.

A clever trick, Rainsford.

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.





The boat! Quick!