A Game of Death (1945)

Genres - Action, Adventure  |   Sub-Genres - Action Thriller  |   Run Time - 72 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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So many people are familiar with the story that is the source of A Game of Death -- either through reading it or seeing one of the other cinematic versions -- that any previously-unseen version has its work cut out for it to maintain viewer interest. Game doesn't make the grade, although if one has never seen or read another version of "The Most Dangerous Game," it will probably keep the viewer somewhat interested. Unfortunately, Game doesn't have the script, the cast or the budget it needs to really be a memorable picture. The budget is the least of its problems, although it's definitely cheap and clearly makes use of footage shot for the 1932 version of the story. More problematic is a screenplay that is far too clumsy and a cast that, except for Edgar Barrier as the cruel Germanic villain, is inadequate. Barrier is quite good, but he can't carry the picture by himself. Game also benefits from the direction of Robert Wise which, while uneven and clearly the work of someone new to directing, nevertheless manages to create atmosphere and provide suspense in crucial scenes.