ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Most Dangerous Game

Updated on February 21, 2013

The Book

I hated school when I was a kid and high school was the absolute worst of the worst. Yet, even among the soul sapping powers of public education, I was able to find some joys. English class was always hit or miss, but when it hit, it was great. During those classes, I was required to read books I would never have found on my own. One of my lasting favorites is The Most Dangerous Game.

Written by Richard Connell in 1924, it’s remarkable how well the story holds up. It’s a short story and easy to read in a quick sitting but the book is entertaining to the last page. Sanger Rainsford is hunter who falls overboard in the middle of the night. He swims to the nearest island and finds himself on the game preserve of General Zaroff, a hunter who’s grown bored of the sport. During dinner, it is revealed that Zaroff has invented a new type of animal to hunt. Connell plays with the reader a bit, not giving the answer right away but the hints are too strong to miss. Zaroff is hunting men.

Of course, Rainsford is appalled by the idea and Zaroff can’t see why. Soon, Rainsford is running for his life in the jungle, with Zaroff on his trail. The story now becomes a cat and mouse chase between the two men, with Rainsford constantly trying to keep his nerve. No matter how clever Rainsford is, Zaroff always seems one step ahead of the game. The story ends in a climatic way, for its time, and the twist in the final is rewarding;the last sentence has a morbid sense of satisfaction.

The story is nearly perfect. Simple, with few characters to bog it down, the plot is a freight train. Each scene moves quickly to the next, never stalling. Even in his quick writing, Connell is able to create a foreboding and isolating mood. The reader knows that no matter where Rainsford runs to, he’s trapped on that island. Zaroff is the right kind of crazy to be absolutely convinced of his reasoning.

The Movie

The story was adapted by RKO in 1932, by the same men who would go on to make King Kong. You can see how each influenced one another. The island was used both for The Most Dangerous Game and King Kong, both starred Fay Wray, and both experimented with special effects to enhance the thrill.

The movie separates itself from the book in a few ways. Rainsford isn’t the only one being hunted; he has the beautiful Eve along with him. Zaroff is a count, not a general. The hunt lasts twenty-four hours instead of taking place over the course of three days. The ending is changed as well, mainly to add more drama and to see Rainsford save the girl.

While the movie isn’t a perfect adaption of the book, it could be worse. The film is only an hour long and shares the fast pace of its source material. The movie stands on its own; it’s more of an example of early film history and adventure movies than adaptation.

Honestly, it’s strange to think that the story hasn’t been adapted into a new movie. The book has gone on to influence plenty of other stories, with The Condemned and The Hunger Games being the most recent examples. Brian K. Vaughan used the story as the basis of one of his Ultimate X-Men arcs and even Jumanji had a crazy white game hunter after Robin Williams.

The Animation

The story has been one of my favorites since I read it. I’m not sure what it is about the book that hits me the right way. It’s an island adventure, a prolonged chased, and a commentary on hunting. When I was taking an animation class, we had to come up with our final project. The final had to be about three minutes long and we needed to script it out. I decided to go the way of adaptation and since The Most Dangerous Game is a simple story, I used the book as my project. I took major liberties with the story, going the route of geekery and comedy, but I was glad to have used the story for the betterment of my grade point average. Plus, I got to add Velociraptor to the story! I hope you like the video.

If you haven’t read the book, do it now. You can read it for free here or download it to your eReader for cheap. Most people have probably read it in school, but even if that’s true for you, I would suggest rereading it. It holds up remarkable well and is a great way to spend thirty minutes.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Eric Mikols profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Mikols 

      6 years ago from New England

      I'm glad you downloaded it! I hope you like it!

    • Caradwyn Cooper profile image

      Charlene Little 

      6 years ago

      I didn't have to read it in school either. I am downloading it now to my Kindle.

      Voted up

    • Eric Mikols profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Mikols 

      6 years ago from New England

      Thanks for reading! I'm surprised you didn't have to school, but every place is different. I never read Beowulf.

      I'm glad you liked the video. Thanks for commenting!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      LOVE the video! Dude, there are worse animations than that on TV right now!

      I never heard of the book in school. Moby Dick, Les Miserables, Three Musketeers, sure...but not The Most Dangerous Game. Had to become familiar with the concept (if not the original book itself) and all of the gazillions of takeoffs much later.

      Voted Up and a BUNCH.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)