Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
September 16
The Most Dangerous Game September 16, 1932
The Most Dangerous Game released

Months before King Kong had its premiere in March 1933, RKO released another thriller, The Most Dangerous Game, which was shot alongside the big ape epic. When David O. Selznick put together the big-budget King Kong, he planned for a B-film to be shot alongside it, using the same sets and much of the same talent in order to defray costs. The creative team behind Kong, director Ernest B. Schoedsack and producer Merian C. Cooper, were well-known for their high-octane adventure spirit. Indeed their first collaboration, the 1925 documentary Grass, chronicled their dangerous 6-week trek across Iran. So, for Kong’s precursor, the filmmakers turned to the highly anthologized 1924 short story by Richard Connell, doubling Kong’s Sumatra-area Skull Island for the Caribbean haunt known as Zaroff’s island. In the story, big-game hunter Sanger Rainsford (Joel McCrea) is shipwrecked on his way to South America. But the seemingly deserted island actually is the home to Count Zaroff (Leslie Banks), a crazed sociopath who uses his retreat as a park to hunt humans. This horrific conceit, illustrated in graphic detail with mounted human heads and stuffed corpses, made the film a box office hit. Mordaunt Hall of The New York Times highlighted in his review the delicious evil of Zaroff: “Mr. Banks makes this strange Count really interesting. In fact his portrayal is so good that both Joel McCrea and Fay Wray...are quite over-shadowed." The film’s success inspired a ranged of further remakes and adaptations, including Robert Wise’s 1945 A Game of Death, Roy Boulting’s 1956 Run for the Sun, and Ernest R. Dickerson’s 1994 Surviving the Game

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More Flashbacks
Sep. 16, 1952
Mickey Rourke born

With his early roles in Body Heat, Diner, The Pope of Greenwich Village and Rumblefish, Mickey Rourke — born September 16, 1952 in Schenectady, New York — exploded on the Hollywood scene as a new kind of movie star.

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Sept 16, 1964
Drawing for Dollars

It took an Italian director with an operatic scope to reinvent the most American of genres––the Western.

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