RKO’s A GAME OF DEATH is a re-working of The Most Dangerous Game .
John Loder is the hunter/writer who is the only survivor of a shipwreck.He swims ashore to an island owned by mysterious Edgar Barrier who is also a hunter.
Loder meets Audrey Long and Russell Wade who survived an earlier shipwreck.They are prisoners and Barrier tells his ‘guests’: “Hunting had begun to bore me. I was too good and realised that what I needed was a new animal to hunt,one with courage and cunning and every attribute of the ideal quarry – mine is the most dangerous game in the world.”

But he doesn’t reveal what his quarry is.

Edgar Barrier,John Loder.

I Edgar Barrier,John Loder.

When they discover a trophy room with skulls and a skeleton,Loder states the obvious, “We’re dealing with a maniac.”
Barrier has a habit of touching a scar on his forehead and playing the piano. Definitely maniacal!
Loder pretends to congratulate Barrier saying, ” I know you hunt human beings.” Barrier admits to Loder that he arranges for ships to be wrecked on the basis that Only those powerful enough to swim to shore make fit game.”
He even invites Loder to join him that evening, with Wade as the quarry.
So the battle to survive begins.
Director Robert Wise does the best he can with a limited budget which included using some shots from Most Dangerous Game.
I enjoyed it.



image  Shame on Columbia for making this film Lucille Ball’s last under her Columbia contract.  Lucille is the unlikeliest Arabian princess and she isn’t even playing the lead. The nominal stars are John Agar (as the ‘Scarlet Falcon’) and Patricia Medina.

Lucille plays the sister of  the villainous Sultan, with Raymond Burr in his usual role of bad guy. And there is a magic carpet.

It was so bad, I gave up half way through. I can understand why this film is hardly ever mentioned. Lucille was 40 at the time – over the hill in Hollywood terms. I guess Lucille just wanted out of her contract – she had new career horizons ahead of her and only made a few more films after this one.




imageThe type of B picture that PRC turned out so well,GIRLS TOWN stars Edith Fellows as the younger sister of June Storey who wins a beauty contest and a trip to Hollywood. June takes Edith with her and they take up residence in a theatrical boarding house called ‘Girls Town’. (Think Stage Door without the stars)

The boarding house is run by  wheel chair bound Anna Q Nilsson. Alice White is cute as an aspiring stunt woman, Peggy Ryan is a dancer who does a fair imitation of Ann Miller in You Cant Take It With You as she dances about the house while dusting the furniture!

A young Cara Williams shows off her particular ability – imitating stars like Bette Davis and Mae West.

The plot doesn’t amount to much but it’s fun. It was interesting to see Anna Q Nilsson,star of countless silent films. Alice White ,another silent star, almost steals the film with her comedy. Tiny  Edith Fellows consistently played a sweet young girl in all her films. I don’t know why her film career wasn’t longer.

5 responses »

  1. Three very different movies! A Game of Death is certainly fun despite, as you say, the budget (or lack thereof). But I feel perversely inclined to give Girls’ Town a try.

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