"The Most Dangerous Game" is a 1924 short story by the American author Richard Connell. Originally published under the name "The Hounds of Zaroff" it first appeared in a magazine called Collier's in January of 1924. The story was inspired by the big-game hunting expeditions in Africa that became popular among wealthy … [Read more...] about The Most Dangerous Game
Richard Connell was born in on October 17th, 1893 in Poughkeepsie, New York. His father was a newspaper reporter who later became a congressman. Following in his father's footsteps, Connell began working as a reporter as a young man at the Poughkeepsie News-Press where his father had worked at one time.
Connell began attending Georgetown University but took a year off in 1910 to work for his father as a secretary after the older man won his seat in Congress. Two years later in 1912, Connell's father died suddenly. Richard returned to college but began a course at Harvard University instead of Georgetown. At Harvard, Connell was the editor of The Harvard Crimson and The Harvard Lampoon.
In 1915, Connell graduated from Harvard and began working as a journalist, full-time. Shortly afterward, however, the United States entered World War I and Connell enlisted in the army and served with the 27th New York division. He spent a year in France and ended up editing the camp newspaper Gas Attack. After the war ended, Connell returned to the US and married Louise Fox in 1919. Later that year, he sold his first short story.
Throughout the 1920's and 30's, Connell created and sold the bulk of his work, most of which were screenplays. Starting with his novel, "The Mad Lover" in 1927, Connell saw modest success but not much critical acclaim throughout his writing career. Though he wrote over ten screenplays, Connell is perhaps most famous for his short story, "The Most Dangerous Game" (1924) an action-packed thriller that is still regularly adapted today.
In the mid-1920's, the Connells moved to California and Richard began working regularly as a screenwriter. Several of his short stories were made into silent films in the 1920's and at the end of the decade in 1929, his first story was made into a movie with sound.
Connell regularly worked with other screenwriters to help adapt their vision as well. In 1941, the movie "Meet John Doe" was nominated for an Oscar for best story and had been developed by Connell. In 1945, his screenplay for "Two Girls and a Sailor", a musical comedy, was also nominated.
Connell was still working as a writer when he suffered a heart attack on November 22nd, 1949 and died quickly. After his death, his stories continued to gain life and "The Most Dangerous Game" in particular continues to be adapted to this day.