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Film: The Naked Prey

A 1966 adventure thriller starring Cornel Wilde. Set in colonial Africa, Wilde plays a hunting guide known only as the Man who is kidnapped along with his Great White Hunter clients and Token Black fellow guide by a local African tribe. After everyone else is killed in horrific ways, the Man is set loose from the village to be hunted and killed for the tribe's hunters' amusement. However, his craftiness and deadliness are more than they're expecting...

An artifact of a pre-political correct era with some very dated views of Africa, the film nonetheless features some stunning photography and even a few positive messages about interracial harmony. Also of note is that the main character hardly talks and the African dialogue is untranslated, giving the film a very primal focus on the horrific nature of the hunt as opposed to dialogue.

Mel Gibson's Apocalypto has more than a few plot similarities.


Examples

  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Played with. It's clear that the tribesmen don't seriously consider The Man to be a worthy game at first and instead just want to kill him on the run for the fun of it. When he in turn kills some of the hunters, they begin seriously pursuing him, but out of a desire for revenge, not for a trophy.
  • Mighty Whitey: Wilde's character qualifies, but not in a too obnoxious way. He has clearly been a wilderness guide in the region for a while so his skills in surviving are not completely unrealistic.
  • Determinator: The Man definitely counts. He refuses to lie down and die.
    • Likewise, the hunters continue to pursue him, days and days away from their village like they're the human versions of a Super-Persistent Predator.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Supposed based on an incident that occurred to John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition. He was pursued by Blackfoot Indians in Wyoming in 1809, killing one and surviving in the wild before making it to a fort at Little Big Horn. Wilde transported the story from the American frontier to Africa and cranked up the body count.
  • Worthy Opponent: Although he spends the film in a narrow-minded, rage-filled pursuit of the Man, the leader of the hunters exchanges a brief salute to the Man once he reaches the fort at the end of the movie.


The Naked JungleCreator/ParamountNashville
Naked LunchCreator/The Criterion CollectionNashville
Modesty BlaiseFilms of the 1960sThe Oscar

alternative title(s): The Naked Prey
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