Sailing on a yacht somewhere off the coast of South America the ship has sailed off course as the lights of the channel do not match his charts. He is discouraged from changing his course by the rich and entitled passengers on his ship who are in a hurry to arrive at their destination. Rob Rainford (Joel McCrea), an author, and a famous big game hunter has a philosophical discussion about hunting and whether or not a tiger finds it as an enjoyable sport as well. Rainford tells those around, “There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who hunt and those who are hunted.”
The yacht is then rocked and begins to take on water. As the ship explodes and sinks to the bottom of the channel. Rainsford and two other survivors, however, managed to survive and make their way to a small island while the other survivors are consumed by sharks.
The three men then find a chateau where they become the guests of a wealthy Russian expatriate Count Zaroff (Leslie Banks), who shares the same enthusiasm for hunting as Rainford. The Count then reveals that Rainford and the two men are not the only people to visit his secluded island. He introduces them to four other people who survived a similar fate and ended up on his island where they still stay. Eve Trowbridge (Fay Wray), Martin (Robert Armstrong), and two sailors also have enjoyed their stay.
Zaroff then reveals he has become bored with hunting. It has become too easy for him. Zaroff is in search of the “the most dangerous game”. Rainsford believes Zaroff is referring to tigers. Zaroff however; hunt people and then the game for ultimate survival begins!