Adventure Films… • are exciting stories, with new experiences or exotic locales. Adventure films are very similar to the action film genre, in that they are designed to provide an action-filled, energetic experience for the film viewer. Rather than the predominant emphasis on violence and fighting that is found in action films, however, the viewer of adventure films can live vicariously through the travels, conquests, explorations, creation of empires, struggles and situations that confront the main characters, actual historical figures or protagonists.
Directors of Classic Adventure Films • Cecil B. DeMille • Michael Curtiz • John Huston • David Lean • Raoul Walsh
Stars of Classic Adventure Films • Douglas Fairbanks Sr. (and Jr.) • Errol Flynn • Clark Gable • Johnny Weismuller • Gary Cooper • Burt Lancaster • Kirk Douglas • Charlton Heston • Harrison Ford
Serials • The action/adventure film first became popular with weekly Saturday serials, running in installments that often had 'cliff-hanging' endings to entice viewers to return for the next show
Serials • Heroine Pearl White in the 20-episode The Perils of Pauline (1914) was the first major super-star of the silent serials
Heroes of B-Picture Adventure Films • Red Ryder • Captain Marvel • “The Shadow” • Rin Tin Tin • Buck Rogers • Flash Gordon—Starring “Buster” Crabbe
Modern-Day Homage to Classic Adventure Films • An affectionate return and tribute to the early days of Saturday morning matinees and cinema, with comic-book archaeology hero Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) battling the Nazis while searching for the sacred Ark of the Covenant - the first in a very successful trilogy of films.
The Swashbuckler andDouglas Fairbanks, Sr • The first major form of adventure film was the swashbuckler • Featured energetic Hollywood, beefcake action-heroes • Set in historically atmospheric settings of the 18th or 19th centuries • Lavish sets, costumes, and weapons of the past • Often built upon action scenes of sea battles, castle duels, sword and cutlass fighting, etc., and the romancing of damsels in distress
The Swashbuckler andDouglas Fairbanks, Sr • The first successful swashbuckler star of the 1920s was the charming, exuberant, gracefully-athletic, gymnastic actor Douglas Fairbanks Sr., who performed most of his own stunts and daring swordplay in a wide range of costume adventures, starring as Zorro, Robin Hood in the large-scale film version Robin Hood (1922), and the acrobatic D'Artagnan in the film adaptation of Dumas' adventure classic The Three Musketeers (1921)
The Swashbuckler andDouglas Fairbanks, Sr • Moving from comedy-adventures to derring-do costume adventures at the start of the decade, Fairbanks starred in director Fred Niblo's silent The Mark of Zorro (1920)
The Swashbuckler andDouglas Fairbanks, Sr • Creative director Rouben Mamoulian stylishly remade the Fairbanks' 1920 Zorro tale almost two decades later as the historical swashbuckler The Mark of Zorro (1940) with Tyrone Power as the dashing, masked and foppish hero Don Diego Vega in old California, who duels with a villainous oppressor (Basil Rathbone) to the death in the film's climax
Errol Flynn in Swashbucklers • Fairbanks, in the silent era, was succeeded by the dashing Australian actor Errol Flynn - the major swashbuckling male star of the 30s and early 40s adventure films in the sound era
Errol Flynn in Swashbucklers • The Adventures of Robin Hood was his most popular film and the quintessential adventure-tale swashbuckler about the Robin Hood legend. The Technicolor film was noted for the lengthy swordfight in Nottingham Castle between Flynn and Basil Rathbone (as Sir Guy of Gisbourne), and Flynn's love for leading lady Olivia de Havilland.
Historically-Based Swashbucklers of the 30s and 40s • The Count of Monte Cristo (1912, 1934, 1974, and 2002) • The Three Musketeers (1916, 1921, 1933, 1935, 1948, 1973, and 1993 • The Man in the Iron Mask (1939 and 1998) • The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934) • Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) - a Best Picture winner • Cyrano De Bergerac (1950),
Tarzan Adventure Films • The 26 Tarzan books of Edgar Rice Burroughs became the subject matter for a long series of vine-swinging, ape-man adventures set in the jungle • The first "Lord of the Jungle" was actor Elmo Lincoln • The most famous of the Tarzan actors was Johnny Weissmuller
Tarzan Adventure Films In total, Weissmuller appeared in twelve productions of the Tarzan series • Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932) - the first feature-length Tarzan talkie • Tarzan and His Mate (1934) • Tarzan Escapes (1936) • Tarzan Finds a Son! (1939) • Tarzan's Secret Treasure (1941) • Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942) - O'Sullivan makes her final appearance as Jane
Tarzan Adventure Films In total, Weissmuller appeared in twelve productions of the Tarzan series • Tarzan Triumphs! (1943), RKO • Tarzan's Desert Mystery (1943), RKO • Tarzan and the Amazons (1945), RKO • Tarzan and the Leopard Woman (1946), RKO • Tarzan and the Huntress (1947), RKO • Tarzan and the Mermaids (1948), RKO
Modern Day Swashbucklers - Pirate Films • In the 80s and 90s, the pirate-themed film was unsuccessfully revived again and again. Here are just some examples of modern-day pirate adventure film that were usually box-office disasters and artistic flops
Modern Day Swashbucklers - Pirate Films • Island (1980) • The Pirate Movie (1982) aka The Pirates of Penzance • The Goonies (1985) • Hook (1991) • Muppet Treasure Island (1996) • Cutthroat Island (1995)
Modern Day Swashbucklers - Pirate Films • There was one major exception to the multiple financial disasters - director Gore Verbinski's updated, thrilling and effective Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), with Oscar-nominated Johnny Depp as tipsy, vilified scalawag Captain Jack Sparrow in a Disney-like tale (and based upon a famous Disney theme park ride). It had all the elements of classic pirate tales: a feisty damsel in distress (Keira Knightley), sea battles and sword duels, cursed pirates (Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa), an heroic rescue, etc. The PG-13 rated film, with a Disney theme park-related title, was the first Walt Disney Pictures film (usually a family-friendly studio) ever to receive a MPAA rating over PG in the US.
Sea-Faring Adventure Films • Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) • Steven Spielberg's blockbuster Jaws (1975) • The Abyss (1989) • The Hunt for Red October (1990) • Crimson Tide (1995), starring Denzel Washington (as second in command Lt. Cmdr. Hunter) and Gene Hackman (as Capt. Ramsey),
Jungle Adventure Films • The greatest jungle adventure film of all time, the Beauty and the Beast classic King Kong (1933)
Other Types of Adventure Films • King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table Epics/Adventure Films • Films With Historical Explorers • Adventure Films in Outdoor and/or Foreign Locales, including Humphrey Bogart Classics: • The African Queen (1951) • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Charlton Heston:Adventure Hero • Charlton Heston was also cast innumerable times as an adventure hero in epic adventure films: • First in two Biblical epics as Moses in Cecil B. De Mille's The Ten Commandments (1956) • And as Palestinian Jew Ben-Hur in William Wyler's Ben-Hur (1959) • El Cid (1961) • Planet of the Apes (1968)
Aviation-RelatedAdventure Films • Only Angels Have Wings (1939) with Cary Grant • Flying Tigers (1942) with John Wayne • The Spirit of St. Louis (1957) with James Stewart • The Flight of the Phoenix (1965) about a North African desert plane crash with a plane full of stars • The suspenseful Apollo 13 (1995) chronicled NASA's crisis-filled lunar mission in 1970 • Top Gun (1986) with Tom Cruise