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Parent categories: adventure - film
Related: adventure novel - crime film - damsel-in-distress - escapism - fiction - sensationalism - thriller
Subgenres: action film - sword and sandal film - Western film
Films: The Postman (1997)
Congo Bill (1948)
See also: serial - American cinema - 1948
IntroductionIn 2005 the adventure film regained my attention, after catching The Postman (1997) on TV. The power of an adventure film is that it allows the audience to identify strongly with the protagonists, much like children do when they daydream as boys and girls of damsels-in-distress-saving adventurous scenarios.
The adventure as genre can be traced as far back as the earliest days of fiction and storytelling. Men sitting around campfires, telling each other tall stories of fights with humans and animals alike, tales of escaping from pernicious cirstumstances. [Jan 2006]
Adventure films is a genre of films that contain elements of adventure. Unlike modern action films, which often take place in a modern city, often with the hero battling drug cartels or terrorists, an adventure film typically takes place in the past, often with much swordfighting or swashbuckling. The genre probably reached the peak of its popularity in Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s, when films like Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Mark of Zorro were regularly being made and a number of the biggest stars, notably Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power, become closely associated with it. At the same time, lower down the scale, Saturday morning serials were often using many of the same thematic elements as adventure films.
The genre has undergone periodic revivals since the 1950s, with figures like Robin Hood and Zorro often being re-cast for a new generation. Some of these revivals have been successful, as with Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and some less so, as with Swashbuckler. In the 1980s the success of Steven Spielberg's Saturday Morning serial-style adventure Raiders of the Lost Ark spawned a host of imitators, mostly unsuccessful.
There is often a degree of overlap between the adventure film and other genres. For example, Star Wars (1977) contains many adventure film as well as science fiction elements, while The Mummy (1999) combines the adventure and horror genres.
Popular adventure film concepts include:
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventure_film [Nov 2005]
- An outlaw figure fighting for justice or battling a tyrant (as in Zorro or Robin Hood
- Pirates (as in Captain Blood)
- A search for a lost city or for hidden treasure (as in King Solomon's Mines)
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