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Classic Adventure: 3 Movies That Helped Shape the Genre

Image: Classic Adventure: 3 Movies That Helped Shape the Genre
Seven Samurai, 1954
. (wikimedia/commons)

By    |   Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 07:41 AM

Moviegoers like nothing more than a good thrill in theaters, and no genre captures those thrills better than adventure. Here's a look at three classic films that helped shape the adventure genre.

1. "Seven Samurai" (1954)



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Widely considered one of the most influential films of all time, director Akira Kurosawa's classic tale follows seven unemployed samurai who are recruited to defend a poor Japanese village under attack. Famed critic Roger Ebert wrote a four-star review of the film in 2001, calling it "the source of a genre that would flow through the rest of the century" – inspiring such films as "The Magnificent Seven," "The Guns of Navarone," "The Dirty Dozen" and others.

Ebert wasn't alone in his praise of "The Seven Samurai." The film scored a rare 100 percent fresh rating on the movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes; while a collective ranking of 8.7 (out of 10) by more than 198,000 users of the Internet Movie Database landed the film at No. 20 on the reference website's list of top 250 films.

2. "The Treasure of Sierra Madre" (1944)



Another film that scored a coveted 100 percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the John Huston-directed adventure stars Humphrey Bogart, Tim Holt and Huston's father, Walter. "The Treasure of Sierra Madre" is rare in that it's just as much about characters as it is the adventurous situations they find themselves in. In 2003, Roger Ebert wrote in his four-star review of the film – about a hunt for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains – that it's a "story in the Joseph Conrad tradition, using adventure not as an end in itself but as a test of its characters."

Bogart, naturally, drew high praise from Ebert, saying he "fearlessly makes Fred C. Dobbs into a pathetic, frightened, selfish man – so sick we would be tempted to pity him, if he were not so undeserving of pity."

The American Film Institute also honored the film in 1998, ranking it No. 30 on its top 100 list called "100 Years … 100 Movies."

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3. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981)


The first of four action adventure films featuring archeologist Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), "Raiders" is a definitive film in the genre because it recalled a precious part of Hollywood's golden past. According to the New York Times, the World War II-era film, written by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg, was inspired by the adventure serials of the 1930s.

From the archeologist Jones' escape from a rolling boulder at the beginning of the film to his confrontation with the Nazis regarding the lost Ark of the Covenant at the conclusion, audiences went in throngs to the film. According to Box Office Mojo it was the highest-grossing film in 1981 with more than $212 million in ticket sales.

Fast-approaching the 35th anniversary of its release, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is still held in high regard by moviegoers. More than 557,000 users of the Internet Movie Database have collectively given the film an 8.6 ranking (out of 10), making it No. 33 on the site's list of 250 top films.

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Moviegoers like nothing more than a good thrill in theaters, and no genre captures those thrills better than adventure. Here's a look at three classic films that helped shape the adventure genre.
classic, adventure, movies, shape, genre
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2015-41-16
Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 07:41 AM
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