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Adventure movies are a genre of movies. They contain many of the same features of action movies, but are usually set in exotic locations. The main theme is adventure, with the characters often exploring places they have not been before or doing things they have not done before. Common storylines include quests for lost treasure, heroic journeys for the unknown, and jungle or desert settings. Adventure movies are often set in an historical time and may be based on stories of historical or fictional adventure heroes within the historical context. Kings, battles, rebellion or piracy are commonly seen in adventure movies. Adventure movies may also be combined with other movie genres, such as science fiction, fantasy and sometimes war movies.
The adventure movie was most popular in Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s. Movies such as Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Mark of Zorro were regularly made with major stars, notably Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power, who were closely associated with the genre. In the earliest adventure movies, the main character was usually male. They were portrayed as courageous heroes, facing tyrants or rescuing a beautiful woman in distress.
Adventure movies usually emphasise the mystery, romance, adventure, danger, and terror of the unknown. Common settings include a jungle or desert. Classic dangers include ferocious man-eating mammals and reptiles, hostile natives, deadly diseases, lost cities and crumbling temples, torrential rivers, waterfalls, whirlpools, and quicksand bogs, damsels in distress, evil emirs and treacherous tribal chieftains, and despicable white adventurers from the civilized world intent on exploiting the jungle, its animals, treasures, resources, and primitive native peoples.
Adventure movies may crossover into other genres such as war, crime, romance, or horror.
Notable examples of jungle adventure movies include King Kong (adventure, romance, horror), The African Queen (romance, adventure), I Walked with a Zombie (romance, horror), Disney's animated The Jungle Book (children's, comedy, musical), Apocalypse Now (war), and the many Bomba movies, and the Tarzan movies and serials. Since the first theatrical releases of jungle movies in the early 20th century, popular interest in the genre has never waned. Comic books, novels, pulp magazines, and television series have stoked the genre's popularity over the decades.