The Adventurers (1970)

R | 171 mins | Melodrama | 25 March 1970

Producer:

Lewis Gilbert

Cinematographer:

Claude Renoir

Editor:

Anne V. Coates

Production Designer:

Tony Masters

Production Companies:

Adventurers Film, Paramount Pictures Corp., Avco Embassy Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

Embassy Pictures optioned screen rights to Harold Robbins’s upcoming novel, The Adventurers, in early fall 1963, before the book was written, as reported in an 18 Sep 1963 Var article. Robbins was reportedly paid “over $1,000,000 for the pre-publication and picture rights” to the novel, due to be published by Trident Press in spring 1965. The book was ultimately released in 1966, and the following year, a paperback version from Pocket Books was bolstered by a cross-promotion with Paramount Pictures, which co-sponsored a “Cast the Movie Sweepstake” asking readers to send in suggestions for actors and actresses to play the leading roles. The 11 Jan 1967 Var noted that the winner would receive $500 and an expenses-paid, month-long “jet trip around the world for two.”
       John Michael Hayes was initially enlisted to write the screenplay, according to an 11 Nov 1964 Var brief, but he did not remain with the project. The 24 May 1967 Var indicated that Harold Robbins would adapt his own work for the screen, but he was not credited as a screenwriter on the final film.
       A production chart in the 16 Aug 1968 DV announced that principal photography began on 12 Aug 1968. Filming was based in Rome, Italy, at Cinecitta Studios. Some exteriors were shot in Venice, Italy, according to the 28 Aug 1968 Var, and Rome locations included Villa Miani, a “garden estate overlooking Rome,” where an international press conference was staged over the course of a week. Real-life journalists were invited to appear as background actors there, and Var noted that Leonard Lyons, Earl ... More Less

Embassy Pictures optioned screen rights to Harold Robbins’s upcoming novel, The Adventurers, in early fall 1963, before the book was written, as reported in an 18 Sep 1963 Var article. Robbins was reportedly paid “over $1,000,000 for the pre-publication and picture rights” to the novel, due to be published by Trident Press in spring 1965. The book was ultimately released in 1966, and the following year, a paperback version from Pocket Books was bolstered by a cross-promotion with Paramount Pictures, which co-sponsored a “Cast the Movie Sweepstake” asking readers to send in suggestions for actors and actresses to play the leading roles. The 11 Jan 1967 Var noted that the winner would receive $500 and an expenses-paid, month-long “jet trip around the world for two.”
       John Michael Hayes was initially enlisted to write the screenplay, according to an 11 Nov 1964 Var brief, but he did not remain with the project. The 24 May 1967 Var indicated that Harold Robbins would adapt his own work for the screen, but he was not credited as a screenwriter on the final film.
       A production chart in the 16 Aug 1968 DV announced that principal photography began on 12 Aug 1968. Filming was based in Rome, Italy, at Cinecitta Studios. Some exteriors were shot in Venice, Italy, according to the 28 Aug 1968 Var, and Rome locations included Villa Miani, a “garden estate overlooking Rome,” where an international press conference was staged over the course of a week. Real-life journalists were invited to appear as background actors there, and Var noted that Leonard Lyons, Earl Wilson, Bob Considine , Bob Sylvester, and Doris Lilly were confirmed to appear; all men in attendance were encouraged to wear “out-of-style tuxedoes” befitting the picture’s 1955 setting. The 24 Jul 1968 Var noted that ten days of location shooting would take place in New York City, and another three months of production would be completed in Bogota and Cartagena, Colombia, and the surrounding Andes Mountains. On 30 Mar 1969, LAT indicated that filming was still underway in Colombia. The budget was cited as $12 million.
       The Adventurers marked the American film debut of Yugoslavian actor Bekim Fehmiu. According to LAT, producer-director Lewis Gilbert’s wife, Hylda, recommended Fehmiu to her husband, and the two men met in Rome, where the actor was filming the Italian-language television series, The Odyssey. Fehmiu subsequently learned English to secure the role of “Dax Xenos.”
       The “world premiere” took place on 23 Feb 1970 on the inaugural flight (from New York to Los Angeles, CA) for Trans World Airlines’ (TWA) 747 Superjet, the 4 Mar 1970 Var reported. An invitational preview screening took place the following night at the DeMille Theatre in New York City, at the same time as a West Coast screening at the Fox Village Theatre in Westwood, CA. Around that time, members of the press viewed a 205-minute version of the film, which was not well-received. Paramount decided to re-edit the footage at the last minute and faced the difficult task of convincing reviewers to watch the shorter version again before publishing their critiques. Several prominent critics, including Pauline Kael of the New Yorker and Joe Morgenstern of Newsweek, refused to watch a second version.
       A wide release at over 100 theaters across the U.S. took place on 25 Mar 1970. Critical reception was very negative, with the 25 Mar 1970 DV calling the film “a classic monument to bad taste,” and the 25 Mar 1970 LAT deeming it “the bloated Hollywood blockbuster in all its sins.” In the U.S. and Canadian market, however, the film went on to rank as the eleventh-highest-grossing picture of 1970, with cumulative box-office rentals of $7.75 million, as reported in the 6 Jan 1971 Var. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
16 Aug 1968
p. 14.
Daily Variety
25 Mar 1970
p. 3, 6.
Los Angeles Times
25 Jan 1967
Section D, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
30 Mar 1969
Section T, p. 1, 23, 25, 27.
Los Angeles Times
22 Mar 1970
Section R, p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
25 Mar 1970
Section F, p, 19.
New York Times
8 Mar 1970
Section D, p. 1, 18, 23.
New York Times
26 Mar 1970.
---
Variety
18 Sep 1963
p. 3.
Variety
11 Nov 1964
p. 7, 23.
Variety
9 Jun 1965
p. 5.
Variety
11 Jan 1967
p. 76.
Variety
24 May 1967
p. 24.
Variety
21 Feb 1968
p. 75.
Variety
24 Jul 1968
p. 27.
Variety
28 Aug 1968
p. 26.
Variety
28 Aug 1968
p. 27.
Variety
28 Jan 1970
p. 13.
Variety
4 Mar 1970
p. 7.
Variety
6 Jan 1971
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2nd unit dir
Dir of action seq
Asst dir
1st & 2nd asst dir
PRODUCERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2nd unit photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir & additional mus
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Asst to the prod
Unit mgr
Scr ed
Prop supv
Constr mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Adventurers by Harold Robbins (New York, 1966).
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 March 1970
Premiere Information:
World premiere: 23 February 1970
Los Angeles and New York openings: 25 March 1970
Production Date:
12 August 1968--spring 1969
Copyright Claimant:
Adventurers Film
Copyright Date:
18 February 1970
Copyright Number:
LP38129
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Eastmancolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
171
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Dax Xenos, a ten-year old boy in the South American country of Corteguay, witnesses the rape and murder of his mother by government soldiers and runs to his father, Jaime, who is with a band of revolutionaries. Jaime's men capture the government soldiers, give Dax the privilege of personally executing his mother's murderers, and then take the boy to their hideout in the mountains where he meets Amparo, the daughter of revolutionary leader Rojo. After the rebels oust the dictator and establish Rojo as president, Dax accompanies his father to Rome, where Jaime is to serve as ambassador. Years later, Jaime returns to Corteguay to find that Rojo has established himself as dictator; he contacts El Condor, the new revolutionary leader, but is killed by Colonel Gutierrez, Rojo's security chief. Dax, now a young man, returns to Corteguay for his father's funeral. Rojo persuades Dax, who does not know the cause of his father's death, to convince El Condor to surrender, but when El Condor surrenders, he is killed by Gutierrez. Because his promise to El Condor was betrayed, Dax murders Gutierrez, confronts Rojo with his treachery, and returns to Rome. He becomes a gigolo and finally marries millionairess Sue Anne Daley, but they soon divorce. Dax again returns to Corteguay, this time for the unveiling of a statue of his father, and finds himself thrust into yet another revolution. Led this time by El Lobo, the revolution succeeds when Dax murders Rojo. Meanwhile, Dax learns that Amparo has borne him a son. Delighted, he sends her back to Rome with the intention of establishing a democracy in Corteguay and returning to his new family, but he is assassinated ... +


Dax Xenos, a ten-year old boy in the South American country of Corteguay, witnesses the rape and murder of his mother by government soldiers and runs to his father, Jaime, who is with a band of revolutionaries. Jaime's men capture the government soldiers, give Dax the privilege of personally executing his mother's murderers, and then take the boy to their hideout in the mountains where he meets Amparo, the daughter of revolutionary leader Rojo. After the rebels oust the dictator and establish Rojo as president, Dax accompanies his father to Rome, where Jaime is to serve as ambassador. Years later, Jaime returns to Corteguay to find that Rojo has established himself as dictator; he contacts El Condor, the new revolutionary leader, but is killed by Colonel Gutierrez, Rojo's security chief. Dax, now a young man, returns to Corteguay for his father's funeral. Rojo persuades Dax, who does not know the cause of his father's death, to convince El Condor to surrender, but when El Condor surrenders, he is killed by Gutierrez. Because his promise to El Condor was betrayed, Dax murders Gutierrez, confronts Rojo with his treachery, and returns to Rome. He becomes a gigolo and finally marries millionairess Sue Anne Daley, but they soon divorce. Dax again returns to Corteguay, this time for the unveiling of a statue of his father, and finds himself thrust into yet another revolution. Led this time by El Lobo, the revolution succeeds when Dax murders Rojo. Meanwhile, Dax learns that Amparo has borne him a son. Delighted, he sends her back to Rome with the intention of establishing a democracy in Corteguay and returning to his new family, but he is assassinated by the vengeful son of El Condor. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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