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The term adventure film is by some definitions a redundancy -- any film produced for commercial distribution is supposed to be an adventure on some level and if it isnt an adventure then it is likely going to be a failure But as a genre the adventure film also sometimes referred to as the action-adventure film is one of the most uniformly popular and stable of categories -- except for language and settings the characteristics of these films have changed little from the 1920s to the 1990sThe most rudimentary adventure films that concern modern viewers are the swashbucklers Essentially costume films with lots of action these films set the pattern that most of popular adventure films -- regardless of their settings of costumes -- would emulate A handsome hero quick with his wits and wit as well as his fists sword or pistol goes up against a villain of some stature for a prize whether it is a woman a fortune a nation or a world The first -- and still one of the best -- swashbuckler of any note was the silent Mark of Zorro 1920 starring Douglas Fairbanks Sr This picture was also the first of Fairbankss swashbucklers and it pretty much defined his screen persona for his next 15 years in movies as a cheerful dashing swordsman and athlete who could handle any situation in which he found himselfFor most viewers however the adventure film really begins in the 1930s the period when sound was fully evolved into the movie-making process The decade is full of adventure films of all stripes from swashbucklers such as Michael Curtizs Captain Blood 1935 starring Errol Flynn to jungle adventures like Zoltan Kordas Sanders of the River 1935 with Leslie Banks and Paul Robeson and fantasy tales such as Merian C Cooper and Ernest B Schoedsacks King Kong 1933 with Robert Armstrong Bruce Cabot and Fay Wray These films depicted men of action put up against
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