The Adventurers (1970 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Lewis Gilbert|
|Produced by||Lewis Gilbert|
|Written by||Michael Hastings
Olivia de Havilland
|Music by||Antonio Carlos Jobim|
|Studio||AVCO Embassy Pictures|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||171 minutes|
|Box office||$7,750,000 (US/ Canada rentals)|
The American film stars Bekim Fehmiu, Candice Bergen, Charles Aznavour, Olivia de Havilland, Fernando Rey, Ernest Borgnine, Alan Badel and Leigh Taylor-Young. The film featured a film debut from Fehmiu and was shot in Europe and parts of South America. It is loosely based on the life of Dominican diplomat and playboy Porfirio Rubirosa.
Set in South America, it tells the tale of a rich playboy, Dax (Diogenes Alejandro Xenos) (Bekim Fehmiu) who uses and destroys everyone who crosses his path. His vileness results from having seen his mother and sister raped and murdered by Government troops. But his obsession is to avenge his father's murder. And yet, the father of Dax had been a true patriot unlike any of the other self-seeking Presidentes in an otherwise poor country always belonging to "the revolution." After Dax is himself shot and dies below a statue erected to exploit the memory of his father, Xenos finally realizes he loved his country but had failed both his country and to be the man his father was.
Of note in this film is the beautiful and often haunting soundtrack. The songs were written by Bossa Nova legend Antonio Carlos Jobim. Of the 12 songs featured in this film, three of them, "Children's Games" (Chovendo na Roseira), "A Bed of Flowers For Sue Ann" (Sue Ann) and "Dax & Amparo-Love Theme" (Olha Maria), went on to become some of Jobim's signature songs. These songs were heard for the first time on this soundtrack. For all the bad press this movie received, the bright spot is the thoughtful and often tender music, which stands in stark contrast to the darkness of the themes of the story.
The film became the one movie no one wanted to see. It opened to a storm of resentment from critics and audiences who felt the film did not present anything new in the jet set genre. Today it is mentioned in the The Official Razzie Movie Guide as one of the Top Ten Best Bad films of all time. The director Lewis Gilbert said candidly on June 25, 2010 on the BBC radio programme "Desert Island Discs" that The Adventurers was a "terrible film.". He said "I had a terrible film called The Adventurers which was a big, sprawling, very expensive film which was a disaster. I should never have made it. It's one I'm not proud of."
- "Big Rental Films of 1970", Variety, 6 January 1971 p 11