The Adventurers (1970 film)

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The Adventurers
The Adventurers - 1970 - poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Lewis Gilbert
Produced by Lewis Gilbert
Screenplay by Michael Hastings
Lewis Gilbert
Based on The Adventurers
by Harold Robbins
Starring Bekim Fehmiu
Candice Bergen
Charles Aznavour
Olivia de Havilland
Fernando Rey
Ernest Borgnine
Alan Badel
Leigh Taylor-Young
Music by Antonio Carlos Jobim
Cinematography Claude Renoir
Edited by Anne V. Coates
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • March 25, 1970 (1970-03-25)
Running time
177 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $7,750,000 (US/ Canada rentals)[1]

The Adventurers is a 1970 American drama film based on the novel by Harold Robbins. It is directed, produced and co-written by Lewis Gilbert.

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 the fictional Latin American country of Cortoguay, it tells the tale of a rich playboy, Dax Xenos, 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 primary obsession is to avenge his father's murder. Dax's father had been a true patriot unlike any of the other self-seeking Presidents in an otherwise poor country always belonging to "the revolution." Dax finds, however, that vengeance and revolution lead to nothing but more of the same.



The score was composed by Bossa nova songwriter 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. The soft and often tender music stands in stark contrast to the darkness of the themes of the story. A rare track by British band Family called 'Young Love' was featured as a backing track to a fashion show in the film. This track does not appear on a CD by Family or on any singles.


The movie was widely panned when it was first released. In its review, Daily Variety said that Candice Bergen was "the only principal to salvage anything from the film."[2] In 2005, it was listed in The Official Razzie Movie Guide as one of the Top Ten Best Bad films of all time. However, Paul Mavis, reviewing the Warner Archive DVD release, enjoyed its outrageousness, stating The Adventurers is, "part faux-David Lean, part lurid comic book with funny accents and naked breasts--and all of it an irresistible, frequently maddening mess."[3]

Director Lewis Gilbert said on June 25, 2010, on the BBC radio programme Desert Island Discs, that The Adventurers 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."[4]

DVD Release[edit]

Paramount Home Entertainment first released the film on a widescreen DVD on July 12, 2005. The same company rereleased the film in the Warner Archive Collection on September 24, 2013. The DVD was edited and re-rated PG, with significant cuts to scenes in which women are raped and killed by soldiers.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1970", Variety, 6 January 1971 p 11
  2. ^ Staff, Variety (1970-01-01). "Review: 'The Adventurers'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-09-13. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Lewis Gilbert". Desert Island Discs. 25 June 2010. BBC. Radio 4. 
  5. ^ Retrieved November 23, 2017.

External links[edit]