THE ADVENTURERS is an irresistible mega-movie loaded with all the trappings and treacheries, power plays and passions, intrigues and in-fighting of the world's super-rich. At the center of the jet-setting story is trouble... more »d playboy Dax, raised far from his South American homeland of Corteguay. Amid the high society and political intrigue of Italy, Dax uses romance as a stepping stone to success... and all the while schemes to bring vengeance on those who once wronged him and his family.« less
"I caught this movie in theatres a couple of times when it was first released in 1970. It impressed me then and still does, for several reasons. First, it has a very good cast. And they are not completely wasted, only 75 percent wasted. Second, it has plenty of sex, violence, and the other human failings that make watching other people so much fun. Third, sure, it's overly ambitious, and falls well short of its grand intentions. But, it is a trip worth taking even if you know you're headed down a dead-end street. Don't listen to the so-called experts. This movie is one that is worth making up your own mind. I'm still enjoying this film some 30 years later, and I think you will, too."
Great late 60's fashion and style
Robert M. Khoury | 05/11/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was a bomb when it first came out and I can see why. BUT, for those who love late 60's retro-style you get almost three hours of it. The cool fashions, cars and beautiful people kept me interested. I mean it's no Gone With The Wind but for those of us who would have loved to be trust fund babies lounging around our daddy's villas hip deep in the 60's party scene, this movie is for you."
People do not understand this movie - it is really quite goo
Steve Stubbs | Texas (USA) | 08/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Most people who saw this movie did not understand it, and when it was first released in 1970 the sex and violence were so far over the top for the period that most critics couldn't see the top. The movie, like a lot of the actresses it featured, was topless. Today it is par for the course. The gorgeous photography, however, is far better than what one sees in most modern films.
The story is a roman a clef. The fictional South American country Corteguay is not either of its quasi-namesakes Paraguay or Uruguay but Colombia, where much of the principal photography was done. Dax Xenos is not really Dax Xenos but Porfirio Rubirosa, who was not from Corteguay or Colombia but the Dominican Republic, which is not a South American country but a Carribean country. (Harold Robbins admitted this, so there is no doubt.) Rubirosa was not the playboy son of a diplomat. He WAS a diplomat, who discovered early on that he could use his diplomatic skills to become a wealthy man by becoming a playboy and marrying wealthy women. The most engrossing fiction is based loosely on reality.
That said, what makes the movie work is its theme. In movies, the character who changes is the main character, regardless of what the billing says, and the only character in this movie who changes is Dax. He starts out a cynical playboy, out to charm his way into the beds and bank accounts of wealthy ladies, and ends up a saint, struggling valiantly to change the world for the better. Alas, for the world will not change, and protects its scumbag identity by killing the irritating Dax, so things can go on being as corrupt as ever. The theme is therefore that the world will not change and perhaps even cannot change. But individuals can. Whatever his failings in early life, before Dax is murdered he thoroughly redeems himself. There is hope, the author is saying, for the individual, but not for the larger context in which he lives. The story therefore combines hard nosed realism with a cautious optimism, and the result will win over the most cynical among us. I know because "the most cynical among us" is the way I would describe myself and the story makes sense to me.
If you understand this, the whole middle of the movie, which follows Dax and his friends as they acquire the wealth and power they need to fulfill their respective destinies, makes sense and is thoroughly enjoyable. This part of the film is necessary to make sense of the movie's ending, in which Dax confronts the corruption that has plagued his beleaguered homeland.
If there are sex and violence and drugs in the movie that is because there are sex and violence and drugs in the real world in which characters like this live. As one of the characters in the movie says, his people did not get to where they were by being philanthropists. He could have added that they did not get to where they were by being burdened with unnecessary impediments like scruples. Welcome to the world of the upper class.
Oh, yes, and the book is not better than the movie. The movie in this case is better than the book. Much better. The book needed an editor in the worst way. The movie had one. It is too long for some tastes, but it works well as home entertainment because you can watch as much as you want in one sitting. Then come back for more later. I have probably watched it twenty times. I will probably watch it twenty more.
The best movie by far made from a Robbins novel, only rivaled by The Betsy. Highly recommended. "
A stylish guilty pleasure
J. W. Hickey | Manhattan area | 05/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My vague memory of THE ADVENTURERS was that it was a campily bad studio flick--one I'd never bothered to see when it came out in 1970. Nearly 40 years later, it turns out to be extremely entertaining as a DVD experience. On the big screen during the era of EASY RIDER and M*A*S*H, it's easy to see that this would be considered an overproduced, overblown bore. But with a pre-CGI cast of thousands and extravagant sets, it's now truly impressive.
I haven't been a reader of Harold Robbins, but this film explains his popularity. The fantasy elegance of the rich and ambitious is tremendous fun, and he crams more plot into his story that a whole shelf of Galsworthy. Except for a 4-yr-old in the second part of the movie (yes, there's actually an intermission!), even the kid actors are good in their roles.
I'd expected VALLEY OF THE DOLLS and instead found the epic sweep and sturdy dialogue of the Taylor-Burton CLEOPATRA. True, a number of the sex scenes look like PLAYBOY (not PENTHOUSE) layouts from the '60s (James Bondy but even more lavish), and a couple of daringly camp touches after the intermission are a hoot: a VALLEY OF THE DOLLS fashion show, and an UNDER THE YUM YUM TREE lothario's lair.
All in all, however, this DVD is a good investment and, of course, after large portions of such rich scenes and scenery, one can turn off the DVD for a while to recupe before plunging again into its fabulous excess!"
J. W. Hickey | 11/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I read the book before I saw the movie and the book was quite good. The movie isn't as good as the book but the never are. But it is a very good movie. It is also quite violent. It starts out with Dax as a young boy & in the movie we watch him grow up and see some of the hell he had to live with. In the
end he is a man still fighting for what he believes is right. good cast."