Hollywood has taken us on great adventures, with fearless heroes to lead us into the face of danger and into the unknown. Some of these bold characters already existed in book form, and perhaps had been taking reader on adventures for much longer, but in their minds.
But from the beginning of film, we have probably been taken everywhere imaginable; from the bottom of the ocean to the farthest star in the galaxy, from the center of the earth to the insides of the human body. I thought it would be fun to list the top five adventurers of the big screen and give these brave individuals their earned respect.
But I guess I should start this article by explaining what an adventurer is to me. I see an adventurer as someone who is fearless (purposely placing themselves in danger at times), inventive and inspiring others to follow them.
You don’t need to be limited to a forest, caves or desert type environments to be an adventurer. There can be inner-city adventurers, or even in an enclosed area like a building adventurer (see “Die Hard”), and even time-traveling adventurers.
That being said, here is my list of movie adventures. I will try to cover as many genres as possible and make it fair for all, and fun.
Some of the criteria I used to pick my list are:
How many sequels or spin-offs did the character inspire? How many actors have interpreted the role of said character?
5. Allan Quartermain
How many actors have played the character of Allan Quartermain, you may ask? At least 10 have taken the mantle, according to the IMDB, with the most recent being Sean Connery in “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” and the late Patrick Swayze in the made for TV movie “King Solomon’s Mines.”
In 1985 and 1986, Richard Chamberlain took on the character with two movies, “King Solomon’s Mines” and “Allan Quartermain and the Lost City of Gold.” These two were an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the adventurer movies the Indiana Jones franchise had been enjoying. They were very adventurous movies and had lots of action and imagination, and, at times, violence. But, Chamberlain brought to life the historic hero and even got a sequel. I call Allan Quartermain a true Hollywood adventurer.
4. Rick O’Connell
You might not recognize the name, but believe me, you know the adventurer. Don’t believe me? Have you seen “The Mummy” movies? Yeah, that’s the gun-wielding adventurer I’m talking about. Rick O’Connell was played by Brendan Fraser in three movies. The character is, in my opinion, one of the best representations of an adventurer that Hollywood has given us.
“The Mummy” also stars Rachel Weisz, with Arnold Vosloo in the title role as the reanimated mummy. But our hero return for two more sequels, “The Mummy Returns” and “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.”
He is tough and brave, he has traveled the world and he isn’t afraid to go into the unknown. He has fought all kinds of monsters and mummies and in the end, got the girl. He is a true adventurer.
3. James Bond
Perhaps you are thinking, “Bond” is not an adventurer. If so, you would be wrong. Bond is one of the most successful movie franchises of all time, if not the most. He’s all about traveling the world, and he’s pretty much been everywhere: the artic, the deserts, the islands, caves, and even outer space. The character of James Bond has been played by many actors, but the main six are Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig (we’ll discount TV adaptations and spoofs for now). Bond is an excellent marksman, and has a license to kill. He is an expert skier, and has shown off his skills in more than one of his movies. He is scuba certified and dives regularly in his movies. He rides horses and is a professional behind the wheel of all the fancy cars he has driven in his movies. He has saved the world as we know it countless times and always gets the girl. Bond is a true adventurer.
2. Sherlock Holmes
In the words of SherlockHolmes.com: Sherlock Holmes is the world’s most famous and recognized fictional detective, the first pop icon of the modern age.
The Guinness World Records has consistently listed Sherlock Holmes as the “most portrayed movie character, with 75 actors playing the part in over 211 films.
He is a master of disguise, and the creator of the art of deduction. He is great at bare-knuckle fighting and martial arts at the same time (the art of Bartitsu, which combines jujitsu with Holmes’s canonical skills of boxing and cane fencing), with all kinds of skills with weapons Sherlock Holmes may be the most qualified adventurer of all.
He is brave and fearless. He has traveled the world and saved the world many times. He is a true adventurer.
1. Indiana Jones
Although Indiana Jones was inspired by many other great adventurers, like Alan Quartermain and even James Bond, he has certainly established a name for himself as the world’s greatest adventurer. This is why when people make a movies about an adventurer, Indiana Jones is the model they all use. Adventurers in the last decades all seem to wear variations on the leather jacket and fedora hat Indiana Jones always wore. Why? Because Indiana Jones made it the right gear to wear and he made it look good.
He is fearless, smart (as a matter of fact, he is a professor) and he has a unique skill with the whip. He was a soldier in his teens and already spoke dozens of languages when he was 16. He has traveled the world and valiantly gone into all kinds of unknown areas, even dabbling into the different religions of the world and the occult.
His movies are world renowned, and have inspired plenty of other films. “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” the film that introduced us to the character of Indiana Jones, is still one of the most money-making movies world wide. It spawned three sequels (“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”) and rumor has it another is in the works. He places an adventure above all, but in the end he also gets the girls. This is why my No. 1 choice for adventurer is Indiana Jones.
What do you think about my list? What are your choices? Sure there are plenty more, but picking just five was a hard task, try it in the comment section.
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When I read the title of this article my first thought was that Indiana Jones should be number one on this list! Good Job!
It’s a solid list.
Are you doing a version for women too?
Yes, I’m working on it. Should be ready soon, but I will admit, it is a much harder top 5 list than the men.