Adventure Collection: 16 Movies [3 Discs] [DVD]

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King Arthur, the Young Warlord
The early years of the future King Arthur are recounted in this film from Sidney Hayers. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

Prehistoric Women
Partially filmed at Whittier, CA, and at Hollywood's General Service Studio, this low-budget exploitation melodrama features Laurette Luez as Tigri, the head of a tribe of Amazonian women charged by an elder (Janette Scott) to find and capture husbands by the next full moon. Tigri finds and captures Engor (Allan Nixon), but a rival, Arva (Mara Lynn), also claims the handsome cave-dwelling tribesman. Tigri, however, manages to hold on to her man, but Engor gets the upper hand after accidentally discovering how to make fire by striking two stones together. The women are soon turned into slaves, but this little idyll is rudely disrupted by the arrival of Guaddi, an eight-foot giant who threatens to destroy them all. The giant is eventually slain by the men and Tigri, who has fallen in love, persuades Engor to return with her to the women's camp where the elder marries them. Sold on the independent exploitation circuit, Prehistoric Women reportedly made a mint for its producer, Albert J. Cohen. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Seven Doors to Death
Affable comic actor Chick Chandler hadn't had a film starring role in years when Seven Doors to Death was produced in 1944, but the wartime leading-man shortage enabled him to secure top billing in this leisurely comedy/mystery. Chandler plays architect Jimmy McMillan, who designs an exclusive shopping center/apartment building with seven entrances. When a burglary-murder occurs in the building, practically every occupant is suspect, since every one had a convenient avenue of entrance. To find the genuine killer-and incidentally, to clear himself of suspicion-Jimmy plays detective, wandering through the building and mentally reconstructing the crime. Other veteran perfomers parading before the cameras include June Clyde, George Meeker, Gregory Gay, and motorcyle-cop-turned-actor Edgar Dearing. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Bird of Paradise
Having inherited the warhorse stage piece Bird of Paradise from his predecessor William LeBaron, RKO Radio production chief David O. Selznick opted to do the property up brown, hoping to transform the Richard Walton Tully original into RKO's "prestige" offering of 1932. Joel McCrea stars as a handsome South Seas soldier of fortune who falls in love with Dolores Del Rio, the daughter of a Polynesian native chieftain. Alas, their idyllic romance is destined to come to a sudden and violent end: tribal custom decrees that Del Rio is to be sacrificed to the local volcano. After initial resistance, the heroine nobly resigns herself to her fate, realizing that there is no place for her in her white lover's civilization. A more conservative (and far less costly) version of Bird of Paradise was filmed in 1952, with Jeff Chandler and Debra Paget. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Hot Rod Girl
American-International's Hot Rod Girl is a whole lot less exploitaitonal than its title. Chuck Connors stars as Ben, a policeman who hopes to stem an outbreak of juvenile delinquency. Overcoming great obstacles--most of them created by prejudiced adults--Ben hopes to build a drag strip, where hot-rodding teenagers will be allowed to race their motors in safety. The title character, Ben's pretty sister Lisa, is played by Lori Nelson. Among the hot-rodders in Hot Rod Girls is a young Frank Gorshin (here billed as Frank J. Gorshin), who ten years later would reteam with director Leslie H. Martinson on the set of the theatrical-feature version of TV's Batman. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Renfrew of the Royal Mounted
An uneven mix of '30s crook melodrama and Rose Marie-inspired mountie romance, Renfrew of the Royal Mounted of radio fame came to the screen in 1937, courtesy of the founder of Grand National, Edward L. Alperson. Chosen to play the strapping title role was James Newill, a Nelson Eddy wannabe whose introduction number, "Mounted Men," was almost a carbon copy of "Stout Hearted Men." Newill's Renfrew is assigned to look into a counterfeiting ring operating on the Canadian border with the United States. The ring is headed by lodge owner George Poulis (William Royle), who is coercing convicted engraver James Bronson (Herbert Corthell) into working for him. When Bronson's daughter, Virginia (Carol Hughes), discovers the truth, she convinces the engraver to flee. Renfrew, who has been chasing the crooks on horseback and by airplane, eventually saves the Bronsons from perishing in a meat locker. Filmed in Grand National's studios on Santa Monica Boulevard and at Big Bear Lake, CA, Renfrew of the Royal Mounted proved popular enough to warrant a series. Grand National collapsed two years later but the series was picked up by Monogram and a total of eight Renfrew movies were ultimately released. A former singer on the Burns & Allen radio program, James Newill later went on to co-star in PRC's "trio" series Texas Rangers, where he was reunited with Dave "Tex" O'Brien, who had played one of the crooks in Renfrew of the Royal Mounted. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Call of the Yukon
In this saccharine Klondike adventure, a brave female reporter who has a rapport with wild animals heads north to cover a story. Included in her animal entourage are a pair of bear cubs, a talking rook, and a homeless collie. After she gets lost, a handsome guide shows up to lead her out of the wilderness. It is an arduous journey fraught with many natural dangers, and the travelers nearly die from hunger until another man shows up to save them. When he begins pursuing the reporter, the guide gets jealous and a terrible fight erupts. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Scott of the Antarctic
John Mills stars as Commander Scott, the leader of the ill-fated and famed 1911 expedition to be the first to discover the South Pole. The British were up against the Norwegians in the Arctic quest for fame and honor which was won by Norway. ~ Phillip Erlewine, Rovi

Outpost in Morocco
While under contract to Warner Bros., George Raft turned down picture after picture as being "unimportant" and thus unworthy of his talents. Among his turned-down projects were such minor items as High Sierra and Casablanca. By 1949, however, Raft's star had eclipsed, and he was obliged to accept whatever came along. Outpost in Morocco wasn't exactly a "B" picture -- it was expensively filmed on location -- but neither was it in the same league as Raft's earlier vehicles. Cast as Capt. Paul Gerard, a foreign-legion officer, Raft finds himself on the horns of a dilemma. He must protect his garrison from the rebel hordes of a native Emir (Eduard Franz) -- who happens to be the father of Cara (Marie Windsor), the woman Gerard loves. Akim Tamiroff easily steals the show as Gerard's slovenly second-in-command. The film truly comes to life only during the battle scenes, which utilize the services of hundreds of genuine Legionnaires and Moroccan cavalrymen. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The White Orchid
This romantic adventure takes place in the jungles of Southern Mexico and centers upon an archaeologist and a photographer who have come to find a lost Toltec civilization. Their handsome guide takes them deeper and deeper into the jungle. As they progress, both the archaeologist and the guide become rivals for the photographer's affections. In the end, they are confronted by a great danger. To save his clients, the guide sacrifices his life. ~ Jennifer Lackman, Rovi

The Silver Horde
A somewhat primitive early talkie version of Rex Beach's lusty 1909 novel of Alaska salmon fishers, RKO's The Silver Horde was one of Joel McCrea's earliest breaks. Although third-billed to the more established Evelyn Brent and character star Louis Wolheim, McCrea played the leading role of Boyd Emerson, an adventurer finding himself stranded in the Alaskan wilderness along with sidekick Fraser (Raymond Hatton). Saloon hostess turned copper mine proprietress Cherry Malotte (Brent) falls in love with the newcomer and persuades business associate Tom Hilliard (William Davidson) to bankroll a salmon fishing operation for Emerson and the brutish-looking but lovable Balt (Wolheim). Emerson, however, is in love with Seattle debutante Mildred Wayland (Jean Arthur), whose snobbish father (Purnell Pratt) schemes with salmon industry magnate Frederick Marsh (Gavin Gordon) to sabotage the new endeavor. The rival fishing fleets meet in hand-to-hand battle for superiority with the Emerson-Balt crew emerging the winners. In retaliation, Marsh attempts to slander Cherry Malotte, but is killed by an out-of-control Balt. A major star of the late silent era, Evelyn Brent is struggling to convey her trademark toughness before the microphone, but McCrea makes a stalwart hero and Louis Wolheim is watchable doing almost anything. Jean Arthur is merely window dressing this early in her career, but Blanche Sweet, an icon of the early silent era, is completely wasted in a bit part as the villain's former girlfriend. It became her final screen appearance. The Silver Horde had been filmed once before, by Goldwyn in 1916 starring Myrtle Steadman as Cherry and Curtis Cooksey as Emerson. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

East of Kilimanjaro
Originally released as La Granda Caccia, East of Kilimanjaro was filmed on location in Africa. Marshall Thompson plays American photojournalist Marsh Conners, assigned to cover a cattle epidemic. Falling in love with research scientist Dr. Marie Avedon (Gaby Andre), Conners attempts to help her convince the Masai tribesmen to have their cattle inoculated, and to locate the source of the disease. While the plot proper ends happily, the romantic subplot is less satisfying. East of Kilimanjaro was also distributed as The Big Search. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

They Made Me a Criminal
The Voyage of the Yes
Desi Arnaz Jr. and Michael Evans play the teenaged protagonists of The Voyage of the Yes. The boys take on the challenge of a 2,600-mile sailboat trip from California to Hawaii. While tackling the boundaries created by Mother Nature, Desi and Michael learn to combat their own inbred prejudices. As a bonus for fans of the stars, Arnaz and Evans perform a song "El Condor Pasa." Made for television, The Voyage of the Yes was first telecast January 16, 1973. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Crashing Thru
This adventure is the last entry in the "Renfrew of the Mounties" series. This time the tuneful Mountie travels to the north woods where he must thwart an American mobster's plot to swipe a large gold shipment. Interspersed amongst the action are two songs: "You're Easy on the Eyes," and "Crimson Sunset." ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Blonde Savage
Blonde Savage was directed by one "S. K. Seeley"-who at closer examination turns out to be Steve Sekely hiding behind an alias. The story is the old saw about a blonde white woman who is raised from infancy by a savage jungle tribe. This time, it's a girl named Meelah (Gale Sherwood) who resides as a goddess amongst an entourage of African natives. While working for diamond mine owner Mark Harper (Douglass Dumbrille), transport pilots Steve (Leif Erickson) and Hoppy (Frank Jenks) crash-land near Meelah's domain. Upon discovering that the "blonde savage" is actually the daughter of Harper's murdered partner, they set about to bring their employer to justice. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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