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Adventure films are a genre of movies. Unlike action films, Adventure films often use their action scenes preferably to display and explore exotic locations in an energetic way. The subgenres of adventure films include: swashbuckler film, disaster films, and historical dramas - which is similar to the Epic movie genre. Main plot elements include: quests for lost continents, historical ruins, jungles, mountains, islands, urban or desert settings; characters going on a treasure hunts and heroic journeys for the unknown. Adventure films are mostly set in a period background and may include adapted stories of historical or fictional adventure heroes within the historical context. Kings, battles, revolutions, or pirates are commonly seen in adventure films. Adventure films may also be combined with other movie genres such as, science fiction, fantasy and sometimes war films.
The adventure film reached its peak of popularity in 1930s and 1940s Hollywood, when films such as Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Mark of Zorro were regularly made with major stars, notably Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power, who were closely associated with the genre. At the same time, Saturday morning serials were often using many of the same thematic elements as high-budget adventure films. In the early days of adventure films, the protagonists were mainly male. These heroes were courageous, often fighting suppression and facing tyrants. Recently these male heroic protagonists have occasionally been replaced by heroines, Lara Croft being an example.