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Best film adventure theme?


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What film theme best conveys the idea of action and adventure? I'm posting this in general discussion because I'm hoping for non-JW responses.

 

My personal favorite theme that just screams action, adventure, and excitement is the theme for North By Northwest by Bernard Hermann. Although it may sound out of fashion now, this theme so perfectly conveys adventure to me with it's orchestration, frenetic progression, and percussive bombast.

 

 

 

What say you? What are your picks?

 

 

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25 minutes ago, artguy360 said:

My personal favorite theme that just screams action, adventure, and excitement is the theme for North By Northwest by Bernard Hermann.


As I recall, he called it a "fandango from hell."

 

Here's another rousing adventure theme from Herrmann...

 

 

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Even though it's not action music I would call Kamen's Highlander Theme one of my favourite adventure themes. It is a hero's theme, that carries brillantly the sense of adventure. And I am so far not getting tired of it.

Spoiler

 

 

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I love the El Dorado theme from Powell & Zimmer (though I think it sounds more like the former than the latter). Very swashbuckling and adventurous.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

I think the implied subtitle of the thread was: "aside from the Raiders March" :lol:


Easy. 
 

 

Sweeping, whirling, percussive, tough, epic. 
 

 

@crocodile’s choice of Lost World is a good one too. 

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What is it? It’s unavailable to view in the US. 

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I can't be the first one to point out the similarity here...
 

2 hours ago, Andy said:

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Mr. Hooper said:

I can't be the first one to point out the similarity here...

 

No, it's been a "running gag" on most film music forums since the late 90s, and probably way before that too. They're not that similar, but I get where the observation comes from.

 

As for favourite adventure themes, I wouldn't know where to start or stop, much less find one favourite that rules them all. Very wide parameters.

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21 minutes ago, Thor said:

As for favourite adventure themes, I wouldn't know where to start or stop, much less find one favourite that rules them all. Very wide parameters.


Well, I personally appreciate the less obvious ones posted by @crocodile @Edmilsonand @GerateWohl   And starting off the OP with NBNW is pretty cool. I in fact just listened to that one last night. 
 

Perhaps a more interesting exercise is “Less Obvious Adventure Themes” to get more out of the box suggestions. 
 

Already this thread reminded me I need to give some attention to Highlander and The Wind and the Lion.  I like that. Getting suggestions. 

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3 minutes ago, Andy said:

Perhaps a more interesting exercise is “Less Obvious Adventure Themes” to get more out of the box suggestions. 

Exactly, otherwise people will just post the obvious choices, like Raiders March, etc.

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36 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

Exactly, otherwise people will just post the obvious choices, like Raiders March, etc.

Guilty as charged :lol:

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2 hours ago, Bellosh said:

I scrolled too fuckin far to finally see Andy's post.

 

Just feeling betrayed at this point by some of you

 

The author wanted non-JW suggestions. We wuz just followin' orders! :)

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For a more recent work, Rim of the World by Bear McCreary (do NOT watch the movie though).

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8 minutes ago, Erik Woods said:

Raiders is my favourite but THIS is my second favourite. 
 

 

Nice! I watched the original last night. 

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Not the "best", but some toe-tapping high adventure in here.

 

 

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This thread is already taking a million minutes to load. YouTube overload!

 

But as usual, it's a matter of scrolling through one's iTunes collection and finding the odd track here and there. Some random ones that haven't been mentioned:

 

"Chitti to the Rescue" from ENTHIRAN

"My First Bus Ride" from THE MUMMY RETURNS

"Main Title" from LADYHAWKE

"Cody's Flight" from THE RESCUERS DOWN UNDER

"Riddles" from BUCKLEY'S CHANCE

"Building the Deathcoaster" from ARMY OF DARKNESS

"Fratelli Chase" from THE GOONIES

"Main Title" from THE MUSKETEER (Arnold)

"The Phantom" from THE PHANTOM

 

....at D now, and kinda bored. Maybe more later.

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I am certainly out of my depth when it comes to distinguishing adventure themes (as superhero themes take a similar yet distinct approach), but I'd like to think this qualifies as a straightforward example:

 

 

 

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Someone with greater familiarity with Golden Age scores will cringe, but Kamen’s theme from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves was enough to make credits over old tapestries thrilling.  This promise of Adventure was so effective, Disney appropriated it for all of their home video promos. 

 

 

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Star Wars-related, but not exactly an obvious choice.

 

 

With all respect to Williams, but in regards to this theme I prefer how Powell used it on the actual underscore, like here:

 

 

28 minutes ago, Andy said:

This promise of Adventure was so effective, Disney appropriated it for all of their home video promos. 

See, this is why I could never "love" this theme as much as I wanted. Every time I played it I was reminded me not of Costner's Robin Hood and medieval adventures but rather Disney's stupid DVD promo.

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4 hours ago, Edmilson said:

See, this is why I could never "love" this theme as much as I wanted. Every time I played it I was reminded me not of Costner's Robin Hood and medieval adventures but rather Disney's stupid DVD promo.


Yet more proof that Disney ruins everything it touches. :lol:

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On 27/05/2024 at 10:59 AM, filmmusic said:

Well, another obvious choice, but if we're talking about non-JW themes, this is my second best:

 

 

 

If adventure in space counts, then I'd have to include Broughton's Lost In Space as well:

 

Spoiler

 

 

That string chord underneath the solo horn at the beginning has always felt like the perfect representation of space exploration to me as a kid; vacuous, but beautiful, quiet, yet expansive.  And then the cue crescendoes into a big bloom of orchestral wonder.  It's a slower-tempo, more romanticized version of it, but I'd say it still captures the tone of space adventure wonderfully.

 

Of course, if we want a more traditionally adventurous tone:

Spoiler

 

 

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9 hours ago, Brock Lovett said:

It's an excellent score. Who the hell is gonna cringe?

 

The people who are more familiar and faithful to Korngold's Robin Hood Score.  

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4 hours ago, ThePenitentMan1 said:

That string chord underneath the solo horn at the beginning has always felt like the perfect representation of space exploration to me as a kid; vacuous, but beautiful, quiet, yet expansive.

It reminds me of another great epic beginning:

 

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