The Adventurers (1970)

The Adventurers (1970)


Charles Aznavour as Marcel Campion
Alan Badel as President Rojo
Katherine Balfour as Amparo’s mother
Michael Balfour as the Detective
Candice Bergin as Sue Ann Daley
Thommy Berggren as Sergei Nikovitch
Delia Boccardo as Caroline de Coyne
Ernest Borgnine as Fat Cat
Rossano Brazzi as Baron de Coyne
Joal Carlo as Jose
Katia Christina as Natalia
Allan Cuthbertson as Hugh
Olivia de Haviland as Deborah Hadley
Roberta Donatelli as Young Amparo
Yolande Donlan as Mrs. Erickson
Bekim Fehmiu as Dax Xenos
Peter Graves as Trustee Banker
John Ireland as Mr. Hadley
Loris Loddi as Young Dax
Jorge Martinez De Hoyos as El Condor
Ferdy Mayne as Sergei’s father
Anna Moffo as Dania Leonard
Fernando Rey as Jaime Xenos
Christian Roberts as Robert
Angela Scoular as Denisonde
Jaclyn Smith as Girl journalist
Sidney Tafler as Colonel Guiterrez
Leigh Taylor-Young as Amparo
Linda Towne as Michelle
Yorgo Voyagis as El Lobo
Milena Vukotic as April Stavronis

Lewis Gilbert

Lewis Gilbert
Michael Hastings
based on the novel by Harold Robbins

Director of Photography
Claude Renoir

Antonio Carlos Jobim

Anne V. Coates

Lewis Gilbert in association with Paramount Pictures


Somewhere during the course of Rossano’s career, nudity in the movies became the standard — accepted and perhaps even expected. When you recall that in Noi Vivi the two shocking scenes were seeing Alida Valli’s knee and the fact that the two of them (while not married to each other) shared a bed – albeit fully clothed — the acceptance and encouragement of nudity was a striking and dramatic change during only a few decades’ time.

We Americans lagged behind the Europeans in this respect. As early as 1959, Rossano was discussing the nudity of French actress Brigit Bardot in a film he’d seen in Paris [his only comment was that this was more spectacle’ than acting, and that if he had a body like hers, he would not have shown it to the world, “as it is not the best body in the world.”] That Mondo Cane was considered “scandalous” in 1962 had much to do with the volume of nudity it depicted. Judging by the movies he himself later directed (Salvare le faccia, for example, described in several sources as a “psycho-sexual thriller”), he eventually either accepted the change, or adapted himself to it. In any event, it would have been interesting to hear his own perceptions of this change — whether or not he thought it helped or hindered the role of an actor in a performance.

The film unfortunately begins in South America with a brutal and explicit gang rape scene (those not particularly interested in seeing that — and it was rather upsetting — might wish to fast-forward to Rome).

The movie covers the lifetime of a son (Dax) of a South American revolutionary who is sent to Rome as an ambassador when his revolutionaries overthrow the military dictatorship currently in power. Rossano plays a count in the banking industry (Baron de Coyne is their attempt – we think! – at a pun!) Dax grows up alongside the son and daughter of the Baron – and we see him both as a child and as a young adult. Ernest Borgnine plays the simple South American farmer who protects him throughout his life.

At one point, the Count returns home to the Palazzo to discover that his son and daughter had thrown a party the night before — in disgust and outage, he is forced to step over naked bodies sprawled all over the place in an effort to find his son and daughter in the mess … his daughter (in bed with Dax) hides, and the son (complete with ice pack on the head) endures an explosive and angry reprimand from his father who nearly disowns him.

Throughout the remainder of the movie we see him as both the father of Dax’s two friends and the banker trying to protect the inheritance of the wealthy American girl Dax marries.

By this time, Rossano had his “Count” personality completely nailed and he breezed through his performances with his unique and personal style of regal, confident, smooth sensuality — oddly enough, the most memorable moment in this film, again, is watching him appear completely out of his element, as he distastefully picks a path through a sea of naked bodies sprawled throughout his Palazzo (all over chairs, in the bathtub, 10 to a bed) … it’s quite a change from the earlier days in his career.

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