There are many different genres of film which range from drama to comedy, crime to mystery, farce to adventure and so much more. Two types of film genres that have withstood the test of time are westerns and treasure hunt movies. You can still find both types of movies produced today, even if the form has changed somewhat over the years.
It is said that England has Shakespeare and America has westerns. You can learn a considerable amount of American culture from watching westerns from the golden era as well as today. While there are relatively few westerns produced in the traditional setting of the old west, the form is still quite strong with modern action/adventure films that dominate the screen today.
For example, “Star Wars” has its fairy tale elements, but the story itself is rooted in western traditions down the good guy, Luke, wearing white while the bad guy, Darth Vader, sports a black ensemble. But there are good reasons why the western is so popular even if the trappings have changed.
Good versus evil, the moral battle of what is right and wrong are the heart of western mythology. The themes resonate today just as strongly as they did a century ago. Their popularity, especially in America, is because they tap into the intrinsic need to do what is right even if the odds are against you. It is this appeal to the moral good in all people that makes the western popular today, even if they have exchanged the six-shooter for Thor’s hammer or Captain America’s shield.
A treasure hunt movie is more that people looking for treasure; it is really about the realization of dreams. What the characters in a treasure hunt film want to be when they find the prize offers a universal appeal. Just as people buy up lottery tickets when the grand prize reaches absurd amounts of money, so too can people relate to the characters in a treasure hunt film.
When the protagonists of a treasure hunt film get closer to their goal, the appeal of the movie gets stronger. The audience can imagine themselves on the quest that will fulfill their dreams of being rich. Or perhaps, discovering something that benefits the world. Whatever the goal, the appeal of the treasure hunt movie is that it taps into the universal desire to improve ourselves and benefit those around us.
There is also the air of mystery that often surrounds the treasure hunt film, even if the ultimate prize is identified. What else may be found, what obstacles will have to be overcome, and how it will change the characters are highly appealing aspects of this type of film.
Movie genres come and go much like fashion trends. But certain genres remain timeless because they appeal to the child in all of us. Westerns provide the importance placed on strong moral values that we want now while treasure hunt films tap into the imagination of what we might become. Whether inhabiting a traditional setting or used as part of other film genres, the western and treasure hunt will remain timeless and universally appealing genres.