Saturday, November 29, 2008 by Dave Blum
When looking for new scavenger hunt ideas and treasure hunt ideas, I often turn to the movies for inspiration.  As described in an earlier blog, scavenger hunts are defined as the search for objects on a scavenger hunt list.  Treasure hunts, by contrast, are a journey that moves along via the solving of treasure hunt clues.

Here, then, are some of my favorite treasure hunt and scavenger hunt movies:

Scavenger Hunts:

Scavenger Hunt (1979): “An eccentric game inventor (Vincent Price) dies, stipulating in his will that the winner of an elaborate scavenger hunt will inherit his estate. The various (potential) beneficiaries form teams and each team gets involved in various misadventures along the way.” –Wikipedia

Midnight Madness (1980): “A group of college students participate in an all night puzzle solving race. Michael J. Fox’s first film role.”  –Wikipedia

A cult classic that may have started the whole modern hunt mania.

Treasure Hunts:

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World(1963): “Directed by Stanley Kramer, about the madcap pursuit of $350,000 of stolen cash by a diverse and colorful group of strangers.” –Wikipedia

Pretty much every comedy actor in Hollywood took part in this one.

The Da Vinci Code(2006): “A murder inside the Louvre and clues in Da Vinci paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years — which could shake the foundations of Christianity.”  —IMDB

Tom Hanks doesn’t quite carry off the lead, but it’s not bad as a movie (the book is better), with great clues.

Raiders of the Lost Ark(1981): “Archeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant, before the Nazis…” –IMDB

Harrison Ford at his best.

Rat Race(2001): “A Las Vegas casino magnate, determined to find a new avenue for wagering, sets up a race for money. ”  –IMDB

Pretty much a remake of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

National Treasure(2004): “A treasure hunter is in hot pursuit of a mythical treasure that has been passed down for centuries, while his employer turned enemy is onto the same path that he’s on.”  –IMDB

Surprisingly fun, with clever clues.

The Goonies(1985):  “A group of kids embark on a wild adventure after finding a pirate treasure map.”  –IMDB

Cult favorite.  Love it or hate, you can’t dismiss it.

For a link to more treasure hunt-related movies, click here.

**What are your favorite scavenger and treasure hunt movies?**