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Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

aka Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

"Indiana Jones - the new hero from the creators of JAWS and STAR WARS."

Directed By: 
Details: 115 mins · English, Español, Hebrew, Arabic, Nepali, Spanish, German · PG (USA)

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Wonderful

In the summer of 1981, my family and I went to the local multiplex. More accurately, I should say my dad wanted to see Prince of the City and I was along for the ride. At the ticket booth the clerk made the suggestion that perhaps my parents should go see Prince of the City, while I went to go see that "new movie by the guys that made Jaws and Star Wars." Star Wars and Jaws? Hell, I was in! So I entered the theater, popcorn in hand and took a seat. Almost two hours later I emerged from the theater a changed person, the very core of who I was altered forever.
Raiders of the Lost Ark, to me is the perfect movie. In over thirty years and hundreds of viewings it more than still holds up. It's one of those rare films that's a high water mark that movies, action films in particular, measure themselves against.
George Lucas has never written a better script. He was able to pull off a believable romantic relationship between the lead couple, which he's never been able to do in...(more)

In the summer of 1981, my family and I went to the local multiplex. More accurately, I should say my dad wanted to see Prince of the City and I was along for the ride. At the ticket booth the clerk made the suggestion that perhaps my parents should go see Prince of the City, while I went to go see that "new movie by the guys that made Jaws and Star Wars." Star Wars and Jaws? Hell, I was in! So I entered the theater, popcorn in hand and took a seat. Almost two hours later I emerged from the theater a changed person, the very core of who I was altered forever.
Raiders of the Lost Ark, to me is the perfect movie. In over thirty years and hundreds of viewings it more than still holds up. It's one of those rare films that's a high water mark that movies, action films in particular, measure themselves against.
George Lucas has never written a better script. He was able to pull off a believable romantic relationship between the lead couple, which he's never been able to do in any other film. The dialogue feels "real", characters talk to each other in such a way that you can feel their history, motivation, and emotion creep through the lines.
A great script would mean nothing if you didn't have fine acting. Harrison Ford is at his best as Indy. It seems that he has a love for the character. There is a visible joy and spirit that he brings to Indy. As strong of a performance as Harrison Ford gives, Karen Allen matches him beat for beat. Indiana Jones as a character would not work without the proper motivation. If his only goal was to recover the Ark he would be no better than Rene Belloq. However, when his focus becomes Marion Ravenwood, Indy transforms into a true hero motivated by love and friendship, rather than greed and glory. I fully believe that the character of Marion is the glue that holds the movie together. Thank goodness that Karen Allen was fantastic as Marion. Her portrayal of Marion is fully realized. The chemistry between Marion and Indy is electric.
Raiders of the Lost Ark is like a great piece of music. It has beats and a tempo and tells a story with valleys and crescendos. Steven Spielberg is the wizard that conducts the masterwork. His direction brings awe to the action and life to the small moments. Yes, it's easy to be lost in the amazing action sequences but the cream rises in the interaction of the characters. It takes a genius to balance a movie like this and there is no denying that Steven Spielberg is a genius.
Speaking of music, the score by John Williams is a marvel of modern orchestra music. With the possible exception of the Superman theme, no other piece of music embodies a character as well as the march to Raiders of the Lost Ark.
There is no movie I love more than Raiders. Whenever I watch it I'm turned back into a boy of eleven and I'm transported back to the summer of 1981. And that is a real and very special kind of magic.

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I haven't seen this since 2006 and remembered it as being... well, just better I guess. I actually found it somewhat boring in parts, which surprised me greatly.

After having watched the two National Treasure movies I wanted to see another treasure hunt movie, and this one was suggested to me. The beginning is alright but then? Gah! So much time is wasted with ridiculous chase scenes, fight scenes and Marion yelling "INDIIIIII". Now I know why I prefer National Treasure - more focus on the intellectual part of the treasure hunt and THAT is what interests me!

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gave

Excellent

Indiana Jones is the best acion-hero! This is the kind of movie you can see again and again (and again) without being tired - stil over 30 years after it aired for the first time, it's still one of the best action movies there is.

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Cast:

Small Indiana Jones
Small Marion Ravenwood
Small Dr. Rene Belloq
No_movie_poster Major Arnold Toht
Small Sallah
Small Dr. Marcus Brody
No_movie_poster Colonel Dietrich
No_movie_poster Gobler
No_movie_poster Barranca / Monkey Man
Small Col. Musgrove
Small Major Eaton
Small Satipo
No_movie_poster Giant Sherpa
Small Simon Katanga

Crew:

Small George Lucas Executive Producer
Small Steven Spielberg Director
Small John Williams Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Michael Kahn Editor
No_movie_poster Jane Feinberg Casting
No_movie_poster Mike Fenton Casting
Small Philip Kaufman Writer
Small Frank Marshall Producer
No_movie_poster Howard G. Kazanjian Executive Producer
No_movie_poster Douglas Slocombe Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Mary Selway Casting
No_movie_poster Norman Reynolds Production Design
Small Ben Burtt Sound Designer
No_movie_poster Richard L. Anderson Supervising Sound Effects Editor
No_movie_poster Lawrence Kasdan Writer
Small George Lucas Story Contributor
Small Philip Kaufman Story Contributor
Small George Lucas Editor

Taglines:

"Indiana Jones - the new hero from the creators of JAWS and STAR WARS."

"The creators of JAWS and STAR WARS now bring you the ultimate hero in the ultimate adventure."

"The return of the great adventure."

"Indiana Jones--the new hero from the creators of JAWS and STAR WARS."

Plot:

In 1936, archaeologist Indiana Jones braves an ancient Peruvian temple filled with booby traps to retrieve a golden idol. Upon fleeing the temple, Indiana is confronted by rival archaeologist René Belloq and the indigenous Hovitos. Surrounded and outnumbered, Indiana is forced to surrender the idol to Belloq and escapes aboard a waiting Waco seaplane, in the process revealing his fear of snakes.


Shortly after returning to the college in the United States where he teaches archaeology, Indiana is interviewed by two Army intelligence agents. They inform him that the Nazis, in their quest for occult power, are searching for his old mentor, Abner Ravenwood, who is the leading expert on the ancient Egyptian city of Tanis and possesses the headpiece of an artifact called the Staff of Ra. Indiana deduces that the Nazis are searching for Tanis because it is believed to be the location of the Ark of the Covenant, the biblical chest built by the Israelites to contain the fragments of the Ten Commandments; the Nazis believe that if they acquire it, their armies will become invincible. The Staff of Ra, meanwhile, is the key to finding the Well of Souls, a secret chamber in which the Ark is buried. The agents subsequently authorize Indiana to recover the Ark before the Nazis. Indiana travels to Nepal, only to find that Ravenwood has died and that the headpiece is in the possession of his daughter, Marion, Indiana's embittered former lover. Indiana offers to buy the headpiece for three thousand dollars, plus two thousand more when they return to the United States. Marion's tavern is suddenly raided by a group of thugs commanded by Nazi agent Toht. The tavern is burned down in the ensuing fight, during which Toht burns his hand on the searing hot headpiece as he tries to grab it. Indiana and Marion escape with the headpiece, with Marion declaring she will accompany Indiana in his search for the Ark so he can repay his debt.


They travel to Cairo where they learn from Indiana's friend Sallah, a skilled excavator, that Belloq and the Nazis, led by Colonel Dietrich, are currently digging for the Well of Souls with a replica of the headpiece modeled after the scar on Toht's hand. In a bazaar, Nazi operatives attempt to kidnap Marion and as Indiana chases after them it appears that she dies in an explosion. While deciphering the markings on the headpiece, Indiana and Sallah realize that the Nazis have miscalculated the location of the Well of Souls. Using this to their advantage, they infiltrate the Nazi dig and use the Staff of Ra to determine the location correctly and uncover the Well of Souls, which is filled with snakes. Indiana fends off the snakes and acquires the Ark, but Belloq, Dietrich and the Nazis arrive to take it. They toss Marion into the well with Indiana and seal them in, but they manage to escape. After a fistfight with a giant Nazi mechanic, blowing up a flying wing on the airstrip, and chasing down a convoy of trucks, Indiana takes back the Ark before it can be shipped to Berlin.


Indiana and Marion leave Cairo to escort the Ark to England on board a tramp steamer. The next morning, their boat is boarded by Belloq, Dietrich and the Nazis, who once again steal the Ark and kidnap Marion. Indiana stows away on their U-boat and follows them to an isolated island in the Aegean Sea where Belloq plans to test the power of the Ark before presenting it to Hitler. Indiana reveals himself and threatens to destroy the Ark with a bazooka, but Belloq calls his bluff, knowing Indy cannot bear to eradicate an important historical artifact.


Indiana surrenders and is tied to a post with Marion as Belloq performs a ceremonial opening of the Ark, which appears to contain nothing but sand. Suddenly, spirits resembling Old Testament Seraphim emerge from the Ark. Aware of the supernatural danger of looking at the opened Ark, Indiana warns Marion to close her eyes. The apparitions suddenly morph into "angels of death", and lightning bolts begin flying out of the Ark, gruesomely killing the Nazi soldiers, while Belloq, Dietrich and Toht meet even more gruesome fates. The fires rise into the sky, then fall back down to Earth and the Ark closes with a crack of thunder.


Back in Washington, D.C., the Army intelligence agents tell a suspicious Indiana and Brody that the Ark "is someplace safe" to be studied by "top men". In reality, the Ark is sealed in a wooden crate labeled "top secret" and stored in a giant government warehouse filled with countless similar crates.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1981-06-12 : United States of America

Theatrical : 1982-07-16 : United States of America

DVD : 2008-05-13