Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

PG   |    |  Action, Adventure


Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Poster

In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.

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8.5/10
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  • Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • Harrison Ford and Paul Freeman at an event for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • George Lucas and Steven Spielberg in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


24 December 2004 | Rich B
10
| Excellent movie and brilliantly crafted entertainment with a superb casting
I remember seeing this movie when I was young, and it may well have been in the cinema with my Father, I can't quite remember (if he does, then please post the answer), anyway I do remember seeing it and being thoroughly entertained and that feeling of excitement and total fun staying with me to this very day as that is the feeling that the movie conjures up whenever I think of it.

I think a part of that is down to the fact it's a complete retake on the old serial movies combined with obvious comic book style, and that is just perfect for kids and appeals to them no end, or rather it did then! So it was with excitement that I opened my presents on my birthday and found the boxset for the Indiana Jones Trilogy, and with even more excitement when I finally watched the first in the trilogy, Raiders of the lost Ark.

It was just as I remembered, fun, excitement, wise cracks, a tiny splattering of romance but with a manliness that kids would allow, and lots of stunts and action. It's a superb movie and captures that style of serials, adventure stories and comic books perfectly, how I know that for sure is only through repeats since I wasn't alive during those times.

The set pieces are fantastic, and although some of the wilder end sequences are slightly dated now, it hasn't lost the excitement factor. It's a perfectly crafted movie as well, moving from location to location without any distraction or superfluous scenes, it just feels like it's all there for a reason and that it belongs there.

Harrison Ford is excellent in the role, and I'm inclined to think he was more Indy than he was Solo, but that's a personal opinion. He has many more facial movements and voice inclinations in this early movie than he does nowadays, now he belongs to the moody, quiet school of acting, then he was dynamic, adventurous, strong and as wisecracking as the best of them.

There are some excellent movie making moments in this with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg showing talent galore just oozing out of every pore (where did all that go for Star Wars I to III Mr Lucas?), and they end up making an excellently entertaining movie.

Some could argue that there could be a bit more depth or seriousness to the story, but come on, it's a ripping adventure yarn, you don't need depth. Saving the Ark from the Nazi's, surely that's enough! An excellent movie and great fun too, without a doubt one of my favourite of all time.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where Marion puts on her dress and attempts to leave Belloq's tent was improvised as was the entire plane fight. The script called for Marion to shed her conservative Egyptian garb and don a revealing dress to heighten the tension when she and Indy are fending off snakes as they're sealed in the Well of Souls, but the script didn't include why she ended up in the dress. In order to get her into the dress, Karen Allen and Paul Freeman improvised the scene where she hides a knife with the older clothes she takes off to try to seduce Belloq and escape, and thus giving her character a plausible reason to be in the dress. Allen thought it would also be a good idea to callback to the drinking game scene that introduces her character in the beginning of the movie.


Quotes

Satipo: The Hovitos are near.
Satipo: The poison is still fresh, three days. They're following us.
Barranca: If they knew we were here, they would have killed us already.


Goofs

Immediately after the truck chase, Indy pulls into a market square and the peasants help him thwart the Nazis. In this scene, the character of Toht, sitting in the passenger seat of a Mercedes, can be seen in the wide shot played by the actor, Ronald Lacey. But in close-up, it appears as if his hat is just propped up on top of his coat as though the actor was not available, and no stand-in could be found; so they just propped his costume up in the seat and hoped nobody would notice.


Crazy Credits

The mountain in the Paramount logo dissolves into the mountain in the Peruvian jungle.


Alternate Versions

The original 1983 pan-and-scan VHS release, instead of letter-boxing the opening credits like later editions have, the titles all together are changed, made obvious by the different type of font and color.


Soundtracks

I am the Monarch of the Sea
(1878) (uncredited)
From "H.M.S. Pinafore"
Music by
Arthur Sullivan
Lyrics by W.S. Gilbert
Sung a cappella by John Rhys-Davies

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Adventure

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