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Raiders of the Lost Ark
Action, Adventure
IMDB rating:
Steven Spielberg
Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones
Karen Allen as Marion
Paul Freeman as Belloq
Ronald Lacey as Toht
Denholm Elliott as Marcus Brody
Alfred Molina as Satipo
Wolf Kahler as Dietrich
Anthony Higgins as Gobler
Vic Tablian as Barranca
Don Fellows as Col. Musgrove
William Hootkins as Major Eaton
Bill Reimbold as Bureaucrat
Storyline: The year is 1936. A professor who studies archeology named Indiana Jones is venturing in the jungles in South America searching for a golden statue. Unfortunately, he sets off a deadly trap doing so, miraculously, he escapes. Then, Jones hears from a museum curator named Marcus Brody about a biblical artifact called The Ark of the Covenant, which can hold the key to humanly existence. Jones has to venture to vast places such as Nepal and Egypt to find this artifact. However, he will have to fight his enemy Renee Belloq and a band of Nazis in order to reach it.
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Indiana Jones Paves The Way For Lara Croft And Countless Others.
Here it is, February of 2005 and I had yet to see Raiders Of The Lost Ark (or the other 2 in the trilogy for that matter). For some reason, it did not appeal to me. I did not get into movies until the early '90s and never got around to seeing it. However, upon urging of my friend I decided to rent it. I have to give credit where credit is due. Indiana Jones paves the way for the Tomb Raiders and other various movies of the same type.

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is a doctor in archeology who teaches at a college and in his spare time, finds rare artifacts and saves the world from Nazis. In this case, he is trying to find the Ark Of The Covenant, which at one time held the original Ten Commandments that Moses chiseled into the stone tablets. The Nazis, along with help from Jones' arch rival Rene Belloq, are trying to find the Ark for their own purposes. Along the way, Indiana meets up with a woman named Marion (Karen Allen), who he jilted in the past, which is not really explained in this movie but they end up helping each other in the search for the Ark.

The special effects and the action in Raiders Of The Lost Ark are exceptional, considering this was made in 1981. It set the bar reasonably high for action/adventure movies, even to this day as many movies are still compared to the Indiana Jones trilogy. It holds up well, considering most of the movies from the early 80's are very dated and hard to watch anymore. 8.5/10
The best 80's film
All movies from Steven Spielberg are my favorites. Gremlins 1&2 are great. The Goonies are amazing. The Jurassic park films I can't get enough from. His war movies are so well made. Back to the future and go one with his movies. But the Indiana movies are for sure my number one movies from Steven Spielberg. The movie is full with good special effect. Good story lines. And the acting is perfect with this cast. Tonight I'm going to watch all 4 off them. A whole weekend long. And enjoy all of them 5 stars my number one is of course Raiders of the lost ark. The special effects in this movie are so well made by Steven Spielberg
Conception of a Series.
Original, exciting, and lots of fun. Spielberg directed it and Kasdan and Lucas wrote it. Without it, we wouldn't have had "Romancing the Stone", "The Jewel of the Nile," "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Empire", and many others too numerous to list. They were all more or less rip offs of this one. Of course the original was highly successful. I dragged my lugubrious ex to the theater and even SHE enjoyed it. For a while there was an attempt to merchandise Indiana Jones' leather jackets, fedoras, and bull whips but they didn't get far.

The fact that this was such a commercial blockbuster raised the inevitable question, which may be roughly phrased as, "What do I do NOW, Ma?" What you do is produce sequels: "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," "Indiana Jones and the Amazon Women of the Moon," and so on. Each imitation, each sequel, was less innovative and more desperate and sloppy, but that's in the nature of decadence.

Harrison Ford, whose career this put the stamp of approval on, is an archaeologist who is recruited to find the Ark of the Covenant hidden somewhere in the Middle East. It's 1936 and the Nazis are after it and who knows what havoc they might wreak with its powers? Jones drags along Karen Allen, a former lover and assistant, to provide a pulchritudinous sidekick with whom he can exchange insults. Anything resembling sex is out of the question, though, just as it would never have been considered in one of the 1930s Saturday afternoon theater serials on which this kind of story is based.

Here's the schematic diagram of the plot: Introduction, suspense, action, suspense, action, suspense . . . n. Then the climax -- a really BIG action scene.

But the thing that made it successful and keeps it so enjoyable after thirty years is that the action wasn't of the usual sort. Oh, sure, Jones and his girl friend are threatened with immanent death lots of times -- involved in comic fist fights, shot at with poisoned arrows. That's de rigeur. But how often does a hero find himself dashing through an underground tunnel downhill pursued by a three-ton rolling marble? Another element that contributed to its appeal was its reconstruction of the period, 1936. The exotic settings of 1936 aren't just rebuilt. They're lovingly reproduced. The ordinary set dressings are there to suggest the exotic -- always look for beaded curtains -- but the men don't waltz around in immaculate double-breasted white suits and pith helmets. The settings are overblown, to be sure. I strongly doubt that in all of Nepal there was a saloon with the size and atmosphere of Karen Allen's. I'm not at all sure there were ANY saloons in Nepal in 1936. But they're meant to suggest authenticity, not embody it, and they succeed in an creative way.

Finally, the characters are kind of enjoyable in themselves, from the often frightened and only barely willing Indiana Jones himself, through the cartoon Nazis with the monocles and Swastika armbands. Oh, boy, watch the ark of the covenant MELT them down to nothing while they are frozen in place and screaming! The force unleashed.
One of the best films ever made
I've known this film for about as long as I can remember, and the entire Indiana Jones trilogy for that matter. When I was a kid, all three of the movies were the same to me, but as I got older I realized that while the sequels do have their good moments (Not including Crystal Skull, yikes) there's really only one of the films that I personally believe still holds up to this day and is the best out of the trilogy. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is exciting, inventive, humorous and classic. Harrison Ford offers a ruggedness and an undeniable charm to the character of Indiana. He's much more three dimensional than my 7 year old self remembers. He's not a perfect hero, he gets hurt, he stumbles and he makes mistakes, which in my opinion, makes the character even more appealing. Karen Allen plays Marion, who I think is the strongest female lead of the trilogy, and Karen was by far the best actress in the series. Not quite damsel in distress material as she proves throughout the film that she can hold her own, and she refuses to be bossed around. Part of what makes this film so fantastic is the details. Spielberg has a great attention to them and despite the film's enormous stature, I found it's the smaller things that make it the success that it is. Every shot is positioned beautifully, particularly in the opening temple sequence. That's not to say that the film's riveting chase sequences and heart-pumping action aren't notable as well. All the elements fall into place beautifully like a perfect jigsaw puzzle. There's little left to be desired and hardly a thing to complain about. If you have not seen this film already, please watch it! I guarantee you won't be disappointed. I'd say that spending a weekend marathoning through the trilogy would definitely be worth your time!
most gruesome
When I was young, almost all of the films that I had seen, I saw with my Dad. He would take me and my mother would stay at home with my siblings. We saw a number of films that failed to generate a reaction with him as they did with me, but this one was different. This one, my Dad might've enjoyed just as much.

Who can forget the scene where Indy faces bandits in the marketplace, fighting swords with his wits and fists, only to be finally challenged by a dark robed adversary brandishing a heavy, dismembering type of sabre as he swings the impressive blade about his head menacingly?

Indiana looks his opponent up and down briefly and draws his pistol casually and shoots the villain dead as if his patience had been tested a moment longer than he could tolerate.

My father, and the entire audience for that matter, laughed and cheered at this incredible scene. And it was the first time I'd actually been aware of his enjoyment of the film. Usually I'm so transfixed that I wouldn't notice if my legs were on fire. He enjoyed it so much, that he still tends to bring up that scene, even today.

My father and I shared a great moment in movie history, and I will never forget it for as long as I live. I will always be grateful for the time we spent together and the films that I otherwise would have been unable to see without him taking me.

Just a side note about the scene I've described above. It wasn't meant to go that way at all. As Steven Spielberg explained in a television interview, the scene was meant to have an elaborate fight sequence, but Harrison Ford was suffering from diarrhea and couldn't go through with the elaborate set-up required. Someone said, "the only way we can finish this scene today is if he shoots him". Steven said, "Wait a minute, we might have something there."
Funny, stylish, action adventure.
In 1936, archaeologist Indiana Jones braves an ancient booby-trapped temple in Peru and retrieves a golden idol. He is confronted by rival archaeologist René Belloq and the indigenous Hovito people. Surrounded and outnumbered, Indy surrenders the idol to Belloq and escapes aboard a waiting floatplane.

Jones returns to his teaching position at Marshall College, where he is interviewed by two Army Intelligence agents. They inform him that the Nazis, who are obsessed with the occult, are searching for his old mentor, Abner Ravenwood, under whom Jones studied at the University of Chicago. The Nazis know that Ravenwood is the leading expert on the ancient Egyptian city of Tanis in the Kingdom of Egypt, and that he possesses the headpiece of the Staff of Ra. Jones deduces that the Nazis are searching for the location of the Ark of the Covenant; the Nazis believe that if they acquire the Ark their armies will become invincible. The Staff of Ra is the key to finding the Well of Souls, a secret chamber in which the Ark is buried.
The gold standard
It's hard to believe Raiders was released nearly four decades ago, and it certainly doesn't age. It's one of Spielberg's best (in my humble opinion I think Duel was excellent and 1941 was grossly underrated). Anyway, buckle yourself in when you watch Raiders and be prepared to be enthralled big time. John Williams' score does the movie proud.

What's fascinating is Raiders deals with themes of God and the ten commandments vs. the Nazis. Interestingly, I don't think any Germans played the Nazis, a similar pattern to Hogan's Heroes and Valkyrie, where Americans played the Nazis, and in Allo' Allo' where British actors played the Nazis.

Raiders is quite riveting and suspenseful at the end.
Finally A Hero Without Super-Powers
*Favourite "Indiana Jones" quote* - "I hate snakes!"

For having just a PG-13 rating - I was completely taken by surprise by all of the violence, gore and bloodshed that prevailed in this top-notch Action/Adventure film from 1981.

Featuring a first-rate, adrenaline-rush, opening sequence - "Raiders of the Lost Ark" certainly delivered plenty of awesome, over-the-top stunts, as well as some good touches of cynical humour (thrown in for good measure) that kept all of the action moving along at near break-neck speed, throughout.

My 2 favourite characters in this fast-paced action picture were - (1) Dr. Rene Belloq, the utterly ruthless villain, and Nazi-collaborator, played so wickedly nasty by actor Paul Freeman - And, of course - (2) Indiana Jones, our archaeologist-hero (sans super-powers), played very tongue-in-cheek by Harrison Ford.

My biggest complaint here has to do with the unwelcome introduction of the Marion Ravenwood character into the story. To me, her presence in the action only served to interfere and undermine Indiana Jones's heroic quest to uncover the legendary "Ark of the Covenant" before the evil Nazis did.
The beginning of a special relationship between Lucas and Spielberg...
When George Lucas, the director of Star Wars and American graffiti, teamed up with Steven Spielberg, who created Jaws and Close Encounters, to make the most popular movie of the first year of the Reagan era, the result is classic. Sure, younger people might be bored by the slow moving pace, but be fascinated by the special effects and action scenes which were ahead of its time when it first came out 36 years ago. The success of this film spawned a prequel, Temple of Doom, and two sequels, The Last Crusade and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. A fifth one is in development and will come out by the end of the decade.
A Timeless Classic and A Personal Favorite
This has been my favorite movie of all time since I saw it as a young kid. It has something in it for everyone (action, romance, violence, wit, history, etc.). This is what cinema should always be: great performances, great story, great setting, and, most importantly, great fun to watch! I enjoy every second and every frame of this movie. All of the original Indiana Jones trilogy is classic for that matter. Harrison Ford went at the role with such character and charisma that he turned Indiana Jones into an absolutely iconic role that I have dreamed of playing for many years. An all time classic and still one of the most impressive movies ever made.
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