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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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Classic action movie, and one of the best of all time
This movie, it's got well timed humor, engaging action scenes, likable main characters, thorough character development, and a plot that's actually interesting. This excellent film will forever be in my heart. It's got everything every action movie should have that many of this particular genre in today's time are missing, character development, relationships (whether friendship,family, or romance), witty jokes that are pulled out at the time, suspense, human weaknesses, and guts. Hollywood needs to learn from the classics (and I don't mean we should re make the stinking film, which has become a trend in the industry lately, i suppose for some fast bucks)
Lessons of the past perfected
What a thrill ride this movie still is today! Like the old cliffhanger movies of the old serials of the 40's and 50's this borrows heavily on that heritage. First there's the lead character played perfectly by Harrison Ford (Tom Selleck was supposed to be Indy, but was under contract with CBS for Magnum. I believe it would not have been as good, but that is speculation at this point) who plays the character with a bit of tongue in cheek and zeal like only Ford could in his prime. From the start of the movie it starts a non-stop roll of events that gives you just enough time to breath and soak in the last scene of action. It uses the old map trick to convey travel and sends us on a world wind adventure. Indy has a quote in the movie-"It's not the years, it's the mileage." This film suffers neither age or mileage. It truly could be re-released today, and would be a hit. If you haven't viewed it, you should. You will not be disappointed.
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.
Ford stars as Indiana Jones, an archaeologist adventurer, who spends his time traveling all over the world through jungles, deserts, oceans, and caverns in search for hidden treasures—like the priceless long-lost Ark of the Covenant (the Hebrew sacred artifact that held the supposed Ten Commandments). Unfortunately, a group of treasure-hungry Nazis wants it too, having heard that any army who wins it would receive supernatural powers…

With his trademark hat, whip, leather jacket, and pistol for backup, our stubborn, intelligent, determined and loyal hero escapes innumerable dangers, evades multiple obstacles including fearsome thugs in a busy Cairo bazaar, and hangs underneath a fast-moving truck in an exciting chase through a road… These are only some of the film's incredible set pieces… Steven Spielberg likable hero is not invincible, though, facing impossible odds, capable of getting beaten, struck violently, heart broken, and falling asleep after the first kiss…

The villains—especially Indy's suave and cultured French rival wearing a Panama hat and white suits, Rene Belloq (Paul Freeman)—are not really that much different from him, except in their motivation… The shrill heroine, Marion (Karen Allen)—is not the girl always in discomfort either, but a resourceful, dynamic and formidable woman who doesn't require the hero at all…

"Raiders of the Lost Arc" is a perfect package of unforgettable scenes, countless action, humor, astonishing technical effects, thrilling sequences, and terrific performances… It was followed by three fun sequels…
A boy's childhood summarized.
This movie made a little boy's childhood awesome. I think I was 6-7 years old when I saw it the first time. All these easy-going adventure scenes made a very huge impact for the rest of my childhood. The archaeologist that put on his hat and whip and travel around the world to solve mysteries and fight Nazis and some how survives it all. It is so classic! Iconic movie. Just see it. The End. 10/10
35 Years Later: It's Not The Years, Honey; It's The Mileage
Where to begin? Writing this review, it has now been thirty-five years since this crazy Steven Spielberg/George Lucas homage to B-movie adventure serials of the 1930s was unleashed on an unsuspecting world in the late spring/early summer of 1981; and even with the three sequels that it has spawned (thus far) and the myriad imitations it has spawned, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK still has to rank as one of the high points of the action film genre's entire history. There's no question that there are elements of the film that are very dated nowadays, not to mention ethnic stereotypes that wee wrong then and are even more wrong today. But for sheer artistic and cinematic verve, this still ranks as a Hollywood popcorn extravaganza par excellence.

There's no need any longer to go into plot, as we all know it involves Harrison Ford as the intrepid archaeologist Indiana Jones battling the Nazis in a race to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant and the unspeakable power locked inside it. But it is instructive to remember how big a deal this film was to all involved. Lucas had already struck a colossal gold mine with the first two STAR WARS films that had Ford as Han Solo; and Spielberg could boast having made two huge hits of his own in JAWS and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. Spielberg, however, had also gone well over schedule and budget on both of those two; and he did it again on his 1979 World War II comedy "1941", so much so that that film's poor critical and commercial finish almost finished him as a director. It was important for him that he deliver a film that could stick to both schedule and budget, yet still be good enough to be a hit. Fortunately, Lucas gave him that chance here; and with careful execution, all of the intended goals were achieved, and then some.

The two big action sequences, Ford's outrunning a rolling boulder in the famous opening prologue, and the truck chase across the Sinai Desert (eight minutes of hair-raising tension created in no small part by Ford doing his own stunt work) still must rank as some of the best of their kind ever pulled off. It also helps that Ford shows the kind of honest human vulnerability you don't find in most other action heroes (Stallone; Schwarzenneger, etc.); as he tells his girlfriend (Karen Allen): "It's not the years, honey; it's the mileage", which is more than a little true. There are moments where the violence, tame though it is by 21st century standards, did make some audiences back in 1981 a little squeamish (the face-melting that takes place in the opening of the Ark at the film's climax is still a tad bit sick); one must remember that this was rated 'PG', and the controversy surrounding the violence here and in its immediate sequel INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM led to the creation of the 'PG-13' rating. But there is also a certain amount of comedy relief as well, involving Ford's squeamish behavior around all forms of snakes, and the famous split-second shooting of an Arab swordsman, improvised downward from a big sword fight because Ford had eaten some bad local food on the day the scene was shot. The Nazi villains are, of course, cardboard villains (since the film was set in 1936, before anyone knew what Hitler and his minions were really up to, it was easier to do it that way); but Ford's nemesis Belloq (Paul Freeman) and the devious Toht (Ronald Lacey) are a couple of really nefarious heavies that give Ford's Indiana Jones something to chew on. And it wouldn't be right not to acknowledge Allen's slightly sardonic contribution to the film as well, especially when she knocks one knife-wielding goon cold with a skillet in the basket chase scene, an hysterically funny moment.

And finally, no review of this film would be complete without giving a nod to John Williams, whose score here, like many of his other contributions to the art of film scoring, gives the film its voice, from the famous Raiders March to the brass-choired Nazi theme during the truck chase. The end result is a masterpiece of the entire action genre that holds up even to this day, both real in other ways and fanciful in others, but with a balance that most of today's $200 million-plus sound-and-fury "blockbusters" may never be able to match.
Adventure, Action
Harrison Ford, "Indiana Jones" and his friends are searching for treasure, that can save the world from evil. If evil people find this treasure, the world will become ruled by evil and darkness. Indiana Jones realize that his friends are not quite good fellows as he thought. This movie contains lot of action and humor and bit of romantic scenes. Indiana Jones cant trust nobody, only His hat, whip and his revolver. This movie contains also few some scary scenes, dinner sacrificing etc. This movie suites for all movie categories, cause it's so allround. This movie also was a box office at the cinemas world wide.
Happy 35th Anniversary To One Of The Greatest Adventure Films Of All Time!
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" is my second favorite movie next to "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope," and it is also, in my opinion, my absolute favorite movie by Steven Spielberg. Spielberg teams up with George Lucas after his success with "Star Wars" as both of the greatest filmmakers had set out to pay homage to the old serials of the 1930s. The movie is about an archaeologist and professor name, Indiana Jones as he goes on an adventure to search for the Ark of the Covenant with the help of the love of his life Marion Ravenwood. However, Indy's rival Rene Belloq has been working with the Nazis as they both go after the Ark, and it is up to Indy to retrieve the Ark before its too late. It has been 35 years, since this movie came out back in 1981 and it still is my favorite of the series. The series itself may have pay respect to the "James Bond" movies, but they also pay tributes to the old serials of the 1930s until the fourth one pays tribute of the 1950s sci-fi B movies. With that said, whenever I watch this movie, it never feels dated nor is it cheesy. Like the "Star Wars" series, you will always feel the experience as you go on for the ride as the "Indiana Jones" series explore exotic locations and search for artifacts. By getting to the point, Harrison Ford is definitely Indiana Jones as he is as Han Solo. He does a brilliant job with the role as his character is someone that you don't want to mess with because he is rough, cool and is always amazed when he is discovering artifacts. Of course, he is always into as I quote from the second movie "Fortune and Glory." Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood is my favorite of all the girls that Indy has met in his life. Not only is she beautiful, but she can be also feisty too. Sometimes she be a damsel in distress, but she never whines and complain like Willie Scott did in the second movie. Her character is pretty complex as you learn about her as she and Indy did had some history together as she had romantic affair with him. Paul Freeman as Belloq is a really good villain, and quite a rivalry to Indy as they are always after the same artifact as they're trying to retrieve. The rest of the cast all did well. Steven Spielberg does an amazing job on directing the movie with George Lucas coming up with this brilliant concept that he had created. Lawrence Kasdan has wrote a brilliant script, and the story itself always kept me investing as well as the characters. The special effects by Industrial Light & Magic are absolutely fantastic for its used of practical effects, matte paintings and miniature work. John Williams' music is completely unforgettable, and there is no denying that the theme he created would be as iconic as the "Star Wars" theme. The action scenes are very well done as well as the physical work that were put on camera. The cinematography by Douglas Slocombe is also wonderful as I do get a sense of the 1930s, which it does put me in the right atmosphere. The humor is done well, for example, Indy has an Arab Swordsman in his way as you think there is going to be fight between them, instead Indy just shoots him because he has no time for that. The movie is also very well putted together, and it does go by at a very good pace. I never see any flaws with this movie, because this movie is definitely flawless, and it will always be either one of the greatest or the greatest adventure films of all time. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is a classic adventure film, and I am giving it a 10 out of 10.
The first installment of the iconic explorer
This was a very masterful, imaginative movie that will bring out the childlike hearts out of adults. The main protagonist Indiana Jones is played by Harrison Ford, I will just say that Ford is Indiana Jones. They first tried to cast Tom Selleck for this role but I am very glad that Harrison Ford played Indy instead. This is a film that inspired many filmmakers and video game creators by trying to recreate adventurous protagonists that goes on explorations. This film doesn't just have a iconic protagonist but many iconic scenes that is actually very memorable. Many kids tried to copy Indy and wanted to be Indy, because he is such a cool, charismatic, heroic and adventurous badass who is irresistible to women. He is more of a likable hero than James Bond and isn't a misogynist. Instead Indy is a true archaeologist at heart that loves history and does his best to preserve priceless artifacts for the future instead of personal gain. In another words, he is a role model that kids could look up to. So I couldn't help but root for the guy through his ordeals. The cinematography and set pieces is immersive and really does have the energy and pacing that will absorb audiences into the whole experience. It was even nominated for academy awards and actually won few of them. I will say again the set pieces really does elevate the action sequences. And the action is a blast to sit through and even adds the right amount of humor during certain parts. Films like this shows that the story doesn't have to be overly complex and has a lot of depth to it to make it classic. This is a solid entertainment blockbuster that excels in almost every area.

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.
See Also
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