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Raiders Of The Lost Ark was Steven Spielberg's homage to every Saturday matinee serial you have ever seen. It has all of the action, adventure, and evil Nazis that you want, and features an all time classic hero. Harrison Ford stars as intrepid archaeologist Indiana Jones who must race against the Nazis for the lost Ark of the Covenant. Mythology has it that anyone finding the ark could harness the power of God, and Indy is taking no chances on finding out.
That one simple sentence is all that is needed to summarize the plot of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, and that simple story has been the cause of much contention among a few of the more particular critics. It's been claimed that the film doesn't develop any themes and that its too biased to give its villains any degree of depth. That of course is the point! Spielberg would later prove with Schindler's List that he was capable of tackling the subject of Nazis in a mature way, but with Raiders Of The Lost Ark he has approached the material with the mind of a fun loving adolescent Jew who just wanted to stick it to the Nazis.
The way he despatches the various villains leaves you in no doubt as to Spielberg's intentions. At one point a giant Nazi technician gets himself dragged through the propeller of his plane, and certain others meet even more unpleasant ends. Spielberg films these scenes in such an over the top way that you can practically hear him laughing with sadistic glee as you watch it. To this day I remain surprised that the film managed to get away with a PG rating! Still you can almost sense just how much fun Spielberg had making the film, and that fun quickly becomes infectious. You, as the audience member, quickly find yourself cheering out loud as your hero despatches wave after wave of Nazi scum. All to the sound of one of the most iconic theme tunes in history.
That theme tune is a large part of why the film has succeeded for so much longer than most similar action adventures. John William's entire score is perfect throughout. He basically performs the entire film as one long song; gradually building the suspense until he lets rip with a blisteringly fast chorus, and then repeats throughout. Williams has proven time and again his skill for producing this kind of grand accompaniment to a spectacular action flick. However the theme tune he came up with for Indiana Jones will always rank as the most thunderous, memorable, and exhilarating score in an already amazing career.
Of course no score on Earth could save a film like this if the main ingredients were missing. Every single matinee ever produced required two things to succeed. A strong lead character that is portrayed by a charismatic star. In this regard Indiana Jones gives its master stroke. Indy himself is the ultimate hero; not because he's a bullet proof super hero, but because he's just a regular guy who gets into these extraordinary situations. When attacked by a guy three times his size he gets his head kicked in and walks away from it severely bruised, yet he never gives up. Indy is so cool because he is vulnerable, and he has fears, yet he never shies away from these dangerous situations. Fortunately Harrison Ford embodies everything we've come to love Indy for. The unstoppable courage and the roughish charm are very much aspects that Ford manages to bring to the role, and honestly I am so glad that Magnum PI prevented Tom Selleck from accepting. It just would not have been the same without Ford!
The great thing about this film though is the fact that Ford was not alone. Karen Allen (Scrooged) was wonderful as Indy's romantic interest Marion Ravenwood, a woman who managed to be strong and independent in a time before Lara Croft had established that strong independent women required large breasts and tight tops. John Rhys-Davies (Lord Of The Rings) plays Indy's friend and associate Sallah and gives life to a genuinely funny role. Best of all though is Ronald Lacey (Red Sonja) who nails the camp, twisted evil of Toht, Indy's nemesis throughout this adventure.
Does this make it a perfect film? Well I feel bad mentioning this in a film like Raiders but there are some pretty huge plot holes. At one point we are supposed to believe that Indy clung to the outside of a submarine making its way back to base. It was impossible for him to sneak inside, and so we have to accept that the Sub never once submerged as it traversed enemy waters. The official explanation recently released is that Indy tied his whip around the periscope and was dragged along by the submerged sub, but I just don't buy that. There are quite a few moments like that, but at the end of the day the film moves at such a thunderous pace that when you reach these plot holes they barely even register. So who really cares?
I first saw this film when I was 4, and it has never ceased to entertain me in all the years since! From the first scene to the last, Raiders of the Lost Ark is perfect action adventure film. I could finish there, but I won't.
Raiders of the lost Ark represented the first collaboration of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, both of whom were looking for new ideas at the time. Lucas wanted to get away from Star Wars, and Spielberg's previous film had proved a bit of a flop. Lucas originally came up with the idea for 'Indiana Smith', but chaged the name deciding it was too boring. He gave the job of directing to Spielberg. The starring role went to Harrison Ford, who was also looking to ensure he could get away from Star Wars.
The film just has everything in it. Action, adventure, comedy, romance, betrayel, the supernatural, Nazis. Everything. Upon reading the script, even Paramount's studio executive said the script was the best he'd ever read.
Set in the late 30's, Dr Henry Jones is an archaeology who teaches at a university. His alter ego, if yoou like, is Indiana Jones, who is an adventurer who spends his time trying to find artifacts around the world.
The first scene makes this film, and everything else after adds to it. We are introduced to Indiana Jones in South America as he tries to find a Peruvian artifact in a cave with numerous traps around it. The Stone ball was my favourite moment, and even now I'm convinced that this opening scene is one the best action moments in film. We are also introduced to villain Belloch, (Paul Freeman, on inspired form) who is also an archaeologist but works for the Nazis and for his own agenda.
We then cut to his university, where we see him as he normally is. Two government officials meet him and tell him about the Nazis who are looking for something in the desert. It turns out to be the Ark. Indiana Jones then sets off, picking up a romance interest in Marian (Karen Allen),the daughter of a man he wronged. He moves through to the middle east and tries to find the Ark before the Nazis, Belloch on his heels.
This film doesn't slow the pace for a moment. It just flies at pace. Not for one moment will you be bored. It just moves, and for this reason it's the best action adventure of all time. The writing is superb, with some sparkling dialogue between all the characters. Spielberg's directing is on top form, the soundtrack is fabulous and Harrison Ford is on brilliant form as Jones.
An inspired film from start to finish.
FILM ONLY REVIEW
It is 1936 and archaeologist Indiana Jones is searching for gold in South America when he is chased and has it stolen by Rene Belloq, fortunately Indiana does manage to escape and make it back to America. When he is back at work he is called upon by the government and told about the Nazi who are taking root in Cairo searching for the Ark of the Covenant as they believe it carries a massive power. Indiana is given the job of trying to find it before the Nazi's do so they will not have the power which it holds.
Indiana sets off on his mission but first he makes a stop in Nepal where he meets up with an old friend who's father spent years working on finding the Ark but unfortunately for him the Nazi's are on his tale and he is not a very welcome visitor for Marion as they were once a couple.
Indiana now has to face the wrath of the Nazi's and try to outrun them to find the Ark first. Will he be able to find it and is it really as powerful as legend tells us?
This film for me brought back a few good memories as I remembered first watching it when I was quite young and to re-watch it several years later really was a treat for me. I did enjoy the story and found it very interesting but for me it now does look very dated. I did find that it was quite religious at times with all the talk of the Ark and what it represents but this is not overpowering to the storyline and will in no way offend other religions or beliefs.
Harrison Ford took the role of Indiana and he did a great job, he looked the part and was very believable as the adventurer, he came across very well and I was easily able to warm to him. He worked very well with Karen Allen who played the role of Marian and I loved the chemistry which was between them. Karen was also very good in her role and she too was a very believable character.
There were a lot of supporting actors in this film including Paul Freeman, John Rhys Davies and Denholm Elliot. They all gave great performance and were all very different, I think this is what made the film so much more interesting with the diversity of the characters. There were a lot of actors and characters in this film but only about 6 of them were main ones and featured a lot and they were all easy to follow and understand.
For me I think this film works better as it does have a few good funny moments. It is not a comedy so don't expect big laughs but the way some of the fighting and actions scenes are done and the little one liners which Indiana comes out with do make the scenes funny. Hubby did have a good few chuckles watching this, a lot more than I did as he has a bad sense of humour! The way the humour is added to the film does make it more light-hearted and appropriate for the younger market which it is aimed at and I think that without these then children may start to loose interest in the film.
One thing which I did notice when watching this film now was how bad the special effects look, way back when I first saw this film I thought it looked amazing but now it looks very dated and the back drops are bad and some of the props really do stand out a mile as being fake. I think that as the film was made back in 1981 then this can be forgiven I don't think the film would be able to hold its own in today's market. The driving scenes really were the worst for me and I could clearly see the backdrop has been added at a later date and that Indiana was not driving the vehicles as he never kept his eyes on the road ahead long enough to be driving!
The music throughout the film really was excellent, it was composed by John Williams who is also know for his music scores to Star Wars, Superman and Jaws. It was all excellent and very orchestral, it helped to add to the dram and tension of the storyline. The famous Indiana theme can be heard several times throughout the film it is just a shame they did not have a proper opening credit to the film and played this music as it would have been a great start.
As this is a film only review there are no bonus feature to mention. The run time of the film is 115 minutes which for me was just a good length and the certificate is a PG and I do definitely agree with this. The DVD is available for just a few pounds now on sites such as Amazon and EBay.
I do recommend this film as it starts the Indiana series off very well. It has lots of action and some good laughs but don't expect amazing special effects.
Raiders of the Last Ark is one of the best action adventure films ever made, and is a timeless classic. It is a film that will entertain audiences both young and old, delivering exhilarating action and a steely, hilarious lead performance from the legendary Harrison Ford.
While the film is refreshingly unpretentious, it is also a mild satire and reconfiguration of the fairly hokey adventure stories from the decades previous. It combines this with a pulpy sense of gallows humour that really connected with audience, while not being dark enough to cloud the picture. Through and through, this is a gleeful rollercoaster of a film, depicting our protagonist, Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones as he attempts to recover the Ark of the Covenant.
The action is really what makes this, and it just rolls from one insane scene to another. Despite the effects not looking so great now, it's all about the charm and style, and this allows you to forgive it somewhat, for at the time it surely looked great. Nothing - even the expository scenes - go on too long, and through and through it is incredibly efficient at moving itself along.
Ford really steals the show, though; he is totally sympathetic and likeable character, who has persuasive charisma to spare, while also being quite cantankerous at times. It all adds up to make him one of the most revered and beloved of all of film's heroes. This harkens back to a time when director Steven Spielberg and writer George Lucas were incredibly hungry guys, and it really shows; there's so much originality and passion in every frame, which arguably they don't demonstrate as much these days. It's probably the best of the series too (although I do love Temple, unlike most).
Having seen all the Indiana Jones movies I struggle to pick my best one as they are all pretty good in their own way. This was the first in the series of films released in 1981. It is a fantastic adventure movie starring Harrison Ford in the main role and directed by Steven Speilberg. With a combination like that it's hard to go too far wrong.
Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones and for me this is the role he's played in his career that has suited him the best and is probably his more famous. He is a professor of archaeology who is very passionate about his field of expertise. By day he teaches at the university wearing his tweed suit and looking every inch a typical professor. However, the rest of his time is spent searching the world for rare treasures and artifacts like the Lost Ark of the Covenant in this film, which is the gold chest that Moses supposedly stored the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments written on them. Unfortunately for him the Nazis are after the same thing as they have heard that an army that carries the ark before it is indestructible.
So, armed with his now legendary fedora hat and bullwhip, Indiana sets out on a classic adventure through caverns and snake pits, all while dodging criminals along the way. There are so many impressive scenes in this movie that you lose count.
I enjoyed this first movie in the Indiana Jones series for a number of reasons. Firstly Harrison Ford's superb performance brings the whole story to life and Spielberg's knack of piling on the action and excitement kept me on the edge of my seat. Indiana Jones has always struck me as a complicated hero who walks a tightrope and thin line between being a thief of priceless artifacts and protector of them. The villiians aren't too different from the hero, except they are driven by greed as opposed to historical preservation.
This movie comprises, for me, the perfect package of adventure, humour and great special effects, and means you can escape into this world for the whole film and become submerged in this great adventure.
The fact that the Indiana Jones series of fims has been running for pretty much 28 years now is an impressive statistic and even if the plot of the last film creaked a bit like Harrison Fords aging limbs there is no denying that the first film in the series was a classic.
Indiana Jones specialises in recovering lost religious relics other archeological finds and the industry he is in is a far from scrupulous one as many of these finds have huge monetary as well as scientific value. The film is set between the wars and pitches Indiana against the growing Nazi war machine. He is hired to find the Ark of the Covenant in which it is believed is contained the ten commandments however it is also believed that great power is also contained within the Ark.
Starring alongside Ford is Karen Allen as his former girlfriend Marion, she has a bar all the way in Nepal and she als holds one of the keys to the location of the Ark so first he must travel to patch things up with her, not an easy thing to do given their volatile relationship and all the time the Germans are on their trail as well.
This is an action packed film with some excellent fight scenes and a nice touch of humour sprinkled throughout the film. A young Ford is far more convincing in the swashbuckling hero whose weapon of choice is a bull whip wen compared to the ageing version you now get and he is excellent in the role.
Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones
Karen Allen as Marion
Paul Freeman as Belloq
John Rhys-Davies as Sallah
Denholm Elliot as Brody
Alfred Molina as Satipo
This film is pureadventure and great fun to watch and I never get tired of it, in fact I find myself smiling whenever I hear its signature opening music as it is now so inter woven into the whole series of films.
Classic action and adventure with the odd scene that youngsters might find a bit upsetting.
The film from the creators of star wars and jaws, directed by Steven speilberg.
Released in 1981 by lucas films, the film runs for approximately 115 mins. The film won 4 oscars.
The overall description of the film is as follows ; archeoligist and adventurer Indiana Jones is ordered by the US Goverment to search and retreive the ARK OF THE COVENENT before the Nazis get their hands on it.
The story starts in south america where Indiana is searching for the fertility statue which he manages to find but it is stolen from him by his arch rival Beloq (paul freeman)
He is then sent on a mission by the American government to find the Ark picking up Marion en route in Nepal.
The Ark has great powers and whoever holds the Ark in front of their army will rule the world so it is very important the nazis do not hold it.
The film stars : Harrison ford (Indiana jones) , Karen Allen (Marion) also appears in the film STAR MAN and Denholm Eliot as Indiannas sidekick Marcus Brodie.
This is a great action adventure film that is very unbelievable in parts but is a classic big boys dream.
I remember this being shown every Christmas where it did get to the point that you knew the plot inside out.
Well worth a watch if you havnt seen it for a while a great bit of escapisum.
Raiders of the Lost Ark was the first of the Indiana Jones film. It was set in the thirties and features Harrison Ford as an adventurer/archaeologist who is hired to find the Ark of the Covenant which is thought to contain the 10 commandments. He sets off on a big adventure which starts off in Nepal where he goes to find his ex girlfriend called Marion and then they go to Cairo to continue their search for the Ark. The story is full of excitement, adventure, traps, and lots of fights between Indi and the Nazis who are also looking for the Ark.
I really enjoyed this film when it came out and saw it loads of times on tv before someone bought me the box set with the first three films in it. It is a family film and once you start to watch it the story just carries you along and you end up watching it again. I like the costumes in the film and the settings, they are both really well done. The script is funny and you cant help but like Indi even if you are not a big Harrison Ford fan like I am.
The main cast is as said Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones
Karen Allen as Marion
Paul Freeman as Belloq
John Rhys-Davies as Sallah
Denholm Elliot as Brody
Alfred Molina as Satipo
The film came out in 1981 and was directed by Steven Speilberg. It has a PG rating in the UK.
***Raiders of the Lost Ark***
I can't believe that I have not written a review for this film yet, being as it is my number one film of all time. I first saw this film on Christmas day 1985 and something in it touched me and it has been my favourite film for many different reasons since then.
***What's it all about?***
The film was made in 1981 and centres upon the character of Indiana Jones who is an archaeologist and part time lecturer. The story is written by George Lucas and directed by Stephen Spielberg. The main lead of Indiana Jones is played by Harrison Ford. Indiana Jones who obtains rare antiquities in his spare time, for the museum where he works, is approached by the American government to find The Ark of the Covenant before the Nazi's find it. It is believed to hold The Ten Commandments and thought to perhaps have some special powers that might help to win the war.
Of course the recovery of the Ark is not straightforward and involves one of Indiana Jones arch enemies Rene Belloq and his old girlfriend Marion.
The film contains stunts galore, humour, a great soundtrack and some memorable one liners. Since then there have been three other sequels, but for me this remains the best film, most true to the original idea.
It is interesting to note that Harrison Ford was nowhere near the top of the list to play the lead and it could have easily been played by Tom Selleck, Nick Nolte or Jack Nicholson. I am glad fate turned out the way it did, because Harrison Ford will always be the perfect Indiana Jones to me...
***Why I Like It***
The main reason that I like this film, is that it is a true family film; one where the whole family can sit down to watch it together. It is also a timeless film, as my children have now watched it and don't consider it dated, they enjoyed it as much as I did the first time I saw the film.
The soundtrack is first class, and has a jingle which anyone who has watched the film can recall and hum along to. The orchestra is also perfect at creating suspense and tension at the right times.
Many of the stunts are quite old fashioned and are reminiscent of some of the stunts that might have been seen in old western films, with a car dragging someone along instead of a horse. Many of the stunts were also carried out at the time by Harrison Ford, which I think adds to the intensity. Also enjoyable was the lack of fancy stunts at the time; most people who have seen the film will be able to recall the would-be-sword fight in the busy market and it's surprising outcome!
The real star of this film though, is the script. It is so well thought out and contains many witty lines that stay with you. It also helps that the actors themselves deliver them so well. It doesn't have tons of foul language or nudity and shows that a film can still be successful without those elements.
Also worth a mention is the snakes, spiders and creepy crawlies that will make you cringe.
The actors and actresses all play their parts well and there is an appearance by Denholm Elliott, a respected actor who won many academy awards.
This film doesn't pretend to be intellectual, or deep; it is just a good old fashioned adventure movie, that will take you away from any problems you have, for a couple of hours at least...
The film won four Oscars for:
# Best Art Direction
# Best special effects
# Best sound
# Best film editing
It is available from Amazon for £6.78 and is definitely a keeper; a film that will be watched over and over. The film lasts 115 minutes and is rated PG. Even if you have seen it before, it is well worth looking up and sitting down to watch all over again. If ever there was a film that I felt I was being a bit nerdy about - then this would be it!
I have seen this movie so many times. As a kid, Christmas wasn't Christmas without Indy being on the TV. I burned out my VHS copy after too many viewings. And yet, still, every time I watch it, I appreciate something new, and still feel that same pang of joy I did the very first time I watched it.
The story is basically about an archaeologist named Indiana Jones, and his quest to find the Ark of the Covenant, and prevent the Nazis from using for their own nefarious purposes.
Indiana is played by Harrison Ford, playing a similar role to his Star Wars Han Solo role. Tom Selleck was apparently ready to play the role, but instead it went to Ford, and now you could never see anyone else wearing his trademark fedora!
This is the Indy movie that you will remember all your classic Indy moments from. The giant boulder chasing our hero... the golden idol on the plinth.... Marion as the heor's girl.... digging in the desert... snakes!... Nazi's faces melting off!!
As with all Lucas movies, the disc has plenty of extras, but not all of them, as these are to be found on a separate extras disc.
The best of the Indiana Jones movies, and a classic for all ages.
In 1935 archaeologist and teacher Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is in the Perivian jungle when he is captured by locals who want what he's got. Indy's just retrieved an ancient artefact known as a Golden Idol. While back in America continuing with his teaching Indy is approached by two Army Intelligence men who inform him that Nazis are looking for his old mentor.
When Indiana arrives in Nepal to track down his old mentor he is greeted with his ex, Marion (Karen Allen) who is still angry with Indy for the way he treated her, they don't have much time to argue though because they are quickly attacked in the bar that Marion runs, the two manage to escape and go on their quest together. Indy realises that Nazis must be after his old mentor because they want to find the Ark Of The Convenant which supposedly holds Godly powers. Indy and Marion must get there before the Nazis do in order to stop them from gaining more power than anyone could ever imagine.
After watching the most recent Indiana Jones outing in The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull and thoroughly enjoying it I was looking forward to viewing the older films which are considered to be modern classics and far superior to the most recent film. It may be partly my problem for not grasping the beauty of old films however I endeavoured to watch this with an open mind and was optimistic that I would enjoy it after hearing so many great things about the first three films.
I seem to be the opposite to most people; I really enjoyed the 2008 Indiana Jones but didn't really enjoy this film at all and contrary to popular opinion I found it to be shockingly inferior in comparison to it's modern counterpart. I'm sure a lot of you have already formed an opinion of what constitutes a good film for me but no the film doesn't have to have excellent special effects to entertain me it just needs to have a decent storyline and move at a steady pace, unfortunately Raiders Of The Lost Ark doesn't accomplish either. The film is very jerky, one minute it will be action packed and actually quite entertaining but then it will change in the blink of an eye and drag for the next 15 or 20 minutes which is very infuriating. The plot is no better, normally I can cope with changes in pace if the storyline is strong meaning that the makeweight parts of a film can still be entertaining but unfortunately there are so many plot holes in the film I found it hard to know or even care what was going on.
The film isn't all bad though, after only seeing one Indiana Jones film I was looking forward to seeing what kind of character Harrison Ford presented us with on his first outing as Indiana Jones and I was interested to see how the character had developed and changed over the course of the 20 odd years. I've always found Harrison Ford to be a brilliant actor however after now seeing two of the four Indiana Jones movies I think I prefer him in other films that he's done. He always seems to do rather unusual films and never stays with the masses when it comes to his film choices such as Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games and especially The Fugitive which I thought was fantastic. Harrison Ford is a brilliant action star and I'm a big fan of his films therefore I was expecting to be a fan of the Indiana Jones franchise however I was vastly under whelmed at how much these films fell short of my expectations (they weren't that high). Even though the film wasn't exactly great the one thing I did enjoy was Harrison Ford's character, he comes out with some great one-liners and I hadn't realised how good looking he used to be!
I also liked the character of Marion played by Karen Allen, she was a strong female lead as she was in The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. She has excellent chemistry with Harrison Ford and it was interesting to watch their relationship develop from where we first see them when they're fighting. She doesn't play the damsel in distress which was what I was expecting given that this movie is coming up for 30 years old so I was impressed with that aspect.
The storyline is pretty much non-existent, the film starts off quite weakly, unable to establish any type of plot which made it impossible for me to get into the film, I stayed with it purely on the basis that this is a classic film that is loved by millions, if this is what's known as one of the all time classics then I'd like to know what's classed as a bad film because this (in my opinion) isn't a classic. It's not a movie that I would be able to sit through time after time, nor would I want to. I was surprised by how much I actually disliked this film, after the disappointing start the film showed a glimmer of hope when Indy gets trapped in the temple about 10 minutes in, however that scene is over in a matter of minutes and before you know it he's back in the classroom writing on the blackboard. It was the disproportionate and unbalanced storyline that became my biggest bugbear concerning the film, there was no even keel; it was either exciting and tense or monotonous and lacklustre.
What I was quite impressed with was that this film manages to stand the test of time, the mere fact that they decided to make a forth film 19 years after the third is a testament to how popular the Indiana Jones films are with audiences all over the world. I'm just disappointed to say that I'm not one of the millions captured by this film.
The action (when it happened) was very good and manages to stand it's ground well against all the arguably superior effects known as CGI which wasn't around at the time of this film. With this in mind the stunts were very impressive, ok so the fight scenes weren't as impressive as... say... the Spiderman films but for a film that was released 28 years ago they were very impressive and kept you on the edge of your seat.
Overall I found this movie to be a big disappointment for me, I know that lots of you are bound to disagree with this write-up but for me the film simply didn't live up to the hype. This could be merely down to the fact that I'm one of the younger viewers so have grown up with all the modern special effects and storylines but for me the story was a letdown too. I just hope the second instalment is better.
The DVD is currently available for the very high price of £7.99, considering how old it is I was expecting this to be on sale for around £2.99 at most. I definitely wouldn't recommend buying this for that price as it's regularly shown on TV.
One explanation for the price though could be down to the fact that it's a special edition DVD containing various special features, therefore if you're a die-hard fan of the Indiana Jones films then this could be a good buy for you.
The special features include:
Raiders of the Lost Ark: An Introduction by Steven Spielberg & George Lucas
Indiana Jones: An Appreciation - The cast and crew of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull pay tribute to the original trilogy.
The Melting Face - A recreation of the amazing physical effect of the villains' melting face in Raiders of the Lost Ark, including Steven Spielberg and George Lucas commenting on the evolution of visual effects and CGI.
Storyboard Sequence - The Well of Souls
Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Game Demo and Trailer
Raider Of The Lost Ark lost out on the Best Picture Oscar for 1981 to Chariots Of Fire. Twenty-eight years on you only have to look at how each film is regarded now to see how bad a decision that was.
Right from the off this is a film that grabs you. The masterful opening sequence in which Indiana Jones tries to recover a solid gold statuette from a underground jungle death-trap sets the stall for what is to follow.
From there you have everything you could want from an action movie - fights, Nazi's, a spying monkey...
Thankfully Tom Selleck, who the producers originally wanted for the Jones role could not get away from his commitment to the TV show Magnum P.I so Harrison Ford got the gig. Looking back now you wonder how important that twist of fate was, as Harrison Ford fits the role so well it is hard to envisage anyone else playing Indiana Jones.
Spielberg is a master at creating great entertaining cinema and this is him at his very best and a few minor historical faults (Nazi Germans in British controlled Egypt?) aside, this is perfect adventure cinema.
This is the film by which all other action-adventure films should be measured.
Let me start the review by saying I haven't yet seen the latest installment of the Indian Jones series, "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" but when I heard about it I wasn't sure Harrison Ford could pull off Indy at his age anymore, however I will watch it soon and probably post a review not long after !!
But last night me and my wife sat down to watch Raiders Of The Lost Ark ( as it was originally titled, then renamed "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark ") I didn't realise that the movie is almost 30 YEARS old when I was watching it, it was released way back in 1981 and was produced by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg, I don't know if you can get more of a pedigree than that in the modern era to be honest.
Set in 1936 we see the movie open in the Peruvian Jungle where archeologist / treasure hunter Indiana Jones ( Harrison Ford ) braves a booby trapped ancient temple to retrieve a valuable Golden Idol, after retrieving it and escaping many near misses with Booby Traps he finds rival archeologist Rene Belloq ( Paul Freeman ) waiting outside with the local Tribe the "Hovitos" who outnumber him and he is forced to give up the idol to Belloq, Indy eventually escapes from Belloq and the tribe by a waiting Seaplane.
At the American College where he is a professor Indy meets with two US Army intelligence agents who reveal the Nazi's in their quest for power are searching for Abner Ravenwood, indy's former mentor as they believe he is the worlds foremost expert on the ancient egyptian city of Tannis which was rediscovered by the Nazis and believed to be where the Legendary Ark of the Covenent ( The chest that is believed to contain the Ten Commandments ) is to be found, Indy thinks the Nazi's need Ravenwood as they believe he possesses the Staff of Ra, which is essential to be able to pinpoint the Ark's exact location.
I won't go into the story any further and spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it, suffice it to say that this movie isn't one of the Top 20 highest grossing movies of all time for no reason at all, despite its age it stands up extremely well to any modern "treasure hunter" type movie like the Mummy, or National Treasure, and even surpasses them, even though the special effects are a little cheesy, and the Nazi's are a little stereotypical its still watchable now and the story, acting and script are first class, the thing that sets Raiders of the Lost ark apart from other movies in its genre up to that point, and even beyond is its Humour, and Harrison Ford in particular was an inspired choice to play Indy and it will probably be the role he is most remembered for, maybe even more so than Han Solo from the original Star Wars Trilogy.
For anyone who hasn't seen this movie ( and I can't imagine there will be many ) you won't be dissapointed, if you get past the special effects that movies in this genre nowadays can deliver over and above this movie you'll find a well scripted, well acted, funny movie that is probably the best example of its genre there is.
Ah, the first of the Indianna Jones films, how the memories come flooding back!
In this film we are introduced to archeology professor/adventurer/grave robber Indianna Jones. Indy is employed by the US goverment to try and beat the Nazis in their search for the Ark of the Covenant. During his search he is taken all over the world and, eventually, emerges victorious and a film icon is created.
This first of the Indy films introduced us to Indianna Jones and made all little boys want to have a gun in one hand a whip in the other. This old school action adventure film is still one of the best because it isn't laiden down with special effects, 99% of what you see is real. This film has gone down in cult history, with almost everyone, old and young alike, knowing who Indianna is. The script is enjoyable and funny, with many one-liners and visual jokes which balance well with the action sequences. Although the subject of the film, the Arch of the Covenant, is, essentially, spiritual and paranormal, the film feels very believeable. After watching this, you won't be able to stand the wait to get your hands on the next three, although, only Raiders of The Lost Arch really manages to capture the same action/comedy of the original.
This film spawned another 3 sequels, but this first and original is arguably the best in the series. Great storyling, good acting and believeable characters, plus the free world gaining victory over the Nazis, what more could you ask for? A film that everyone should watch at least once.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is an epic action adventure directed by Stephen Spielberg, produced by George Lucas and stars Harrison Ford, John Rhys-Davies and Karen Allen.
Indiana Jones is a professor of Archaeology and an adventurer who one day meets with two intelligence agents who reveal that the Nazis are searching for a former mentor of Jones', Abner Ravenwood, because of his expertise on the Egyptian city of Tanis, where the Nazis believe the Ark of the Covenent (the chest Israelites built to contain the fragments of the Ten Commandments) rests.
So Jones flies to Nepal, only to find his mentor is dead and the key that the Nazis are looking for now belongs to his daughter, Marion. Unfortunately, the Nazis storm the place and Jones and Marion are just able to get away with the key, a headpiece that shows where the ark is buried.
They fly to Cairo, where the meet Indy's friend Sallah, who helps them look for the ark. However the Nazis, in their search for all things occult, get it first and plan to open it. Indy tries to get the ark back but is captured along with Marion while the ark is opened. This, as Indy knows, is a death wish and so tells Marion not to open her eyes, as all the Nazis perish by some sort of lightning/face melting attacks. In the end the ark is seized by the Americans who, they assure us, have "top men" working on it.
A right rollicking adventure this, and another one of the very few films that can considered to be universally loved. There really isn't a bad thing to say about this film, it is just pure fun from beginning to end. The music, including the famous Indiana Jones theme, fits the film like a glove, and pulls you right into the old fashioned action adventure world in which these characters inhabit.
All the cast are superb, and gel well together. Ford is perfect as Jones, a wise-cracking, tough-talking, confident hero looking for one of the greatest treasures in history. The story is far fetched but the characters make it seem believable, such is their prowess. The action is equal parts funny, tense and exciting, including the now infamous scene with Indiana and the guy with huge sword. Apparently they were going to have a huge fight, but a lot of the cast were sick with dysentery and so couldn't do something that prolonged and so they just decided to shoot him, and I'm glad they did, it encapsulates Indy perfectly!
Overall an absolutely amazing film that doesn't let up for a second and is an absolute bargain at any price, an easy five stars!