Raiders of the Lost Ark

1981 film by Steven Spielberg

Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American adventure movie directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Lawrence Kasdan. It is based on a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman. It stars Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott and Alfred Molina. The movie is about Indiana Jones, a globe-trotting archaeologist. He is competing with Nazi forces in 1936, to recover the long-lost Ark of the Covenant.

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Directed bySteven Spielberg
Screenplay byLawrence Kasdan
Story by
Produced byFrank Marshall
CinematographyDouglas Slocombe
Edited byMichael Kahn
Music byJohn Williams
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
June 12, 1981
Running time
115 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$20 million[2]
Box office$389.9 million[2]

Raiders of the Lost Ark is the first movie of the Indiana Jones series. It was highly successful and there are four film sequels—Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

Cast change

Plot change

In 1936, Indiana Jones is trying to find a golden idol in the jungle in Peru. His guide, Sapito, betrays him and tries to take the idol for himself, but is killed in a trap. After Jones comes out from the temple, he finds his rival Belloq and a dozen of the native people holding spears. Jones gives up the idol and runs to his airplane.

While he is teaching at Marshall College, the U.S. Army tells him the Nazis are trying to find the Ark of the Covenant. Jones wants to find it first, so he goes to a bar in Nepal. His old teacher, Abner Ravenwood, was trying to find the Ark and has the headpiece to the Staff of Ra, a piece that is needed to find the Ark. His daughter, Marion, now runs Abner's bar and she punches him in the face because they had a romance and he ran away. She, however, comes along with him after the Nazi Arnold Toht and his friends try to get the piece themselves.

Jones and Ravenwood fly to Cairo and recruit a man named Sallah to help him out. They start digging in the area where they think it is. The Nazis capture Ravenwood and make Jones think that she is dead. Sallah and Jones do some calculations and realize that the Nazis are digging in the wrong area because their staff is too long. Jones finds the right place and starts digging, finding it in a place called the Well of Souls. However, Belloq comes back, raises the Ark, and throws Ravenwood in there. They escape.

After a battle, Jones gets the Ark back. Sallah puts it on a ship which sails across the Mediterranean Sea, but the Nazis on a U-boat intercept the ship and search it. Jones escapes. He then takes a big weapon called Panzerschreck and threatens to blow up the Ark as it is being loaded onto a Greek island north of Crete. Belloq calls Jones' bluff, and Jones lowers his weapon. He and Marion are then tied up as Belloq and the Nazis test the power of the Ark by opening it. The spirits inside kill everyone. Jones and Marion close their eyes and escape the spirits' anger.

At the end of the movie, the Army puts the Ark inside a warehouse. They tell Jones that they are studying it, but Jones does not believe them. Marion tries to comfort him by saying that she will buy him a drink.

Production change

Lucas first had the idea of the Raiders of the Lost Ark in the early 1970s. He wanted to modernize the serial films of the early 20th-century. He further developed the idea with Kaufman, who suggested the Ark as the movie's goal. Lucas eventually focused on developing his 1977 space opera Star Wars. Development on Raiders of the Lost Ark resumed that year when Lucas shared the idea with Spielberg; he joined the project several months later.[3] While the pair had ideas for significant scenes in the movie, they hired Kasdan to fill in the gaps between them. Principal photography began in June 1980 on a $20 million budget. Filming took place on sets at Elstree Studios, England, and on location in La Rochelle, France, Tunisia, Hawaii and California.

Release change

Pre-release polling showed little audience interest in the movie, especially compared to the superhero film Superman II. However, Raiders of the Lost Ark became the highest-grossing movie of 1981, earning approximately $330.5 million worldwide. It played in some theaters for over a year because of its popularity.

Reception change

The movie had very positive reviews from critics. It was a critical success. It has a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[4] Critics praised the movie for its modern take on older serial movies, and its non-stop action and adventure. The cast were all praised, particularly Ford, Allen and Freeman. Raiders of the Lost Ark received numerous award nominations and among others, winning five Academy Awards, seven Saturn Awards and one BAFTA Award. The United States Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1999.[5]

Legacy change

The movie has had a major impact on popular culture. The movie's success lead to imitations across several media and inspired several filmmakers. It continues to influence modern media.[6] Raiders of the Lost Ark is the first movie in what would become the Indiana Jones franchise. There are also television series, video games, comic books, novels, theme park attractions, toys, board games, collectibles and an amateur remake.

Other websites change

References change

  1. "RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (A)". British Board of Film Classification. June 2, 1981. Archived from the original on March 9, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 9, 2007.
  3. "'Raiders of the Lost Ark': Lucas and Spielberg's Epitome of Action-Adventure Films Still Waiting to Be Surpassed • Cinephilia & Beyond". Cinephilia & Beyond. 2016-10-22. Retrieved 2022-06-28.
  4. Raiders of the Lost Ark, retrieved 2022-06-28
  5. "Complete National Film Registry Listing | Film Registry | National Film Preservation Board | Programs | Library of Congress". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved 2022-06-28.
  6. Burt, Kayti. "Here are the movies and shows inspired by the original 'Indiana Jones'". Business Insider. Retrieved 2022-06-28.