Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Written By: Lawrence Kasdan

Rating: PG (US) Running Time: 1 hr 55 min

Two cents:

Sadly, they don’t make films like this anymore. Raiders of the Lost Ark epitomizes the action-adventure genre on film, and Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) the consummate hero. The now iconic leather jacket, Fedora and crack of the bull whip. Ford’s incredible physical performance and sly smile. The beautiful Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood. Spielberg’s unique style, Kasdan’s pacy efficient script and the superb score by John Williams. It all comes together perfectly in this classic piece of cinema.

Raider’s main strength is its action set pieces, and there are plenty of them. Each builds and builds, and it gets more exciting until the inevitable explosive conclusion. Unlike movies today (now I’m starting to sound old), the action in Raiders looks real. Real sets, real stuntmen and just the right amount of special effects and sound effects design to amp up the action.

The story is simple enough. Good versus evil as they chase after ultimate knowledge and power respectively. But simple is good. Raiders isn’t about making a deeper point about religion, and the power of God. This is about going to your theater and being transported to another world. Filled with adventure, heroes, villains, action and romance.

Movie Prep:

If you’ve somehow never seen Raiders of the Lost Ark, just expect a great adventure film. Compared to modern action films that use CGI to amp up the action, Raiders may seem a little slow. But give it a chance because I would argue the action is more intense and exciting because it’s filmed with real sets, vehicles and actual people!

Best Format:
The action is huge, and the finale is epic. A theater visit brings out the best in Raiders. At home, a HD viewing is recommended.

Best Elements:

Harrison Ford. Karen Allen. The use of silhouettes and light throughout the film. John Williams score. The action. Karen Allen. Steven Speilberg. When Indiana says ‘I don’t know I’m making this up as I go.’ When Indiana is confronted by a large sword wielding gentleman, and just shoots him. So much to love in this film! And Karen Allen! 🙂

References: IMDB

Linked to:
Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom (1984)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)


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