Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • Time: 115 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman


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.


  • 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!

  • “Professor of archaeology, expert on the occult, and how does one say it? Obtainer of rare antiquities.”

    Harrison Ford, who has only been nominated for one acting Oscar in his glittering half-a-century career in film, can lay claim to playing two of Hollywood blockbuster cinema’s most iconic characters – Han Solo in the three early ‘Star Wars’ (1977, 1980, 1983) films, and Indiana Jones in the three, okay, four ‘Indiana Jones’ (1981, 1984, 1989, 2008) movies.

    George Lucas, who created the billion dollar ‘Star Wars’ franchise, collaborates with director Steven Spielberg in arguably the greatest of all modern action-adventure films – Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    In the first installment, Indy has a straightforward mission: find the exact location of the Ark of the Covenant and retrieve it before the Nazis. But before the plot actually starts, we are treated to one of the most exciting opening sequences in film as Spielberg confidently sets the tone of the entire picture with a potent mix of tongue-in-cheek humour and arm-pinching thrills.

    Raiders of the Lost Ark starts at a blinding pace, and never lets its foot off the pedal. Consistently engaging and wildly entertaining, this is a film that you would want to watch over and over again.

    Spielberg, who is a master of the spectacular, uses minimal visual effects until the quite disturbing climax, when the Ark unleashes a fury of supernatural forces against its unholy perpetrators. This is remarkable because for most parts, the film’s action sequences feel raw and real. This is exemplified by perhaps the film’s most brilliant set-piece – a 10-minute plus chase sequence that sees some incredible stuntwork inspired by John Ford’s Stagecoach (1939).

    Despite the action mayhem that unfolds, Spielberg never loses sight of Indy as a flawed hero. A professor of archaeology, Indy is intelligent and understands what is at stake. He has to assume the mantle of a hero not by choice, but by circumstance. Despite being grounded in reality, Indy can be occasionally accused of being too overconfident and takes the kind of risks that heroes might even shy away from.

    Raiders of the Lost Ark is a solid genre effort, and a nostalgic reminder of the times when movies were made for the big screen. It is also a reminder why we hate snakes, and why we like John Williams.

    Verdict: Arguably the most iconic and memorable action-adventure film ever made.

    GRADE: A (9/10)

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