1981: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of The Lost ArkPosted: March 5, 2011
So, claiming the spot for 1981 in Monumental Movies, is Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first in the current Indiana Jones quadrilogy ( I say current, as there are talks of a storyline for a 5th installment). The movie is set in 1936, and our beloved archeologist, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), has been assigned by the U.S. Government to retrieve The Ark of The Covenant, an incredibly powerful, biblical artifact, which is believed to hold the key to the existence of the human race. Travelling to a range of countries and well-known locations, including Egypt, Indy, must find The Ark of The Covenant. But it’s not as easy as it sounds, as the legendary adventurer must also beat the Nazis to the artifact in a race against time, as well as villain, Renee Belloq (Paul Freeman).
The movie ends with Belloq capturing Jones, and opening the Ark, only to find that the spirits within it release a mass of energy, obliterating Belloq and the Nazis. However, Indy, and old love interest, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), who are tied up, are spared, thanks to an ancient code they so luckily remembered, that is, not to look at these spirits that have been freed. The bad guys are dead, and the spirits and energy go back into the Ark, before it re-seals itself. The movie ends with Indy arguing with army officers, to whom he explains that they have no idea as to how powerful the Ark is – however, perhaps they do understand, as the Ark is then stored away in a crate in a government warehouse, never to be heard of again…
Raiders of The Lost Ark is a classic, and definitely got Ford’s career up and going (thanks to Star Wars too, of course). It was a new and exciting thing for its time, and to this day, still is exciting, with an interesting and clever storyline, great action sequences, memorable quotes, and of course, legendary action scenes, including the one we all know – the boulder scene, which sees Dr. Jones trying to retrieve a valuable artifact by trying to replace it with something of equal weight, in order to avoid the activation of deadly booby traps. He fails. And as he instantly makes a run for it, a huge boulder is released, rolling right being him. But good old Indy manages to escape in the nick of time, with his hat, of course.
The whole movie is full of classic scenes and dialogue, and ultimately led onto the great prequels we all know and love – The Temple of Doom, and The Last Crusade…and also The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which, although received huge amounts of bad press, did very well at the box office, and I personally, thought it was awesome. Raiders of The Lost Ark is another brilliant creation from a brilliant direction, Steven Spielberg, and, of course, with help from George Lucas, who can’t go uncredited, and is definitely up there with some of the all-time classics.
Watch out next Saturday, for the movie of 1982…
By Manpreet Singh
- Nathan Chase: Movies To See Before You Die: “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (flickchart.com)
- Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (mibreviews.com)
- Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – A Screen150 Favourite (screen150.wordpress.com)
- Man in Black Review: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) (mibreviews.com)