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Action, Adventure
IMDB rating:
Steven Spielberg
Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones
Karen Allen as Marion
Paul Freeman as Belloq
Ronald Lacey as Toht
Denholm Elliott as Marcus Brody
Alfred Molina as Satipo
Wolf Kahler as Dietrich
Anthony Higgins as Gobler
Vic Tablian as Barranca
Don Fellows as Col. Musgrove
William Hootkins as Major Eaton
Bill Reimbold as Bureaucrat
Storyline: 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.
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cartoon for grownups?
Everyone else seems to love this movie, so I guess I have to be the one to 'dis' it. I really don't understand why it is so popular. I really enjoy a good adventure, but I like it to be more than a quarter inch deep.

It was so continuously noisy that I had to turn the volume down. The music was bombastic and grating. People die like flies. The protagonists gaily wreak havoc with no apologies. There is no psychology or character. The hero is brave - a cheap virtue since he's obviously invulnerable. The cultural icons dragged in to lend an exotic tone were given the most superficial treatment - everything was a throwaway, but none of it was stylish, witty or funny. We are talking about a cartoon - except lots of cartoons are more sophisticated and better developed.

I can see that the idea is to evoke a golden age of imperialism where we are excused from the duty to care about history, culture and religion, or to feel bad about archaeological piracy, mass murder, ethnic stereotypes, shoddy scholarship, etc. etc. and can just have some good clean fun. But with all this freedom, what is the fun? Knocking over piles of blocks like a three-year-old and punching the bad guy in the nose.

The movie is a pastiche - almost every scene is borrowed. The cultural vein of nostalgia that is being mined is old -obsolete - adventure fiction. If we could see most of this fiction now we would probably find it childish and dated - we know more about the world now. The trick is to make us forget that so we can enjoy our nostalgia.

Do people really need permission to regress this badly?
The Great Adventure
What can be said that hasn't already been said about Raiders of the lost ark. The film is classic Spielberg and Lucas in tandem, based on 1930's television serials Raiders of the lost ark ups the scale and budget and cemented the superstar status of Harrison Ford as a leading man. The action and overall tone of the movie is fast paced and creates a great sense of charm and adventure throughout. I am not sure how this film got a PG certificate upon release as some of the scenes are too graphic for children. Great work from Douglas Slocombe for the look/feel of Raiders, and Vic Armstrong for the stunt work in this film, which contains an amazing truck chase sequence. John Williams creates another legendary score after Star Wars and Jaws. Highly recommended.
A hero for the New Agers
I watched this film on the opening night, and I was extremely perplexed walking out. The first thing that puzzled me was how on earth the film got away with a PG rating. I figured it this way. It was trying to be a kids adventure film, but was so poor that it needed to compensate through over the top violence and horror. So my puzzlement was how on earth Lucas and Spielberg managed to bend the arms of the censors to get their PG rating, which allowed them to keep on marketing the film as children’s fare. And the other thing that puzzled me was that the movie was over before it had even started. I hadn’t noticed a story starting anywhere, so I was wondering how the movie could have finished. In other words, there was no film, just a blaze of action, and then suddenly the lights coming on. I heard someone comment on the way out, “I’ve never seen anything like that before.” I don’t know if she meant it in the same way as I did, but it was exactly my sentiment. I had never seen anything like that before! A film that’s not a film at all! Just an excuse to put one action sequence after another. In fact, the censors should have banned the film on account of its having no story. How could Lucas and Spielberg get away with this?! The overall impression I got was that there’s something very rotten going on in the film world now.

The above response was instantaneous, and it was before all the legend around this film had grown up. I didn’t think the film was going to be a hit. In fact, I thought it was going to fall flat on its face. But the film went on to break box-office records everywhere, and after the legend had cemented, I started to have different feelings. I reasoned that I may have missed something the first time, and after reading the umpteenth glowing review the film began to look better in my memory. However a recent viewing helped to dispel all these false notions. It must be stated out and out. This film is bad!!! There’s nothing more to be said about it, but there’s a lot to be said about the audience. I think it’s high time that we said a few things about the “movie brats” and the popular appeal that they court. The thing started proper with Star Wars in 1977, and this is where the Raiders phenomenon begins really. Star Wars is an equally bad movie, but it had a few things going for it. It was presented as a myth, or fairy tale, for the modern age, and it worked too. Three reasons for this. One, the groundbreaking special effects gave it an epic quality, exactly in keeping with the space mythology being presented. Two, the Hollywood narrative was totally disbanded, giving way for an episodic structure. This helped the myth-making, because without a narrative drive people could read whatever they liked into the movie. And three, the notion of an omnipotent “force”, with both a good and dark side, captured the imagination of a world moving towards “new ageism”. So, Star Wars started it all, and the “new age” of the Hollywood blockbuster had begun. These films don’t rely on the traditional virtues of film anymore. Their aim is no wow audiences with something else, more specifically, the expensive, special effects laden set piece. They cater to the New Age mindset of “me me me”. People don’t go to the watch the stories of other people anymore. They go to participate in the megalomania of the filmmakers who were making inflated films with inflated budgets and inflated subjects. It was the “me me me” for the filmmakers, and the vicarious “me me me” for the viewers. In short, the pornography of self worth. And Raiders is only another early landmark in this trend.

Lucas and Spielberg claim to be reviving the B movie adventure serials of the thirties, but there is something horribly ingenuous here. B movies are cheaply done, purely escapist, and never meant to draw attention to themselves. A film like Raiders does nothing but draw attention to itself. It’s only an excuse to use the episodic structure, so that one set-piece can be followed by another without worrying about character or plot. But all this doesn’t explain why Raiders became so popular. I guess the secret lies in the hero – Indiana Jones. When Star Wars kicked off the whole thing, there was an epic but no hero. Luke Skywalker is in no sense a hero. Only Hans Solo has a semblance of heroic about him, but was much too roguish. I guess the original idea was to get Harrison Ford a new vehicle so that he could be a braver and less cynical Hans Solo. So that’s my theory. Raiders is only a continuation of Star Wars, supplying the hero which the first film sorely lacked. So Indiana Jones comes along, and the definitive American hero for the “new age” is born. He is up to his neck in Hollywood excess and that’s all that matters.

So don’t be fooled by all these reviews here that praise this film to the skies, calling it escapist fun. There may have been some thrills for the audience back in 1981, but most of the excitement was from the audacity of breaking with tradition, ignoring story and engagement with the characters, concentrating on spectacle and excess, and participating in an experience of concerted megalomania. After Star Wars, this film really cemented the ground for Hollywood excess. Most of the people here are not judging the film itself. When people say that Star Wars is good, I think they are in their New Age pious mood. The same sort of thing when they say that Raiders is good.
Classic bit of schoolboy action
In the run up to WW2 Professor Jones is approached by US Intelligence to recover the lost Ark of the Covenant in order to stop it falling into the hands of the Nazi's. With bar owner Marion in tow, Indiana takes on Nazi's across the globe to recover the ark.

The story is pure Saturday morning hokum, but it‘s all shined up with a great deal of professionalism and you don't notice. The main strength is the tremendous sense of fun in the film - not only is it funny but the huge action scenes are all edge of the seat stuff that are hugely enjoyable to watch. Be it the opening set piece, the truck chase, the fight around a burning airplane, the chase for a basket or the gory finish - it's all great fun to watch.

The performances are pretty cardboard and stereotype - evil Nazi's et al. but it barely matters. Ford is great - this is the type of undemanding hero type that he thrives on. The rest of the cast are good - Freeman and Kahler stand out with their characters. If it has any weaknesses then the lack of characterisation and plotting are the main suspects but I really think the flaws are greatly outweighed by strengths.

Overall a good action film for older families. With an old fashioned feel, a great sense of fun, plenty of laughs and fantastic action scenes this deserves all the good reviews it gets.
When you're hungry, everyone believes you
There are only so many films in history that I can watch again and again, gaining new appreciation for, one of them is this film. I went from the movies to VHS, and finally to DVD. The availability and quality of this film keep raising the bar of what I can get from it.

I read someone posted that this is the king of B movies or something of that sort, while I honestly think in some scenes like when Indy is running from the Hovitos and he rises over the hill, the film had a really strange documentary feeling, like if a comic actually came to life and like in the Twilight Zone, you were stuck in it. It is great to see this film, now that I edit and produce small independent films, and have worked in post production in Los Angeles. I honestly think almost every scene in this film is better than what's coming out today in sci-fi/adventure. I might pull back that comment in regards to some nice visuals in Riddick, and maybe the new Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, but I'm not certain.

The amount of time and effort put into the comedy, adventure, and depth of each character dazzles me because I really can't tell it was filmed the same year Fame was. It really has a unique look to it. The key lighting in the piece is amazing, almost everything looks like it was perfectly worked out.

My only complaint is the attempt to visualize the opening of the Ark, as most of the other scenes don't deal with the supernatural except maybe a burning crate with a nazi symbol on it. George should redo that last scene in my opinion, and tighten it up, because I really think it wasn't coming together, however when I was a child it was so amazing and scary realistic. It's all perspective, but my point it that now in this modern filming era, the acting and film production is holding tight to this day.

I forward you to just enjoy this film and look for things like formulas on chalkboards, skeletons in classrooms, proper patches on Nazi gear, gun accuracy. Research the film's era and background, and it only gets better. That's the ability that Spielberg and Lucas have, attention to detail and clever twists on most of their bodies of work.

Watch this film again, it's worth it, I promise you.
Action/Adventure films don't get any better than this!
"Raiders" is the best on-screen thrill ride every made. It hits the ground running and never stops with some of the best and most memorable action sequences ever filmed. Just buckle in for the ride as you watch Harrison Ford defy death and battle the evil Nazis as the legendary Indiana Jones trying to save the Ark of the Covenant from their clutches. A perfect blend of adventure, humor and pure excitement that will have you leaving the theater with an adrenalin high. The very last sequence of this movie is quietly staggering, bordering on the sublime.
What a movie! One for the ages
What a movie! One for the ages that can never be replicated. This film has a perfect blend of comedy,action, adventure that never gets old. A story about a James Bond type character who just always finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. The film is so simple on every level which is what Spielberg and Lucas specifically wanted to do and it worked. I think for most people who have seen this film will put it in their top 10 of all time greats. A great score and terrific acting from Harrison Ford with a truly classic story makes this a must watch for any film lover.
A great adventure movie
Indiana Jones was a great main character; he was charismatic, intelligent and quite a daredevil but also feels like a regular human and you do feel a sense of danger when he is doing dangerous things- you can clearly see that he gets quite wounded in multiple situations and he is in fact vulnerable and not like a superhero or anything. The action is amazing and incredibly well done and well shot. You can see how everything flows and the amount of tension is great as it is displayed clearly that every character is very vulnerable and can easily get hurt. All of the environments feel real and it really does feel like you're on the adventure with Indy. The practical effects are also amazing, examples include the ancient relics and also the infamous face-melting scene. Some of the special effects do look dated however (for example some of the green-screen isn't particularly great) but this was 35 years ago so I guess I can kind of forgive it and it's not too distracting but I guess if they were unable to use this technology that well then maybe they shouldn't have used it as much. This movie is rated PG and is pretty violent for a movie of that rating- there's quite a bit of blood and also the face-melting scene. They took it even further with the next instalment which resulted in a new rating needing to be created, PG-13. I can't make a review on this without mentioning the soundtrack; John Williams is just amazing. Overall, a great adventure movie with amazing action and a great main protagonist and a very fun ride. 8.3/10
One of the best adventure films ever made
One of the most well-known films in history and certainly one of the crown jewels of Steven Spielberg's career. Which is saying something. The character of Indiana Jones has become a pop culture icon and probably the bane of every archaeology professor who has had to explain to his students that no, the movies have almost nothing to do with real archaeology.

Still, whether it's grave robbing, tomb raiding or whatever else, this film is a total blast of pulp adventure goodness. From the first iconic scene of the dirty and grumbled Harrison Ford turning to stare at the camera in an age when most cinema heroes were squeaky clean and flawless to the main story about the lost Ark of the Covenant and the desperate race against the Nazis, who want to claim its powers for their own war effort.

This movie has numerous upsides, but what I personally like the most about it is its sense of adventure. The film takes us all over the globe, from the temples of Peru to the Himalayas and finally to Cairo. Each location is a great place for an adventure and given a weight of history, fun and excitement. The characters are also a big part of the film. Indiana Jones of course being the main event, but all the side characters are also memorable and fun. From Indiana's feisty ex Marion (Karen Allen) to the steadfast and boastful Sallah (John Rhys- Davies). The villains are also entertaining and memorable as only Nazis can be. It's a joy to watch them lose.

And do I even need to say any more? You've all seen this film. If you haven't, congratulations on finally being old enough to be allowed to see it. Enjoy. Or, if you're older than that, shame on you!
A Spielberg Classic
Raiders of The Lost Ark is a 1981 film directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, and John Rhys-Davies. It was distributed by Paramount, being labeled as an Action Adventure film. I have seen the film many times before and would gladly give you my opinions and observations to you.

The film is set during the 1930's where professor/archaeologist Indiana Jones (Ford) has almost went away with a valuable golden idol from South America. He then finds out at the Nazis are trying find the biblical "Ark of the Covenant" and unleash it's power to give their regime an extra edge. It is up to Indiana to find it first with the help of Marion Ravenwood (Allen) and stop the Nazis in their tracks.

I liked most of the main characters in Raiders, Harrison definitely steals the spotlight as Indiana in most of the scenes he's in. But the film doesn't make him overpowered or less relatable (which is a good thing). He has to fight off against seemingly impossible odds and strong brutes that give Indie a real challenge. Marion serves as a great companion to him and is more likable than the other two female leads in the next films. I'd even go far as to say the Egyptian Monkey was a good actor.

There's a lot to like about this film and the IJ trilogy in general. The cinematography is great, grand, and in-camera. John William's musical score is still memorable to this day. From my point of view, this film is a lot "ballsier" than most PG-13 films today with people melting and exploding fantastically. My only gripe with Raiders is that Indiana survives death by a pretty big amount, really hindering on my suspension of disbelief.

Raiders has a lot of Christian imagery, the "macguffin" of the film (Ark of The Covenant) is a reference to the Bible. And the attempt to summon it's spirits contains a Jewish ritual. But that's all I can think of in terms of themes and such. The film is just a really great action adventure film.

After learning about the film for years, this film was widely known for decades and was a critical and commercial success. Young kids could be traumatized, but that would prevent them watching a great film, heck I've watched Robocop since I was 8. Adults will really like this, teens will also. I actually don't know anybody who doesn't at least appreciates Indiana Jones. No matter what your opinion on the film is, I will respect it.

Overall, I give Raiders of The Lost Ark a… 9/10
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