Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Critic Consensus: Featuring bravura set pieces, sly humor, and white-knuckle action, Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the most consummately entertaining adventure pictures of all time.
Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is no ordinary archeologist. When we first see him, he is somewhere in the Peruvian jungle in 1936, running a booby-trapped gauntlet (complete with an over-sized rolling boulder) to fetch a solid-gold idol. He loses this artifact to his chief rival, a French archeologist named Belloq (Paul Freeman), who then prepares to kill our hero. In the first of many serial-like escapes, Indy eludes Belloq by hopping into a convenient plane. So, then: is Indiana Jones afraid of anything? Yes, snakes. The next time we see Jones, he's a soft-spoken, bespectacled professor. He is then summoned from his ivy-covered environs by Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) to find the long-lost Ark of the Covenant. The Nazis, it seems, are already searching for the Ark, which the mystical-minded Hitler hopes to use to make his stormtroopers invincible. But to find the Ark, Indy must first secure a medallion kept under the protection of Indy's old friend Abner Ravenwood, whose daughter, Marion (Karen Allen), evidently has a "history" with Jones. Whatever their personal differences, Indy and Marion become partners in one action-packed adventure after another, ranging from wandering the snake pits of the Well of Souls to surviving the pyrotechnic unearthing of the sacred Ark. A joint project of Hollywood prodigies George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, with a script co-written by Lawrence Kasdan and Philip Kaufman, among others, Raiders of the Lost Ark is not so much a movie as a 115-minute thrill ride. Costing 22 million dollars (nearly three times the original estimate), Raiders of the Lost Ark reaped 200 million dollars during its first run. It was followed by Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1985) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), as well as a short-lived TV-series "prequel." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
Watch it now
as Indiana Jones
as Marion Ravenwood
as Marcus Brody
as Col. Musgrove
as Maj. Eaton
as Australian Climber
as 2nd Nazi
as Ratty Nepalese
as Mean Mongolian
as Giant Sherpa/1st Mec...
as German Agent
as Young Soldier
as Messenger Pirate
as Tall Captain
as Peruvian Porter
as Driver of German Tru...
as German Soldier
as Driver of German Tru...
as German Soldier
as German Lieutenant
as Gobler's Gunner
as Mr. Ford's Stand-In
as Indiana Jones
News & Interviews for Raiders of the Lost Ark
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for Raiders of the Lost Ark
Raiders of the Lost Ark has more size than substance but nevertheless it's a delightful special big surprise package of a movie that should turn Indiana Jones into a national figure.
Yes, it's as entertaining as you have heard. Maybe more so. Raiders of the Lost Ark is, in fact, about as entertaining as a commercial movie can be.
Raiders of the Lost Ark has it all -- or, anyway, more than enough to transport moviegoers back to the dazzling, thrill-sated matinee idyls of old.
The thrills are fully consumed while you're seeing this movie, and it's totally over when it's over. It's a workout. You feel as if you'd been to the desert digs: at the end your mind is blank, yet you're parched, you're puffing hard -- you want relief.
It is intensely watchable, with the relentless accumulation of effects used here for the purposes of eliciting suspense rather than provoking comedy.
Audience Reviews for Raiders of the Lost Ark
The first of the successful series, an exhilarating and entertaining adventure with a delicious humor, a charismatic protagonist and a lot of fast-paced action, where each scene is more exciting than the one before - and it never lets the viewer down or loses its pacing.
Swashbucklers were deeply unfashionable at the time when Raiders was made, and it took the talents of the then new golden boy of Hollywood to breathe new life into the genre. With a bespectacled alter ego who is a million miles away from his action man persona like an archaeological Clark Kent, Indiana Jones became an iconic action figure who was often knocked on his backside, played fair only when it suited him and was far more interested than his treasure than getting the girl. Sound familiar? Yes without Raiders, Captain Jack would probably never have existed. Like POTC, this film takes its cues from the golden age of the Hollywood swashbuckler, to the point where Ronald Lacey's sinister yet effeminate secret policeman and Paul Freeman's amoral gentleman rogue could easily have been mistaken for Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstreet respectively. The action is as superbly handled by Spielberg as always, the truck chase scene being one of the all time great stunt sequences and the wholly unexpected finale that blends religious mythology with gothic horror is fantastic. A perfectly judged combination of slam bang set pieces and humour that makes for flawless family entertainment.
My love for this great classic is truly beyond words! As a kid, it was a moment of magic for me every time Indy in his iconic adventure gear appeared on screen. Whether it was narrowly escaping a giant boulder of death, or opening a can of whoop-ass when faced with some Nazi bad guys, you could always count on him to deliver some first-rate fun. And there couldn't have been anyone better to execute it than artisan story-teller Steven Spielberg. Nor any better music composer than the legendary John Williams, whose instantly recognizable themes are classics in their own right. Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman and John Rhys-Davies - there's not a single performance in here that isn't totally fantastic. So prepare yourself for a helluva good time. Because whenever Indy whips up some action, it's impossible not to stick around and watch.
Raiders of the Lost Ark Quotes
|Sallah:||Indy why does the flood move?|
|Indiana Jones:||give me your torch|
|Indiana Jones:||Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?|
|Sallah:||Asp very dangerous you go first Indy.|
|Indiana Jones:||Balloq's medallion only had writing on one side? You sure about that?|
|Indiana Jones:||Balloq's staff is too long they are digging in the wrong place|
|Sallah:||they are digging in the wrong place "I am the monarch of the sea I am the ruler of the coup....."|
|Sallah:||Bad Dates (points to dead monkey)|
|Belloq:||You and I are very much alike. Archeology is our religion, yet we have both fallen from the pure faith. Our methods have not differed as much as you pretend. I am but a shadowy reflection of you. It would take only a nudge to make you like me. To push you out of the light.|
|Indiana Jones:||Now you're getting nasty.|
|Major Eaton:||Doctor Jones, we've heard a lot about you.|
|Indiana Jones:||Have you?|
|Major Eaton:||Professor of archeology, expert on the occult, and how does one say it? Obtainer of rare antiquities.|
Discuss Raiders of the Lost Ark on our Movie forum!