Indiana Jones movies: “Raiders of the Lost Ark”

Adventure movies are a lot of escapism fun, and Steven Spielberg’s/George Lucas’ Raiders of the Lost Ark is a perfect example of this and the start of Indiana Jones’ rise to cinematic fame.

Raiders of the Lost Ark
(USA 1981, director: Steven Spielberg)

Archeology professor Indiana Jones is looking for a biblical artifact, the Ark of the Covenant, while being on a race against time with Nazis and his French adversary Belloq who want to use its power.

What makes a great adventure story? Exciting action set-pieces, traveling around the world, escaping traps, maybe even having a romance? The first Indiana Jones movie has all this, but it wouldn’t be as successful or memorable if it wasn’t for the hero himself. While Harrison Ford already played Han Solo in the Star Wars movies Episode IV: A New Hope and Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and showed his skills as being humorous and also hitting hard when it counts, the man with the whip and hat might be even more iconic. Maybe it has to do with making people believe in archeology being more than just reading books or maybe because Indy is such a likable character who isn’t an indestructible superhero or a know-it-all academic.

But it’s not only the main character, but also the supporting cast that are memorable, like his former love interest Marion for whom Indy had a fallout with her father/his collegue, or the professor’s friend Sallah who knows everything about excavations and bursts into song at times. Even the adversaries are unforgettable, with Belloq being the Frenchman who likes wine and culture, or the sadistic Toht, the epitome of German evil. Despite showing Nazis in a very one-sided and clichéd way, complete with some terrible grammar/vocabulary that doesn’t make much sense, everything fits nicely together. There isn’t a dull moment, with one exciting action scene following another (often with some surprising violence and even some gore) accompanied by the amazing score of John Williams. While the plot isn’t really the most elaborate and the ending precedes the X-Files conspiracy themes that don’t make much sense for an adventure story, this is more than just a great start for the man with the whip.

Score: 9/10

Buy the BD on
Amazon Germany
Amazon Germany (in 1-4 Collection)
Amazon UK
Amazon UK (in 1-4 Collection)
Amazon USA
Amazon USA (in 1-4 Collection)

Buy the DVD on
Amazon Germany
Amazon Germany (in 1-4 Collection)
Amazon UK
Amazon UK (in 1-4 Collection)
Amazon USA
Amazon USA (in 1-4 Collection)


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About nufafitc

Being an avid gamer, cinemaniac, and bookworm in addition to other things the internet and new media present, I'm also very much into DIY music, rock and pop in particular. Writing short or longer pieces about anything that interests me has always made me happy. As both an editor for German website "Adventure-Treff" and UK website "Future Sack", I like to write reviews and news about recent developments in the movies, games and book industry.
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