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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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All The Right Moves
A globe-trotting American archaeologist travels to Egypt in search of the ancient Ark of the Covenant, in this adventure epic from director Steven Spielberg. It's a big-budget popcorn flick aimed mostly at kids. There's lots of heavy-duty action as our hero, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), makes all the right moves to escape dreaded Nazis, a bed of snakes, knife-wielding Egyptians, fiery explosions, poison food, human skeletons, bullets, airplane propeller blades, and assorted other dangers. Since there's nothing subtle about the story or the characters, and since the action plot zips along at the speed of light, viewers need not engage in any thinking.

With Jones as a surrogate for American virtuousness, "foreigners" in this film seem inept and villainous for the most part, a politically correct view for the era in which the film was made. American stereotypes aside, non-Americans are portrayed in the film mostly as clutter, film props for our hero to knock over.

It's all a bit much, a bit over-the-top. Not only is the story not believable, the story's theme is rather condescending. I despised the background music, annoyingly loud and manipulative. Acting is largely irrelevant, not surprising, given the film's genre.

In its defense, there are some good visual images. For example, I liked the scene of Jones, wearing his trademark hat, in silhouette, on a hill, back-lit by an orange sun. The film's color cinematography probably is its best element.

Otherwise, "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" is just one more in a long series of "action" movies for kids to drool over, a two hour cinematic ... cartoon. The script concept is silly; the characters are poorly defined; the plot is ridiculous; the score is annoying; and the American hero theme is very irritating.
criticism of Raiders of the Lost Ark
Every movie show Cairo is old fashion from eighteen century,Cairo at this time in movie is more beautiful than Paris.Try to review the History.And I love that series but it's representative performance of some of the characters is very weak.ِAt that time Britain occupies Egypt and the Germans did not enter Egypt.Historical information mostly wrong
Most people give this movie a 10 out of 10 because they don't consider the movie but rather how happy they were to discover it as a child but now, in 2005, it has become obviously outdated, the script is quite bad and the acting is even worse. Harrisson Ford obviously should have worked his acting better, which he happily did since that movie. I am sorry I cannot just keep on lying about this movie: this is for your kids but in now way should it be put among masterpieces. IMDb is a web site about movies, not about cult and self-proclaimed nerds or geeks. You have to determine how good is a movie according to artistical criteria, neither to your gregarious instinct nor to your "attitude".
A Timeless Classic and A Personal Favorite
This has been my favorite movie of all time since I saw it as a young kid. It has something in it for everyone (action, romance, violence, wit, history, etc.). This is what cinema should always be: great performances, great story, great setting, and, most importantly, great fun to watch! I enjoy every second and every frame of this movie. All of the original Indiana Jones trilogy is classic for that matter. Harrison Ford went at the role with such character and charisma that he turned Indiana Jones into an absolutely iconic role that I have dreamed of playing for many years. An all time classic and still one of the most impressive movies ever made.
The first and best of the Indy films
'Raiders of the Lost Ark' is the first and, in my opinion, the best of the Indiana Jones films. This film is almost 40 years old but remains today one of the best and most iconic action/adventure movies of all time. For sheer entertainment value, there aren't many films that have come close to 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' since its 1981 release.

What makes 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' stand out from the rest of the Indy films is the story. It's fast-paced, exciting, tense and hugely enjoyable. There are some memorable individual action scenes that put any modern day CGI dominated action sequences to shame. 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' is an iconic action movie that has stood the test of time. Definitely a classic of the genre.
35 Years Later: It's Not The Years, Honey; It's The Mileage
Where to begin? Writing this review, it has now been thirty-five years since this crazy Steven Spielberg/George Lucas homage to B-movie adventure serials of the 1930s was unleashed on an unsuspecting world in the late spring/early summer of 1981; and even with the three sequels that it has spawned (thus far) and the myriad imitations it has spawned, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK still has to rank as one of the high points of the action film genre's entire history. There's no question that there are elements of the film that are very dated nowadays, not to mention ethnic stereotypes that wee wrong then and are even more wrong today. But for sheer artistic and cinematic verve, this still ranks as a Hollywood popcorn extravaganza par excellence.

There's no need any longer to go into plot, as we all know it involves Harrison Ford as the intrepid archaeologist Indiana Jones battling the Nazis in a race to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant and the unspeakable power locked inside it. But it is instructive to remember how big a deal this film was to all involved. Lucas had already struck a colossal gold mine with the first two STAR WARS films that had Ford as Han Solo; and Spielberg could boast having made two huge hits of his own in JAWS and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. Spielberg, however, had also gone well over schedule and budget on both of those two; and he did it again on his 1979 World War II comedy "1941", so much so that that film's poor critical and commercial finish almost finished him as a director. It was important for him that he deliver a film that could stick to both schedule and budget, yet still be good enough to be a hit. Fortunately, Lucas gave him that chance here; and with careful execution, all of the intended goals were achieved, and then some.

The two big action sequences, Ford's outrunning a rolling boulder in the famous opening prologue, and the truck chase across the Sinai Desert (eight minutes of hair-raising tension created in no small part by Ford doing his own stunt work) still must rank as some of the best of their kind ever pulled off. It also helps that Ford shows the kind of honest human vulnerability you don't find in most other action heroes (Stallone; Schwarzenneger, etc.); as he tells his girlfriend (Karen Allen): "It's not the years, honey; it's the mileage", which is more than a little true. There are moments where the violence, tame though it is by 21st century standards, did make some audiences back in 1981 a little squeamish (the face-melting that takes place in the opening of the Ark at the film's climax is still a tad bit sick); one must remember that this was rated 'PG', and the controversy surrounding the violence here and in its immediate sequel INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM led to the creation of the 'PG-13' rating. But there is also a certain amount of comedy relief as well, involving Ford's squeamish behavior around all forms of snakes, and the famous split-second shooting of an Arab swordsman, improvised downward from a big sword fight because Ford had eaten some bad local food on the day the scene was shot. The Nazi villains are, of course, cardboard villains (since the film was set in 1936, before anyone knew what Hitler and his minions were really up to, it was easier to do it that way); but Ford's nemesis Belloq (Paul Freeman) and the devious Toht (Ronald Lacey) are a couple of really nefarious heavies that give Ford's Indiana Jones something to chew on. And it wouldn't be right not to acknowledge Allen's slightly sardonic contribution to the film as well, especially when she knocks one knife-wielding goon cold with a skillet in the basket chase scene, an hysterically funny moment.

And finally, no review of this film would be complete without giving a nod to John Williams, whose score here, like many of his other contributions to the art of film scoring, gives the film its voice, from the famous Raiders March to the brass-choired Nazi theme during the truck chase. The end result is a masterpiece of the entire action genre that holds up even to this day, both real in other ways and fanciful in others, but with a balance that most of today's $200 million-plus sound-and-fury "blockbusters" may never be able to match.
No Ordinary Archaeologist
Hired to stop the Nazis getting hold of a priceless biblical artifact, a 1930s archaeologist has to combat swordsmen, sadistic Germans... and a pathological fear of snakes in this popular adventure film that brought the character of Indiana Jones to screens. The film begins strongly with a thrilling sequence in which Indy has to make his way through booby traps galore in a tomb, and while nothing later on quite matches this tension, there are several exciting moments to be had with a multi-tonal John Williams score perfectly complementing the action. This is hardly a deep or meaningful film, the antagonists range from one-note to one-dimensional and as a character, Indy lacks the charisma of an action hero like James Bond. The attempts to paint Indy as an ordinary university professor who just enjoys adventures never quite gels either since he is more agile and better at close combat than the very best of MI6. All that said and done, 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' is a film full of memorable small moments and there are several excellent artistic shots throughout, most notably some diggers against an orange sunset and Harrison Ford viewed as only a shadow against a wall when first meeting Karen Allen. A supernatural twist near the end also takes the film in some unexpected directions and the iconic final shot of the film makes for a fantastic final note to end on.
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.
Will stand the test of time forever.
I've seen Raiders of the Lost Ark numerous times on TV, DVD and big screen. My local theatre had a special showing last night and the 400-seat screen completely sold out (as Indy films always do). Luckily for me and my pal, we got the last 2 tickets available! I can't think of many films that still sell-out 25 years after their original release. There's just something about Indy movies(iconic hero, affection, epic spectacle) that brings you back again and again.

The only trouble with that is there are zillions of reviews, critiques and dissections of this movie already out there, so what I have to offer will probably not be anything new. I will however not go the way of the cliché and mention 1930's serials, Tom Selleck or the sword/gun fight.

I will, however, ask you one question. Did you know that some of the more iconic, memorable sequences from Raiders owe quite a lot to Duck Tales? What? Surely it's the other way around? Well, no. The globe-trotting adventures of Scrooge McDuck, Huey, Duey, Luey and Donald in Carl Bank's Disney comic-books from the 50s came first. If you can find some of these then you'll surely notice the similarities.

The hunt for the Ark of the Covenant is more than just an excuse for action. So many movies these days seem to come up with action first and string them together with some lame plot. Movies like this are quickly forgotten and one of the reasons Raiders holds up so well is because it works the Covenant story so well into the plot.

The action comes in a succession of set-pieces. I do enjoy films that have to increasingly better themselves in every scene. Raiders introduced this as a standard that the sequels had to live up to. My fave scene has to be the massive truck chase through Egypt, which is made up of many of its own smaller sequences. One little idiosyncrasy I like about Indy is that even though he's a College Professor and Doctor, he has no beef killing people. So very far from the ubiquitous PC heroes of todays movies.

You might think that it's rather geeky to hype up the editing and sound design, but they do stand out from recent action movies. The gunfire and punching seem to have a sort of 'Indy' signature sound to them, that I've not heard in any other films. And obviously, John William's classic score is one of those themes that just everybody in the world knows (though I prefer his score to Temple of Doom), truly one of the best movie themes ever. Better than Star Wars!

I'm not sure if Spielberg planned on Raiders starting the Indy franchise but there's already enough in here to establish a whole universe of potential stories and character arcs. There's talk of a fourth movie at the moment, but I personally don't think it will happen and I don't want it to. It's perfect existing as a trilogy and a sequel that comes traipsing in 18 years after the last is just not going to feel right. Even if you are hungry for more Indy then there are loads of books and video games out there and then there's the Young Indiana Jones TV show (where are the DVDs?), which are official Indy canon and even starred Ford once (they bounced around in time).

I am giving Raiders 9/10 because I just have a soft spot for Temple of Doom (which is obviously a 10/10 movie). Even 25 years after it first came out it still has the power to captivate the audience and provoke sheer excitement every time. And in 25 years it will still be far superior to almost everything.

Now there's something you cannot say about The Fast and the Furious! Sigh, where did all the special movies go?
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