“Inside the Ark are treasures beyond your wildest aspirations — you want to see it opened as well as I.”
A bespectacled archaeologist named Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is hired by the United States government to locate a priceless religious artifact — the Ark of the Covenant — before the Nazis get their hands on it.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Harrison Ford Films
- Karen Allen Films
- Steven Spielberg Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, “this marvelous adventure movie” — directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by George Lucas — is “much better than the old-time Saturday serials it pays tribute to” yet effectively “recaptures the feeling of excitement and awe they originally held for kids.” The first and best of the [original] “Indiana Jones” trilogy, Raiders features “non-stop nail biting action” as well as “tremendous wit, romance that even young boys will enjoy, nasty villains, amazing stunts, a lovely, brave, capable heroine, and an unbeatable action hero.” Ford and Karen Allen (who plays his unwitting sidekick, Marion) are truly believable as a couple, with Allen serving as the perfect female lead for an action movie: she’s both pretty and tough, ready to take on any adventures and/or men that come her way. Meanwhile, Harrison Ford’s dry wit and good looks make him the ideal real-life folk hero — he’s Clark Kent, but without superhero powers, and all the more refreshingly human for it. Excellent use is made of “exotic” locales across the globe, and the supporting characters — both good and bad — are well-played by a host of fine performers; my particular favorite is Paul Freeman as a French archaeologist collaborating with the Nazis who exhibits the tiniest bit of heart (and lust) towards Allen. John Williams’ instantly memorable score (“dum-da DUM DUM… dum-da DUM”) adds the perfect finishing touch to this most enjoyable adventure flick.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones
- Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood
- Paul Freeman as Dr. Belloq
- Excellent use of “exotic” locales around the world
- The exciting opening sequence
- The infamous “snake pit” scene
- A satisfying romance between adventurous equals
- John Williams’ instantly hummable score
Yes. This modern-day classic should be seen and enjoyed by all film fanatics.
- Cult Movie
- Oscar Winner or Nominee
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)