Sunday, June 12, 2011


On June 12, 1981, Paramount Pictures released one of the greatest action-adventure movies of all time: Raiders of the Lost Ark! When you combine the genius of Steven Spielberg (Jaws) and George Lucas (Star Wars), you get one of the greatest action heroes ever: Indiana Jones, played by none other than Harrison Ford. Already a star as the smuggler Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) and Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Ford would further his career as an action star with his now iconic whip-wielding archaeologist/professor. Indiana Jones was based on the pulp magazine heroes of the 1930's such as Doc Savage and Nick Carter.
Set in 1936, Indiana Jones is an archaeologist and part-time archeology university professor. After an unsuccessful trip to South America where Jones risked his life to obtain a golden idol, which is taken by his rival Rene Belloq (Paul Freeman). When he returns home, Jones is recruited by the U.S. government to find the biblical "Ark of the Covenant" before the Nazis. During his journey, he travels to Nepal and is reunited with Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), the daughter of his mentor, Dr. Ravenwood in search of an ancient amulet, which holds the map to where the Ark is hidden. After a run in with Nazis Jones and Marion travel to Egypt where they meet his old friend Sallah (John Rhys-Davies). While the Nazis search in the wrong place Jones and Sallah find the real resting place of the Ark, "The Well of Souls", but just when they are about to take it, they are captured by the Nazis and Belloq. As the Nazis take the Ark they seal Jones and Marion in the tomb with thousands of deadly snakes. After a miraculous escape Jones and Marion try to catch up with the Ark and end up on a secluded island where Belloq and the Nazis attempt to open the Ark unleashing a powerful supernatural force which destroys everything and everyone except for Jones and Marion. Unfortunately the U.S. government takes the Ark and hides it away in a vast warehouse.

Raiders of the Lost Ark brought back the classic adventure story for a new generation and made Harrison Ford twice the star in the 1980's as he would go on to star in two Indiana Jones sequels The Temple of Doom (1984) and The Last Crusade (1989) and then the third Star Wars movie Return of the Jedi (1983) and many other parts such as Rick Dekard in Blade Runner (1982), which would define his career. "Raiders" had such an impact on movies and holds a place in film history as a pop culture phenomenon alongside "Star Wars". Even today, Indiana Jones' legacy goes on with new films like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008). Even Disney still pays tribute to Indiana Jones with two separate attractions bearing his name from The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular in DisneyWorld Hollywood Studios and The Indiana Jones Adventure in DisneyLand! If you love Raiders of the Lost Ark as much as I do; please post any comments you might have, favorite lines or quotes from the movie would be great! Thanks!

Indiana Jones Official Website