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5.0 out of 5 stars The Return Of The Great Adventure...
"Either of you guys ever go to Sunday School?" - Indiana Jones brings Eaton & Musgrove's church attendence records into question in "Raiders of the Lost Ark".
From the director of "Jaws" and the creator of "Star Wars" comes the adventure film that all others in its genre are held up to, "Raiders of the Lost Ark". After twenty-three years and counting, I can honestly...
Published on May 28 2004 by the-gr8shag

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3.0 out of 5 stars What - no Oscar???
As everybody knows, Raiders of the Lost Ark is a well made action movie. If you want to park your brain and relax after a hard day's work, this is what the doctor will prescribe as a safe cure. Yet, I only give it three stars.
One star is deducted for the political incorrectness and insensitivity in the opening sequence, where the grave robbing hero sends a bunch of...
Published on April 8 2002 by Eric Anderson


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5.0 out of 5 stars The Return Of The Great Adventure..., May 28 2004
"Either of you guys ever go to Sunday School?" - Indiana Jones brings Eaton & Musgrove's church attendence records into question in "Raiders of the Lost Ark".
From the director of "Jaws" and the creator of "Star Wars" comes the adventure film that all others in its genre are held up to, "Raiders of the Lost Ark". After twenty-three years and counting, I can honestly say that the film has yet to be outmatched (sure there have been good action/adventure films since "Raiders", including its own sequels, but I haven't seen a film that has had an indeliable, definitive impact that "Raiders" has left in a long time, possibly since the original "Star Wars")
Hired by the U.S. Government, archeologist/adventurer, Indiana Jones is on a race against evil to retrieve the lost Ark of The Covenent, the chest that contains the original stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. The ones that Moses brought down from Mount Harab and smashed. When was the last time YOU went to Sunday School!? Along the way Indiana meets up with an ex-girlfriend of his, Marion Ravenwood, outraces and dukes it out with legions of Nazis, and has plenty of close calls including a truck chase, The Well of Souls and its snakes (& Indiana's deathly phobia of them), a slugfest with a mechanic and his flying wing, and the opening of the Ark itself (lets just say GOD isn't to happy when mortals decide to open the Ark & sift through its contents).
An absolute modern-day classic. Why? "Raiders"' opening, from the Paramount logo to the natives chasing Dr. Jones, the bar fight, the basket chase, The Well of Souls, the truck chase (that alone gets 5 stars), the opening of The Ark in all its glory, John Williams' Oscar nominated score, I could go on all day long, but, you get the drift. What gives the film its drive (and where the sequels fail) is the urgency & danger of retrieving the Ark and the competitiveness between Indiana Jones and the Frenchman, Renee Belloq (the film imposes, early on, that these two have been competitors since there college days).
I got this on cassette for Xmas 1984 and I burnt the tape out. Thank God for DVD.
Nominated for 8 Oscars including Best Picture, Director (Steven Spielberg), Original Score and winning 4 of those awards including Best Sound & Visual Effects. The American Film Institute ranks "Raiders" as one of the top 100 films of all-time and Indiana Jones as one of the top cinematic heroes second only to Atticus Finch from "To Kill A Mockingbird".
The truck chase wasn't directed by Spielberg (he did the close-ups afterwards), but was helned by second unit director, Norman Reynolds. Tom Selleck was originally cast to play Jones but had to back out due to contractual agreements with Universal and CBS for "Magnum P.I." (I think it would have been a different film. I saw a "Raiders" screen test with him and Sean Young and he came off very obnoxious). Danny DeVito was offered the role for Sallah but declined due to scheduling conflicts with "Taxi". The scene where the Nazi officer was supposed to shoot Sallah was filmed but couldn't be used, becuase of black smoke from burning tires in one take, and in another actor John-Rhyes Davies getting sick and filling his jallaba (and he didn't care one bit).
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" is one truly great adventure worth taking over & over again. No matter what George Lucas calls it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Moose Hole - 'Raiders' Dig Up a Classic, Feb. 21 2004
Few classics in the history of motion pictures can be as easily recognizable for their theme music alone as Raiders of the Lost Ark and remain enduring beyond that identifiable element. When the feature was originally released in 1981, it certainly had a lot of potential going for it. Rising director Steven Spielberg showed potential with such hits as Jaws and Close Encounters with the Third Kind but lack-luster features like 1941 and The Sugarland Express hindered him from being a break-out commodity in Hollywood just yet. Added to the mix was the creative talents of another rising film-maker, George Lucas, who had just come off one the biggest motion picture phenomena of all time, Star Wars. Paramount executives must have been biting at the bit to see what these two creative geniuses could cook up but even they had to question their choice of relative unknown actor Harrison Ford as the lead role. But despite relative criticism, both Spielberg and Lucas believed they had the perfect choice after witnessing the former carpenter in American Graffiti and Star Wars. The real judgment would be determined by the movie-going public and whether or not they would endure a two-hour feature about a man with a hat and a whip.
The story centers on the adventures of a head-strong paleontologist as he searches for one of the most spiritual artifacts in the history of the world. There is no paleontologist in the world like Indiana Jones. He's seen it all from booby traps to a gigantic rolling boulder to spear-throwing natives. All in the name of archeology and maybe a little love here and there throughout his exhilarating exploits. But this new venture may be the most challenging of them all. The United States government, in their efforts to battle the Axis-powers during World War II, enlists Mr. Jones to search for the Ark of the Covenant, the sacred holding structure many believed contained the original Ten Commandments that were brought down from the mountain by Moses thousands of years ago, before the Nazis get to it first. Along his journey, he meets up with his ex-girlfriend Marion, who holds an essential piece to the puzzle in finding the Ark, but things become more complicated as the Nazis are in full pursuit. Indiana must get to the Ark before the Nazis do or else Hitler will control an unstoppable army that will eventually conquer the world. The story for Raiders of the Lost Ark doesn't seem all that complicated, or some can make the case not all that original, but looks can be deceiving. From the thrilling opening sequence to the mysterious conclusion, Raiders is one of the most entertaining and enthralling comedy/action adventures ever developed for the silver screen. It is all the little things in this film that make the big picture all the more enduring for viewers.
Whoever said Harrison Ford may have been wrong for the role of Indiana Jones may have had some merit in their comment back in 1981, but now adays that comment would be shot down so fast it wouldn't be funny. Though at the time the young actor had relatively light acting experience, Ford proves that he can measure up to any other in the role of high risk-taking adventurer. It is Ford's hilarious reactions to situations, most notably a particular moment during the chase through the marketplace, combined with his amazing ability to transition himself into key fight sequences that make him an essential casting decision in this feature. This may be a difference in time periods but for some audience members, Karen Allen's performance as Marion may be a little too Tom-boyish to be considered sexy. It might possibly have been more risqué back then but it isn't so much now. Not entirely her fault but the change of the times.
Overall, Raiders successfully brings to the screen one of the most charismatic and enduring action adventure heroes in cinematic history and does so in triumphant style. The wonderful thing about the film is that the filmmakers are able to blend humor into well-needed areas of the overall action oriented flick, though at times it seems they try too hard to get laughs across. The special effects were magnificent during the film's initial release and are still quite interesting today, though to a lesser degree. Unlike the special effects of later films like Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the special effects of Raiders of the Lost Ark don't have the enduring effect they once had but that doesn't make the film cheesy or seem aged. The bottom-line analysis of this film has to be based on the Indiana Jones series as a whole in that this feature is a wonderful first entry and deserves to be ranked highly but stands behind the last entry in the series on overall entertainment value. This doesn't, however, make the film less of an enduring classic or less of good time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rough & Tough: Indiana Jones whips Bond Any Day, Nov. 25 2003
By 
Daniel R. Sanderman (Portland, OR United States) - See all my reviews
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I remember watching "Raiders of the Lost Ark" for the first time as a child and wanting to go out and buy a whip and a hat. All of the Indian Jones movies have stood the test of modern time, surviving countless viewings and rentals. While I am personally a bigger fan of the second two films in the series, this movie is important for launching an extremely successful trilogy. I enjoy "Raiders" for its somewhat sloppy nature; the acting and dialogue is not as smooth as it is in the later films, Harrison Ford is not as sure of his character in this film, and the pacing of the movie is a bit rushed. This movie is all action with very little time to rest in-between. Despite these immaturities, the film is highly enjoyable and well suited for a popcorn-eating-good-time.
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" is refreshing to watch amid the slough of action films that are being produced these days. Indiana is not a perfect action hero; one of my favorite scenes is when Indiana swings on the vine to escape the villagers. Just when you think he'll successfully swing out to his awaiting plane, he falls in the water. The movie is constantly throwing in humor and antics to lighten up the pace. Additionally, despite some of the more grotesque scenes, most of the action is downplayed in this film, as Indiana is quicker to throw a punch than shoot someone. Indiana, like James Bond, always gets his girl-but he has to work at it. He is definitely not a ladies man, which is a refreshing take on the whole Bond/Bond Girl motif. In short, get this movie. You'll have a good time watching a classic battle of good against evil...and whips and archaeologists.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Blockbuster, Nov. 8 2003
By 
Oh, for the days when movies where about the good old battles between good and evil, before the days of moral relativism and political correctness.
In this fantastic 1981 blockbuster, action hero and archaeologist, Indiana Jones, battles against evil Nazis and other villains (such as bloodthirsty Arabs who bear a strong resemblance to Hamas terrorists), to prevent the Nazis and their minions from getting hold the Lost Ark of the Covenant, of ancient Israel, as part of Hitler's plan for world domination.
There is never a dull moment in this movie from battles with tribesmen, who have been recruited by the chief villain in the rainforests and ancient pyramids of the Amazon, to Tibet, to Egypt.
The leading lady, who accompanies Indiana Jones, and his love interest, is played by Karen Allen. She is quite tomboyish, and defiant, which only makes her all the more appealing when she is vulnerable and needing help!
And Indiana Jones will be called on to help the girl in distress, several times.
There are some really memorable parts, such as when an Arab swordsman challenges Indy, with some dramatic swordplay, and instead of the drawn out duel we expect, Indy quickly cuts him down with his pistol (I found that hilarious.)
Of course the most memorable and mind-blowing scene was when the Nazis finally found the arc. As they open it, they die a gruesome death, as their faces just melt away. G-D's vengeance on those who try to steal the property of his people, Israel.
This movie is absolutely classic, with a real heroic get-back-to-basic fell about it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A deserved classic., Sept. 23 2003
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With George Lucas in full gear producing and co-writing his beloved "Star Wars" series, Steven Spielberg was hot off the box office trail after "Jaws" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Since the two had already been friends before their respective careers started to take flight, it was natural that the two would come together and create a film that would stand the test of time. The two, along with veteran writer Philip Kaufman, created Indiana Jones. Lucas was inspired by the old Saturday matinee serials of his childhood (remember those "Manhunt in the African Jungle" short films?).
What a film! I can't think of a reason why ANYONE should dislike it. Even if you do dislike it (and for whatever reason, you're wrong), it's something you have to see just to see! Harrison Ford is in fine form as the archaeologist Indiana "Indy" Jones, and we have Karen Allen as a feisty love interest and John Rhys-Davies excellent in the role of Sallah. John Williams' score should've won the Oscar in my book (it lost to Vangelis' "Chariots of Fire") as well, with its haunting themes and the infamous "Raiders March."
The action hardly ever lets up and there's the occasional humor in-between the scenes and sequences. Who can forget the boulder that Indy runs from near the beginning of the film? How about the swordsman who shows off and Indy ends up shooting him without a fight? How about the final scene in which the Nazis are practically decimated and destroyed by God when they open up the Ark of the Covenant? All of these and more have become part of pop culture that we'll never forget.
Tom Selleck had turned down the role of Indy because he was committed to Magnum, P.I., and while he is a great actor, can you NOT imagine Harrison Ford in the role? He defined the hero with his portrayal of the globe-trotting archaeologist. In fact, I think this film's perfect in every aspect; the screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan (co-writer of Episodes 2 and 3 of "Star Wars," and he also co-wrote and directed "Dreamcatcher"), Steven Spielberg's old fashioned directorial style, and George Lucas's grand vision (along with a great cast and John Williams's spectacular score) helped propel this movie to be one of the top films ever made.
I guess not much more can be said. GREAT film, an american classic. You must see this film, whatever your opinions are. You know you have to!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Tom Selleck!, June 23 2003
By 
J R Zullo (São Paulo, Brazil) - See all my reviews
I grew up watching Indiana Jones, so I'm really partial on my comments.
Indiana Jones is everybody's hero because everybody wants to be like Indiana Jones. He has a cool profession, he has cool friends, women fall for him, he lives a life of constant and intriguing adventures. Spielberg and Lucas did an amazing job in creating such a likeable character. Even his name is fantastic, a name no one will ever forget. That's the secret of Indiana Jones: to be able to relate to all kinds of people, from young kids to old ladies.
"Raiders of the lost ark" is one of the best movie-scripts I've ever seen. Every scene is memorable, the dialogue is quick, intelligent, and even funny, sometimes. Even if the main plot is not that original (Nazi Germany trying to dominate the world by means of an extermely powerful artifact), the accurately filmed action sequences, well-done by a master of the genre (Spielberg), will leave the viewer always in the edge of the seat. Spielberg and his production team did a great job in re-creating the perfect atmosphere of Middle-east in the years before World War II (1936), when the world seems a little bit antique (at least for us born after 1975) and yet already well-developed when we talk about scientific, weaponry and political stuff.
One other thing worth mentioning about "Raiders" is that it toys with the notion of the powerful, ancient artifacts of the monotheist religions - in this case, the Ark of the Covenant (in fact, in "Last crusade" we go back to this same notion, but with the Holy Grail), something that always gets the attention of the viewers.
Tom Selleck turned down the role of Indiana Jones because of his "Magnum" series. Thank God! It seems that Harrison Ford was born to be Indiana Jones. Combining Han Solo's wit and constant-feigned bad temper with James Bond's nerves of steel, Ford was able to create the perfect scholastic-adventurer. Of course, in this movie Indy represents the Good with a capital G, while almost everybody else that's not with him are Evil. That's OK. From the beginning, we already know who to cheer for.
My last comment is about John Williams' sound score. Just one word: unforgattable.
"Raiders of the lost ark" deservedly became an overnight classic, bringing back the genre of movie appropriate to all ages and to everybody who likes a good adventure story.
Grade 9.8/10
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4.0 out of 5 stars Indiana Jones: Chapter 24- Not so Good as a I thought, March 5 2003
BEFORE I SAW THE MOVIE:
I'm going to watching this movie right now... (13:50/5-3-2003)At the end of the Movie I'll rate it. But every movie I saw of 'Steven Spielberg' were rated very good (3-5 stars). 'Harrison Ford' stars as 'Dr. Indiana Jones', 'nd I love 'Harrison'! He was 'Han Solo' in 'Star Wars Episode IV: a New Hope', 'Star Wars Episode V: the Empire Strikes Back' and 'Star Wars Episode VI: the Return of the jedi'! The last 3 Star Wars were the best Movies ever... I wouldn't get it if this will be a bad movie!!! Now I'm going to watch 'Indiana jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark'...
AFTER THE MOVIE:
I aspected more from this movie... I can't give it a 5 star rating, like most of you critics do! I think there was something missing in this movie that other movie (like 'Star Wars') do have! Also when 'Indy' fights.., I think it's so fake!! But, I like it!! A lot... I enjoyed the movie, really I did!! I just thought it would be a beautifull movie, instead of a good movie! Tonight I'm going to see 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom', I hope it's better. I think it's going to be better...
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Guten Tag, Herr Jones", Feb. 1 2003
By 
"mljkb" (Lincoln, Ne USA) - See all my reviews
One of he premier action films of all time, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is blast form beginning to end. Mr. Jones fight snakes, Nazies, one huge Nazi, and the scene wher he steals back the Ark from the truck still amazes today. Harrison Ford gives Jones a humorous, manly personality that sitll sends a rush a testosterone to any male who watches (and the ladies swoon to him).
In the first movie of the trilogy (now in its fourth movie) Mr. Jones has to fight a Nazi conspiracy to steal the biblical Ark of the Covenant, and use to shape the world to their own desire. He also has to face off with a rival archeologist who is helping the Nazies reover the Ark. Also, Jones meets up again with a former flame (Karen Allen) who only helps him because Jones trashed her bar and lost out on $$$$.
One final reaon why this movie is so good and memorable, is its cocksure attitude. It has a swagger about it that continues to be ever more appealing. So, if you ae tired of the latest action movies coming out, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is sure to please.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jan. 18 2003
By 
Kristy M. Ross "Kristy" (CT, USA) - See all my reviews
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Brought to the screen by movie legends Steven Spielberg and George Lucas (STAR WARS), RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK is pure escapism, encapsulating the spirit of the old serials of the 50s and making an action hero in Harrison Ford. Not to mention inventing the summer blockbuster and collecting phenomenal box office records. Starting out with one of the best opening sequences ever on film, with spiders, deadly booby traps and one huge boulder, you know you're watching something special. With whip, fedora and sardonic grin all present and correct, Ford is the quintessential action hero in one of the most fantastic action films in movie history. The one line that sums up the whole film is spoken by Indy himself; when Sallah asks Indy "How?", Jones' classic reply is "I don't know, i'm making this up as I go!". Indeed, the film has a free-wheeling sense of adventure that goes from one amazing action set-piece to the next. My favourite scene is where Indiana is trying to save Marion. After dispatching several guys the crowd parts to reveal an Arab doing some fancy moves with a scimitar and just as the audience is ready for an elaborate sword and whip fight, Indy simply shoots the guy. Cue instant audience applause. Harrison Ford is Indiana Jones, he plays the part so well you start saying Indy instead of Harrison. Most films in the Spielberg cannon have numerous fantastically contrived set-pieces and RAIDERS is no exception. Like JAWS and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS before it, John William's fantastic score adds a whole new layer to the action, providing momentum and comical touches. A masterpiece in every sense of the word.
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4.0 out of 5 stars That Man from Rio II, Dec 31 2002
By 
Joseph Ryan (Lima, Peru) - See all my reviews
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I still remember the rush I felt from seeing Raiders when it first came out! Now, twenty years later, I've learned something else interesting about it.
Raiders turns out to be virtually a remake of a French film from 1964, That Man from Rio (L'homme de Rio) by de Broca. Reviews occasionally mention the two films together as inspired by James Bond movies, but the scene-by-scene correspondence is so close that "remake" is the only word that fits.
The main difference between the two films is that Raiders, made in 1981 with U.S. technological pizzazz, takes the already fast-paced That Man and catapults it into orbit!
There are a number of other changes, which reflect differences in French and U.S. culture, as well as eras 17 years apart. The French version has more Gallic lightness and is more socially aware, even ahead of its time, as it features a concern about environmental destruction. The American version uses broader humor and is funnier (for my taste). In place of environmental damage, the American version substitutes Nazi pillage of Jewish treasures. Ironically, the American version actually chooses a Frenchman as its bad guy!
The differences are big enough that I can't say "If you loved Raiders you'll also like That Man" (you might not). But for me That Man from Rio is an interesting film in its own right.
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