Raiders of the Lost Ark (retroactively titled Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark following the release of its sequels) is a 1981 action-adventure fantasy film starring Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood, Paul Freeman as Rene Belloq, John Rhys Davies as Sallah, the late Ronald Lacey as Major Arnold Toht and the late Denholm Elliot as Marcus Brody.
In 1936, a epic tale in which an intrepid archaeologist tries to beat a band of Nazis to a unique religious relic which is central to their plans for world domination. Battling against a snake phobia and a vengeful ex-girlfriend, Indiana Jones is in constant peril, making hair's-breadth escapes at every turn in this celebration of the innocent adventure movies of an earlier era, and a professor Henry "Indiana" Jones is sent by the United States government to find the long lost Ark of the Covenant in order to stop it from falling into the hands of Nazi Germany.
Why It Rocks
- An interesting premise about an archaeologist attempting to find the Ark of the Covenant before it falls into Nazi hands.
- Memorable action sequences.
- Amazing score by John Williams.
- Great fights.
- Despite the film being mostly serious, it has touches of humor.
- The special effects are well done.
- The performances are spectacular.
- The scene where God unleashes His power on Belloq and the Nazis is truly terrifying, complete with closeups of Belloq and his lieutenants’ faces melting, exploding, etc.
Raiders of the Lost Ark received extremely positive reviews from critics and audiences alike and was a huge success. The film currently holds a 95% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 9.2 out of 10 and a critic consensus that reads "Featuring bravura set pieces, sly humor, and white-knuckle action, Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the most consummately entertaining adventure pictures of all time." Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film a four out of four stars and stated in his review "Two things, however, make Raiders of the Lost Ark more than just a technological triumph: its sense of humor and the droll style of its characters [...] We find ourselves laughing in surprise, in relief, in incredulity at the movie's ability to pile one incident upon another in an inexhaustible series of inventions."
The film opened at #1 on its opening weekend of June 12, 1981 with a domestic gross of $8,305,823. The total domestic gross would later go up to $212,222,025. In foreign markets, the film made $141,766,000. The world wide gross was $389,925,971 against its $18 million budget making it one of the highest grossing films of all time, especially in terms of 1980s films.
Awards and nominations
The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards including Best Picture, but lost to Chariots of Fire. It however won four, as well as a Special Achievement Award for sound effects editing.
- Template:Rotten Tomatoes