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|Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) IMDB
||Lucasfilm / Paramount
|Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is no ordinary archeologist. When we first see him, he is somewhere in the Peruvian jungle in 1936, running a booby-trapped gauntlet (complete with an over-sized rolling boulder) to fetch a solid gold idol. He loses this artifact to his chief rival, a French archeologist named Belloq (Paul Freeman), who then prepares to kill our hero. In the first of many serial-like escapes, Indy eludes Belloq by hopping into a convenient plane. So, then: Is Indiana Jones afraid of anything? Yes, snakes. The next time we see Jones, he's a soft-spoken, bespectacled professor. He is then summoned from his ivy-covered environs by Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) to find the long-lost Ark of the Covenant. The Nazis, it seems, are already searching for the Ark, which the mystical-minded Hitler hopes to use to make his stormtroopers invincible. But to find the Ark, Indy must first secure a medallion kept under the protection of Indy's old friend Abner Ravenwood, whose daughter Marion (Karen Allen) evidently has a "history" with Jones. Whatever their personal differences, Indy and Marion become partners in one action-packed adventure after another, ranging from wandering the snake pits of the Well of Souls to surviving the pyrotechnic unearthing of the sacred Ark. A joint project of Hollywood prodigies George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, with a script cowritten by Lawrence Kasdan and Philip Kaufman, among others, Raiders of the Lost Ark is not so much a movie as a 115-minute thrill ride. Costing $22 million (nearly three times the original estimate), Raiders of the Lost Ark reaped $200 million during its first run. It was followed by Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1985) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), as well as a short-lived TV-series "prequel." --- Hal Erickson
|Harrison Ford ..... Indiana Jones
Karen Allen ..... Marion Ravenswood
Denholm Elliott ..... Marcus Brody
Paul Freeman ..... Belloq
Wolf Kahler ..... Dietrich
John Rhys-Davies ..... Sallah
Ronald Lacey ..... Toht
Anthony Higgins ..... Gobler
Alfred Molina ..... Satipo
Vic Tablian ..... Barranca
Terry Richards ..... Swordsman
Pat Roach ..... Giant Sherpa/1st Mechanic
Sergio Mioni .....
Bill Reimbold ..... Bureaucrat
John Rees ..... Sergeant
Frank Marshall ..... Pilot
Chuck Waters .....
Tony Vogel ..... Tall Captain
Malcolm Weaver ..... Ratty Nepalese
Bill Weston .....
Matthew Scurfield ..... 2nd Nazi
Kiran Shah ..... Abu
Mary Selway .....
Rocky Taylor .....
Fred Sorenson ..... Jock
Eddie Tagoe ..... Messenger Pirate
Paul Weston .....
Jack Dearlove ..... Mr. Ford's Stand-In
Gerry Crampton .....
Patrick Durkin ..... Australian Climber
Jane Feinberg .....
Don Fellows ..... Col. Musgrove
Vic Armstrong .....
Anthony Chinn ..... Mohan
Peter Brace .....
Ishaq Bux ..... Omar
Terry J. Leonard .....
William Hootkins ..... Major Eaton
George Harris ..... Katanga
Billy Horrigan .....
Tutte Lemkow ..... Imam
Mike Fenton .....
Martin Grace .....
Reg Harding .....
Ted Grossman ..... Peruvian Porter
Steve Hanson ..... German Agent
|(1981) Academy - Best Art Direction (win) ..... Michael Ford
(1981) Academy - Best Art Direction (win) ..... Leslie Dilley
(1981) Academy - Best Art Direction (win) ..... Norman Reynolds
(1981) Academy - Best Cinematography (nom) ..... Douglas Slocombe
(1981) Academy - Best Director (nom) ..... Steven Spielberg
(1981) Academy - Best Editing (win) ..... Michael Kahn
(1981) Academy - Best Picture (nom) .....
(1981) Academy - Best Score (nom) ..... John Williams
(1981) Academy - Best Sound (win) ..... Gregg Landaker
(1981) Academy - Best Sound (win) ..... Roy Charman
(1981) Academy - Best Sound (win) ..... Steve Maslow
(1981) Academy - Best Sound (win) ..... Bill Varney
(1981) Academy - Best Visual Effects (win) ..... Richard Edlund
(1981) Academy - Best Visual Effects (win) ..... Kit West
(1981) Academy - Best Visual Effects (win) ..... Bruce Nicholson
(1981) Academy - Best Visual Effects (win) ..... Joe Johnston
(1981) Academy - Special Achievement (win) ..... Ben Burtt
(1981) Academy - Special Achievement (win) ..... Anderson, Richard L.
(1981) British Academy Awards - Best Production Design/Art Direction (win) ..... Norman Reynolds
(1981) Directors Guild of America - Best Director (nom) ..... Steven Spielberg
(1981) Golden Globe - Best Director (nom) ..... Steven Spielberg
(1982) PEO - Best Film .....
(1998) American Film Institute - 100 Greatest American Movies (win) .....
(1999) Library of Congress - U.S. National Film Registry (win) .....
|An homage to the glory days of Saturday matinee adventure serials and back lot B-movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the most unabashedly enjoyable cinematic events of the 1980s. Packed with breakneck action, a cheerfully absurd plot involving Nazis and lost treasure, exotic locales, and a bit of romance, Raiders celebrated old-school adventure and made it palatable to an increasingly jaded contemporary audience. One of the most ingenious and stylish action films ever made, it became an almost instant classic, turning otherwise stodgy film critics into gleeful children and pulling in millions of dollars from filmgoers who found it the most thrilling theatrical event since Star Wars four years earlier. That Raiders spawned two sequels, a slew of inferior imitations, and settled into the cultural lexicon is a testament to both its initial impact and enduring appeal, as well as the outwardly contradictory notion that originality can spring from a tried-and-true formula. --- Rebecca Flint