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Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)

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$384 million USD

Adventure, Action

$20 million USD

May 13, 2008

June 12, 1981

PG for Sequences of Adventure Action and Violence, scary images, sensuality, and some language

Frank Marshall

George Lucas & Philip Kaufman (story)

Lawrence Kasdan

Original music by John Williams

Douglas Slocombe

Michael Kahn | George Lucas (uncredited)

Lucas Film Ltd | Paramount

United States


Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, UK

Bushey, Hertfordshire, England, UK

EMI Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, UK - studio


Kairouan, Tunisia

Kaua'i, Hawaii, USA

La Pallice, La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, France - WW2 German submarine base

La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, France

Rickmansworth Masonic School for Girls, Chorleywood Road, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, England, UK - Barnett College

Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, England, UK

San Rafael, California, USA - Indiana Jones' house exterior

Sedala, Tunisia

Sidi Bouhlel, Tozeur, Tunisia - city of Cairo

Sousse, Tunisia

Stockton, California, USA

Tozeur, Tunisia

University of the Pacific, Stockton, California, US

Raiders of The Lost Ark with Harrison Ford Harrison Ford in Raiders Of The Lost Ark Raiders Of The Lost Ark starring Harrison Ford Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Harrison Ford
Karen Allen
John Rhys-Davies

A highly entertaining romp of an action film that throws in everything from giant spiders to Nazi villains, biblical and Egyptian mythology, thrills, spills and special effects, Raiders of the Lost Ark marked the first collaboration between Spielberg and George Lucas, the two most commercially successful American filmmakers. Raiders was the first of Spielberg's all-action Indiana Jones films, followed by Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). While Raiders was acknowledged by the director to be a tribute to the action serials of his youth, it's a truly post-modern cornucopia of cinematic styles and genres, drawing on westerns, horror films, war and Bond movies.

Spielberg also described his vision of Harrison Ford's character as a combination of Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Don Juan and Humphrey Bogart in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre; an American critic summed up his appeal nicely when he described Indiana Jones as being as 'indestructible as a cartoon coyote'.

Raiders of the Lost Ark, also known as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, is a 1981 adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by George Lucas and starring Harrison Ford. It is the first film in the Indiana Jones franchise, and pits Indiana Jones (played by Ford) against the Nazis, who search for the Ark of the Covenant, to make their army invincible. Indiana and the Nazis search for a medallion, owned by Indy's old flame Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), which will pinpoint the Well of Souls in Egypt, the Ark's resting place. The film also starred Paul Freeman as Indiana's nemesis, French archaeologist Rene Belloq, John Rhys-Davies as Indiana's sidekick Sallah, and Denholm Elliott as Indiana's colleague, Marcus Brody.

The film's origins came from Lucas' desire to create a modern version of the serials of the 1930s and 1940s. Spielberg originally suggested casting Ford as Jones, but Lucas objected, stating that he did not want the actor to be constantly associated with his films. Lucas persuaded Spielberg to look for someone else and Tom Selleck was cast in the role, but he was unavailable because of his commitment to the television series Magnum, P.I.. Production was based at Elstree Studios, and filming also took place in La Rochelle, Tunisia, Hawaii and the United States from June to September 1980.

When released on June 12, 1981, the $20 million (USD) film was a huge success, easily the highest grossing film of 1981, earning $384 million worldwide, and, at the time, one of the highest-grossing movies ever made. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, in 1982 and won four (Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration). The film was a hit with audiences and critics alike leading to two more films, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles television series, and a fourth film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

To achieve the sound of thousands of snakes slithering, sound designer Ben Burtt stuck his fingers into a cheese casserole. This was augmented by applying wet sponges to the rubber on a skateboard.

1981's biggest grossing film.

Indiana Jones' kangaroo-hide bull whip was sold in December, 1999 at Christie's auction house in London for $43,000. His jacket and hat are on display at the Smithsonian.

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Marion: You're not the man I knew ten years ago.
Indiana: It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.

Toht: You Americans, you're all the same. Always overdressing for the wrong occasions.

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Glass wall between Indy & Marion and the snakes. Some, but not all examples have been erased in the 2003 DVD edition.

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Plays like an anthology of the best parts from all the Saturday matinee serials ever made. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times

Ford's performance is an underrated but remarkable achievement; he succeeds in fully embodying a comic-book style hero without ever descending into camp. Reviewed by: uncredited Staff of TV Guide.

Has all the right ingredients: a smart script, a likable hero, a dash of romance, more than a touch of comedy, and a lot of fast-paced action. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli of ReelViews.

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Tagged By: karen-allen

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