Paramount Pictures | Release Date: June 12, 1981
8.9
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Universal acclaim based on 626 Ratings
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10
cmrcool72Aug 28, 2012
Indiana Jones, the character responsible for making archaeology the most exciting and sought for career ever is at best found in his first and inarguably greatest classic. Raider's of the lost Ark was one of a number of classic brought to theIndiana Jones, the character responsible for making archaeology the most exciting and sought for career ever is at best found in his first and inarguably greatest classic. Raider's of the lost Ark was one of a number of classic brought to the screen in the 1980's, other notable masterpieces were time travel saga the Back to the Future trilogy, the original Terminator and the Empire Strikes Back, and Spielberg's action adventure near enough trumps them all.
Set in the backdrop of mid 1930's, where the second world war is on the verge, the film begins in a middle eastern jungle, Indy is venturing for a golden idol, he begins with three mercenaries, the whip crashes and five minutes later, he's running from a boulder having just set off the booby trap that would encave the entire temple. Five minutes in and one of the film's, of not one of cinema's most iconic scenes has rolled its way on to the screen, surely it can't get better?
It does, watch on.
Steven Spielberg is on top form in this department, providing camera work and action set pieces galore, scripted wonderfully by 80's superman Lawrence Kasdan (Empire Strikes Back.) But it's Harrison Ford who takes the cake as arguably the greatest (super)hero in cinema history, running from set piece to set piece whilst driving his story with impossibly cool suave and underlying moral dilemma. It's a film that, when first thought about ($20m globe trotting actioner starring Han Solo?) should not be good, bar even watchable, but the dream team of Lucas, Spielberg, Kasdan and Ford make it some of the most exciting, visually arresting adventure pics in creation. A must watch.
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10
MonsieurEamesJul 12, 2012
Simply the greatest adventure movie ever made. Harrison Ford does great in the title role and the rest of the cast is top tier, as well. Raiders also fascinates me with its interesting back story about the Ark of the Covenant.
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9
Compi24Nov 28, 2012
An obvious classic, "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" is a splendid showcase of stellar storytelling, excellent imagery, and a healthy action. Truly impossible to forget.
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10
NecromusDec 4, 2012
One of the best movies of all time. This is a classic. It did everything right. When it was released it was new and different. It was action-packed and suspenseful right from the beginning and has lots of humorous parts thrown in, lots ofOne of the best movies of all time. This is a classic. It did everything right. When it was released it was new and different. It was action-packed and suspenseful right from the beginning and has lots of humorous parts thrown in, lots of scary parts too. Another movie with an amazing musical score by John Williams, the music is amazing in this movie! I love the style of the way it was filmed, my girlfriend who is an art major told me the name for it but I forget, anyway it is filmed the way really old movies used to be filmed which looks way better than the typical Hollywood film you see today. Expand
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9
WriteFilmLive21Dec 28, 2012
In 1981, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas came together for a film called "Raiders of the Lost Ark", and thus brought to the world what would quickly become an immortal new action hero, Indiana Jones, played with irrepressible charisma andIn 1981, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas came together for a film called "Raiders of the Lost Ark", and thus brought to the world what would quickly become an immortal new action hero, Indiana Jones, played with irrepressible charisma and charm by Harrison Ford. Made in the spirit of the old movie adventure serials, we follow Henry "Indiana" Jones, professor of archaelogy and 'obtainer of rare antiquities', as he is asked by the government to locate the biblical Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis, who are also searching for it to unleash its theological powers. And what else is there to say? This is a classic adventure film, full of memorable characters, fantastic action scenes, drama, humor and an iconic music score. Certainly a top-tier movie from "top men" in the business. Expand
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9
SummersausageJan 6, 2013
The best action/adventure movie of all time. Smart and cool that deals with the Nazis. A great movie that makes you stand up and shout with enjoyment.
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10
24coolApr 21, 2013
Another one of my favorite movies. This movie, in my opinion, has some of the best action scenes in movie history. It has a well-done story plot, great acting from Harrison Ford, some cool special effects, and lots and lots of fun.
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10
Movie1997Apr 29, 2013
I remember first watching this when people talking about the return of Indiana Jones. Since I was a fan of Steven Spielberg I figured I's give this movie a shot. It was an incredible action-packed adventure. First off, the storyline isI remember first watching this when people talking about the return of Indiana Jones. Since I was a fan of Steven Spielberg I figured I's give this movie a shot. It was an incredible action-packed adventure. First off, the storyline is interesting and puts you on the edge of your seat. Second, the characters are awesome. I figured some of the lines would be quorky and lame, but it was surprisingly well written. And finally, the action. For an old classic like this, the action is very intense, fun and enjoyable. This is one of those movies that I wished I had already known. This is definitely one of the biggest movies ever made. Just ask an folk if they've seen Raiders of the Lost Ark. They'll most likely tell you they loved it. Overall, it's the biggest adventure in the history of cinema. Expand
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9
ScorpionMay 12, 2013
The beginning of one of the best franchises of action, and nothing but a lot of fun, full of innovative action, a character who became an icon of pop culture and immortalize Harrison Ford, and one of the first good plots that would become aThe beginning of one of the best franchises of action, and nothing but a lot of fun, full of innovative action, a character who became an icon of pop culture and immortalize Harrison Ford, and one of the first good plots that would become a model for movies action adventure. Expand
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10
George-rootsJun 25, 2013
My Number 1 favourite movie of all time and pretty much the pinnacle of adventure cinema "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is a film that no matter how many times it re-runs on air i can sit down and watch it indefinately.

"Raiders", a marvel
My Number 1 favourite movie of all time and pretty much the pinnacle of adventure cinema "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is a film that no matter how many times it re-runs on air i can sit down and watch it indefinately.

"Raiders", a marvel piece of cinema was created and brought to life by two of hollywoods biggest names at the time (Steven Spielberg "Jaws" & George Lucas "Star Wars"), Inspired by the old film serials of the 30's and 40's where adventurers will survive and escape virtually in-escapable peril,

Harrison Ford is in his prime as the famous fictional architect Indiana Jones, whose journeys would involve bizarre riddles and strange hyroglifics that would usually result in biblical proportions.

At the very beginning of the movie we are treated to a jungle exhibition with a mood defining score from John Williams and a younger, thinner Alfred Molina. Suddenly we enter a cave and finally the film already set it's moods and expectations in no less than 15 mins!!!

Suddenly we see what little of Jones's regular life is like as a College professor, and in no time we see him off on another adventure searching for the legendary Ark of the Covenant (Built by the Israeles to hold the fragments of the Ten Commandments). this ends up seeing Jones traveling to Nepal to meet his old flame Marion (Karen Allen) who may hold the key to finding the Ark, unaware that both of them are being followed and hunted by Nazi Gestapos sent by Hitler to collect the Ark for himself, this revalation pairs Indy and Marion together as the head for Cairo to find it first.

Among the Highlights of the movie as said before is The Cave, The Barfight in Nepal, The famous Market chase and the undeniably funny "Gun to the Swordfight" scene and so many others, even the ENDING of the film is so famous it has been more than parodied to death in recent Pop-Culture.

The special effects and visual style in this film are truly a lost art, from the wax melting faces and giant fiberglass boulders, to the spirits, streets of Cairo, dimly lit dungeons and tombs, everything and anything could come out from anytime, anywhere.

Also many people do not know all the talent behind this movie, Joe Johnston won an Academy Award for his effects and would later turn to directing, most notably recent "Captain America: The First Avenger" where the Nazi Villian utters "And the Fuhrer digs for trinkets in the desert" ;-)

And Michael Bay was the storyboard artist who thought the movie was going to be horrible, saw it, loved it and eventually became a film-maker himself (yet he really needs to learn something or two).

Even then though as i write and dive into this movie i can't explain why it's such a gem, Adventure films before and after to me never really reached this magnitude (not even the sequels) and no matter when and where it's on i'll just have to sit and watch it. all in all you're along for the ride and once it's started there's no going back.

"Raiders" even after all i've said there no possible way to fully describe the experince as a whole, but why it means so much to me, in one sentence is...

"One of the most Imaginative movies ever made and that's what i consider Cinema and Story telling is all about"

Final Verdict: I loved it the first time i saw it, and i'll most likely continue to love it till the day i die, My ultimate number 1 movie of all time.
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10
alexthegreatSep 6, 2013
Raiders of the Lost Ark is by far one of the best, unforgettable films of the 80s. To the great leaders George Lucas and Steven Spielberg brings adventure to life.
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10
MovieGuysSep 15, 2013
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. "Spielberg can never top this. Period." Luke Y. Thompson, Dallas Observer Luke is right. This is the best Spielberg film as of yet. I don't believe he can top this. The movie's charm and adventure just captivate you and fully engage you in the movie. It works like clockwork.

This film combines adventure, greed, power, love, Nazis, Harrison Ford at his best, and many other things to make the best adventure film ever made.

All the actors seem to enjoy their roles, and I especially love Paul Freeman's crazy French archaeologist character, Belloq.

There are many iconic scenes here; the boulder chase scene, the plane explosion, the U-boat scene, the "kidnapped Marion" scene, the "Indy-shoots-the-guy-with-the-sword" scene, and of course the melting faces scene. I could go on and on. You will like every moment of this movie, and will want more. Since you want more, you have 3 almost-as-good sequels to watch!
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9
PhilboBagginsesNov 5, 2013
A great movie which certainly showed potential for a series of films. Shamefully the Temple of Doom wasn't very exciting film but that does not take away the greatness of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Overall it was a very good film with anA great movie which certainly showed potential for a series of films. Shamefully the Temple of Doom wasn't very exciting film but that does not take away the greatness of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Overall it was a very good film with an interesting plot and solid characters. I just wish their would be more Indy films but i do not want the series to be extended so much that the storyline becomes boring and not worth watching. Expand
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9
SwatiDec 8, 2013
This is primarily an action movie, and it does its job of thrilling us with brilliant action sequences one after the other more than satisfactorily. Harrison Ford plays Dr. Indiana Jones, a professor of archaeology at an unnamed university.This is primarily an action movie, and it does its job of thrilling us with brilliant action sequences one after the other more than satisfactorily. Harrison Ford plays Dr. Indiana Jones, a professor of archaeology at an unnamed university. Don't let his profession fool you. In his spare time, he likes to go on prolonged hunts for antiquities. This hobby of his takes him from South America to Nepal to Egypt.

He finds trouble everywhere he goes, or trouble finds him. Indy is not interested in riches, but seeks to hand over each discovery he can to the museum. But Belloq, his nemesis, seems always to be one step ahead of him, and he has powerful friends who then have more friends of themselves, always among the local population. Shooting frequently breaks out wherever Indy goes, buildings explode, henchmen die and so on.

The main plot follows Indiana Jones on the search for the lost Ark, which the Nazis are digging for with the help of Belloq. An object that is a key toward finding it is with Marion, Indy's past love interest. Circumstances force them to go on the search together, but they must do this before the Nazis, who would stop at nothing to bring the Ark to Berlin for the Fuhrer, to use as a weapon.

The pacing was too fast at times and little time was left to develop the mythology and the importance of the Ark. We were expected to come into the film with a crash course on it. What the movie excels at is not making us Ark enthusiasts, but letting us glimpse what most treasure hunts must feel like to the people who pursue this course of action.

All the action might have bored an average viewer if not for the quirky lines that crack you up, uttered by the characters in the face of impending death. Indy doesn't seem to believe for one moment that all those bullets flying over his head could really hit him. Often times, he uses his whip to slash at opponents and as a fulcrum to propel himself forward or lower himself or hold onto something. It serves nearly unlimited purposes.

Set in 1936, the movie captures the look of the time as well as any other movie could. We have the cars, motorcycles, planes; and the dresses and uniforms and weapons. All this combines to create a very convincing world in which we absorb instantly.

The movie has more than its share of explosions, car chases, shooting, fist-fighting and all that. You hardly ever pause to reflect, or become bored for that matter. You never learn how the Nazis find out which ship was Indiana travelling in. All this is good, and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but what I couldn't digest was the ending. It isn't necessarily bad in any way. Actually it failed to make any kind of impact on me. It kind of fizzled out. I feel like it should have held true to the joyride which came before it. Go out with a blast, not with a fizzle. Surely greats like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg could have done better. It was too deus ex machina. I found it anticlimactic, and it lessened the effect the movie had on me until then.

Hailed as a great movie by many critics and audience alike, I cannot deny that I enjoyed the ride. But I can't concur in good conscience that this movie was great in light of the ending of the movie, though I will be fair and rate it as it deserves.
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9
marcmyworksDec 10, 2013
Probably one of the best action films ever made. Raiders re-invents the adventure genre and made a generation of people want to be archaeologists. Too bad "Big bang theory" ruined the film for us in 2013.
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10
ilikesuperman23Mar 15, 2014
This movie is amazing don't for for the big words that others use such as ''monotonous'' or ''linear'' these people are complaining that this movie isn't complex or sophisticated Indiana Jones isn't supposed to be either it is basic andThis movie is amazing don't for for the big words that others use such as ''monotonous'' or ''linear'' these people are complaining that this movie isn't complex or sophisticated Indiana Jones isn't supposed to be either it is basic and simple finding nemo was supposed to be finding nemo not the godfather this movie has all the great things a movie needs a great story, action and of course characters the characters in this movie are just so easy to fall in love with and you do care for them when they are harmed overall indiana Jones and the raiders of the lost ark is a must see Expand
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10
RedRyan18May 22, 2014
Raiders is one of the most entertaining movies ever made. The action is great, the writing is smart, the acting is great, and Spielberg's direction is brilliant.
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10
benarcherJun 1, 2014
My favorite movie by far. Indiana Jones is the most interesting/awesome/amazing character ever put to film. 90 doesn't do it justice. It should have won best picture.
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10
PvtJacksonJun 16, 2014
An amazing, wonderful tale of a man's quest for a holy yet cursed chest in the mythology, Raiders of the Lost Ark boasts strong, heroic from Harrison Ford, and undeniably greatly benefits from a fantastic storytelling.
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9
JipaDec 7, 2014
Every person who i know has seen this movie and has liked it! It is a fantastic movie and my second favorite Indiana Jones movie. This is definitely better than the 4th movie >,
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9
SkyrimGuy935Feb 26, 2015
Raiders of the Lost Ark may just be the movie that defined the term 'classic'. With a timeless story, unforgettable characters, an iconic score, and some of the best action scenes ever made, Raiders solidifies itself as one of cinema's greatRaiders of the Lost Ark may just be the movie that defined the term 'classic'. With a timeless story, unforgettable characters, an iconic score, and some of the best action scenes ever made, Raiders solidifies itself as one of cinema's great achievements. This is in my personal top five best films ever made. Although in my honest opinion, it is not fully deserving of a perfect score, even though it comes incredibly close.

9.9/10
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10
diogomendesDec 20, 2014
No wonder why is this movie considered one of the best motion pictures of all time. I simply love this. Every scene was entertaining as f*ck, and I will explain why in a brief review:

With a classically powerful story, beautiful
No wonder why is this movie considered one of the best motion pictures of all time. I simply love this. Every scene was entertaining as f*ck, and I will explain why in a brief review:

With a classically powerful story, beautiful set-pieces, crafty sense of humor and action sequences that open your mouth once they're executed, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is one of my favorite action movies of all time. If you haven't seen it yet, go check it out and don't worry because it's the first installment in Indiana Jones' franchise.
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9
DBPirate1129Jan 11, 2015
Yet another masterpiece starring Harrison Ford. Though he gained fame from Han Solo, in this film he is the true star! Raiders of the Lost Ark is thrilling and action-packed with an amazing soundtrack to match!
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9
Tessara_VejganJan 15, 2015
Rewatched it recently on BD. Great movie. Fun, entertaining full of adventure an action. Its one of those timeless classics that never get old. Harrison Ford did a really good job.
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10
borderlinefilmsFeb 4, 2015
Trailblazers of a Lost Art

Little wonder James Cameron and Joss Whelon movies are the biggest box-office earners. They are masters of cinematic rhetoric. The unfolding dramatic situations and controlled dialogue are meticulously contrived.
Trailblazers of a Lost Art

Little wonder James Cameron and Joss Whelon movies are the biggest box-office earners. They are masters of cinematic rhetoric. The unfolding dramatic situations and controlled dialogue are meticulously contrived. Cameron could probably have potted more if it wasn't for his earnest, simplistic messages (rich bad; nature good). All three movies (Titanic, Avatar, Avengers) plot along comfortably then suddenly spike spectacularly.
But no one has ever laid on the cinematic charm and cajolery like Stephen Spielberg. He was by far the craftiest manipulator of action and melodrama there ever was. He was the progenitor of summer blockbusters and all-ages, all-nations spectacles. At his best he had a gift for re-living and realizing that ethereal and irresistible childhood awe.
If Raiders of the Lost Ark (NOT the sequels... NO, not even the father- son one) was made today, exactly the same way, okay maybe in 3D with updated CGI, it would surely land at the top of the box-office heap. It is essentially the first comic book movie that wasn't a comic book (bespectacled mild-mannered Archaeology prof by day and globe-trotting whip-wielding action hero on sabbatical). Raiders of the Lost Ark (the first and only) is arguably the greatest adventure movie ever cooked up. And we, the abject audience, servile participants of the artifice, were licking its boots. We wanted Spielberg and his Indy to rope us in, reel us into the action, and completely have their way with us. We overlooked the emotional manipulation and contrived trappings because it was a pure freaking joy to watch, a Lucas produced godsend. Harrison Ford was born to play it just as Steven was born to direct it. It's really too bad they had to brand and knock off inferior sequels that, while making oodles of money, tarnished the shine of the unsurpassed prototype.
Indiana Jones was the perfect reluctant action hero on a selfless mission. A whip-snapping, truck-wrangling, swordster-gunning, Nazi- brawling adventurer who was matched only by his headstrong and sassy love interest, one pistol of a gal who could drink any man under the table. Not enough credit has been given to the great Lawrence Kasdan as the writer of this marvellous adventure. The script is as close to perfect as anybody could scribe. Even a dialogue-heavy expository scene (poisoned dates) was infused with a tense element of suspense. Yes, the story was hyper-fictional, completely contrived, shamelessly far-fetched... and altogether delightful. I wasn't expecting much when I went in to watch it back in 1981, but it had me wanting to do do back-flips on the way out. America's own Fab Four, Larry, Steve, Harrison and George, put on an action-adventure clinic.
Possibly the only weak spot in the movie is the climax which had our hero and heroine tied to a stake while God, the almighty Mcguffin from the Old Testament, magically wrapped things up for them. "Don't look" Indy warns, with his patented crooked grin. Are you kidding? We can't possibly take out eyes off of this. With respect to lost Teddy Bears from space and anti-Nazi machinators, Raiders is Spielbergs greatest achievement. It is one of the finest films ever made, of its or any kind. It is, hands down, my desert island movie.
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9
homer4presidentMar 28, 2015
A fun adventure/action story from the days before CGI when the story had to be the driving force behind a good action film. A true classic that should not be missed.
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10
CinemaSinsMay 9, 2015
Despite what the DVD marketeers are currently claiming, the title of this movie was, is, and always shall be Raiders of the Lost Ark, not Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. There are times when revisionism can be taken too far,Despite what the DVD marketeers are currently claiming, the title of this movie was, is, and always shall be Raiders of the Lost Ark, not Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. There are times when revisionism can be taken too far, and this is one of those instances. I don't need all of my Indiana Jones titles next to each other in my DVD library. I'm perfectly capable of going to the "R" section for Raiders rather than having it alongside the sequels, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

You have to love a movie that is so devilishly clever as to make the hero's every effort, no matter how Herculean, irrelevant to the conclusion. Had Dr. Jones elected to go on an extended vacation to Mozambique and never have anything to do with the Ark of the Covenant, nothing would have changed. Jones doesn't save the day. In fact, he doesn't come close to rescuing it, unless one considers his having failed as being the key to success. (Although he does get the girl.) Yes, the movie ends with melting faces, but, underneath all of that liquefying flesh and exploding heads, there's an abundance of irony just waiting for the attentive movie-goer to unearth. When was the last time that an action hero has been so utterly, completely inconsequential as Indiana Jones?

But, in discussing the ending, I'm getting ahead of myself. Better, instead, to go back to the beginning. Where that is, is anyone's guess. It could be back in the late '40s, when a young George Lucas was enthralled by the cliffhanger serials that would inspire this film. It could be in 1975, when Steven Spielberg made a little movie about a not-so-little shark and suddenly became a big name in Hollywood. It could be in 1977 when Lucas' Star Wars singlehandedly revived science fiction and solidified the concept of the summer blockbuster. Or it could be later in that same year, when Lucas and Spielberg, while both vacationing in Hawaii, decided that they had to work together on a project. That project would become Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Action movies were a different breed in the pre-1981 years than they are today, and one of the reasons for their transformation had to do with Raiders of the Lost Ark. Before this movie, James Bond ruled the roost and the Bond formula was the accepted path that any self-respecting action movie would follow. The first Indiana Jones outing changed that. The film was constructed as a series of cliffhangers with narrow, death-defying escapes. Not since the era of serials have audiences so often asked the question, "How's he going to get out of this one?" It's unfair to claim that the 007 outings were unexciting, but, compared to Raiders of the Lost Ark, they come across as sedate. Raiders transformed the action movie landscape. In the years that followed, nearly every action movie would try to generate the same sense of suspense and tension. Even the Bond movies would catch on.

Certainly, Raiders of the Lost Ark is a breathless, white-knuckle experience of a movie. It is also perfectly paced. There's enough time in between the frequent action scenes to provide the minimum of exposition and character development for us to understand what's going on and to appreciate the relationships between the individuals who populate the screen. There's none of the frantic quick-cutting that has since become a staple of action movies (thank you, editor Michael Kahn!), and the production does not seem frenzied and out-of-control. This isn't a case of cardboard figures running around in circles and blowing things up. We care about Indy and Marion in ways that we rarely care about protagonists in this genre. When Marion "dies," it stings.

For composer John Williams, who has long been favored by both Spielberg and Lucas, the chance to work on Raiders of the Lost Ark offered him an opportunity to collaborate with them both, and to add another memorable theme song to his list of credits. In the five-year period from 1977 to 1982, Williams created five of movie-dom's most popular title tracks: Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T.

The deserved popularity of Raiders of the Lost Ark resulted in a huge box office bonanza for Paramount Pictures. This is the kind of movie that, even today, audiences immediately fall in love with. It 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. The two sequels are vastly inferior - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is too ponderous and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is unforgivably fatuous. Yet, because the first entry of the series leaves such an indelible imprint, the existence of lesser chapters to the Indiana Jones saga does nothing to dilute its impact. Raiders of the Lost Ark is a movie to be savored by viewers of all ages and all persuasions.
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10
ZawMineMay 12, 2015
Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the best movies of all time. Everybody agree that. And it is one of my favourite movies of all time. So it gets 10 out of 10. An A+.
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9
Greg2Jun 26, 2015
Indiana Jones : Raider of the lost Ark is a excellente movie. The screenplay is perfect. Actors play very well their roles. the music ismagnificent . Action, adventure , humor are there.
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9
beingryanjudeJul 3, 2015
Raiders of the Lost Ark successfully blends archaeology with history and becomes a lively and fascinating action adventure around the globe. The collaboration involved on this first Indiana Jones flick is staggering - even for then. It's noRaiders of the Lost Ark successfully blends archaeology with history and becomes a lively and fascinating action adventure around the globe. The collaboration involved on this first Indiana Jones flick is staggering - even for then. It's no doubt it has become an epic classic. Expand
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