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Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure  |  12 June 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 600,348 users   Metascore: 90/100
Reviews: 748 user | 224 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.



(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronald Lacey ...
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Barranca / Monkey Man
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Fred Sorenson ...
Patrick Durkin ...


The year is 1936. An archeology professor named Indiana Jones is venturing in the jungles of South America searching for a golden statue. Unfortunately, he sets off a deadly trap but miraculously escapes. Then, Jones hears from a museum curator named Marcus Brody about a biblical artifact called The Ark of the Covenant, which can hold the key to humanly existence. Jones has to venture to vast places such as Nepal and Egypt to find this artifact. However, he will have to fight his enemy Rene Belloq and a band of Nazis in order to reach it. Written by John Wiggins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Indiana Jones - the new hero from the creators of JAWS and STAR WARS. See more »


Action | Adventure


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | | | |

Release Date:

12 June 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Indiana Jones  »

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,673,731 (USA) (7 September 2012)


$242,374,454 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The spirit effects at the climax were achieved by shooting mannequins underwater in slow motion through a fuzzy lens to achieve an ethereal quality. See more »


(at around 50 mins) When we see Indy's house, his fireplace is unnaturally lit from the flue, downward. See more »


[first lines]
Satipo: [picking up poison dart] The Hovitos are near. The poison is still fresh, three days. They're following us.
Barranca: If they knew we were here, they would've killed us already.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The mountain in the Paramount logo dissolves into the mountain in the Peruvian jungle. See more »


References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »


A British Tar
(1878) (uncredited)
From "H.M.S. Pinafore"
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Lyrics by William S. Gilbert
Sung a cappella by John Rhys-Davies
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Harrison Ford, in the role that suited him best...

Ford stars as Indiana Jones, an archaeologist adventurer, who spends his time traveling all over the world through jungles, deserts, oceans, and caverns in search for hidden treasures—like the priceless long-lost Ark of the Covenant (the Hebrew sacred artifact that held the supposed Ten Commandments). Unfortunately, a group of treasure-hungry Nazis wants it too, having heard that any army who wins it would receive supernatural powers…

With his trademark hat, whip, leather jacket, and pistol for backup, our stubborn, intelligent, determined and loyal hero escapes innumerable dangers, evades multiple obstacles including fearsome thugs in a busy Cairo bazaar, and hangs underneath a fast-moving truck in an exciting chase through a road… These are only some of the film's incredible set pieces… Steven Spielberg likable hero is not invincible, though, facing impossible odds, capable of getting beaten, struck violently, heart broken, and falling asleep after the first kiss…

The villains—especially Indy's suave and cultured French rival wearing a Panama hat and white suits, Rene Belloq (Paul Freeman)—are not really that much different from him, except in their motivation… The shrill heroine, Marion (Karen Allen)—is not the girl always in discomfort either, but a resourceful, dynamic and formidable woman who doesn't require the hero at all…

"Raiders of the Lost Arc" is a perfect package of unforgettable scenes, countless action, humor, astonishing technical effects, thrilling sequences, and terrific performances… It was followed by three fun sequels…

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