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Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

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In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.

Director:

Steven Spielberg

Writers:

Lawrence Kasdan (screenplay by), George Lucas (story by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
584 ( 7)
Top Rated Movies #52 | Won 4 Oscars. Another 31 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harrison Ford ... Indy
Karen Allen ... Marion
Paul Freeman ... Belloq
Ronald Lacey ... Toht
John Rhys-Davies ... Sallah
Denholm Elliott ... Brody
Alfred Molina ... Satipo
Wolf Kahler ... Dietrich
Anthony Higgins ... Gobler
Vic Tablian ... Barranca / Monkey Man
Don Fellows ... Col. Musgrove
William Hootkins ... Major Eaton
Bill Reimbold Bill Reimbold ... Bureaucrat
Fred Sorenson ... Jock
Patrick Durkin ... Australian Climber
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Action | Adventure

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Hebrew | Spanish | Arabic | Nepali

Release Date:

12 June 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark See more »

Filming Locations:

Yuma, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,305,823, 14 June 1981

Gross USA:

$248,159,971

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$390,133,212
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)| Dolby Digital (IMAX version)| IMAX 6-Track (IMAX version)| Dolby Atmos (IMAX version)| Datasat (IMAX version)| SDDS (IMAX version)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Traditionally when one of his films is about to open, George Lucas goes on vacation to get away from all the hoopla. As Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) was just about to open, Lucas went to Hawaii where he was joined by Steven Spielberg. When the grosses for Lucas's film came in and it was clear it was going to be a hit, Lucas relaxed and was able to discuss other topics with his friend. It was at this point that Spielberg confessed he always wanted to direct a James Bond film, to which Lucas replied he had a much better idea, an adventure movie called "Raiders of the Lost Ark". The conversation happened while the two were making a sand castle. After their trip, they got together and developed the script with Lawrence Kasdan. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

[first lines]
Satipo: [picking up poison dart] The Hovitos are near.
[tastes the end of the dart, spits it out quickly]
Satipo: The poison is still fresh, three days. They're following us.
Barranca: If they knew we were here, they would have killed us already.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Film ends with a man in a warehouse pushing a crate with the ark buried See more »

Alternate Versions

DVD release cleans up numerous effects shots. The effects aren't replaced, but various visible riggings and matte lines were erased digitally including the reflection when Indy is facing down the cobra. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Critic: Marathon Mensch (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Excellent movie and brilliantly crafted entertainment with a superb casting
24 December 2004 | by Rich BSee all my reviews

I remember seeing this movie when I was young, and it may well have been in the cinema with my Father, I can't quite remember (if he does, then please post the answer), anyway I do remember seeing it and being thoroughly entertained and that feeling of excitement and total fun staying with me to this very day as that is the feeling that the movie conjures up whenever I think of it.

I think a part of that is down to the fact it's a complete retake on the old serial movies combined with obvious comic book style, and that is just perfect for kids and appeals to them no end, or rather it did then! So it was with excitement that I opened my presents on my birthday and found the boxset for the Indiana Jones Trilogy, and with even more excitement when I finally watched the first in the trilogy, Raiders of the lost Ark.

It was just as I remembered, fun, excitement, wise cracks, a tiny splattering of romance but with a manliness that kids would allow, and lots of stunts and action. It's a superb movie and captures that style of serials, adventure stories and comic books perfectly, how I know that for sure is only through repeats since I wasn't alive during those times.

The set pieces are fantastic, and although some of the wilder end sequences are slightly dated now, it hasn't lost the excitement factor. It's a perfectly crafted movie as well, moving from location to location without any distraction or superfluous scenes, it just feels like it's all there for a reason and that it belongs there.

Harrison Ford is excellent in the role, and I'm inclined to think he was more Indy than he was Solo, but that's a personal opinion. He has many more facial movements and voice inclinations in this early movie than he does nowadays, now he belongs to the moody, quiet school of acting, then he was dynamic, adventurous, strong and as wisecracking as the best of them.

There are some excellent movie making moments in this with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg showing talent galore just oozing out of every pore (where did all that go for Star Wars I to III Mr Lucas?), and they end up making an excellently entertaining movie.

Some could argue that there could be a bit more depth or seriousness to the story, but come on, it's a ripping adventure yarn, you don't need depth. Saving the Ark from the Nazi's, surely that's enough! An excellent movie and great fun too, without a doubt one of my favourite of all time.


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