8.4/10
863,395
944 user 258 critic

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Trailer
2:35 | Trailer

In Theaters Now

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
356 ( 47)
Top Rated Movies #56 | Won 4 Oscars. Another 31 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In 1938, after his father Professor Henry Jones, Sr. goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, Professor Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. finds himself up against Adolf Hitler's Nazis again to stop them from obtaining its powers.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1935, Indiana Jones arrives in India, still part of the British Empire, and is asked to find a mystical stone. He then stumbles upon a secret cult committing enslavement and human sacrifices in the catacombs of an ancient palace.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the Rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy the second Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Darth Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor's trap.

Director: Richard Marquand
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

After the Rebels are brutally overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader and a bounty hunter named Boba Fett all over the galaxy.

Director: Irvin Kershner
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the mysterious Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In 1957, archaeologist and adventurer Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. is called back into action and becomes entangled in a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Shia LaBeouf
Adventure | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the eccentric scientist Doc Brown.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced and powerful cyborg.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong
Die Hard (1988)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia
Jurassic Park (1993)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A pragmatic paleontologist visiting an almost complete theme park is tasked with protecting a couple of kids after a power failure causes the park's cloned dinosaurs to run loose.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A human soldier is sent from 2029 to 1984 to stop an almost indestructible cyborg killing machine, sent from the same year, which has been programmed to execute a young woman whose unborn son is the key to humanity's future salvation.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn
Alien (1979)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

After a space merchant vessel receives an unknown transmission as a distress call, one of the crew is attacked by a mysterious life form and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt
Edit

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:

The Return of the Great Adventure. See more »

Genres:

Action | Adventure

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the snakes in the Well of Souls are not snakes, but legless lizards (look for the earholes, which snakes lack). See more »

Goofs

When Sallah and Indy are having the headpiece translated, the telescope on the balcony switches from pointing right to left between shots. 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

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

Alternate Versions

ABC edited 24 seconds from this film for its 1986 network television premiere. See more »


Soundtracks

I am the Monarch of the Sea
(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 »

User Reviews

 
Will stand the test of time forever.
26 September 2006 | by CuriosityKilledShawnSee all my reviews

I've seen Raiders of the Lost Ark numerous times on TV, DVD and big screen. My local theatre had a special showing last night and the 400-seat screen completely sold out (as Indy films always do). Luckily for me and my pal, we got the last 2 tickets available! I can't think of many films that still sell-out 25 years after their original release. There's just something about Indy movies(iconic hero, affection, epic spectacle) that brings you back again and again.

The only trouble with that is there are zillions of reviews, critiques and dissections of this movie already out there, so what I have to offer will probably not be anything new. I will however not go the way of the cliché and mention 1930's serials, Tom Selleck or the sword/gun fight.

I will, however, ask you one question. Did you know that some of the more iconic, memorable sequences from Raiders owe quite a lot to Duck Tales? What? Surely it's the other way around? Well, no. The globe-trotting adventures of Scrooge McDuck, Huey, Duey, Luey and Donald in Carl Bank's Disney comic-books from the 50s came first. If you can find some of these then you'll surely notice the similarities.

The hunt for the Ark of the Covenant is more than just an excuse for action. So many movies these days seem to come up with action first and string them together with some lame plot. Movies like this are quickly forgotten and one of the reasons Raiders holds up so well is because it works the Covenant story so well into the plot.

The action comes in a succession of set-pieces. I do enjoy films that have to increasingly better themselves in every scene. Raiders introduced this as a standard that the sequels had to live up to. My fave scene has to be the massive truck chase through Egypt, which is made up of many of its own smaller sequences. One little idiosyncrasy I like about Indy is that even though he's a College Professor and Doctor, he has no beef killing people. So very far from the ubiquitous PC heroes of todays movies.

You might think that it's rather geeky to hype up the editing and sound design, but they do stand out from recent action movies. The gunfire and punching seem to have a sort of 'Indy' signature sound to them, that I've not heard in any other films. And obviously, John William's classic score is one of those themes that just everybody in the world knows (though I prefer his score to Temple of Doom), truly one of the best movie themes ever. Better than Star Wars!

I'm not sure if Spielberg planned on Raiders starting the Indy franchise but there's already enough in here to establish a whole universe of potential stories and character arcs. There's talk of a fourth movie at the moment, but I personally don't think it will happen and I don't want it to. It's perfect existing as a trilogy and a sequel that comes traipsing in 18 years after the last is just not going to feel right. Even if you are hungry for more Indy then there are loads of books and video games out there and then there's the Young Indiana Jones TV show (where are the DVDs?), which are official Indy canon and even starred Ford once (they bounced around in time).

I am giving Raiders 9/10 because I just have a soft spot for Temple of Doom (which is obviously a 10/10 movie). Even 25 years after it first came out it still has the power to captivate the audience and provoke sheer excitement every time. And in 25 years it will still be far superior to almost everything.

Now there's something you cannot say about The Fast and the Furious! Sigh, where did all the special movies go?


120 of 181 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 944 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.



Recently Viewed