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Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark [1981]

Director:Steven Spielberg
Writer:Lawrence Kasdan
Composer:John Williams
Length:115 minutes
(1 hour 55 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG
Sorting Category:Action
IMDB Rating:8.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:95%
Amazon Rating:5.0/5 stars
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Synopsis: Jones is called upon to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis do.

Reaction: This is a classical piece of cinema that launched one of the most famous movie franchises in history.

Personal Rating: 8/10

Steven Spielberg => Director
Lawrence Kasdan => Writer
John Williams => Composer
Alfred Molina => Satipo
Denholm Elliott => Dr. Marcus Brody
Don Fellows => Col. Musgrove
George Harris => Katanga
Harrison Ford => Indiana Jones
John Rhys-Davies => Sallah
Karen Allen => Marion Ravenwood
Kiran Shah => Abu
Pat Roach => 1st Mechanic / Giant Sherpa
Paul Freeman => Dr. Rene Belloq
Ronald Lacey => Major Arnold Toht
Vic Tablian => Barranca / Monkey Man
William Hootkins => Major Eaton

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Originally intended as a small low-budget adventure, production costs tripled to $22 million. It went on to become 1981's biggest grossing film.
  • The out-of-control airplane actually ran over Harrison Ford's knee, tearing his ligaments. Rather than submit to Tunisian health care, Ford had his knee wrapped in ice and carried on.
  • Although Tom Selleck had to give up the role of Indiana Jones to film [Magnum, P.I.], the series didn't go into production until filming had already wrapped. Selleck was in fact in Hawaii waiting for the series to start as the final scenes to be filmed (the opening sequence) were being shot in Hawaii.
  • An early draft of the script had Indy traveling to Shanghai to recover a piece of the Staff of Ra. During his escape from the museum where it was housed, he sheltered from machine gun fire behind a giant rolling gong. Also in the same script, Indy and Marion flee the chaos caused by the opening of the Ark in a wild mine-cart chase sequence. Both of these scenes were cut from the script, but ended up in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
  • Harrison Ford was cast less than three weeks before principal photography began.
  • Begins with a shot of a peak in the jungle which is reminiscent of the Paramount Pictures logo. This became a common concept for [Indiana Jones] movies.
  • Michael Sheard auditioned for the role of Toht. Ronald Lacey won the coveted role and Sheard was later cast in a minor, uncredited role as the U-Boat Captain. He also appeared as Adolf Hitler in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
  • Amy Irving and [?] Debra Winger were considered for the role of Marion.
  • The instructions for the construction of the Ark are found in Exodus 25:10. The clothing that Belloq wears while acting as a High Priest during the ceremony at the end is found beginning in Exodus chapter 28.
  • Steven Spielberg originally envisioned Giancarlo Giannini for the role of Dr. Rene Belloq and then considered French actor/singer [?] Jacques Dutronc (who, unfortunately, doesn't speak a word of English) before deciding on Paul Freeman.