It was June 12, 1981 when “Raiders of the Lost Ark” debuted to audiences across the country and its impact became instant gold in Hollywood. This 30 year anniversary chronicles the history which this Academy-Award winning film had, while also including the success it brought on to spawn three sequels, a television series, up to 15 different video games based on Indiana Jones, and also the induction of the film into the United States Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. ‘Raiders’ grossed over $384 million and to this day is one of the most profitable films of all time.
This story begins in 1936, where we are introduced to an archaeologist named Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) who is venturing through a Peruvian jungle in search of a golden idol. One of the most memorable openings in a film, which has been used in conjunction with other films respectfully, is Indy’s escape from a large, rolling boulder and death defying traps in search of history. When Indy returns to the college where he also teaches, he is informed by two Army Intelligence agents that the Nazis’ are searching for an artifact called the “Staff of Ra”, but Indy believes that they are actually in search of the “Ark of the Covenant”. The contents which contain the actual ‘Ten Commandments’ would give the Nazi regime invulnerability and give them the power to overthrow their enemies, which of course would change history as we know it.
Throughout the film are some interesting characters who each play an important part in Indy’s journey as he tries to locate the ‘Ark’ before the Nazis’ do, but yet again he is almost thwarted by large German enemies, flying aircrafts, bullets, and his most feared enemy of all, snakes. It is hard to find a scene in ‘Raiders’ that isn’t memorable and original, especially when you have two powerhouse figures like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas directing and producing the film; which they have also done for all three sequels which have followed. The legendary John Williams also steps in to bring us the iconic music which has been stuck in the heads of many people for years, but it is his composing which helped garner the film even more success.
As mentioned earlier, this film has spawned three other sequels and a combined total of 15 different video games, not to mention a television series which chronicles the early life of Indiana Jones and his beginning passion for archaeology. 30 years is a long time to remember, but yet “Raiders of the Lost Ark” has truly become one of the most remembered films of the 1980’s. With a cast including Harrison Ford, Karen Allen and John Rhys-Davies, ‘Raiders’ has exceptional acting which has been consistent in all films that have followed.
30 years of Indy is not the end as their is much speculation that a fifth “Indiana Jones” is in the works, which means that the legacy of ‘Raiders’ will go on. Go out and share in celebration of this great film by watching it and if you are not a fan of the Indy series, you soon will be once you see what this film has to offer.