Raiders of the Lost Ark

May 16, 2011
By Cassandra C SILVER, Roslyn Heights, New York
Cassandra C SILVER, Roslyn Heights, New York
5 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark is usually recognized as the best of the franchise. This movie, directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by George Lucas and Frank Marshall, takes place in 1936 when a professor who studies archeology is also an adventurer. He searches for long lost artifacts that are significant in history. During this time period, Hitler was looking for religious artifacts that could empower the Nazis and the Ark of Covenant was one of them. Raiders of the Lost Ark was released into theaters on June 1, 1981 and not surprisingly nominated for many Academy Awards including best picture, director, editing, cinematography, art direction, visual effects and original score and won four out of eight awards.

Henry “Indiana” Jones (Harrison Ford), partners up with his ex-girlfriend, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and venture out into Egypt to seek a biblical artifact, the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark is a chest that contains the Ten Commandments that are inscribed on the stone tablets, described in the Bible in the Book of Kings. He races against his old enemy, the wicked Dr. Belloq (Paul Freeman) and, the evil henchman Major Arnold Toht (Ronald Lacey), who is trying to return the Ark to Nazi Germany. The ark holds the key to humanity’s existence and it will empower the Nazis if they get their hands on it. All are willing to do almost anything to sabotage each other, attain the most powerful artifact, and witness the opening of the covenant.

Spielberg showcases this movie with adventure, suspense, historical importance, tons of action and a little romance between Jones and Ravenwood. The effects in this movie are compiled well especially the scene when the Nazis open the Ark of the Covenant. The part in which the spirits are rushing out of the covenant and race around Ravenwood and Jones look somewhat genuine and especially Ravenwood and Jones look absolutely terrified. Additionally, many of the action scenes are blending realism with graphic violence and action. The part in which Major Toht, Marion and Jones fight in Nepal should be commended because the actors dealt with obstacles of physical stunts and gun fighting. Another part when Jones fights the big Nazi mechanic on the airplane is also so well acted and directed. This movie shows comedy when the Nazi mechanic finally finds an enemy to fight and just smiles and rips off his shirt. Fortunately for Jones, the mechanic gets his face torn apart by the airplane propeller.

Many critics on have thought that this movie was the “greatest adventure movie of all time,” but one critic, Pauline Kael, thought that “the thrills are fully consumed while you're seeing this movie, and it's totally over when it's over. It's a workout. You feel as if you'd been to the desert digs: at the end your mind is blank, yet you're parched, you're puffing hard -- you want relief.” The movie was fantastic with the realistic effects combined with aspects of adventure suspense. Bottom Line: It is a classic American adventure movie filled with a little bit of comedy and romance. Raiders of the Lost Ark is definitely historical, yet intriguing. It’s not boring, but adventurous. It’s great if you just want to sit down and watch a movie that will blow you mind with history and interesting facts about long lost artifacts.

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