Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

By , Roslyn, NY
Classics never get old. Nearly thirty years later, a combination of great actors, directors, and writers still leads to a great movie; Indiana Jones is one such movie. With many different awards to its name, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is a classic now and forever. Setting new trends with special effects, precedents in acting and directing, and new standards for plots and writing, Indiana Jones is often thought of as the beginning of the modern era of movies. Through love stories and action, any movie fan will find something to love in this movie.

The opening scene of the entire series is essentially one of the most influential scenes ever to come out of Hollywood. Jones can be seen rummaging through the forest looking for an unknown treasure. As he approaches the end to the trail, one guide jumps to kill Jones as the group has arrived at the destination of the unknown treasure; quickly and the guide’s gun is ripped from his hands by Jones’ notorious whip. Only one guide is brave enough to follow Jones into the booby-trapped cave; Jones outsmarts the fatal defenses until he finally arrives at the treasure; a gold figurehead. Jones, despite his prior maneuverability past the traps, sets off a subterfuge as he picks up the figurehead. As he almost falls into a crevice, he hands the figure to the guide, who is quick to betray him as soon as he has the worldly possession in his hands. As Jones jumps the crevice, he finds his guide’s body pierced with spears and Jones steals back the skull and outruns a giant boulder to the end of the cave. At the end of the cave stands Belloq, Jones’ arch-nemesis, with an army of Indians ready to kill on the first signal. Swiftly, Belloq once again steals Jones’ hard earned treasure, but Jones escapes to his plane.
This scene, in both action and plot, is crucial in the development of future action scenes throughout all of Hollywood; a new standard for introductory scenes had been set. It also perfects the art of sending background information to the viewer without actually giving too much away or listing the information to the viewer through text or lecture. Instead of telling the viewer about the main character, it allows the viewer to actually see the main character and their actions themselves and come up with his or her own opinions and interpretations through expository.
Another crucial scene in the film is the scene in which the Germans overtake Jones’ ship and claim the ark once again. Jones is said to be killed, but in truth he is only hiding out in the interior of the ship. As the Germans finally leave with both Marion, Jones’ love, and the ark, Jones is nowhere the be found. All of a sudden, he’s seen on top of the German submarine as he had just swam all the way from the ship to the submarine; the crew, with no surprise, gives a huge cheer as they see Jones leave for the last time. This spark of hope in the movie, although predictable, displays Jones’ love for Marion and his passion for the ark; there was no way he was going home without either of them. The real question that the viewer holds, however, is which Jones loves more; the girl or the ark.
This question is quickly answered when Jones threatened the Nazis to blow up the ark if they did not return the girl. He could not follow through in actually destroying the ark, but the affection between the two lovers is still shown. The wild adventures and massive determination of Indiana Jones is a key point in the movie because of the conflict he is torn between. Hhe was forced to choose between his passion in life, archaeology, and his love in his life, Marion.
Overall, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark was a very well made movie for the time frame in which it was made. This movie represents the start of a new, current era of movie making; an era defined by and whose standards were set by this very movie. Through action, love, and drama, any movie fan would find something to like in this movie. This was also a defining moment for Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford (director, writer, and main character respectively) who each managed to create two classic films during this time: Star Wars and Indiana Jones. This movie would soon become one of the defining moments of the height of the careers of each of these three artists. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is a definite must-see for any movie fan!





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