Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Steven Spielberg (1981)

110min
PG Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Executive producer George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg minted fresh excitement from the cliffhanger serials of their youth in this breathless fantasy extravaganza. Hold on tight, because it starts at full throttle and never lets up as unorthodox archaeologist Indiana Jones (a part that fits Harrison Ford like a glove) searches Egypt for the fabled Ark of the Covenant and finds himself up to his neck in booby-trapped caves, snake chambers, Nazi spies, religious demons, damsels in distress and even a spot of romance. The brilliantly evocative 1930s-set saga treats all the old clichés as if they've just been newly minted, and adds dazzling special effects to craft a wonderful action yarn that rattles along with wit, invention and the raw spirit of true adventure. The climactic unleashing of the artefact's awesome holy fire remains a spine-tingling masterwork of visual-effects ingenuity and ambitious dramatic force. No surprise then that one of the four Oscars this fabulous production picked up was for visual effects (the others were for art direction, sound and editing). The cast, including Karen Allen, Denholm Elliott, John Rhys-Davies and Paul Freeman (as the smoothest villain imaginable), doesn't put a foot wrong in this definitive action masterpiece, and storyteller Spielberg is at the height of his powers, delighting the imagination with terrific eye-grazing tableaux, nail-biting tension and engaging characters. The two sequels that followed in the 1980s, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, followed manfully in the footsteps of this gloriously nostalgic paean to Hollywood's Saturday matinée ideals and atmosphere.

Summary

Intrepid archaeologist Indiana Jones goes in search of the legendary Ark of the Covenant, a biblical artefact of devastating power. His quest leads him to Egypt, where the Nazis are plotting to use the Ark to further Hitler's plans for world domination - aided by Jones's deceitful French rival. Steven Spielberg's action adventure, with Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman and John Rhys-Davies.

Cast & Crew

Indiana Jones Harrison Ford
Marion Ravenwood Karen Allen
Belloq Paul Freeman
Toht Ronald Lacey
Sallah John Rhys-Davies
Brody Denholm Elliott
Dietrich Wolf Kahler
Gobler Anthony Higgins
Satipo Alfred Molina
Barranca / Monkey man Vic Tablian
Colonel Musgrove Don Fellows
Major Eaton William Hootkins
Giant Sherpa / Big German mechanic Pat Roach
Imam Tutte Lemkow
Swordsman Terry Richards
Pilot Frank Marshall
Katanga George Harris (2)
Director Steven Spielberg
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Other Information

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: Paramount Guidance: Some violence and swearing. Available on: Available on video, DVD and BluRay Released on: 21 Sep 2012

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