Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Raiders of the Lost Ark.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Richard Amsel
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Produced by Frank Marshall
Screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan
Story by
Starring
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Douglas Slocombe
Edited by Michael Kahn
Production
company
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • June 12, 1981 (1981-06-12)
Running time
115 minutes [1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $18 million [2]
Box office $389.9 million [2]

Raiders of the Lost Ark (also known as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark) is a 1981 American action adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, with a screenplay written by Lawrence Kasdan, from a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman. It was produced by Frank Marshall for Lucasfilm Ltd., with Lucas and Howard Kazanjian as executive producers. Starring Harrison Ford, it was the first installment in the Indiana Jones film franchise to be released, though it is the second in internal chronological order. It pits Indiana Jones (Ford) against a group of Nazis who are searching for the Ark of the Covenant, which Adolf Hitler believes will make his army invincible. The film co-stars Karen Allen as Indiana's former lover, Marion Ravenwood; Paul Freeman as Indiana's rival, French archaeologist René Belloq; John Rhys-Davies as Indiana's sidekick, Sallah; Ronald Lacey as Gestapo agent Arnold Toht; and Denholm Elliott as Indiana's colleague, Marcus Brody.

The film originated from Lucas' desire to create a modern version of the serials of the 1930s and 1940s. Production was based at Elstree Studios, England; but filming also took place in La Rochelle, France, Tunisia, Hawaii, and California from June to September 1980.

Released on June 12, 1981, Raiders of the Lost Ark became the year's top- grossing film and remains one of the highest-grossing films ever made. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards in 1982, including Best Picture, and won four for Best Art Direction, Film Editing, Sound, and Visual Effects with a fifth Academy Award: a Special Achievement Award for Sound Effects Editing. The film's critical and popular success led to three additional films, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), with a fifth slated for 2020; the television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992–1996), and 15 video games as of 2009.

Considered one of the greatest films ever made, [3] [4] [5] [6] the film also ranked #7 on Empire's list of the 100 greatest movies of all time. [7] In 1999, the film was included in the U.S. Library of Congress' National Film Registry as having been deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Plot

Indiana Jones discovering the golden idol.

In 1936, archaeologist Indiana Jones braves an ancient booby-trapped temple in Peru and retrieves a golden idol. He is confronted by rival archaeologist René Belloq and the indigenous Hovito people. Surrounded and outnumbered, Jones surrenders the idol to Belloq and escapes aboard a waiting floatplane.

Jones returns to his teaching position at a New England college, where he is interviewed by two Army Intelligence agents. They inform him that the Nazis are searching for his old mentor, Abner Ravenwood, under whom Jones studied at the University of Chicago. The Nazis know that Ravenwood is the leading expert on the ancient city of Tanis in Egypt, and that he possesses the headpiece of the Staff of Ra. Jones deduces that the Nazis are searching for the Ark of the Covenant – the Nazis believe that if they acquire the Ark, their armies will become invincible. The Staff of Ra is the key to finding the Well of Souls, a secret chamber in which the Ark is buried.

The agents authorize Jones to recover the Ark to prevent the Nazis from obtaining it. He travels to Nepal and discovers that Ravenwood has died, and the headpiece is in the possession of Ravenwood's daughter Marion. Jones visits Marion at her tavern, where she reveals her bitter feelings toward him from a previous romantic affair. She physically rebuffs his offer to buy the headpiece, and Jones leaves. Shortly after, a group of thugs arrive with their Nazi commander Arnold Toht. Toht threatens Marion to get the headpiece but Jones returns to the bar and fights the Nazis to save Marion. During the fight the bar is set ablaze and the headpiece lands in the flames. Toht severely burns his hand trying to take the hot headpiece and flees the tavern screaming. Jones and Marion escape with the headpiece, and Marion decides to accompany Jones in his search for the Ark so he can repay his debt to her.

Indiana Jones in the Well of Souls.

The pair travels to Cairo, where they meet up with Jones' friend and skilled digger Sallah. Sallah informs them that Belloq and the Nazis are digging for the Well of Souls with a replica of the headpiece (created from the scar on Toht's hand). They quickly realize the Nazi headpiece is incomplete and that the Nazis are digging in the wrong place. The Nazis kidnap Marion and it appears to Jones that she is killed in an exploding truck. After a confrontation with Belloq in a local bar, Jones and Sallah infiltrate the Nazi dig site and use their staff to correctly locate the Ark. Jones discovers Marion is alive when he finds her bound and gagged in a tent. He refuses to release her out of fear of alerting the Nazis. Jones, Sallah, and a small group of diggers unearth the Well of Souls and acquire the Ark. Belloq and Nazi officer Colonel Dietrich arrive and seize the Ark from Jones, throwing Marion into the Well of Souls with him before sealing it back up. Jones and Marion escape to a local airstrip, where Jones has a fistfight with a Nazi mechanic and destroys the flying wing that was to transport the Ark to Berlin. The panicked Nazis remove the Ark in a truck and set off for Cairo, but Jones catches them and retakes it. He makes arrangements to take the Ark to London aboard a tramp steamer.

The next day, a Nazi U-boat appears and intercepts the ship. Belloq and Dietrich seize the Ark and Marion but cannot locate Jones, who stows away aboard the U-boat and travels with them to an island in the Aegean Sea. Once there, Belloq plans to test the power of the Ark before presenting it to Hitler. Jones reveals himself and threatens to destroy the Ark with a panzerfaust, but Belloq calls his bluff and Jones surrenders rather than destroy such an important historical artifact. The Nazis take Jones and Marion to an area where the Ark will be opened and tie them to a post to observe. Belloq performs a ceremonial opening of the Ark and finds it contains nothing but sand. Suddenly, angelic ghost-like beings emerge from the Ark and Jones cautions Marion to keep her eyes closed and not to look no matter what happens. Belloq and the others look on in astonishment as the apparitions are suddenly revealed to be angels of death. A vortex of flame forms above the Ark and shoots bolts of fiery energy into the gathered Nazi soldiers, killing them all. As Belloq, Toht and Dietrich all scream in terror the Ark turns its fury on them: Dietrich's head shrivels up, Toht's face is melted off his skull and Belloq's head explodes. Flames then engulf the remains of the doomed assembly, save for Jones and Marion, and the pillar of fire rises into the sky. The Ark's lid is blasted high into the air before dropping back down onto the Ark and sealing it. Jones and Marion find their ropes burned off and embrace.

In Washington, D.C., the Army Intelligence agents inform Jones and Marcus Brody that the Ark is someplace safe and will be studied by "top men". The Ark is shown being stored in a giant government warehouse among countless similar crates.

Other Languages
Bahasa Indonesia: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Lëtzebuergesch: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Simple English: Raiders of the Lost Ark
српски / srpski: Otimači izgubljenog kovčega
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Raiders of the Lost Ark
粵語: 奪寶奇兵
中文: 法櫃奇兵