If you like this film enough to watch the others, you’re in for even more adventure. For a film series that is clearly created for the sole purpose of entertainment, it does a damn fine job.
The character of Indiana Jones would have been completely different if it hadn’t been for a compromise between the film’s director, Steven Spielberg and its writer, George Lucas.
As individuals, they saw a different Indiana Jones. Spielberg saw a darker, alcoholic and womanizing character, similar to Fred C. Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart) from “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” whereas Lucas saw a charismatic James Bond playboy.
The result, after much argument, was a slightly nerdy, tweed-wearing badass archeology professor .
A basic plot for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” would be a college professor and active archaeologist (Harrison Ford) attempting to locate the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazi’s do. Since it is speculated that the Ark has some supernatural power that could destroy the world if in the wrong hands, the United States government commissions Jones to use all methods of finding it, even if it includes crawling in an asp-infested tomb, knocking heads into propellers and ramming cars off cliffs.
What Jones does not anticipate is that his old fling, Marion (Karen Allen), is involved.
From the start of this film, we are immersed in a sea of personality. The characters have a way of bringing natural comedy, adventure and the most over-the-top gimmicks possible. In a way, the film resembles the “Star Wars” type action and dialogue mixed with the gruesome special effects of “Jaws.”
What I love about this is that the gore is not over-the-top like it is in most action films, it is just enough to keep you entertained for 115 minutes.
The gore and violence are not the only things to keep the film rolling; Spielberg and Lucas decided to use Nazi’s as the villains (not the first time for Spielberg). The Germans seem to be the best type of villains; their heavy authoritative language and their cold emotionless demeanor.
With most adventure stories, there is a love story. I must say that I like this love story, it does not bog down the characters nor are their 10 minute-long kissing scenes. The love story if anything enhances the adventure of the film.
For the people who have not seen “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” not only are you missing an epic adventure film, but you are also missing an episode of National Geographic. This film takes place in the most random, yet amazing, places; a lost Egyptian tomb, the Himalaya Mountains, a German submarine, some unknown island and a sacred temple deep in the Amazon.
Even though I stated above that the film was amazing due to the adventure and the perfect blend of violence and blood, there is something else. In my opinion, this film would not be in the IMDB top-250 list if it were not for musical contributions of John Williams. To me he is the greatest soundtrack composer today.
Both Spielberg and Lucas have used him in (“Schindler’s List,” “Star Wars,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Saving Private Ryan”) and what is extraordinary about his soundtracks is that a best-soundtrack nomination is usually attached.
“Raiders of the Lost Ark” (nominated) “Schindler’s List“ (won) “E.T. the Extraterrestrial” (won) “Jaws” (won) “Saving Private Ryan” (nominated) “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” (won) “Hook” (nominated) “Munich” (nominated) “War Horse” (nominated)
The list of films above are considered highly influential films. What does this tell us about the soundtracks role and, what is more important, John Williams?