Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981 movie)

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) trailer starring Harrison Ford, Karen Allen.

December 8, 2019 by Jessie Mendoza

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Raiders of the Lost Ark (later marketed as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark) is a 1981 American action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, 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. The film originated from Lucas’s desire to create a modern version of the serials of the 1930s and 1940s.

  • Starring : Harrison Ford / Karen Allen
  • Genre : Action / Adventure
  • Country : United States
  • Language : English / German / Hebrew / Spanish / Arabic / Nepali
  • Director : Steven Spielberg
  • Production : Paramount Pictures / Lucasfilm
  • Distributor : Paramount Pictures / Cinema International Corporation (CIC) / Eye Film Instituut / Filmes Lusomundo / Greater Union Organisation (GUO) / Svenska Filminstitutet (SFI) / American Broadcasting Company (ABC) / Argentina Video Home / BBC One / BBC Three / BBC Two / CIC Video / CIC Vídeo / CIC-Taft Home Video / Esselte CIC Video / Esselte Video / Film1 Action / Finnkino / Home Video Hellas (HVH) / La 5 / Mainostelevisio (MTV3) / Malofilm Home Video / MovieLine Entertainment / Music Television (MTV) / Nelonen / Paramount Home Entertainment / Paramount Home Video / Phillips / Pioneer / Prem’er Video Fil’m / TV Asahi / TV3 / Universal Pictures / Veronica

Raiders of the Lost Ark movie

Raiders of the Lost Ark release date

  • June 12, 1981 : USA
  • July 30, 1981 : UK
  • August 7, 1981 : Ireland
  • August 7, 1981 : Sweden
  • August 14, 1981 : Australia
  • September 1, 1981 : France
  • September 16, 1981 : France
  • October 5, 1981 : Spain
  • December 5, 1981 : Japan
  • December 10, 1981 : India
  • December 18, 1981 : Israel
  • December 25, 1981 : Singapore
  • January 24, 1982 : UK (re-release)
  • July 16, 1982 : USA (re-release)
  • March 25, 1983 : USA (re-release)
  • September 7, 2012 : USA (re-release) (limited) (IMAX version)
  • September 21, 2013 : Japan (Mito Short Film Festival)

Raiders of the Lost Ark cast

  • Harrison Ford as Indy
  • Karen Allen as Marion
  • Paul Freeman as Belloq
  • Ronald Lacey as Toht
  • John Rhys-Davies as Sallah
  • Denholm Elliott as Brody
  • Alfred Molina as Satipo
  • Wolf Kahler as Dietrich
  • Anthony Higgins as Gobler
  • Vic Tablian as Barranca / Monkey Man
  • Don Fellows as Col. Musgrove
  • William Hootkins as Major Eaton
  • Bill Reimbold as Bureaucrat
  • Fred Sorenson as Jock
  • Patrick Durkin as Australian Climber

The first installment in the Indiana Jones franchise, the film stars Harrison Ford as archaeologist Indiana Jones, who battles a group of Nazis searching for the Ark of the Covenant. It 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. 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.

Raiders of the Lost Ark became 1981’s top-grossing film and remains one of the highest-grossing films adjusted for inflation. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards in 1982, including Best Picture, and won for Best Art Direction, Film Editing, Sound, and Visual Effects with a fifth Academy Award: a Special Achievement Award for Sound Effects Editing. It is often considered one of the greatest films ever made. In 1999, it was included in the U.S. Library of Congress’ National Film Registry as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. The film began a franchise starting with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, a prequel television series, and numerous video games.

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

Two Army Intelligence agents later interview Jones at his workplace of the University of Chicago, and inform him that the Nazis are searching for his old mentor, Abner Ravenwood. The Nazis know that Ravenwood is the leading expert on the ancient city of Tanis in Egypt, and that he possesses the headpiece of an ancient Egyptian artifact known as “the Staff of Ra”. Jones deduces that the Nazis are searching for the Ark of the Covenant, believing it will grant their armies invincibility. The agents authorize Jones to recover the Ark.

He travels to Nepal to discover that Ravenwood has died and the headpiece is in the possession of Ravenwood’s daughter Marion. Jones visits Marion at her tavern before a group of thugs arrive with their Nazi commander Arnold Toht, seeking the headpiece. A gunfight erupts, the bar is set ablaze and the headpiece lands in the flames. Toht severely burns his hand trying to retrieve it and flees the bar in agony. Jones and Marion escape with the headpiece, and Marion decides to accompany Jones in his search.

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