Raiders of the Lost Ark

June 12th, 1981

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Raiders of the Lost Ark

Still of Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost ArkStill of Harrison Ford and Denholm Elliott in Raiders of the Lost ArkStill of Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost ArkStill of Karen Allen and Paul Freeman in Raiders of the Lost ArkStill of Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost ArkStill of Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark

Archeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

Release Year: 1981

Rating: 8.7/10 (316,922 voted)

Critic's Score: 90/100

Director: Steven Spielberg

Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman

The year is 1936. A professor who studies archeology named Indiana Jones is venturing in the jungles in South America searching for a golden statue. Unfortunately, he sets off a deadly trap doing so, miraculously, he escapes. Then, Jones hears from a museum curator named Marcus Brody about a biblical artifact called The Ark of the Covenant, which can hold the key to humanly existence. Jones has to venture to vast places such as Nepal and Egypt to find this artifact. However, he will have to fight his enemy Renee Belloq and a band of Nazis in order to reach it.

Writers: Lawrence Kasdan, George Lucas

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

Taglines: Indiana Jones - the new hero from the creators of JAWS and STAR WARS.


Official Website: Lucasfilm / Paramount |

Release Date: 12 June 1981

Filming Locations: Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $8,305,823 (USA) (14 June 1981) (1078 Screens)

Gross: $384,140,454 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The floatplane in the opening sequence has the registration prefix "OB-", which indicates that the action takes place in Peru.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs: During the truck chase, the heads of the approaching German soldiers are level with the top of the truck. Just as Indy looks into his side mirror, they crouch down, so their position in the mirrors is correct.

[first lines]
Satipo: [picking up poison dart] The Hovitos are near. The poison is still fresh, three days. They're following us.
Barranca: If they knew we were here, they would've killed us already.

User Review

There will never be another film like Raiders

Rating: 10/10

It is a hot sunny day in South America. We see a bunch of men, shot mostly from the back. They are walking deep into the forest. We see a tall dark figure. He is wearing an old leather jacket, he has the 5 o'clock shadow looking like it's closer to midnight, he wears a fedora and he carries a bull-whip ( yes a bull-whip ). Finally, two of the men enter a cave and we hear about some guy named Forstall, who was good, very, very good, but he never came out of the place alive. But they enter anyway. They are confronted with tarantulas, spears that are triggered by blocking out the light, a pit that they must swing over and then more tiny poisonous darts that come out of the wall. All this to protect an ancient gold statue. They recover it. One guy dies and the other barely makes it out of the room before it all falls on him. Then he has to get out of the cave and a giant boulder chases him. Finally he makes it out of the cave only to be surrounded by Hovitos and his arch enemy named Belloq. He takes the gold statue that this guy worked so hard for and then the guy runs and makes it to the plane where he is in the passenger seat and there is big snake in the plane. He hates snakes. This mans name? Indiana Jones!

Whhhoooooo!! I'm left breathless just describing that opening. But is there a better beginning of a movie ever? Absolutely not. Does the beginning have anything to do with the rest of the film. No. It is all decoration for what the movie is going to put you through in the 90 minutes to come.

Indiana Jones is the best character to ever hit the screens. And he better be. He is created by George, Steven and played by Harrison Ford. That may seem normal now that we have lived with him for 20 years, but can you imagine what that must have been like back in 1981. That would be like Tom Hanks or Will Smith joining forces with James Cameron and Steven Spielberg for a completely original idea in today's terms.

Raiders took a simple idea and maybe an idea that the guys had from watching Saturday afternoon movies and made it larger than life. This film never stops for you to take your breath. It is filled with rich characters from Indy himself to Marion to Belloq and even to Marcus Brody. Each has their own personality that shines through in certain scenes. Some of my faves were when we first meet Marion having a shot contest in her bar in Nepal. Then there is her scene with Belloq and they get drunk together and she tries to leave using only a butter knife. And of course who can forget Indy's battle with the swordsman and his unrivaled determination to get the ark. " Indy, there is not time. If you still want the truck it is being loaded on a truck for Cairo. " ( a battered and bloody Indy ) " Truck? What truck?" ( and then later ) "Get some transport back to England, boat, plane, anything. Meet me at Omar's. I'm going after that truck. "

Sola ) " How? " ( Indy ) I don't know I'm making this up as I go."

Raiders has more energy than three action films. And that is what makes it the classic that it is. If you like movies, then Raiders is a movie that will not let you down. It is pure entertainment and that is indisputable. It finds the youngster in all of us and bombards us with this silly, whip-cracking, average, incredibly determined archaeologist and only asks us to have fun. And that we do. And to me, the only reason that Chariots of Fire won best picture that year is because it is a serious film. Raiders was heads and shoulders above Chariots and it should have cleaned up at the Oscars in 81. But more politics with the academy.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is the epitome of entertainment. What more can be said about it. If you haven't seen this movie in a while or if you haven't seen it at all ( gasp ) then do yourself a favour and rent it tonight. It is awesome.


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