The year is 1936. An archeology professor named Indiana Jones is venturing in the jungles of South America searching for a golden statue. Unfortunately, he sets off a deadly trap but miraculously 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 Rene Belloq and a band of Nazis in order to reach it.
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 nemesis, 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 nine 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 2019; the television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992–1996), and 15 video games as of 2009. 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”.
Raiders of the Lost Ark Movie Poster (1981)
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina, Anthony Higgins
Screenplay by: Lawrence Kasdan
Production Design by: Norman Reynolds
Cinematography by: Douglas Slocombe
Film Editing by: Michael Kahn, George Lucas
Costume Design by: Deborah Nadoolman
Set Decoration by: Michael Ford
Art Direction by: Leslie Dilley
Music by: John Williams
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: June 12, 1981