GUY'S DAY OUT: Raiders of the Lost Ark, he said 5.0
Our fair city played host to Robert Osborne's Classic Film Festival this weekend. There was a very good selection of movies being shown on the big screen. I really wish I could have gone to all of them or at least more of them. I only got to go to the free Saturday matinee. However, it gave me the chance to finally see one of my all-time favorite movies on the big screen. The afternoon was a complete old school theatre-going experience complete with balconies, ushers, a packed theatre completely engaged (no conversations or cell phones here), laughter and applause, and even a cartoon (the classic "What's Opera, Doc?"). There was also an introduction by Robert Osborne himself and a post-film Q&A session with casting director Mike Fenton. It really felt like I was seeing the movie again for the first time. What can I say about "Raiders of the Lost Ark" that has not already been said? Nothing. The movie is a classic that has been seen by almost everybody and their grandma. It's considered a national treasure (it was added to the National Film Registry in 1999). It has spawned two sequels (with an oft-discussed third on the horizon), a television series, at least four book series, a comic book, several video games, a Disney World attraction, numerous homages, and much, much more. Therefore, I will not attempt to write a review of this movie. There's no possible way I could even try to be objective about it anyway. This movie is more than partly responsible for at least two of the five majors I have attempted in college (anthropology and religion. And I 'm certain it influenced me being a film major too). So instead, I present a list of things I love about "Raiders of the Lost Ark," in no particular order.
John Williams' score. Giant spiders. The Nazi monkey. John Rhys-Davies as Sallah. "Didn't any of you guys ever go to Sunday School?" The 1930s fashions. The whip. That big ol' boulder. Marion's ability to outdrink any man. Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood. "It belongs in a museum." Indy trying to squeeze into a too small Nazi uniform. The burned image on Toht's hand. Snakes (why'd it have to be snakes?). The truck chase. Indy shooting the swordsman. "They're digging in the wrong place!" The silhouette of Indiana entering Marion's bar. Melting Nazis. The red lines moving across the map. Dr. Jones' adoring co-ed students. And that one dude who gives him the apple. "Top...men." Denholm Elliot as Brody. That enormous Nazi who gets chopped up by the propeller. Indy's Arab disguise. Marion decking Indy. "Where doesn't it hurt?" Katanga's crew cheering Indy on as he stows away on the Nazi submarine. How the Paramount logo turns into the mountain in the opening scene. The hat! Sallah mispronouncing Belloq's name. To avoid the wrath of God, close your eyes. The Ark of the Covenant. The leather jacket. Indy with a bazooka. The jokes. "Good God!"..."Yes, that's what the Hebrews thought." The natives. Indy's spelling capabilities. Those creepy clouds while they are digging for the Ark. Toht's coat hanger. Indy turning over all the baskets. "It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage." Sallah's singing. Hey, it's Alfred Molina. Indy's home. Booby traps. Bad dates. Pirates. Assassins. Mercenaries. The hints at the past relationship between Indy and Marion. "Professor of archeology, expert on the occult, and how does one say it? Obtainer of rare antiquities." The special effects. George Lucas. Steven Spielberg. Harrison Ford as Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. And of the coolest closing scenes ever.
These are just a few of the many things I love about "Raiders of the Lost Ark!" Do you love this movie too? What are your favorite aspects of the movie? I want to know. Just please never refer to it as "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark!" That is NOT the name of the movie regardless of what was printed on the cover of the video and DVD release. Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine.
As you can probably tell, I had a lot of fun geeking out over one of my favorite movies ever this afternoon.
Raiders is awesome! I actually got to see it on the big screen a few years ago at a dollar theater that was randomly showing it one afternoon. My friend and I were on the way back from Galveston Beach and from the freeway I spotted the marquee that read "Radiers of the Lost Ark" and forced a turn around to investigate. Sure enough... It was a great topper to a great leisurely day.
The Indiana Jones films all have a special place in my heart: "Temple of Doom" was one of my first favorite movies after seeing it over and over on HBO as a kid and "Last Crusade" was part of that seminal summer of 1989 ("Batman" et al) when I decided I defintely loved the movies...
Well, you need to have your grandma watch it! She would probably enjoy it since it's inspired by the serials from "back in her day." And technically it's not a ride at Disney, but a stunt show. But you have good point.