Archaeologist and professor Henry “Indiana” Jones is on a mission to find the famed Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis in the 1930s in the 1981 classic film “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.” The film was the first action movie to star Harrison Ford as the title character, demonstrating his breakout status after being a part of a main trio in the first two “Star Wars” films. In the end, the Nazis still open the Ark of the Covenant hoping to harness its power, but they are destroyed, and Indy and Marion Ravenwood survive by not looking at the ark.

This is the film that launched one of the most popular action adventure franchises in the world. It inspired multiple sequels, a young Indiana Jones television series, and attractions at Disney parks. It comes through in a very easy way to get behind Indiana Jones by making the villains Nazis. While that’s not something they would rely on too much in sequels, it was an easy opponent, especially in the early 1980s.

There is some legitimate criticism about Indiana Jones’ role in the Nazis finding the Ark of the Covenant. Would they have found it if he hadn’t gotten involved? The answer is probably yes, even though they were looking in the wrong spot in the film. Someone would’ve eventually figured it out. So does the film matter with or without Indiana Jones? I can’t make that call for you, but I find it incredibly enjoyable. Indiana Jones is charismatic and charming. He clearly knows his stuff archaeologically. And Harrison Ford can carry basically any film to a watchable status.

I love this series of films. Even the worst of the worst is still a fun watch if you ignore the stupid parts. But “Raiders of the Lost Ark” remains the cream of the crop among Indiana Jones films. While some may enjoy the other films more, I think this one has the best combination of comedy, action and adventure.

Rating: 5 stars

What did you think of “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark?”

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Jeremy Brown

Jeremy has been a big Disney fan since he was a kid growing up during the Disney Renaissance. One day he hopes to go to every Disney Park in the world.

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