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Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by Binary Sunset, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. Bob Effette

    Bob Effette Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2015
    I'm going to post some stills for no other reason than slavish deference to this masterpiece. Some of my favourite scenes...

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    First glimpse of our hero as he comes out of the shadows. Harrison Ford, too cool for school...

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    This whole intro is just insanely good. It feels so ingrained in pop-culture now, but what a thing to put in a film. Often copied, never bettered. And who remembers the Terry's Chocolate Orange spoof commercial from the 80's? (It's on Youtube)

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    This scene never fails to make me laugh, as Indy comes over the hill, full of dust and cobwebs, running for his life. He's mucked it up...again, and has to hightail it out of there. The music score here is brilliant too.

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    Just.....too good.

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    Still gives me the chills even to this day.

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    This was such an epic shot.

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    Ha ha - never fails to make me laugh "I told you it would be alright!"

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    I think that Karen Allen was perfectly cast as Marion. She was so full of energy.

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    Another brilliant stunt. Like a western, but better...
     
  2. Django Fett

    Django Fett Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Nov 7, 2012
    @Bob Effette what is truly great about Marion is unlike all similar films, she's not there screaming, she's a tomboy and that was something very new for the female romantic lead.
     
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  3. Bob Effette

    Bob Effette Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Very true. I'm often in awe of how good the film is. It is just a miracle of timing and combined talent. It's that one in a million fluke that got the perfect story, cast, director and musical score. Like, it's a top action movie, but has some nice artistic shots in it as well. The low level tracking camera that follows Indy through the jungle as he flees from the Hovitos, the silhouette of the dig above, the scene when Indy is leaving Marion's bar in Nepal and you just see his eye out of shadow, and his shadow on the wall, then the ark's shadow on the Well of Souls as they carry it out. Just really, really well made. Spielberg was on fire with this film, I personally believe it to be his best.
     
  4. christophero30

    christophero30 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    May 18, 2017
    I'm a big fan of Last Crusade and Temple of Doom (my av is Lego Short Round) but Raiders is on another level. It's a perfect film, and one of the great films of all time. My top 3 will probably always be Empire, A New Hope and Raiders.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
  5. Bob Effette

    Bob Effette Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Dec 20, 2015
    For nostalgia, here's that Chocolate Orange advert, which was popular in the 1980's

     
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  6. StarYogi

    StarYogi Jedi Master star 2

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    Nov 18, 2005
    It's probably been mentioned before, but Ford had bad diarrhea on this day, and so opted to shoot the swordsman rather than acting out the long, choreographed fight scene which had originally been planned.
     
  7. Django Fett

    Django Fett Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Nov 7, 2012
    The swordsman, renowned stuntman Terry Richards, was prior to ROTLA most recognisable as one of the MP's that beat up Charles Bronson in The Dirty Dozen.
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  8. Bob Effette

    Bob Effette Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Dec 20, 2015
    And at the same time, made movie history.
     
  9. christophero30

    christophero30 Chosen One star 8

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    May 18, 2017
    Doesn't Frank Marshall the producer play the Nazi pilot who Marion knocks out? Those Hawaii locations at the start look familiar. Looks like where they filmed Lost and Jurassic Park.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
  10. Bob Effette

    Bob Effette Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2015
    One scene I could never figure out was just after the basket game, when Indy is hiding around the corner from the truck that they load "Marion" onto, some locals are grabbing at Indy's shirt. I could never figure out if they are just beggars trying to frisk him or whether they hold him in some sort of reverence. I know he throws some coins for them, but next shot and they are back again with their hands all over him.
     
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  11. christophero30

    christophero30 Chosen One star 8

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    May 18, 2017
    I think they are beggars.
     
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  12. Django Fett

    Django Fett Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Nov 7, 2012
    Yeah they're beggars.
     
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  13. AEHoward33

    AEHoward33 Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 11, 2019
    My biggest problem with "Raiders" is that an entire regiment of Nazi troops were roaming about 1936 Egypt without arising any concern from the Egyptian and British governments.
     
  14. someoneinpassing

    someoneinpassing Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Dec 25, 2019
    If anyone hasn't seen it yet, check out the recent Pixar film Onward. Not top-flight Pixar, but still fun, and it contains some great homages to Raiders.
     
  15. Ackbar's Fishsticks

    Ackbar's Fishsticks Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 25, 2013
    The best headcanon I've been able to come up with on this is that Tanis, while an ancient Egyptian city, is technically right over the border with Libya per the contemporary map, which in 1936 would make it Italian and not British territory, and therefore much more easy for the Nazis to get permission to operate in.

    It's somewhat supported by Belloq's claim that the desert is "three weeks in every direction" (so wherever Tanis is, it's not anywhere near the Nile, let alone Cairo). And also by the difference between the way the Nazis act in Cairo early in the movie, where they wear plainclothes and outsource their work to locals and generally behave like you're expect spies or gangsters to, and the way they act in Tanis where they're not even pretending to be anything other than an occupying army, uniforms and everything.

    But of course, the question then is, if Tanis is in Libya, why would you drive the Ark all the way to Cairo to fly it out, when you could simply drive it to Benghazi which is still within friendly borders and probably closer in any event? If anyone's got that one solved, I'm all ears...
     
  16. someoneinpassing

    someoneinpassing Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Dec 25, 2019
    That's because top men worked on it.

    Top. Men.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
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  17. someoneinpassing

    someoneinpassing Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Dec 25, 2019
    Kasdan's dialogue in Raiders is just great. Funny, tense, quotable. Some of my favs:

    1. "Bad dates."
    2. "You wanna talk to God? Let's go see him together. I've got nothing better to do."
    3. "Asps. Very dangerous. You go first."
    4. "Truck? What truck?"
    5. "We are passing through history. This ... this *is* history."
     
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  18. ThePhilistineCritic

    ThePhilistineCritic Jedi Padawan star 1

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    Apr 1, 2020
    Certainly, Raiders of the Lost Ark is a breathless, white-knuckle experience of a movie. It’s also perfectly paced. There’s enough time in between the frequent action scenes to provide the minimum of exposition and character development for us to understand what’s going on and to appreciate the relationships between the individuals who populate the screen. There’s none of the frenetic quick-cutting that’s since become a staple of action movies (thank you, editor Michael Kahn!), and the production doesn’t seem frenzied and out-of-control. This isn’t a case of cardboard figures running around in circles and blowing things up. We care about Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood in ways that we rarely care about protagonists in this genre. When Marion “dies”, it stings.

    Although there are plenty of visual effects in the movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark was made in an era when stunt work was more critical than anything added in post-production. Harrison Ford did many of his own stunts, and ended up with the cuts and bruises to show for them (not to mention a torn ACL). The most intensive stunt sequence- the fight on the truck that ended up with Indy being dragged along the ground behind the vehicle - employed both the actor and his double, and remains a thrilling sequence because we recognize that this isn’t the result of computer animation- it’s really happening.

    Grade: A+
     
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  19. Bob Effette

    Bob Effette Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Dec 20, 2015
    I love the whole truck sequence. That bit where Indy dives across the truck cab, grabs the driver in a headlock and punches him square in the nose. Brilliant.

    You can also sense Indy’s desperation too when he is behind the wheel and he is kicking across at the passenger door like a madman to dislodge the guard. It’s just ace, all of it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
  20. Django Fett

    Django Fett Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2012
    A few more...
    6. "Come on show a little back bone will 'ya"
    7. "It's not the years, it's the mileage"
    8. "I don't know, I'm making this up as I go"
    9. "Try the local sewer"
    10. "Mr Jones, I've heard a lot about you, sir. You're appearance is exactly the way I imagined"
     
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  21. ThePhilistineCritic

    ThePhilistineCritic Jedi Padawan star 1

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    Apr 1, 2020
    I believe Harrison Ford ad libbed that one.
     
  22. StarYogi

    StarYogi Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Actually there could almost be a separate thread in itself for great Indiana Jones quotes.

    11. "I told you you would be alright! Haha!"
    12. "You Americans all the same. Always overdressing for the wrong occasions."
    13. "Didn't you guys ever go to Sunday School?"
    14. "I can only say I'm sorry so many times." "Well say it again anyway!!" "Sorry..."
    15. "I can be reasonable!" "That time is past." "I'll tell you everything!" "Yes... I know you will..."
     
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  23. Bob Effette

    Bob Effette Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Dec 20, 2015
    16. "He said you were a bum" "Ah, he's being generous"
    17. "Ha ha ha ha - son of a *****"
    18. "Besides, you know what a cautious fellow I am"
    19. "Jock, start the engines! Get it up! Jock, the engines! Start the engines Jock!"
    20. "You would use a bulldozer to find a china......cup"
     
  24. Django Fett

    Django Fett Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Nov 7, 2012
    As far as homages go and as ridiculous as it is, bad can be good and funny.

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  25. AEHoward33

    AEHoward33 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 11, 2019
    The fact that the Nazis were initially in Cairo in the first place makes the presence of an entire regiment in this film questionable in the first place. Also, I've learned that Tanis was actually located in the northeastern part of the Nile River Delta. And Libya is west of Egypt. I have never overlooked this (along with Marion's costumes), but I still manage to enjoy the film.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2020