First in the Indiana Jones trilogy, starring Harrison Ford as the bullwhip-wielding archaeologist and adventurer. The year is 1936, and Indy has been charged with retrieving the Ark of the Covenant, which US intelligence believes contains the original Ten Commandments. The agents of Hitler are also on the trail, however, and it is up to Indy and old flame Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) to get to the Ark first.
Steven Spielberg and George Lucas's 1981 resurrection of the Saturday-matinee adventure genre was deservedly popular, and kicked off a successful trilogy. Set in 1936, this first feature introduces Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, an archaeologist and adventurer whose quests for rare antiquities frequently find him running from one menace or another. Raiders Of The Lost Ark
finds Dr. Jones in the middle of a Nazi plot to use the mysterious powers of the Ark of the Covenant to win the war. Karen Allen plays the love interest with an old-fashioned "man's woman" appeal (she can drink anybody under the table and is free with her fists). The constant, cliffhanger appeal of the movie is great fun--one is always wondering how Indy will get out of one scrape after another--and Ford's career got a big boost with his self-effacing but masculine portrayal of the hero. --Tom Keogh
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