The legendary adventure movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark came out 40 years ago today!
Name any summer blockbuster of the last 40 years, and you can be certain they drew inspiration from the iconic adventure masterpiece, Raiders of the Lost Ark. From Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America to The Mummy (1999) and its sequels. Even video game series like Uncharted and Tomb Raider were directly influenced by the legendary first entry in the Indiana Jones franchise.
Before he made Star Wars, George Lucas conceived of Indiana Jones as an homage to serial films he enjoyed in his youth like Buck Rogers and Zorro. However, he couldn’t find a director and shelved the project. After Star War’s massive success in 1977, Lucas asked friend Steven Spielberg to take the reins, and the rest is history.
Raiders of the Lost Ark was dubbed an instant classic upon release in the summer of 1981.
Critics praised the humor, action sequences, and sheer escapist entertainment value. It made $390 million at the box office, which is the equivalent of $1.1 billion today! The film was nominated for 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
I re-watched the film several times over the last few days, and I’m happy to say it’s still as entertaining. Though there are a few things that haven’t exactly aged well. The depiction of Arabs is outdated and problematic by today’s standards. As is the explicit reference to Indy’s affair with an underage Marion. Indy is like the Woody Allen of archaeology.
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