Saturdays with Spielberg #6: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Basics:

A seemingly normal college professor by the name of Indiana Jones, has a bit of a secret life.  When he’s not busy teaching aspiring students about archeology, Dr. Jones is off living the life of an adventurer, searching for lost treasures in hopes of putting them in a museum for all to see.  Jones faces his toughest adventure, however, when the government calls on him to find the legendary Ark of the Covenant before the villainous Third Reich does.  With feisty companion Marion Ravenwood in tow, Indiana fights Nazis, Egyptians, snakes, and more on his quest to find the artifact.

Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rys-Davies, and Wolf Kahler

Written By: Lawrence Kasdan

Directed By: Steven Spielberg


The Delivery:

Not loving Raiders of the Lost Ark is like a movie buff sin, right?  I mean, how could you NOT love it?  It’s probably one of the most legendary and well known action movies ever made, and certainly the most beloved.  It has universal appeal as well; no matter who you are, no matter where you come from, chances are you will love Indiana Jones. ‘But over the years, Indiana Jones has hit the pantheon of “must love” films; if you don’t find it to be a masterpiece, you’re wrong.  Plain and simple.  And you know what?  I DON’T THINK Raiders of the Ark is a masterpiece.  And I KNOW I’m wrong.

I can’t even explain it to myself, quite honestly.  Raiders has all the trappings of a film that I should have in My Top Five Favorite Films of All Time.  A lovable and charismatic lead.  A sassy and cute female sidekick.  A fantastic, fun, and clever script.  Terrific acting from a great cast.  And some of the best action scenes ever put to film.  Technically, it is a masterpiece.  But in my opinion (and I stress it again, this is MY OPINION), I don’t find it to be the best action movie of all time.  In fact…I think I like Last Crusade more.  And I just… I just don’t know why.

Indy and the Rock

With most films, I can find faults.  I can find reasons not to like them (or, in this case, not love them to death).  But with Raiders of the Lost Ark…I just didn’t connect.  The movie is fantastic, and I can’t really find flaws in it at all.  But I’m just not madly in love with it.  To be fair, I still love it; it’s a great film.  But I feel like this film should be a 10, a masterpiece of its genre.  But I just can’t will myself to love it that much.  Honestly, this article is a mess.  A know that, and you the reader know that.  But the reason this article makes no sense is because I make no sense.  I don’t know why I don’t think Raiders of the Lost Ark is a masterpiece.  But I just can’t hide my opinion because its not the norm.  Even if I don’t understand how exactly I got that opinion.

Now your probably thinking “Wow, this guy is a huge idiot; how can he NOT know what he doesn’t like about a film?”  And if you are thinking that, let me stress this for the third time; THIS IS JUST MY OPINION.  I don’t know why my opinion is so shitty, or why I can’t explain my reasoning.  Sometimes, a film just doesn’t click for you as much as it does for others.  And I guess I’ll just have to deal with that.

I just wish I could comprehend why.

Indiana Jones

The Scorecard:

Acting-Harrison Ford’s performance is legendary, and Karen Allen is perfect for the role of Marion Ravenwood.

Writing- A fantastic, well paced script with some clever dialogue and excellent quips.

Directing- Spielberg really proved his action chops with Raiders. Some of the best conceived action scenes ever.

Sound– Where would Indiana Jones be without his score?  Seriously, where would he be?  One of the best scores ever made.

Visuals– Well come of the special effects look a tad dated (as should be expected), everything else still looks great.


I feel like this review has set up a really low score.  Like, a 2 out of 10.  While, that’s certainly not the case.  I still love Raiders. Like I said before, isn’t it kind of a movie buff sin not to?  But my love of Indiana Jones compared to others is much, much lower.  I mean, some people find this film to be the best action film ever made.  Actually, a lot do.  And why I think the action is top notch everything else is just…I don’t know.  I just don’t know.

Score: 9 out of 10

Saturdays with Spielberg #6: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Loose Ends:

-The jeep chase in this film is amazing; probably one of the best action scenes in the history of cinema.

-I also like the Cairo chase, but mostly because the music is awesome during it.

-Speaking of awesome, that plane scene was much more kick ass than I remembered.  What a terrific set up.

-When Indy punches someone, you can CLEARLY see he’s not actually hitting them.  But I have a feeling that was a directorial decision made by Spielberg.

-Sallah is a freaking badass sidekick.  Just saying.

-So I have ONE suspicion why I don’t love this film as much as others; I’ve seen almost every single scene in countless amounts of parodies.  But that’s a story for another article.