Raiders of the Lost Ark

Long live the adventure thriller! To date, no one has impressed me more in this genre space than Steven Spielberg. Specifically, I find his best work to date to be “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” So watch this movie, hop in a WWII plane, and light the line as you travel with Indiana Jones, the American archaeologist adventurer. As of writing this, it’s streaming on Prime Video. Listen to this episode below or at The Damien Riley Podcast.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
PG | 1h 55min | Action, Adventure | 12 June 1981 (USA)
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In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler’s Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Lawrence Kasdan (screenplay by), George Lucas (story by) | 1 more credit »
Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman

So many big names are on this film including George Lucas. It makes sense that a film this great would be a collaboration of giants.

There is a fine line between paying tribute to movie serials and making a movie that is effective with its audience, apart from its influences Speilberg manages to pull it off. If you’re lucky, when you watch it you’ll have no sidetrack thoughts. It’s a movie meant to take you in like a jacuzzi. It plays like a true comic from the WWII era. Strips are scenes and they carry you up then safely drop you back down like a roller coaster.

Now that I’ve said roller coaster, you may know of the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland, Anaheim. It’s one of my favorites. Air shoots at you like poison darts and you almost get smashed by a rolling rock ball. It makes sense the happiest place on earth made a ride from it. The movie is inspired and it’s been taking folks on rides in their mind since it came out in the 1980’s.

The story revolves around finding the Ark of the Covenant, supposedly the container of the ten commandment tablets. By choosing this religious prop, the writers instantly invite the interest of those who read the Bible, the Koran, and the Old Testament. That comprises a hefty amount of moviegoers worldwide. On a rhetorical strategy basis, Speilberg had another trick up his sleeve to make this film work.

Some scenes to watch for:

  1. When Karen Allen’s character has to throw off the Nazis as they want the medallion. There is much here in the way of action, adventure, and even a little rushed romance.
  2. Anytime Indiana sees snakes.
  3. Something at the end, I wont do spoilers but yeah, something at the end!

Its easy to sink into this film. I have seen it many times and yet it still pulls me into my easy chair to make the jump to light speed, every time! If you enjoyed this review, please let me know in the comments or in the Apple Podcast reviews section. Thanks adventurers!

Author: Damien Riley

I post film reviews both written & audio. I'm a writer & podcaster, BA/MA English from Cal State Fullerton. Based in: Victorville, CA, USA My film review site is

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