Indian Jone as the Lost Ark was directed by Steven Spielberg in 1981 became the Top Grossing film and remains one of the highest grossing films to date. The film and the proceeding offerings became a franchise including several sequels, tv series and video games.
I chose the first instalment Indiana Jones series as another great addition to the Throwback Thursday vault. Indiana is a true adventure hunter driven not only by the thrill of the chase but also the artefacts. The drive of the fantasy of travelling to undiscovered worlds for immeasurable treasures, for which he will argue with another bad guy to obtain, as is the tradition.
Indy (Harrison Ford) is the heart-throb archaeology teacher everyone seems to call upon when they cant find the last piece to their conundrum for whatever weird and wonderful item they cant do without. In this particular film, set in 1936, we follow Jones as he goes the aid of his former mentor Abner Ravenwood, an expert on the ancient city of Tanis in Egypt, who is being sought after by the Nazis. Abner is in possession of an item called the headpiece of the staff of Ra, an item Jones deduces they require to find the Ark of the Covenant, a religious artefact the Nazis believe will make their armies invincible.
What a load of old codswallop, all viewers will insist as they continue to proceed in the experience, but soon you realize logic has no place here, religion and fantasy all combine and you allow it…because its Indiana…and it is the tradition.
Continually being followed by danger and excitement he travels to Nepal to retrieve sed piece only to find Abner has died and his former love interest Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), Abner’s daughter is the new owner. Marion depicts a strong independent young woman in a male-driven world very specifically in the shot drinking scene; out drinking the male contender in the bar and still manages to clear the room after. Here ensues an awkward confrontation between the two when Indiana arrives at her bar and we realise they didn’t leave on the best of terms last time they met. Jones’s focus is on the item rather than the apology needed, pressing her for the item. This adds to his trait of not being the settling down type, comes with the territory of the job I suppose. Plus, this is an action adventure, not a Rom/com and you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta go when your on a timer against the Nazi’s. When she asks him to return the next day for the piece, do we sense a little bit of past emotion coming to the surface…I think so!
Now enters stereotypical Nazi bastard; Black trench coat, black trilby, hideous demeanour, halting German accent…thats him alright. Down to the music as he enters, the camera angles, and the evil grin he seems to be constantly parading around the room, we hate him already. Indiana returns in the nick of time, and with a crack of his whip, we know it’s him. In removing the hot poker from the situation he then creates another situation as the bar catches fire because of the poker. Again this is a running joke throughout the series of the films where he is the protagonist/underdog-hero that always seems to need that little bit of help out of the extra situation he creates when trying to save someone else. It doesn’t stop there either!
This gem of a film has it all; The ultimate bad guys, both in terms of how much we are drawn to dislike them and to the extent they will go to destroy the world. It has our hero, his lady and real danger and excitement through the discovery of places the viewers would never experience firsthand….well definitely not like this anyway. Supernatural happenings, religious crossovers, international allies and comedy.
This is one of those go-to films the whole family could watch on a Sunday and enjoy together. A classic tale of fantasy.
Get your leather jacket, your trilby and your whip and you’re all set for this classic adventure.
Just watch out for those snakes.