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Cinema Classics on DVD Curated Collection


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Raiders of the Lost Ark (avail. only as part of 4 disc set "The Adventures of Indiana Jones")

"Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark plays like an anthology of the best parts from all the Saturday matinee serials ever made. It takes place in Africa, Nepal, Egypt, at sea and in a secret submarine base. It contains trucks, bulldozers, tanks, motorcycles, ships, subs, Pan Am Clippers, and a Nazi flying wing. It has snakes, spiders, booby traps and explosives. The hero is trapped in a snake pit, and the heroine finds herself assaulted by mummies. The weapons range from revolvers and machineguns to machetes and whips. And there is the supernatural, too, as the Ark of the Covenant triggers an eerie heavenly fire that bolts through the bodies of the Nazis."

"Harrison Ford is the embodiment of Indiana Jones -- dry, fearless, and as indestructible as a cartoon coyote. The correct casting was not as obvious in 1980, when the film was being prepared, as it is now. He had starred in 'Star Wars' and 'The Empire Strikes Back' as Han Solo, a laconic man of action, but his other credits were a mixed bag. What he proved in the 'Star Wars' movies, and went on to prove again and again, is that he can supply the strong, sturdy center for action nonsense. In a scene where everything is happening at once, he knows that nothing unnecessary need be happening on his face, in his voice, or to his character. He is the fulcrum, not the lever."

"Karen Allen plays Marian, his sidekick, a gutsy broad who has the duty of following the hero from one side of the globe to the other, while in constant danger. (She is nearly burned alive twice, shot at, faces down a King Cobra and is left tied to a stake by Indy because 'If I take you out of here they'll start combing the place for us.') The female lead in an Indiana Jones movie is sort of an honorary boy, no more sexual than the girls in boys' adventure magazines, although Marian can more than take care of herself and is not helpless in the face of danger."

The special effects, astonishing at the time, now look a little cheesy; accustomed to digital perfection, we can see when model planes are being used, when dark clouds are being put in the sky by an optical printer, when the deadly rays of the ark are being superimposed on the action. Lucas of course went back and tidied up the effects in 'Star Wars,' but I hope Spielberg never touches "Raiders" because the effects, just as they are, help set the tone of the movie. A serial should look a little hasty. It's a Boy's Own Adventure, a whiz-bang slamarama, a Bruised Forearm movie (you squeeze the arm of your date every time something startles you). It's done with a kind of heedless joy. Spielberg was old enough (34) to have the clout to make the film, and young enough to remember why he wanted to. All of the reasons why he wanted to." ---- Roger Ebert

Selected for the Library of Congress National Film Registry of American Film.


  • Available Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Contains all three films in their original format, restored and digitally remastered:
    Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • Widescreen
  • A new, feature-length documentary of the making of the trilogy
  • From the Lucasfilm Archives:
    The Stunts of Indiana Jones
    The Sound of Indiana Jones
    The Music of Indiana Jones
    The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones
  • Original trailers
  • Weblink to exclusive content including dozens of behind-the-scenes photos, an animatic sequence from Raiders and a PC game preview

Curator's Comments:
Read Roger Ebert's essay on this DVD Classic.

Director: Steven Spielberg
115 minutes
Total runtime: 4 discs = 359 minutes
Released: 1981
Rated: PG

Country: U.S.A.
Language: English
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller


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