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30 years of Raiders of the Lost Ark tomorrow

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by djd, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. djd

    djd Practically Family

    30 years since this great film was released. I kind of got me into vintage clothing and fedoras- don't know how many others besides.

    I'll be sticking in the DVD player to celebrate :)
  2. ukali1066

    ukali1066 Practically Family

    Sheesh....that makes me feel so old.....
  3. Now the movie itself can be called "vintage".
  4. I've reported this here more than once before, but it bears repeating - especially for younger folks who grew up with this film as a (beloved) old friend:

    I saw Raiders on opening day, at the Astor Plaza in NYC. As opposed to today's spoilers-everywhere world, there was virtually no advance information about the film. I was a dedicated film buff who read all the film magazines (this was before Entertainment Tonight and Entertainment Weekly, much less the Internet(!), when only trade and fan publications existed). Anyway, this was all we knew before the film opened:

    • It was a coproduction of Lucas and Spielberg, the young film gods of Star Wars and Empire, Jaws and Close Encounters.
    • It was an homage to the old film serials (*) and was set in the 30s or 40s.
    • It starred that Han Solo guy.
    And that was it, period. We went into a screening of the greatest filmic rollercoaster ever made essentially having no idea what we were in for!

    ( * Unlike later generations, folks like me actually knew these films well. When I was a kid in the early 60s, the old serials were shown daily on local kiddie-TV shows. I had seen most episodes of all three Flash Gordons, Buck Rodgers, Phantom Empire, Undersea Kingdom, Captain Marvel, etc., years earlier. The old serials and cliffhangers were part of my film DNA.)

    Friends, it was nearly the top film experience of my life! The continual surprises, relentless action setpieces (any one of which would have the highlight of another film!), great characters and script, jaw-dropping effects work, and sheer style and confidence that suffused the film were unlike anything we'd ever seen before. It was movie magic of the highest order! The entire audience was exhausted and amazed.

    Anyway, it's still a great and wondrous film... but that element of surprise is almost completely gone from the filmgoing experience nowadays. I'm not saying that I don't love our media-fixated culture and all the entertainment information and community available on the Internet, cable TV, etc. But it's the usual kind of progress tradeoff - we have lost our innocence and the chance of being that surprised by a movie, no matter how brilliant.

    Indiana: Meet me at Omar's. Be ready for me. I'm going after that truck.
    Sallah: How?
    Indiana: I don't know, I'm making this up as I go!
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  5. Atomic Age

    Atomic Age Practically Family

    I got you beat.

    I was a member of the Star Wars fan club in 1981, and I got in the mail from them an invitation to see something called Raiders of the Lost Ark. I thought it might be about Noah's Ark, which I wasn't very interested in, but it said Lucas and Spielberg plus Harrison Ford, so I went.

    Once in the theater I heard my own thoughts about the film reflected back at me. People asking each other if this was about Noah's Ark? What the hell was this movie? After the 15 min opening scene, the audience was cheering and clapping so loud, that you couldn't hear the first half of the class room scene that followed. This was about 6 weeks before the film opened. I was so jazzed by the movie, that I was in line again on opening day, and saw the movie probably 25 times that summer.

    Happy Birthday Indiana Jones!

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  6. nihil

    nihil One of the Regulars

    I missed this! It would have been a great opportunity to invite to a Indy movie night with some friends.
    Oddly enough I actually thought about when the exact date was, when I remembered that the first one is from '81. I had assumed it was sometime in May, and that I had missed it. And now I did.
  7. I was getting married on this date when the film came out. I knew nothing about it but discovered the novelization for "Raiders of the Lost Ark" by Campbell Black later that summer.
  8. 1961MJS

    1961MJS Call Me a Cab


    I went to see Raiders with my Dad and my Jewish dorm neighbor. The whole movie was hilarious because Dave cheered every time a Nazi bought it. Pretty soon, the whole place was cheering too.

  9. davidraphael

    davidraphael Practically Family

    wow. 30 yrs.
    I am old.
    Blew me away when I saw it (at school. a 16mm projection onto a white sheet!)

    I've been a big Indy fan ever since and have collected a few bits and pieces over the years (the complete marvel comics collection and a Frank Marshall signed Temple of Doom document, for example). In fact, the first hat I ever bought in my life was an Indy fedora from the Universal Studios Tour store when I was a kid! :)

    Someone also sent me a scan of the Lucas/Kasdan/Spielberg meeting transcription from 1979 during which they start to define who this new cinematic hero might be....! Very interesting if you're an indy fan

    Like Dr. Strange, I was brought up on republic serials - Flash Gordon was my favourite, as was Rocketman, so Raiders was literally mindblowing. A logical next step in my education!
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
  10. I, too, saw Raiders... with only a word-of-mouth inkling of what it was about. I knew the Lucas-Spielberg-Ford connection and was appropriately excited. But the action, stunts, characterization, and especially the fact that this movie showed a sincere affection for the serials, totally wowed me.

    BTW, my source of serials was VHS rentals from Eddie Brandt's Saturday Matinee. Anyone else remember that store?
  11. Old Rogue

    Old Rogue Practically Family

    Yep, makes me feel my age also. I didn't see it on opening night, but did shortly afterwards. Up to that point in time my favorite movie was Star Wars (this was before I came to my senses and realized that Casablanca is the greatest film ever made :) ), and I was thrilled and amazed to find that it was possible for a movie to be even better than Star Wars. The greatest thing about Raiders is how well it's held up. Even though I can now recite each scene from memory it's still fun to watch.
  12. Aristaeus

    Aristaeus A-List Customer

    Raiders is by far, my favorite of the four.
  13. SgtRick

    SgtRick One of the Regulars

    Just watched Raiders a couple nights ago on my computer. Great movie! Now when I watch I pay a little closer attention to the hats.
  14. SgtRick

    SgtRick One of the Regulars

    Just watched Raiders a couple nights ago on my computer. Great movie! Now when I watch I pay a little closer attention to the hats.
  15. davidraphael

    davidraphael Practically Family

    For all you Raiders collectors, did you know that the 'Story Of...'* LP includes audio takes that were not included in the final movie?

    *Back in the 70s, those of you who bought movie 'Story of...' LPs will remember that they included a truncated version of the actual movie, often with some helpful narration. They were about 45mins to an hour long, and before the advent of home video they were only way you could revisit/re-experience the movie.

    I only have an mp3 copy of the Raiders disc, but I still have my Temple of Doom LP as well as my Star Wars/Empire/ Jedi records. ah memories....

  16. ukali1066

    ukali1066 Practically Family

    The rest of the series I can take or leave....but Raiders is a true classic
  17. Just watched it the other night and it still holds it's own even after all this time.
    One thing really bothered me though. Near the beginning of the film there is the scene where the 2 men from the government visit Dr. Jones to enlist his aid in locating The Ark. One of them looks like a 70's used car salesman,..the awful light blue 2 piece polyester suit in which he is dressed,... :eusa_doh:
    Everyone else's wardrobe looked fine though.
  18. James71

    James71 A-List Customer

    Its been really nice reading where everyone was when this seminal piece of cinema came out. Thanks to everyone for sharing.

    Me? I was 9 years old. I saw star wars, but my love for that franchise was still some years away as I needed to grow up a little to understand it. Raiders however, was aimed right at my 9 year old psyche. It slammed into the fledgling zygote of my being and shaped my whole life.

    I grew up in a very blue collar family in the western suburbs of sydney. There were few books in my house and my parents socialised with others of their own educational and employment culture. Men were quietly spoken, worked hard at menial jobs and mowed laws on the weekend. Women did housework and cooked meals. Recreation saw us fishing or hunting, always to procure food for the larder. I loved the outdoors, but I equally loved music and poetry and literature.

    My father caught me sitting inside listening to my mothers old records one day and told me that music was for girls. I should play football. (that was never going to happen). If I was caught reading a book, my father assumed I must be very hard up indeed for something to do and found me something more interesting to do, like yard work or washing the car...

    Then I saw Indy.... Here was a man who could be outdoorsy, and yet educated. He was intelligent and yet rugged. This paradigm was to be the defining role model for my life.

    Little did I know at the time I was destined to be a scientist, but hated lab work. I ended up a field scientist. Doing intelligent things in the outdoors.

    I have Indy to thank for that.

    I still hunt and fish, canoe and hike. I carry on with those pursuits as much for the philosophical peace that it gives me as for the exercise and the delicious natural foods that they produce.


    (and I ended up a semi-pro musician, much to my fathers chagrin! - Neither of my parents have ever been to one of my gigs...)
  19. I just ran across this. Its really good.

  20. Simon82

    Simon82 One of the Regulars

    RBH, that wasn't just really good, it was fantastic! Thanks very much for posting that -- can't imagine the patience it would take to pull something like that off.

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