Not merely out of nostalgia does this adventure still rank as one of the greats in film history .
In the mid 1930’s college professor and archaeologist Indiana Jones (Ford) is contacted by the U.S. government to find and artifact, most all thought was only a myth. But the Ark of the Covenant does exist and the Nazi’s are pursuing it to use in a deadly plan. Jones will be tasked with transverse the globe in an attempt to track it down first.
Indiana Jones was one of my favorite characters growing up as a kid, and I can remember the countless times playing with friends envisioning our own treasure hunting adventures. It has been thirty-three years since this film was released and that also means I am much much older now as well. Despite both these facts this movie still boasts a wildly fun adventure traversing across the globe as Jones pursues his treasure to the farthest reaches of the world. This film still holds its replay value making it an all-time classic, and a milestone role in the career of Harrison Ford.
The story-line starts out fast with Jones on an adventure deep in the jungle. After, the script quickly gets to the main plot and the path of pursuing it. The locations are excellent and many of the settings often pull your eye from the characters performing in the scenes as Spielberg found sprawling backdrops for the story-line throughout.
The locations are well shot and Spielberg used a keen eye to capture the most of each setting with a seeming ease. As Jones makes his way from country to country he comes across an array of villainous foes along the journey. He also must contend with the ever relentless Nazi’s, which leads to many tense, action-filled moments.
The cast is excellent and Harrison Ford was perfect as the headlining character. His performances have earned him more than a couple iconic characters, and his portrayal of the adventure seeking archaeologist was certainly one of them. Karen Allen was great as the leading female. Her tomboy approach was a fun addition to the story-line and added some laughable moments throughout. She had some awkward, and other times frustrating interactions with Ford’s character and the result was often amusing. Their love-hate relationship added to the story-line without seeming at all forced or stealing the focus of the adventure.
Despite the amount of years that have past since this films release it still can go down as one of the more creative adventure films out there. It weaves a perfect blend of plausible and implausible very effectively for a fun story. The time-period being in the mid 1930’s also add a positive element to this film and without the technology of today, this script was able to have an imagination of its own.
It would go without saying that the score to this film was also as great as the script, dialogue, cinematography, and cast performances. Back in a time where the score and soundtrack actually had an impact and influence on a film, this one stands tall with the other great scores from many other memorable films of the era. This first entry in the Indiana Jones saga still is without question the best, and no matter how many times you have seen it, the enjoyment will still be there.
Time: 115 min
MPAA Rating: PG-13