RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
Starring- Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Denholm Elliott
Who doesn't love Indiana Jones? I am of course talking about the Indiana Jones of my youth, not the crappy Crystal Skull version. For me, Indiana Jones is all about this film. I appreciate Last Crusade, and to a much lesser extent, Temple of Doom, but Raiders will always be my favorite. It has it all- a great hero, a sassy heroine, great action, evil villains and a great McGuffin in the Ark of the Covenant. From the first time we see Indy emerge from the shadows to the final scene in the warehouse, Raiders is a nearly perfect movie.
The opening keeps you on the edge of your seat as Indy combats poison darts, turncoat guides and giant boulders, and never lets up. With him every step of the way is a fabulous supporting cast led by Karen Allen as the feisty Marion Ravenwood. Paul Freeman as Belloq is a charming, but deadly adversary for Jones, as is the Peter Lorre-esque Toht played by Ronald Lacey. I also love Indy's allies Marcus and Sallah who help him in his quest for the Ark.
I think one of the reasons that I like this movie and Indiana Jones as a hero is because he isn't perfect, and he knows it. He's not sure how he's going to get out of certain situations, he's afraid of snakes and he gets beat up. I dressed up as Indy many times as a kid, and loved to act out the movie as I watched it because I wanted to be like him. Not many screen characters inspired me in that way, but Indiana Jones was one of them. Cheers to a great tough guy!
Things to watch for-
The Monkey Heiling Hitler
The scariest hanger ever
That Big Boulder (How'd they get it so smooth?)
"I don't know. I'm making this up as I go."