Raiders of the Lost Ark Movie Review Summary

Actors: Harrison Ford

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana Jones teams up with his former flame Marion Ravenwood to find the fabled Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis can get their hands on it. The film begins with Indiana Jones braving the perils of the Peruvian jungle in search of an ancient cave that hides a golden idol. He is accompanied by two guides, one of whom turns tail at the mouth of the cave, being a very superstitious man; the other man ventures into the cave with Indy. Once inside they must outwit several ancient booby traps, including motion triggered darts and an open pit. The two make it to the antechamber where the golden relic is displayed on a pedestal. Indy is careful to quickly replace the idol with a bag of sand so as not to disturb the weighted booby trap but fails. The disruption triggers the destruction of the cave and Indy and his guide must run for their lives to make it out alive. As it happens the first man is a traitor and tricks Indy into giving him the relic and he runs out ahead of Indiana leaving him to die. However, Indy manages to escape, runs after the guide and finds him dead, speared to death. He retrieves the relic and just barely makes it out of the cave alive, only to find his rival the French Archaeologist Belloq and a tribe of armed Hovito people of the Peruvian jungle. Seeing as Indiana is outnumbered, he is forced to give up the idol and barely escapes to his waiting seaplane. Upon his return to Marshall College where he is a professor of Archaeology, he is approached by his friend Marcus Brody, a director at the British Museum and two men who claim to be Army Intelligence Agents. The agents explain that they are trying to find Indiana Jones' old mentor Abner Ravenwood before the Nazis do. The Nazis are hell bent on finding Ravenwood as they know he is in possession of the headpiece of the Staff of Ra, an artifact needed to locate the Ark of the Covenant. In biblical mythology, the Ark of the Covenant is believed to hold the very power of God, and those who wield it become unbeatable. The Nazis believe if they find the Ark they can take over the world. Indiana figures this out and the agents employ him to find Abner Ravenwood and the headpiece before the Nazis do. So Indiana Jones travels to Nepal to find Abner's daughter Marian Ravenwood because he believes she might know where her father is. Naturally, there is some tension as Indiana and Marion are former lovers who did not end on a good note. She informs him that her father is dead but reveals that she can give him the headpiece for a price. Indiana agrees and leaves Marian's bar, promising to come back the next morning. Moments after his departure, one of Hitler's men and his entourage enter the bar and threaten Marian in order to get the headpiece. She refuses to give it up and they attack her. Fortunately, Indiana shows up again and fights them off but Marian's bar is burned down in the struggle and Marian demands that Indiana take her with him. The two head to Cairo to meet with Indiana's old friend Sallah, a man very skilled in excavation. Sallah tells the two that The Nazi's have already begun digging in the desert but are digging in the wrong spot. While walking around the city, they are confronted by a few Nazi's and they end up in a confrontation and Marian is briefly kidnapped. Indiana chases after her and is fooled into thinking she is put on a truck that is then blown up. Thinking Marian is dead, and choosing to ignore his pain, he and Sallah use the headpiece to find the real location of the ark and begin to dig. After doing all the work, Belloq, Indiana's rival who is working with the Nazis, shows up, takes the Ark and throws Indiana into the pit where the Ark was hidden. Marian, who had not died afterall and had been held captive by the Nazis up until that point is also thrown into the pit with Indiana and the Nazis make off with the Ark. Being the clever man of action he is, Indiana manages to get both he and Marian out of the pit rather quickly and they chase after the Nazis. He manages to reclaim the Ark and puts it on a steamship headed to London. Of course, the Nazis are not far behind and board the ship, take the Ark and Marian but cannot find Indiana as he manages to sneak aboard the Nazi's ship and hide. The Nazis head to an island in the Aegean Sea where Belloq decides to test the Ark before handing it over to Hitler. Indiana appears and tries to stop them but is restrained and tied up with Marian. Belloq opens the Ark and a light shoots up into the sky and angelic beings swarm out of the Ark. The Nazis are captivated by the sight, but Indiana, knowing better, warns Marian to shut her eyes tight and not look no matter what. Suddenly, the beings turn into terrifying creatures that scream and swirl around into a vortex above the island. The beings burn everyone who has laid eyes on them; the Nazis and Belloq but not Marian or Indiana. Once everyone has been melted to bits the Ark shuts itself and Marian and Indiana open their eyes to find their ropes have been severed and everyone is dead. Indiana and Marian take the Ark to D.C. and present it to the agents and demand to know what they will do with it. The agents cryptically respond that they have top men examining the artifact but will give no more information. Dissatisfied but unable to do more, Indy and Marian leave together. The last shot is of a crate containing the Ark being wheeled through a massive and secret government storage facility and being shoved into place with hundreds of other crates that are obviously not being examined by top men.
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Best part of story, including ending: I'm a huge fan of adventure stories like this one. When I was a kid, watching Indiana Jones made me want to be an archaeologist who went on adventures in faraway locales.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene was the opening scene that took place in the South American jungle. That is the quintessential Indiana Jones to me; jungles, Mesoamerican artifacts and long secluded tribes. I thought it was the perfect way to introduce the character to the audience and give them a taste of what was to come.

Opinion about the main character: I could admire Indiana for his belief that the artifacts belonged in a museum up to an extent, but I realize that what he was doing wasn't really archaeology but more like grave robbing and he didn't seem to care much that artifact once found should at have been given to the museum of the country or culture it was found in instead of the British Museum I didn't like that.

The review of this Movie prepared by Kyle Spencer a Level 3 Eurasian Jay scholar

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK is a movie directed by Steven Spielberg in 1981. It earned nine nominations for the Academy awards and won four.

Indiana Jones, a college teacher most of the time, becomes an intrepid adventurer, bringing back to the open air precious artifacts of the past. He's asked now by the American authorities to prevent the nazis from stealing the Ark of the Covenant.
The review of this Movie prepared by Daniel Staebler

Meet Indy for the first time as he treks across the globe to keep the Nazis (who else?) from using and abusing the Ark of the Covenant. This is a fast and fun-loving ode to the adventure serials of the 30s and 40s.
The review of this Movie prepared by Cal

Archaeologist, Indiana Jones sets out to find the lost ark of the covenant. Along the way he teams up with an old friend and runs into power hungry Nazis, who are also seeking the treasure.
The review of this Movie prepared by Steph Swanger

Indy must get his hands on the Ark before the Nazi's do.
The review of this Movie prepared by steve

Script Analysis of Raiders of the Lost Ark

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Actual chase scenes or violence 50%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 32%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 18% Time/Era of Movie:    -   1930's-1950's Technology/treasure/info search    -   Yes involving:    -   magical artifact

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   explorer Age:    -   20's-30's Nudity    -   Chest Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


United States    -   Yes Africa    -   Yes Part of Africa:    -   Arabic Africa Desert?    -   Yes Misc setting    -   cave

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately messy visuals of dead    -   gory visuals of deaths Kind of violence:    -   hand to hand    -   guns Unusual forms of death    -   run over    -   perforation--bullets    -   visually blown into pieces Lot of special effects?    -   Yes

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