Raiders of the Lost Ark
Raiders of the Lost Ark, also known as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, is a film released by Paramount Pictures in 1981. more...
Directed by Steven Spielberg, it is a fantasy adventure and the first released, though the twenty-fourth, chronologically, in a series of film and TV productions about the adventures of the heroic fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones.
The story introduces us to archaeologist, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford). Jones is a professor of archeology and also acquires artifacts for Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott), who works for a museum. On his adventure in the film, he is accompanied by Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and Sallah (John Rhys-Davies). His adversary is Rene Belloq (Paul Freeman).
Set in 1936, the story begins with Jones's journey into the South American jungle with a few local guides to find a hidden temple that houses a golden idol head. Jones avoids various traps, betrayal by both his guides (one played by a young Alfred Molina), and, in a memorable and much-parodied scene, a giant rolling boulder that chases him out of the temple. Waiting for him outside is his old enemy, French archaeologist Rene Belloq, and a small army of natives. Belloq steals the idol from Jones, who barely escapes in his nearby float plane.
Back at the American university where he teaches, two US Army intelligence men explain to Jones and Brody that a secret, cryptic Nazi message mentions a Prof. Ravenwood being under the scrutiny of German intelligence. Jones, a former student of Ravenwood, interprets the message as an indication that the Nazis are close to finding the Ark of the Covenant — a golden chest that held the remnants of the original Ten Commandments. Legends imply that Hitler could use the Ark to render his army invincible.
The Germans believe that Ravenwood has the headpiece of the Staff of Ra needed to pinpoint the Ark's resting place. The headpiece is a golden disk that, when affixed to the top of a staff of a specific height, focuses a beam of sunlight on to a model of the ancient Egyptian city Tanis and thus reveals the Ark's location. According to Ravenwood, the Pharaoh Shishaq stole the Ark from Jerusalem and hid it in the Well of Souls, in Tanis, before the city was consumed by a sandstorm.
Jones flies to snowy, mountainous Nepal to speak with Marion Ravenwood, the professor's tough-minded and independent daughter, only to find that her father died and that she's reluctant to part with the headpiece. A Nazi agent named Toht who has followed Jones to Marion tries to take the piece from her by threatening her with a hot iron. Marion teams up with Jones, following a shootout between him and Toht's hired thugs in Marion's tavern. During the gunfight Toht seizes the medallion which had been lying in a nearby nest of flame. The object burns its image into his hand.
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