The Movie Review Guy Best Movies for 2013
Dec 31, 2013
The Top 80 movies from the 1980's in 80 Days (DAY 41):
40. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981)
Archeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.
Harrison Ford—Indiana Jones
Karen Allen—Marion Ravenwood
Paul Freeman—Dr. Rene’ Bellog
Ronald Lacey—Major Arnold Toht
Denholm Elliott—Dr. Marcus Brody
Facts about the this movie:
*Budget: $ 18,000,000
*Opening Weekend: $8,305,823 (USA) (1078 Screens)
*Gross: $384,140,454 (Worldwide)
*When Indy is dragged under and then out behind a moving truck, it's a tribute to Yakima Canutt's similar famous stunt in John Ford's Stagecoach. In fact, it was a stunt that stuntman Terry Leonard had tried to pull off the year before, and failed to do so, on The Legend of the Lone Ranger. He was thrilled at the chance of having another shot at it, but only agreed to do it if his friend & colleague Glenn Randall Jr. was driving. The truck was specially constructed to be higher above the ground than normal so as to allow clearance for Indiana Jones to pass underneath safely. The center of the road was also dug out to allow more clearance. In Great Movie Stunts: Raiders of the Lost Ark we see, on the camera slate, that the camera was set at 20 frames per second instead of the traditional 24 fps; in other words, the shots were done in "fast motion," so the truck was not really moving as fast as depicted on screen. Harrison Ford was actually dragged behind the truck for some of the shots, badly bruising his ribs. When asked if he was worried, Ford quipped: "No. If it really was dangerous, they would have filmed more of the movie first." During the chase, Harrison Ford dispatches all three of his stunt doubles, all of which are playing German soldiers. Terry Leonard plays the driver of the truck, who gets punched out of the cab by Harrison. Vic Armstrong and Martin Grace play soldiers hanging onto the side of the truck before being knocked off. The truck chase took approximately eight weeks to film.
*Tom Selleck was Steven Spielberg's second choice for the role of Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford was his first, but George Lucas objected, since Ford had been in both American Graffiti and Star Wars. Selleck was not able to take the role because he was committed to Magnum, P.I.. However, that series did not go into production until Raiders' filming had already wrapped. Selleck was in fact in Hawaii waiting for the series to start as the final scenes to be filmed (the opening sequence) were being shot in Hawaii. "Magnum" did an episode called "Legend of the Lost Art" that parodied "Raiders", complete with hat, whip, booby traps, etc.
*Actors considered for the role of Indiana Jones included Nick Nolte, Steve Martin (who chose to do Pennies from Heaven instead), Bill Murray (who dropped out due to scheduling conflicts with Saturday Night Live), Chevy Chase, Tim Matheson, Nick Mancuso, Peter Coyote, and Jack Nicholson. Harrison Ford was cast less than three weeks before principal photography began.
*To achieve the sound of thousands of snakes slithering, sound designer Ben Burtt stuck his fingers into a cheese casserole. This was augmented by applying wet sponges to the rubber on a skateboard.
*Originally intended as a small low-budget adventure, production costs tripled to $22 million.
*On the Bonus Features DVD, John Rhys-Davies talks about how when he auditioned for the role of Sallah, he was concerned since the script originally described Sallah as a "5-foot-2, skinny, Egyptian digger". Steven Spielberg mentioned that when he first heard Rhys-Davies speak, he reminded him of the Shakespearean character Falstaff. Spielberg then told Rhys-Davies that for his performance as Sallah, to combine his earlier role as "Vasco Rodrigues" from the miniseries Shogun with the character of Falstaff.
*The opening scene in the lost South American temple is partly based on a classic Disney Ducks adventure written by the legendary artist Carl Barks, many of whose comic books have inspired George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Exploring a lost temple, Donald Duck, his nephews, and Scrooge McDuck must evade a succession of booby traps, like flying darts, a decapitating blade, a huge boulder, a tunnel flooded with a torrent of gushing water, etc., in the story "The Prize of Pizarro" ("Uncle $crooge" no. 26, June-August 1959), which hit the newsstands when Lucas and Spielberg, both avowed fans of that comic book, were respectively 15 and 12 years old. Another Barks story, "The Seven Cities of Cibola" ("Uncle $crooge" no. 7, September 1954), has a native American lost city and a valuable idol that triggers a giant round rock to smash everything in its way.
*The out-of-control airplane actually ran over Harrison Ford's knee, tearing his ligaments. Rather than submit to Tunisian health care, Ford had his knee wrapped in ice and carried on.
*To create the sound of the heavy lid of the Ark being slid open, sound designer Ben Burtt simply recorded him moving the lid of his toilet cistern at home.
*The original name of the lead character in the script was Indiana Smith. His name was changed to Jones on the first day of production.
*Indy's line to Marion when they are on the ship - "It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage" - was ad-libbed by Harrison Ford.
*During filming in Tunisia, nearly everyone in the cast and crew got sick, except director Steven Spielberg. It is thought that he avoided illness by eating only the food he'd brought with him: cans and cans of Spaghetti-O's.
*Jeff Bridges turned down the role of Indiana Jones.
Why I Picked this movie #40:
1.It holds up.
2. Great action
3. Great drama
4. Awesome script/story
5. Great cast.
6. Harrison Ford from the1980’s
7. Has some of the most memorable quotes in film history.
8. Has some of the most memorable scenes in film history.
9. Has some of the most memorable action scenes in film history
10. One of the great fight moments in film history…When Indy brings a gun to knife fight.
11. Awesome villains
12. Awesome ending all the way around.
First time seeing it: