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Past Films

Give Ozarks Day: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

  • Starring: Starring: Harrison Ford, John Rhys-Davies, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Genre(s): Action, Adventure
  • Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 115 min.

This FREE screening is part of our Give Ozarks Day Celebration of Cinema.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) is the spectacular, cliff-hanger, breathlessly-paced, non-stop action/adventure film of the early 1980s. It was an immensely successful summer box-office hit. The film was conceived by producer George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg. [Significantly, this was the first full collaboration between the two legendary American film-makers.] This was the first of three Indiana Jones movies (and then a fourth film almost twenty years later) - created as a tribute (by Lucas) in wide-eyed homage to the episodic Saturday matinee, cliff-hanging thrillers, westerns, and adventure serials of yesteryear in the 1930s and 40s. [] Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

"One of the most deliriously funny, ingenious and stylish American adventure movies ever made."
- Vincent Canby, The New York Times
"This is the kind of movie that, even today, audiences immediately fall in love with. It has all the right ingredients: a smart script, a likable hero, a dash of romance, more than a touch of comedy, and a lot of fast-paced action."
- James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"Ford's performance is an underrated but remarkable achievement; he succeeds in fully embodying a comic-book style hero without ever descending into camp. "
- TV Guide Magazine
"Raiders of the Lost Ark has it all—or, anyway, more than enough to transport moviegoers back to the dazzling, thrill-sated matinee idyls of old. It is surely the best two hours of pure entertainment anyone is going to find in the summer of '81."
- Richard Schickel, Time
"Raiders of the Lost Ark is sensational. This awesomely entertaining adventure spectacle, directed by Steven Spielberg from an idea hatched by executive producer George Lucas, succeeds in fusing the most playful and exciting elements of Spielberg's "Jaws" and Lucas' "Star Wars" in a fresh format. It is a transcendent blend of heroic exploits, cliffhangers and chases distilled with nostalgia and wit from the pulp thrillers, comic books and Republic serials of the World War II era. [12 June 1981, p.E1]"
- Gary Arnold, Washington Post