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Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
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Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, John Rhys-Davies

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Raiders of the Lost Ark DVD - Just The Good Stuff Raiders of the Lost Ark ranked # 60 on the American Film Institute's Top 100 American Films list.

Raiders of the Lost Ark, also known as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, is a 1981 adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It was the first released in the Indiana Jones trilogy, but is chronologically the twenty-fourth in the timeline of the film's fictional protagonist.

The story introduces us to archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford). Jones is a professor of archaeology who is contacted by the government to go on a quest for the Ark of the Covenant. On his adventure in the film, he is accompanied by Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), but he must also retrieve the ark before the Nazis and his adversary, French archaeologist Rene Belloq (Paul Freeman) acquire it first. The original film sparked waves of interest in old 1930's style cliffhanger serials, leading to two sequel films, talk of a third, and a television series "chronicle" of the lead character, Indiana Jones, as a young man prior to his feature film adventures. It has since become a cult classic with a huge following.

The $20-million film was a huge success, easily the highest grossing film (earning $210 million approx.) of 1981, and, at the time, one of the highest-grossing movies ever made. According to the 2005 edition of The World Almanac (from Variety data), the first two Star Wars films are the only pictures released prior to 1981 that have out-earned Raiders. Raiders of the Lost Ark was nominated for eight Academy Awards in 1982 and won four (Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration).

Following the box office success of Raiders, two more feature films were produced: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which is a prequel, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, which is a sequel.

Top 100 Greatest Films - AFI 100 - DVDs

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