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Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Raiders of the Lost Ark poster.jpg

On a flight out of LAX more than a decade ago I found myself looking at John Rhys Davies, Sallah from this film.  I was beside myself.  This was the film that really did it for me – made me want to excavate cinema the same way that Indy looks for artefacts. It originated on a Hawaii beach, he’s named after George Lucas’ dog, and Steven Spielberg got to do the kind of action movie he’d wanted to make since falling in love with James Bond. And it has an amazing story, rooted in fact – the escapades of German archaeologist Otto Rahn and his shenanigans with the Nazi Party. Fizzing with fun, danger, crackling wit and a brilliant heroine in the shape of Karen Allen, the dreamgirl of fratboys everywhere. This was the first film I went to over and over again, wherever it was playing. I didn’t bother Davies on that flight. I found myself seated beside the neighbours of the babysitter to Natalie Wood’s family when she died in strange circumstances (around about the time of this film’s release). That is another story.

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About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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