The return of the great adventure

"Trust me."

Indiana Jones

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Release Date: June 12, 1981

It was the return of the great adventure, and the birth of what would quickly prove to be one of cinema’s most enduring and celebrated characters—archeologist Dr. Henry Jones Jr., or as he’s known in the field, Indiana Jones.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is the result of one of the most significant filmmaking collaborations in the movies. It was directed by Steven Spielberg—who by 1981 was responsible for two of the most successful films in history with Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind—and conceived by George Lucas—creator of the Star Wars saga.

The epic adventure centers around Indy (Harrison Ford) and his perilous quest for the Ark of the Covenant, a Biblical artifact of unspeakable power also sought after by Hitler’s armies. In a race against the Nazis, Indy travels the globe in pursuit of the Ark, reigniting passions with his former flame Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), aided by allies Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliot) and Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), and thwarted by danger, double-crosses and enemies at every turn.

Raiders of the Lost Ark and the adventures of Indiana Jones captured the world’s imagination and in turn the box-office as the film further helped define the zeitgeist and the thrill of going to the movies in the era of Spielberg and Lucas’s early successes. Indy would return for three more installments over the next 25 years, including Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

About the Film

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Movie Poster
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Movie Poster
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Movie Poster

About the Film

CAST
  • HARRISON FORD,
  • KAREN ALLEN,
  • PAUL FREEMAN,
  • RONALD LACEY,
  • JOHN RHYS-DAVIES,
  • DENHOLM ELLIOTT,
  • ALFRED MOLINA,
  • WOLF KAHLER
DIRECTOR
  • STEVEN SPIELBERG
SCREENWRITER
  • LAWRENCE KASDAN, BASED ON A STORY BY GEORGE LUCAS AND PHILIP KAUFMAN
PRODUCERS
  • FRANK MARSHALL,
  • ROBERT WATTS,
  • HOWARD G. KAZANJIAN,
  • GEORGE LUCAS
CINEMATOGRAPHER
  • DOUGLAS SLOCOMBE
PRODUCTION DESIGN
  • NORMAN REYNOLDS
COSTUMES
  • DEBORAH NADOOLMAN
EDITOR
  • MICHAEL KAHN
COMPOSER
  • JOHN WILLIAMS
AWARDS
  • ACADEMY AWARDS: BEST ART DIRECTION/SET DECORATION; BEST SOUND; BEST FILM EDITING, BEST VISUAL EFFECTS; SOUND EFFECTS EDITING