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Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (Special Edition) (1981)

Harrison Ford , Karen Allen , Steven Spielberg  |  PG |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (356 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (Special Edition) + Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Special Edition) + Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Special Edition)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies, Ronald Lacey
  • Directors: Steven Spielberg
  • Writers: George Lucas, Lawrence Kasdan, Philip Kaufman
  • Producers: Frank Marshall, George Lucas, Howard G. Kazanjian, Robert Watts
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: May 13, 2008
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (356 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0014Z4OMU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,876 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark: An Introduction by Steven Spielberg & George Lucas
  • Indiana Jones: An Appreciation
  • The Melting Face
  • Storyboard sequence: The Well of Souls
  • Galleries
  • Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures game demo and trailer

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

It’s said that the original is the greatest, and there can be no more vivid proof than Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first and indisputably best of the initial three Indiana Jones adventures cooked up by the dream team of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Expectations were high for this 1981 collaboration between the two men, who essentially invented the box office blockbuster with ‘70s efforts like Jaws and Star Wars, and Spielberg (who directed) and Lucas (who co-wrote the story and executive produced) didn’t disappoint. This wildly entertaining film has it all: non-stop action, exotic locations, grand spectacle, a hero for the ages, despicable villains, a beautiful love interest, humor, horror… not to mention lots of snakes. And along with all the bits that are so familiar by now--Indy (Harrison Ford) running from the giant boulder in a cave, using his pistol instead of his trusty whip to take out a scimitar-wielding bad guy, facing off with a hissing cobra, and on and on--there’s real resonance in a potent storyline that brings together a profound religious-archaeological icon (the Ark of the Covenant, nothing less than "a radio for speaking to God") and the 20th century’s most infamous criminals (the Nazis). Now that’s entertainment. --Sam Graham

Product Description

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is no ordinary archeologist. When we first see him, he is somewhere in the Peruvian jungle in 1936, running a booby-trapped gauntlet (complete with an over-sized rolling boulder) to fetch a solid-gold idol. He loses this artifact to his chief rival, a French archeologist named Belloq (Paul Freeman), who then prepares to kill our hero. In the first of many serial-like escapes, Indy eludes Belloq by hopping into a convenient plane. So, then: is Indiana Jones afraid of anything? Yes, snakes. The next time we see Jones, he's a soft-spoken, bespectacled professor. He is then summoned from his ivy-covered environs by Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) to find the long-lost Ark of the Covenant. The Nazis, it seems, are already searching for the Ark, which the mystical-minded Hitler hopes to use to make his stormtroopers invincible. But to find the Ark, Indy must first secure a medallion kept under the protection of Indy's old friend Abner Ravenwood, whose daughter, Marion (Karen Allen), evidently has a "history" with Jones. Whatever their personal differences, Indy and Marion become partners in one action-packed adventure after another, ranging from wandering the snake pits of the Well of Souls to surviving the pyrotechnic unearthing of the sacred Ark. A joint project of Hollywood prodigies George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, with a script co-written by Lawrence Kasdan and Philip Kaufman, among others, Raiders of the Lost Ark is not so much a movie as a 115-minute thrill ride. Costing 22 million dollars (nearly three times the original estimate), Raiders of the Lost Ark reaped 200 million dollars during its first run. It was followed by Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1985) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), as well as a short-lived TV-series "prequel."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 61 people found the following review helpful
By Sanpete
Format:DVD
The details of new DVD editions of the three classic classic Indiana Jones movies with all-new special features have been announced. They'll be available separately for the first time on DVD, or as a set. They were previously only available on DVD as a set.

The new releases will coincide with the new movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which comes out on May 22nd. They'll have new special features designed to introduce new Indy fans to the old movies, and to introduce old fans to the new movie.

The Indiana Jones movies are George Lucas's recreation/update of the serialized adventures of the 1930s and '40s. The first three were made in the '80s and set in the '30s. They feature Harrison Ford as a mild-mannered archeology professor who moonlights as an adventurous seeker of priceless antiquities. This takes him to exotic locations across the world, and gets him in some very tight spots of the kind that only a movie hero could get into, or out of. He invariably finds himself opposed by dangerous men with evil plans for the powerful objects only he has the skills to recover. There are elaborate set pieces with creepy critters, ancient traps, fights with weapons from bare hands to airplanes and tanks, and sometimes supernatural forces. Along the way Jones manages to have some romance too.

Raiders was the first in the series. In 1936, having barely survived an unsuccessful attempt to find (OK) and bring home (whoops!) an ancient idol from Peru, Indiana Jones is recruited in a race against the Nazis to recover the Ark of the Covenant (yes, the one mentioned in the Bible, but with lots of added mythology), which is reputed to have the power to make an army invincible.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not-so-Special Edition... great film, anemic extras August 9, 2008
Format:DVD
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" is universally considered to be an extremely entertaining action/adventure movie, so I won't waste your time reviewing the film itself. If you've already seen it, you know it's awesome; if you haven't... well, to quote Indiana Jones himself: "Trust me." It actually does live up to the hype. What's truly important for those thinking about purchasing this "special edition," however, is a discussion of the bonus material.

The extras on this disc definitely do NOT warrant purchasing this edition if you already own the previously-released Indy Trilogy DVD set. The extras can basically be summed up in a word: "meh." Each of the handful of featurettes is around 10 minutes or less, and there are no surprises. Some brief "making-of" clips from the filming of "Raiders" are semi-interesting, but are all very short. Another featurette is just a bunch of actors from the series making bland comments about how great Indiana Jones is, set to overly-familiar clips from the various movies (Watch Indy run from the giant ball! Now watch him shoot the swordsman!). The endless repetition of clips from the movie is one of the tiresome aspects of DVD bonus material, and serves mainly to make you so sick of the film that you don't want to see it again for awhile!

The best featurette is the one about how they did the "melting face," but even this is short and, really, no great shakes. Next is the apparently mandatory "for interest to fanatics only" stuff like storyboards and a gallery of production stills. Finally, there's a brief commercial for the Lego Indiana Jones video game, which actually (and tellingly) is one of the more entertaining of the extras.
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68 of 92 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
After the box-office disappointment of 1941, Steven Spielberg teamed up with longtime friend George Lucas to create one of the greatest action adventure films of all time! The premise for the film, a throwback to the old Saturday morning serials, was thought up by Lucas, who told the idea to Steven and the two of them came up with the idea of Indiana Jones, a character famously named after Lucas's dog. To think they originally wanted Tom Selleck to play the role of the rugged, charming "collector of rare antiquities". Instead, Harrison Ford took the role, fresh from the latest Star Wars film THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK as the dashing Han Solo. Ford is the perfect guy for the job, running around in tombs, chasing after Nazis and searching for lost treasures, all with fedora, whip and sardonic grin all in place.
The action is masterfully handled by Spielberg, especially in the classic opening scene where Indy avoids a series of lethal booby traps to obtain a rare idol, only to have a giant boulder start rolling after him. Indy's reply when asked how he's going to catch up with a truck is "I don't know, i'm making this up as I go!" That classic line sums up the off-the-cuff action sequences which are all reminiscent of the building tension and excitement of the spirit of the old serials of the 50's. John Williams' score for the film has become one of the most instantly recognizable movie theme tunes ever composed, except for JAWS and STAR WARS (Anyone who asks what's so great about John Williams, just ask them to hum notes from any movie, and it'll be Williams) and is one of the most popular soundtracks of all time. And the supporting cast of Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies and Denholm Elliott elevates the film to true classic status.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic
I convinced my 9 and 11 year old girls to watch this for family movie night. It is one of my childhood favorites. They absolutely loved it!
Published 1 day ago by Petethereviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
Great movie! Indiana Jones is the definition of classic movies! Truly great to watch with a group of adventurous friends!
Published 4 days ago by Gianluigi
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg
Watched this with the family (again) and you know it's a classic when you get all excited just as iconic scenes begin to unfold. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Dan
5.0 out of 5 stars Okay Movie and It works
It was ok and works. I liked it very much. Would recommend it to others to watch in the future.
Published 11 days ago by tom keefe
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best ever!
I loved this movie when I was a kid, and it was the perfect pick for family movie night! My kids said they didn't want to watch another 80's movie, but once they did they wanted... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Yo Mama
4.0 out of 5 stars great movie-technical difficulties
Loved the movie, but we had technical difficulties and it would start over! It would stop and spool or something.
Published 20 days ago by Jennie Page
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good
Very well done. What else can I say but that it was good. The rest is history.To much detail for just watccing a show
Published 20 days ago by Frank Stiner
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic!
I watched this as a child and enjoy watching it with my child today. Good, Clean, and Fun!. You cant beat that.
Published 22 days ago by Danielle Jonalyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious!
It is everything I dreamed it would be.
This is the best way to witness such an awesome movie!

BUY IT!
Published 24 days ago by JOHONDAR
5.0 out of 5 stars Cult classic!
5 star cult classic 80's action-adventure movie. In a time before crazy CGI effects this movie series really shows the progress of special effects before computers came in.
Published 25 days ago by Mike Lovell
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what does 'special edition' mean?
Thanks for answering a question that had been on my mind. I could not for the life of me remember the title of the original film as being Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. I really thought my mind was slipping for a minute there!
Sep 28, 2012 by James N. Smith |  See all 3 posts
Anyone else having audio issues with this DVD?
I thought I was crazy while watching it. The audio seemed to be very loud during non-dialogue scenes, then quiet when there was dialogue, almost to the point of not being able to make out what was being said. I think it is very noticeable when Indy is running from the natives to the sea plane... Read more
Jun 23, 2008 by Matt Levine |  See all 3 posts
Raiders on Blu Ray in 2011...
Maybe 2012?
(I hope George doesn't try to "improve" it, that would suck, please, Steven, you are my only hope, please prevent that!)
Jan 30, 2012 by Rock Fan |  See all 2 posts
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