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Raiders of the Lost Ark (Widescreen Edition) [VHS] (1981)

Harrison Ford , Karen Allen , Steven Spielberg  |  R |  VHS Tape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (489 customer reviews)

Price: $13.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Raiders of the Lost Ark (Widescreen Edition) [VHS] + Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade [VHS] + Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom [VHS]
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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: Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, Original recording remastered, THX, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Arabic, English, German, Hebrew, Nepali, Spanish
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Paramount
  • VHS Release Date: October 26, 1999
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (489 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792157648
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #506,652 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Additional Features

This is a new title for the original Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not-so-Special Edition... great film, anemic extras August 9, 2008
"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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50 of 63 people found the following review helpful
By Sanpete
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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74 of 99 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 Indiana Jones holds up nicely after all these years!
What can I say about my favorite film of all time? I've seen it so many times, I know all the actors' lines. It's sublime. But I didn't have it on DVD. Horror of horrors! Read more
Published 1 day ago by Janice Sims
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good classic fun Indiana style.
Published 1 day ago by Annie Harried-Littrell
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than A Thrill Ride Than A Movie
The Raiders of the Lost Ark is the first film of the Indiana Jones franchise.It is not so much a movie as a 115-minute thrill ride. Read more
Published 2 days ago by DESERTMAN40
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good condition, amazing movie!
Published 2 days ago by Scott A Johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars The purpose for watching this throwback was to see a ...
The purpose for watching this throwback was to see a visual of the "Ark of the Covenant". (I'm Speechless) I think that they did a replica that was not far off from how it... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Ebonee Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great movie
Published 7 days ago by luke
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 days ago by Reaper
5.0 out of 5 stars I think it is still one of the best pure adventure films ever made
I have seen this film a dozen times over the years since it was in theaters. I think it is still one of the best pure adventure films ever made. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Scully
5.0 out of 5 stars it still holds up as one of the best action-adventure flicks EVER
All these years later, it still holds up as one of the best action-adventure flicks EVER! Thoroughly enjoyed revisiting it!
Published 11 days ago by Catherine A. Bush
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought has a replacement; wore out the previous one.
Published 15 days ago by Rich
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Topic From this Discussion
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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