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Lego Indiana Jones and
the Raiders of the Lost Ark
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Produced by Frank Marshall
Screenplay by Lawrence Kasden
Story by

George Lucas

Philip Kaufman

Starring

Pete Brisbourne

Chris Flanders

Mark Wherrett

Music by John Williams
Cinematography Douglas Slocomgbe
Edited by Michael Kahn

Production

company

Walt Disney Pictures

Lucasfilm

Distributed by

Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Release dates November 22, 2006
Running time 115 minutes
County United States
Language English
Budget $18 million
Box office $389.9 million

Lego Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (later marketed as Lego Raiders of the Lost Ark) is a 2006 American computer animation adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the 1981 original movie. It was produced by Frank Marshall and Howard Kazanjian, executive produced by George Lucas, written by Lawrence Kasdan and based on a story of George Lucas and Philip Kaufman. Starring Harrison Ford, it was the first installment in the Indiana Jones film franchise to be released, though it is the second in internal chronological order. It pits Indiana Jones (Ford) against a group of Nazis who are searching for the Ark of the Covenant, which Adolf Hitler believes will make his army invincible. The film co-stars Karen Allen as Indiana's former lover, Marion Ravenwood; Paul Freeman as Indiana's nemesis, French archaeologist René Belloq; John Rhys-Davies as Indiana's sidekick, Sallah; Ronald Lacey as Gestapo agent Arnold Toht; and Denholm Elliott as Indiana's colleague, Marcus Brody.

PlotEdit

In 1936, archaeologist Indiana Jones braves an ancient booby-trapped temple in Peru and retrieves a golden idol. He is confronted by rival archaeologist René Belloq and the indigenous Hovito people. Surrounded and outnumbered, Jones is forced to surrender the idol to Belloq and escapes aboard a waiting floatplane. Jones returns to his teaching position at Marshall College, where he is interviewed by two Army Intelligence agents. They inform him that the Nazis, who are obsessed with the occult, are searching for his old mentor Abner Ravenwood. The Nazis know that Ravenwood is the leading expert on the ancient Egyptian city of Tanis, and that he possesses the headpiece of the Staff of Ra. Jones deduces that the Nazis are searching for the location of the Ark of the Covenant; the Nazis believe that if they acquire the Ark their armies will become invincible. The Staff of Ra is the key to finding the Well of Souls, a secret chamber in which the Ark is buried.

The agents authorize Jones to recover the Ark to prevent the Nazis from obtaining it. He travels to Nepal and discovers that Abner has died, and the headpiece is in the possession of Ravenwood's daughter Marion. Jones visits Marion at her tavern, where she reveals her bitter feelings toward him from a previous romantic affair. She rebuffs his offer to buy the headpiece, and Jones leaves. Shortly after, a group of thugs arrive with their Nazi commander, Arnold Toht. Toht threatens Marion to get the headpiece, and her bar is set on fire when Jones comes back to intervene. Toht severely burns his hand trying to pick up the hot headpiece and flees the tavern screaming. Jones and Marion escape with the headpiece, and Marion decides to accompany Jones in his search for the Ark so he can repay his debt to her.

The pair travel to Cairo, where they meet up with Jones's friend Sallah, a skilled excavator. Sallah informs them that Belloq and the Nazis are digging for the Well of Souls with a replica of the headpiece, created from the scar on Toht's hand. They quickly realize the Nazi headpiece is incomplete and that the Nazis are digging in the wrong place. The Nazis kidnap Marion and it appears to Jones that she is killed in an exploding truck. After a confrontation with Belloq in a local bar, Jones and Sallah infiltrate the Nazi dig site and use their staff to correctly locate the Ark. Jones, Sallah, and a small group of diggers unearth the Well of Souls and Jones is forced to face his fear of snakes to acquire the Ark. Belloq and Nazi officer Colonel Dietrich arrive, seize the Ark from Jones, throwing Marion into the Well of Souls with him before sealing it back up. Jones and Marion escape to a local airstrip, where Jones has a brutal fistfight with a Nazi mechanic before blowing up a flying wing. The panicked Nazis remove the Ark in a truck and set off for Berlin, but Jones catches them and retakes it. He makes arrangements to take the Ark to London aboard a tramp steamer.

The next day the Nazis arrive and intercept the boat. Belloq and the Dietrich seize the Ark and Marion but cannot locate Jones, who stows away aboard the Nazi U-boat and travels with them to an island in the Aegean Sea. Once there, Belloq plans to test the power of the Ark before presenting it to Hitler. Jones reveals himself and threatens to destroy the Ark with a bazooka, but Belloq calls the bluff and Jones surrenders rather than destroy such an important historical artifact. The Nazis take Jones and Marion to an area where the Ark will be opened and tie them to a post to observe. Belloq performs a ceremonial opening of the Ark, which appears to contain nothing but sand. Suddenly, angelic and beautiful, ghost-like beings emerge from the Ark and float around the assembly. Jones cautions Marion to keep her eyes tightly closed and not to observe what happens next. Belloq and the others look on in astonishment as the apparitions are suddenly revealed to be angels of death. A vortex of flame forms above the pened Ark and energy surges out into the gathered Nazi soldiers, killing them all. As Belloq, Toht and Dietrich all scream in terror, the Ark turns its fury on them: Dietrich's head shrivels up, Toht's face is melted off his skull and Belloq's head explodes. Flames then engulf the remains of the doomed assembly, save for Jones and Marion. The Ark's lid is blasted high into the air before dropping back down onto the Ark and sealing it. Jones and Marion find their ropes burned off and embrace.

In Washington, D.C., the Army Intelligence agents inform Jones and Brody that the Ark is someplace safe and will be studied by "top men". The Ark is shown being permanently stored in a giant government warehouse among countless similar crates.

CastEdit

Harrison Ford stars as Indiana Jones, an archaeology professor who often embarks on perilous adventures to obtain rare artifacts. Jones claims that he has no belief in the supernatural, only to have his skepticism challenged when he discovers the Ark. Spielberg suggested casting Ford as Jones, but Lucas objected, stating that he did not want Ford to become his "Bobby De Niro" or "that guy I put in all my movies" - a reference to Martin Scorsese, who often worked with Robert De Niro. Desiring a lesser known actor, Lucas persuaded Spielberg to help him search for a new talent. Among the actors who auditioned were Tim Matheson, Peter Coyote, John Shea, and Tom Selleck. Selleck was originally offered the role, but he was unavailable for the part because of his commitment to the television series Magnum, P.I. In June 1980, three weeks away from filming, Spielberg persuaded Lucas to cast Ford after producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy were impressed by his performance as Han Solo in The Empire Str

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

In 1973, George Lucas wrote The Adventures of Indiana Smith.[12] Like Star Wars, which he also wrote, it was an opportunity to create a modern version of the film serials of the 1930s and 1940s.[2] Lucas discussed the concept with Philip Kaufman, who worked with him for several weeks and came up with the Ark of the Covenant as the plot device.[13] Kaufman was told about the Ark by his dentist when he was a child.[14] The project stalled when Clint Eastwood hired Kaufman to direct The Outlaw Josey Wales.[13] Lucas shelved the idea, deciding to concentrate on his outer space adventure that would become Star Wars. In late May 1977, Lucas was in Hawaii, trying to escape the enormous success of Star Wars. Friend and colleague Steven Spielberg was also there, on vacation from work on Close Encounters of the Third Kind. While building a sand castle at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel,[15] Spielberg expressed an interest in directing a James Bond film. Lucas convinced his friend Spielberg that he had conceived a character "

Visual effects and sound designEdit

The special visual effects for Raiders were provided by Industrial Light & Magic and include: a matte shot to establish the Pan Am flying boat in the water[33] and miniature work to show the plane taking off and flying, superimposed over a map; animation effects for the beam in the Tanis map room; and a miniature car and passengers[34] superimposed over a matte painting for a shot of a Nazi car being forced off a cliff. The bulk of effects shots were featured in the climactic sequence wherein the Ark of the Covenant (which was designed by Brian Muir and Keith Short) is opened and God's wrath is unleashed. This sequence featured animation, a woman to portray a beautiful spirit's face, rod puppet spirits moved through water to convey a sense of floating,[35] a matte painting of the island, and cloud tank effects to portray clouds. The melting of Toht's head was done by exposing a gelatine and plaster model of Ronald Lacey's head to a heat lamp with an under cranked camera, while Dietrich's crushed head was a hollow model from which air was withdrawn. When the film was originally submitted to the Motion Picture Association of America, it received an R rating because of the scene in which Belloq's head explodes. The filmmakers were able to receive a PG rating when they added a veil of fire over the exploding head scene. (The PG-13 rating was not created until 1984.) The firestorm that cleanses the canyon at the finish was a miniature canyon filmed upside down.

The film was originally given a PG Rating by the Motion Picture Association of America, for adventure violence and rude humor, but it was later rerated to PG-13 for adventure violence, scary images, brief mild humor and some language.

SoundtrackEdit

"I'll Follow Where You Lead" by The Winans is played fully over the end credits and the Soundtrack album is available on Walt Disney Records. 

John Williams composed the score for Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was the only score in the series performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, the same orchestra that performed the scores for the Star Wars saga. The score most notably features the well-known "Raiders March." This piece came to symbolize Indiana Jones and was later used in the scores for the other three films. Williams originally wrote two different candidates for Jones's theme, but Spielberg enjoyed them so much that he insisted that both be used together in what became the "Raiders March". The alternately eerie and apocalyptic theme for the Ark of the Covenant is also heard frequently in the score, with a more romantic melody representing Marion and, more broadly, her relationship with Jones. The score as a whole received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score, but lost to the score to Chariots of Fire composed by Vangelis.

Critical receptionEdit

The film, made on an $18 million budget, grossed $384 million worldwide throughout its theatrical releases. In North America it was by some distance the highest-grossing film of 1981,[38] and remains one of the top twenty highest-grossing films ever made when adjusted for inflation.[39] The film was subsequently nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, in 1982 and won four (Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Norman Reynolds, Leslie Dilley, and Michael D. Ford). It also received a Special Achievement Award for Sound Effects Editing. It won numerous other awards, including a Grammy Award and Best Picture at the People's Choice Awards. Spielberg was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award.[40] The film was acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. In his review for The New York Times, Vincent Canby praised the film, calling it, "one of the most deliriously funny, ingenious and stylish American adventure movies eve

SequelEdit

The sequel Lego Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was released in 2007, then Lego Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was released in 2008, and the latest sequel Lego Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was released on March 23, 2009.

External linksEdit

  • Lego Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark at Internet Movie Database

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