Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)


Steven Spielberg


Lawrence Kasdan

Phillip Kaufman

George Lucas


Harrison Ford

Karen Allen

Paul Freeman

Ronald Lacey

John Rhys-Davies


In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler‘s Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.


Did you know that Marian, Karen Allen, was fifteen years old when Indiana, Harrison Ford, originally had a relationship with her? Did you know that Lucas originally pitched the idea as her being 11 or 12? He went back and forth with Spielberg and Kasdan about her age, saying that it would be amusing if she were young and that fifteen would be right on the edge. Meaning, anything older wouldn’t be fun. We know all this was said because, of course, it was all recorded.

Anyway, ignoring the statutory rape, this is a great adventure movie. Something is always happening. Shit’s being blown up, there’s a bullwhip, someone with an eye patch, Nazis…

Yeah, see, I’m having a hard time moving past the rape. I realize it’s not in the actual movie, and it’s basically just a couple of throw away lines and a conversation before the script was even written, but it’s still out there. How could anyone think that was “interesting?” It makes me think even less of Lucas and now Spielberg too.

“Things were different back then. They didn’t know better.”

It was written in the fucking late 70s. Pretty sure a twelve or fifteen-year-old fucking someone at least ten years older than them was vile, not to mention illegal, back then too.

It’s just one of those gross details that I wish I’d never looked up because I’m having a hard time moving past it. Knowing it also made me pay closer attention to Indy’s interactions with Marion, and he is just a massive dick all around to her. If it’s between saving her or saving the ark, it’s always the ark. He barely even pretends to hesitate. What’s more, since I know the ending, I know nothing he does even matters. The Nazis still get the ark and do precisely what they would have done if he hadn’t kept trying to take it. This means they all would have had their faces melted off, and that was pretty hilarious to see.

I feel conflicted over the movie now. If I take that away, it’s awesome. As I said, explosions, a funny scene where someone brings a sword to a gunfight, and so much more. There’s a reason the Wikipedia article says one of the greatest movies of all time repeatedly. It’s really good. As long as I can forget one “little” detail.


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