Raiders of the Lost Ark Making-of Special. The full PBS special on the making of Steven Spielberg‘s Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) has been released. In the making special, the viewer can see “great detail about some elements of the production…Harrison Ford at his most sardonic…a lot of excellent footage of Steven Spielberg at work directing, and…how he gets performances out of different situations.”
Raiders of the Lost Ark (later marketed as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark) is a 1981 American fantasy-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by George Lucas, and 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 their 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.
The film originated from Lucas’ desire to create a modern version of the serials of the 1930s and 1940s. Production was based at Elstree Studios, England; but filming also took place in La Rochelle, Tunisia, Hawaii, and California from June to September 1980.
Released on June 12, 1981, Raiders of the Lost Ark became the year’s top-grossing film and remains one of the highest-grossing films ever made. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards in 1982, including Best Picture, and won four (Best Art Direction, Best Film Editing, Best Sound, Best Visual Effects) and a fifth Special Achievement Award for its Sound Effects Editing. The film’s critical and popular success led to three additional films, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), the television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992–1996), and 15 video games as of 2009. In 1999, the film was included in the U.S. Library of Congress’ National Film Registry as having been deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
Raiders is ranked among the greatest films of all time in the action-adventure genre and often in general. It is cited as a classic film in the genre.
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