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Remembering “Raiders of the Lost Ark”

Read more at
in70mm.com
The 70mm Newsletter
Compiled by: Michael Coate, Hollywood, USADate: 19.07.2010
A quick-reference tribute to the greatest action-adventure movie ever made…

CAST:
Indiana Jones – Harrison Ford
Marion Ravenwood – Karen Allen
Rene Belloq – Paul Freeman
Arnold Toht – Ronald Lacey
Sallah – John Rhys-Davies
Marcus Brody – Denholm Elliott

DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg

SCREENPLAY: Lawrence Kasdan (Screenplay), George Lucas and Philip Kaufman (Story)

RELEASE DATE: Friday, 12 June 1981

PROMOTIONAL SLOGAN: “Indiana Jones—the new hero from the creators of JAWS and STAR WARS.”

PRODUCTION BUDGET: $22 million

OPENING-WEEK BOOKINGS: 1,078

OPENING-WEEKEND BOXOFFICE GROSS: $8.3 million

DOMESTIC BOXOFFICE GROSS: $242.4 million

RANK ON YEAR-OF-RELEASE’S TOP-GROSSING FILMS: 1

RANK ON ALL-TIME BOXOFFICE LIST AT CLOSE OF RUN: 3
 
More in 70mm reading:

Apocalypse Now: The Original 70mm Engagements
Blade Runner: The Original 70mm Engagements
Remembering “Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade”
Remembering “Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom”

Internet link:

 

Memorable Dialogue

 
“I hate snakes, Jock. I hate ’em.” — Indy

“Bad dates.” — Sallah

“Trust me.” — Indy

“Asps. Very dangerous. You go first!” — Sallah

“Truck? What truck?” — Indy

“Jones, do you realize what the Ark is? It’s a transmitter. It’s a radio for speaking to God.” — Belloq

“It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.” — Indy

“The thing to keep in mind about this film is that it is only a movie. It takes all the license of an exotic entertainment that aims to thrill and scare and strike one with a sense of wonder.” — Steven Spielberg
 
 

What the Critics Said

 
“The guys who made 'Jaws' and 'Star Wars' have done it again. It’s too good to be true.” — David Ansen, Newsweek

“Two hours of non-stop thrills.” — Rex Reed

“Hurrah and hallelujah! It’s hats-in-the-air, heart-in-the-mouth time at the movies again.” — Sheila Benson, Los Angeles Times

“'Raiders' has it all—the best two hours of pure entertainment anyone is going to find—a blockbuster on the order of 'Star Wars' and 'Jaws'.” — Richard Schickel, Time Magazine

“Saturday afternoon is back! — Hank Burchard, The Washington Post
 
 

Awards

 
AWARDS: Film Editing (Oscar), Art Direction (Oscar), Sound (Oscar), Visual Effects (Oscar), Sound Effects Editing (Special Achievement Oscar), Favorite Motion Picture (People’s Choice Award), Golden Reel (Motion Picture Sound Editors), Best Fantasy Film (Saturn), Best Edited Feature Film (ACE Eddie), Production Design/Art Direction (BAFTA), Film Music (BAFTA), Best Album of Original Score written for a Motion Picture or Television special (Grammy), Best Dramatic Presentation (Hugo).
 
 

Release dates (day.month.year)

 
12.06.1981 … Canada
12.06.1981 … United States
16.07.1981 … Argentina
30.07.1981 … United Kingdom
07.08.1981 … Sweden
13.08.1981 … Australia
13.08.1981 … New Zealand
13.08.1981 … Netherlands
21.08.1981 … Brazil
16.09.1981 … France
10.10.1981 … Norway
15.10.1981 … Spain
22.10.1981 … Italy
29.10.1981 … West Germany
18.12.1981 … Finland
19.12.1981 … Japan
25.12.1981 … Colombia
25.12.1981 … Mexico
15.01.1982 … Denmark
21.01.1982 … Hong Kong

RE-RELEASES: 16 July 1982; 25 March 1983

HOME VIDEO RELEASE: December 1983
 
 

Trivia, Tidbits & Factoids

 
The idea for “Raiders” was told to Steven Spielberg by George Lucas on a beach in Hawaii during a May 1977 vacation.

Indiana was the name of one of George Lucas’ pet dogs.

Tom Selleck was originally cast in the role of Indiana Jones.

The canyon where Indy threatens to blow up the Ark and subsequently surrenders to Belloq and the Nazis was the same Tunisia location where R2-D2 was captured by the jawas in “Star Wars”.

Images of “Star Wars” characters R2-D2 and C-3PO were included among the hieroglyphics on the walls of the Well of the Souls set.

The classic “Wilhelm” scream can be heard during the truck chase sequence.

Producer Frank Marshall played the pilot of the German “Flying Wing” plane.
 
 

The 70mm Engagements

 
The following is a list of the 70mm Six-Track Dolby Stereo presentations during the initial months of the first-run release in North America. These, arguably, were the best venues in which to experience “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. (Large-format moveover, sub-run, re-issue and international bookings have not been included.)

Boston, MA – CINEMA 57
Burnaby, BC – LOUGHEED MALL
Calgary, AB – CHINOOK
Calumet City, IL – RIVER OAKS
Corte Madera, CA – CINEMA
Costa Mesa, CA – SOUTH COAST PLAZA
Denver, CO – CENTURY 21
Edmonton, AB – WESTMOUNT
Evergreen Park, IL – EVERGREEN
Houston, TX – WINDSOR
La Mesa, CA – CINEMA GROSSMONT
Lakewood, CA – LAKEWOOD CENTER
Levittown, NY – NASSAU QUAD
Lombard, IL – YORKTOWN
Los Angeles, CA – CHINESE
Los Angeles, CA – NATIONAL
Louisville, KY – SHOWCASE CINEMAS
Montreal, QC – IMPERIAL
New York, NY – 34TH STREET SHOWCASE
New York, NY – ASTOR PLAZA
New York, NY – ORPHEUM
Niles, IL – GOLF MILL
Northbrook, IL – EDENS
Orange, CA – CINEDOME 6
Ottawa, ON – NELSON
Paramus, NJ – ROUTE 4 QUAD
Philadelphia, PA – SAMERIC
Sacramento, CA – CENTURY COMPLEX
Salt Lake City, UT – VILLA
San Francisco, CA – REGENCY I
San Jose, CA – CENTURY 21
San Jose, CA – CENTURY 23
Schaumburg, IL – WOODFIELD
Southfield, MI – NORTHLAND
Springdale, OH – SHOWCASE CINEMAS
Toronto, ON – CEDARBRAE
Toronto, ON – EGLINTON
Toronto, ON – RUNNYMEDE
Toronto, ON – UPTOWN
Tukwila, WA – SOUTHCENTER
Valley Stream, NY – SUNRISE EIGHTPLEX
Vancouver, BC – VANCOUVER CENTRE
Washington, DC – K-B CINEMA
Winnipeg, MB – NORTHSTAR
 
 

Sources/References

 
Numerous newspaper articles, reviews and advertisements; and Boxofficemojo; “Great Movie Stunts: The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981, Lucasfilm Ltd./Paramount Pictures); The Hollywood Reporter; Internet Movie Database; “The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981, Ballantine); “The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981, Lucasfilm Ltd./Paramount Pictures); “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981, Lucasfilm Ltd./Paramount Pictures); Time Magazine; Variety.

Special thanks to Miguel Carrara and Bill Kretzel.
 
 
 
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22-12-16