My Favorite Scene: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) “An Idol Births an Icon”

Raiders of the Lost Ark is, to my mind, the greatest action-adventure movie in film history.  It has so many iconic moments and set pieces, but none more so that its opening,  The journey through the temple to find the idol was pure excitement, but it also established Indiana Jones’s character by 10 minutes into the film.  It’s one of Spielberg’s greatest sequences, and the greatest movie icon to come out of any of his films.  Given where the franchise is headed in the future, I thought we’d revisit what had been before any more news about Indy 5 and beyond came out.

Spielberg gave an interview this week saying that the franchise will continue after 2020’s Indiana Jones 5, but that it would be Harrison Ford’s farewell.  I’m not sure if they plan to reboot or recast, but Spielberg seemed very intent on gender-bending it saying, “Of course we’d have to change the character’s name to Indiana Joan.”  It’s really hard from a print interview to tell if he was kidding, because not only does that make no sense, but there already is a female Indiana Jones and her name is Lara Croft.  He acts like this is a huge franchise, when it should have been left at three films made in 8 years in the 1980s.  It does not HAVE to go on, and-if it does-he should not be doing it any more.  People seem more focused on Harrison Ford’s age than Spielberg’s inability to deliver a film like Raiders any more, but I don’t want him anywhere near this creation.  I’d like to think Disney is smarter than that.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the one-off in the marketplace also; a take on the classic “don’t bring a knife to a gun fight” trope.  It actually was scripted as an epic fight, whip vs. gun, that was going to include a huge amount of stunt work from Ford, but on the day of filming, he was siiiiiiiiiick.  He had a fever and food poisoning and could barely stand, so he suggested…..”Why don’t I just shoot him?”  Worked out much better, and Ford went back to his hotel.

 

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