Tuesday, May 20, 2008
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK - A PERFECT FILM
There is only a handful of films that I consider perfect and Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of them. It’s rare to see a film that is working on all cylinders like Raiders does. From the beginning scene with the Paramount logo fading into a Peruvian mountain to the crated Ark becoming lost again inside a government warehouse. All 115 minutes are perfect. Story and screenplay - perfect. Casting and acting - perfect. Music and sound - perfect. Special effects - perfect. Directing and producing - perfect. I tell you this movie is perfect!
“Ok, Mr. Mayor, if it’s so perfect why didn’t it win best picture at the 1982 Academy Awards?” One big problem was that the film was way too successful at the box office and second it was up against a good crop of strong movies. Movies that appealed much more to the aging Academy voters of the time. Chariots of Fire won best picture that year, which was an upset since most thought On Golden Pond or Reds would win. Even though it was a good film, I think the Chariots main theme was what pushed this film over for the win. (Back in Junior High P.E. our uniforms consisted of white shorts and a white shirt. Many times as we were running laps I would act stupid and hum the theme to Chariots. No wonder I was never on the Coach’s A-List)
Raiders still holds up after almost thirty years later and I bet that it always will. The advantage of a well-made period movie is that it will always be timeless. Have you ever watched Raiders in black & white? If you haven’t its almost a new movie or should I say an old movie as it gives it more of that old movie serial feel. Adjust your color setting on the TV and zowie, it’s monochrome magic!
The herald that I posted at the top of the page came from a school friend whose parents owned the local movie theater called the Lake Cinema (Later the Lake Twin) here at the Lake of the Ozarks. When the Lake Twin finally got Raiders, this flimsy herald was stuck inside. You’ll notice that it says Coming Soon...To Your AAFES Theater at the bottom. So before it showed up at my local theater, the film print must’ve been played at a theater on a military base. AAFES stands for Army and Air Force Exchange Service.
This is a photo from a 1978 school yearbook of the Lake Twin and was the theater where I saw Raiders for the second time.