On this date in 1981, one of the biggest blockbusters (and sequel makers) of all time was released. I get simply giddy when I think about Raiders of the Lost Ark, however, I didn’t see it in theaters. Nope, I was too scared; to be fair I was only 5 at the time. Instead, while my parents went to see it at the old Malco (it became Goldies, then recently, a bigger venue for Theater Workshop of Owensboro) I spent the night with my Mamaw and Papaw in Centertown. I was scared of that whole guy getting impaled part of the first adventure for the idol. I wouldn’t see it until we got our first VCR a year or two later (well, it was the second movie I watched on the VCR, the first? Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, why? I don’t know and it’s Gone With The Wind long). I guess I finally figured out Han Solo was Indiana Jones aka Harrison Ford; I don’t fear the Star Wars franchise and I immediately wanted to be like the archeologist/explorer.
I tried to find items around the house that would do for the bullwhip, gun, satchel, jacket, and the famous fedora. What I found were: a jump rope, a toy gun, an old leather purse of Mom’s, my pseudo Members Only jacket, and an old hat I swiped from my Granddaddy. The whip was the coolest thing; had a movie audience ever seen a hero utilize that type of weapon unless he was a lion tamer? Probably not. If this hero did, he looked silly. We would find out later in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade why Jones used a whip. And the sequels were some of best ever; today’s filmmakers should really take a lesson from George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
Raiders of the Lost Ark would go one to rake in nearly $400 million at the box office and it was nominated for 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It won for Sound, Film Editing, Visual Effects, and Art Direction.
I obviously own the original trilogy minus Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, I don’t know what happened there, but it just wasn’t as good and way too much time had passed to make a good sequel.
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