Raiders of the Lost Ark

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Simply put, there is perhaps no greater (or more fun) action/adventure flick than Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first and indisputably best of the initial three Indiana Jones movies cooked up by the dream team of director Steven Spielberg and producer George Lucas. This wildly entertaining film has it all: non-stop action, exotic locations, grand spectacle, a wise-cracking hero, nasty villains, a beautiful and feisty love interest, humor, horror (melting Nazis!) … not to mention lots and lots of snakes. And along with all the familiar bits that are now deeply imbedded in pop culture – Harrison Ford running from that giant boulder, using his pistol instead of his trusty whip to take out a sword wielding bad guy, facing off with a hissing cobra, and on and on – there’s real resonance in a gripping storyline that brings together a profound religious-archaeological icon (the Ark of the Covenant, nothing less than “a radio for speaking to God”) and the 20th century’s most infamous criminals (the Nazis). Now that’s entertainment! (Dir. by Steven Spielberg, 1981, USA, 115 min., Rated PG) Digital