Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

1h 55m / PG / Action-Adventure

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George Lucas made Star Wars partially as a love letter to the serials he loved as a kid: Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon and the like. But that wasn’t enough. Raiders of the Lost Ark takes the two-fisted adventure cliffhanger formula and practically asks for its hand in marriage — Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is witty, sly, a bit of a rake and all pulp hero; Marion (Karen Allen) is a damsel in distress with steely nerves and a hard right hook; and the movie pulls them around the (literal) map on individual episodes that all feed into one big story. It’s unabashedly a movie’s movie, and it’s the reason our seats have edges.

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