I hadn’t watched this in years, I’m going to guess at least 12. I thought I’d just zone out and fall asleep, but instead I ended up watching the whole thing. While I did these thoughts ran through my head.
1) What the hell sort of school is Dr. Jones teaching at? It’s 1938. I believe he’s in California. San Fran, from what I can tell by the map when his plane takes off. Is this Stanford or Berkeley? Why does it appear like he has nothing but girls in his class? Minus one or two boys, the classroom is swarming with girls. Was there a big female interest in archeology during the late 30′s or were all those girls just looking to touch Indiana’s whip. At least one of them shows signs that she wants to.
2) Wow! Talk about coincidences. I was just talking about surveying and how it was a lost art. I saw some students on campus doing an exercise and I commented that I thought it would be neat to know how to use surveying tools. I remember reading that a lot of our country’s forefathers knew how to survey the land. Perhaps, is was a more necessary skill when you did not have satellites and Mapquest. I think it would get you more in touch with the land. But, I totally overlooked the fact that this ancient art could help you find the Ark of the Covenant. Yet, there was Dr. Jones scoping out buried treasure.
3) This is a rather violent film. I don’t remember it being this violent. People get shot in the face, people get burnt alive, people get chopped up by propeller blades. Egads, have I grown old or was I desensitized to violence at a young age thanks to Steven Spielberg? Still, I now found this rather excessive, especially for a PG film. I know everyone laughs when Indiana shoot the sword swinging Arab. Ha-ha. But, isn’t this just typical of Americans, always solving their problems with guns?
4) Flat-out and no bones about it, this is good screen-writing and good directing. I may not like much of Spielberg’s adult work, but when it comes to Boy’s Life fantasies I have to give the dude credit. But, I give more credit to Philip Kaufman and Lawrence Kasdan. One can only imagine what would have happened if George Lucas had bothered to write the whole thing himself. It would be over kill city with horrible dialog, but her the dialog is minimal, important, humorous, and sharp. The scenes are equally sly, especially having the heroine introduced in a drinking game only to have her high alcohol tolerance return at a later point in the film. I don’t know if I caught that as a younger film viewer.
5) There are parts of this film that are still genuinely creepy. Both the image of the snake coming out of the corpse’s mouth and the melting of the Nazi’s is freaky shit. These little touches help move the film away from being a strict action/adventure tale and help add a touch of horror.
Now, let me go on record and say that it will be another decade before I feel the need to watch Raiders of the Lost Ark again, but here is proof that I’ve not completely turned my back on the films of my childhood.