On June 12, 1981, one of the greatest heroes in cinema history was officially born: Indiana Jones.
Or we can say Harrison Ford: since then they have been so inseparable, hat and whip included, that the actor is now filming, a month after celebrating his 99th birthday, The Fifth Adventure.
Currently, they are part of the series “Indiana Jones and the Lost Temple” (1984), “Indiana Jones and the Great Crusade” (1989) and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008), but one is considered The best is often the first, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (renamed “Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark” in 2000, a moniker not used by any respectable person).
A modern take on the adventure series of the 1930s and 1940s, archaeologist, adventurer and his fiery former passion Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) evade traps, confront the Nazis and expel snakes in their incredible quest for the mysterious Ark of the Covenant throughout 115 minutes, but the top ten was really enough, Where “Indy” crosses an ancient temple riddled with deadly traps in Peru to retrieve a golden fetish and escapes from a giant boulder, telling for 40 years that “adventure has a name” (ironically, quoting a slogan from the second movie, “If adventure has a name… then there must be… to be Indiana Jones”).
“Raiders of the Lost Ark” is also the result of several happy “opportunities” found in nearly every classic movie, aside from which one would be famous: that Harrison Ford was Indiana Jones only because his first cast, Tom Selleck, had to refuse Because he was committed to the “Magnum PI” series (and when it became available again due to a strike, Ford already had the role).
The “adventure” began in 1973, when George Lucas wrote a draft of “The Adventures of Indiana Smith,” which he later discussed with screenwriter and director Philip Kaufman, who contributed the central idea, the genius “McGuffin” who gave meaning to the whole story: the ark in which it would be preserved Tablet of the Ten Commandments and other sacred things.
Four years later, in May 1977, skeptical about the prospects of “Star Wars” success, Lucas fled for vacation to Hawaii, calling Spielberg, who in a few months’ time would also release “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” in theaters. While talking on the beach about upcoming projects, when his friend revealed that he’d always wanted to make “007,” Lucas introduced the concept to “The Adventures of Indiana Smith.”
In early 1978, buoyed by the successes of their films the previous year, the two teamed up with Lawrence Kasdan to discuss ideas during five intense days, during which many of the elements we know would be determined: Spielberg wanted the rock to roll and pass. Champion for Jones. Lucas wanted a submarine and a monkey in Cairo to give the Nazi salute; And Kasdan, who realized that the other two had a lot of sequences in their heads and needed someone to connect them, was the one who remembered the nickname “Indy”. Meanwhile, his interlocutors convinced Lucas to drop the idea that the academic and archaeologist practice martial arts and engage in female sex in the form of … James Bond.
Another happy accident: when they were finally ready to move on, Spielberg’s fortunes changed dramatically: the director of “Jaws” and “Close Encounters…” faced the consequences of the major commercial failure of “1941 – Crazy Year in Hollywood” (1979).
His reputation for going beyond deadlines and budgets was so bad in Hollywood that many studios turned down the project because they didn’t want him as a director, especially when Lucas also demanded a $20 million budget, track rights and sequences, and he didn’t. Don’t accept any creative interference. Spielberg’s involvement was non-negotiable.
The director was fighting to survive and performing “Okay” “The Order” that was Raiders of the Lost Ark also became a matter of professional pride.
As Lucas later recalls, his friend turned out to be a “master of creativity, an expert in necessity” during 73 days of shooting with lightning speed and endless imagination in creative problem-solving, such as the one in which Indiana Jones is challenged by a swordsman in Cairo and points his gun to kill him. …a complicated scene that had been planned was canceled due to food poisoning that affected Harrison Ford and other crew members (both director and actor are said to claim authorship of the idea).
The rest is known: In the summer of 1981, Ford went from being Han Solo in “Star Wars” to becoming a major movie star, and Spielberg began building a course, from “ET The Extraterrestrial” to the next two series, “Indiana Jones” that made him one of the The most powerful men in Hollywood. So much so that in the early years of the next decade he was able to make a very personal black and white film about the Holocaust called Schindler’s List, which finally earned him “respect” from his peers and Academy Awards.
It is well established that fans have watched “The Raiders of the Lost Ark” many times: it is one of the few “old” films that are often shown for decent hours on TV channels. From the cast (John Rhys Davies as Salah, Denholm Elliot as Marcus, Paul Freeman as rival archaeologist Rene Belloc, and Ronald Lacey as sadistic Gestapo agent Arnold Toht) to the John Williams soundtrack, everything seems to be in a state of grace. . And between adventure, passion and incredible imagination, there is always something new to discover in this love letter to adventure cinema…