Indiana Jones fans are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first installment of the popular movie series. As of now, Harrison Ford is on set for Indiana Jones 5, the movie that will likely serve as the final adventure for his incarnation of the character. It all began with Indy’s first theatrical venture on June 12, 1981, when Raiders of the Lost Ark premiered in U.S. theaters.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, Raiders of the Lost Ark was written by Lawrence Kasdan based on a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman. Set in 1936, it follows Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, an archaeologist on a quest to recover the long-lost Ark of the Covenant. With the help of Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), Indy must retrieve the relic before rival archaeologist Dr. René Belloq (Paul Freeman) can guide Nazi German forces to it first.
After its release, Raiders of the Lost Ark has been established as one of the very best movies ever made. Its success would spawn three sequels – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) – and a variety of comics, novels, and video games. A prequel TV series, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, aired on ABC in the early 90s.
Last year, Steven Spielberg stepped down as the director of Indiana Jones 5 after helming all four previous movies. He will remain on board as a hands-on producer. James Mangold (Logan) has since been brought in to direct, and he also co-wrote the screenplay with Jez and John-Henry Butterworth. Filming on the sequel began this month with plans to release Indiana Jones 5 next summer.
Looking back to where it all began, many fans are now paying tribute to Raiders of the Lost Ark. Gary K’s Film & TV tweeted, “Raiders of the Lost Ark(1981) Steven Spielberg & George Lucas’ tribute to the adventures serials of old cinema. With many memorable set pieces, a peppering of humour and one of John Williams’ greatest scores, it’s a brilliant thrill ride of a movie!”
Looking for some quotes from the iconic movie, another fan tweeted an image of the poster and wrote, “Raiders of the Lost Ark turns 40 today and in honor of the awesomeness that is Indy, Marion, Marcus, and Sallah, what’s your favorite line from the movie? Mine’s ‘It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.'”
“My all time favorite movie turns 40 today,” says someone else. “Normally I’d say something like ‘that makes me feel old’ but honestly, anytime I watch Raiders of the Lost Ark I get a bit of my youth back. I know what I’ll be watching tonight.”
And another fan tweeted: “Hard to imagine that 40 years ago Raiders of the Lost Ark was released in theaters. I can still remember when I was 8 years old doing chores to earn money to go see this. My mom dropped me off at the movies and I was amazed. Love this franchise.”
Indiana Jones 5 is scheduled to be released on July 29, 2022. To go back to where it all began, you can watch Raiders of the Lost Ark 40 years after its premiere by streaming it on Paramount+. You can also see what other fans are saying about the 40th anniversary on Twitter.