Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark ★★★★½

Raiders of the Lost Ark – 9/10

Arguably the quintessential adventure film. Spielberg at the height of his powers. Ford at his smouldering best and a shoot so dangerous it makes modern action films seem incredibly tame in comparison. As with most Spielberg films from that era, not a frame or line of dialogue is wasted. Exposition is delivered naturally without feeling at all contrived. Action set pieces are paced perfectly.

Two scenes really highlight how different the art of filmmaking was back then. The first being the punch up with a large Charles Bronson type which seems to take place within alarming proximity to live propeller blades. Surely this is camera trickery/forced perspective? No! They really did shoot that close to live blades. One slip or trip and either one of the actors is mincemeat.

The other scene being the snake pit. Over 8000 live snakes were used in this scene. Not a hint of CGI in sight but instead, strategic placement of mirrors to create the illusion that Indie really is having a stare off with a King Cobra within striking distance.
Perhaps the most astonishing thing about this is that it was all achieved on a budget of $30M.