June 18, 2021

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“Raiders of the Lost Ark” at 40: M. Night Shyamalan, Zack Snyder, JJ Abrams and more pay homage to Indiana Jones’ first adventure

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” at 40: M. Night Shyamalan, Zack Snyder, JJ Abrams and more pay homage to Indiana Jones’ first adventure


When George Lucas and Steven Spielberg joined forces to create The Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, they were heavily inspired by the movie series they grew up watching almost 40 years ago. Flash-forward four decades to 2021, and an entire generation of filmmakers have been inspired by Raiders and its whip-cracking hero Indiana Jones hates snakes and searches for treasure, played to perfection by Harrison Ford.

Released in theaters on June 12, 1981, the film was the highest grossing film of that year, grossing over $ 200 million. Three suites followed, with one last adventure on the way, But Raiders stays in a class of its own and remains a touchstone for any director tasked with creating a thrilling, satisfying and endlessly replayable blockbuster.

Over the past year, Yahoo Entertainment has collected stories from filmmakers who grew up watching The Raiders of the Lost Ark repeated on how the film inspired or influenced their own work. Watch the video above to see their tributes and read their full reviews below. And remember: it’s not the years, it’s the mileage.

M. Night Shyamalan

The sixth sense director was once famous as “the next Spielberg, “and that’s a title he started training for very early on. One of Shyamalan’s first films was a home made remake of the opening scene of The Raiders of the Lost Ark, starring as Indiana Jones. We spoke with him for the second season of the supernatural series, Servant, currently streaming on Apple TV +.

I had some religious moments [in a movie theater]. Star wars was a, and then [Raiders] was the one where I was like, “That feeling I just had? That’s what I’m going to do. I don’t care if I flip burgers somewhere, I’m going to do it. this In my free time. I don’t know if I’m going to get paid for it, but I will. I want to understand how to make people feel what I just felt. “

The moment I saw this film was at the Narberth theater [in Philadelphia] and I was sitting on the right side in the aisle. I couldn’t sit next to my friend and I was sitting with an older couple. In my mind, this couple were old, but they were probably 15 years younger than me now. [Laughs] They were sitting next to me and they bought me some popcorn.

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” at 40: M. Night Shyamalan, Zack Snyder, JJ Abrams and more pay homage to Indiana Jones’ first adventure

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones and Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood on the set of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (Photo: Paramount / courtesy Everett Collection)

It was a much more innocent time – today you were like, “Oh, they’re trying to drug me!” But at the time, it was super sweet: they saw a scared little Indian boy sitting by himself, and they gave him some popcorn and said, ‘Here we have this for you.’ So imagine this: I’m sitting there scared, out of my comfort zone, away from my friends and these strangers have fed me. Then the logo of [Paramount] the mountain advances. I mean forget it! It’s over, it’s the cult – it’s the cult I’m in.

Every scene [in Raiders] is my preferred. I don’t know why, but I always repeat the scene from Kadan, where he says, “Take back a Kadan, to honor the Hebrew God whose ark it is.” Every time he does that I get [chills]. It’s so dramatic that they know where the ark is hidden.

Zack Snyder

With movies like 300 and Zack Snyder Justice League To his credit, Snyder has some experience portraying the exploits of larger-than-life heroes in colorful uniforms. We spoke with him about his latest zombie movie, Army of the dead, currently streaming on Netflix.

[Raiders] is a flagship film for me. I’m sure everyone is saying it, but it was truly one of those movies that made me think cinema was a magical, impossible place where anything could happen. Even when I saw him as a child, I remember how specific he was to his world. This is just how he is transformative.

Ford gears up for action in a scene from

Ford gears up for action in a scene from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (Photo: Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection)

It’s not like a science fiction movie in the sense that it takes place over a period of time, there are Nazis in it. It’s just the perfect mix, and it really blew me away. I remember I really liked – and today you can see it still influences me – the Paramount mountain cut match at the actual mountain. I was just like, “Yeah.” I dig that enormously.

JJ Abrams

You could say that Steven Spielberg is the spirit animal of JJ Abrams. the Star wars the director made an entire movie that was an extended tribute to Spielberg’s 80s classics – 2011 Super 8. This film was produced by Spielberg himself, which was the start of a beautiful Hollywood friendship. We spoke with Abrams about his adaptation of Stephen King, Lisey’s story, currently streaming on Apple TV +.

I mean, it’s one of the greatest movies of all time. Getting to know the man behind this film has been the thrill of a lifetime for me. Become friends with Steven. This movie is so beautifully and perfectly done. Talking about a classic movie, it’s just one of the biggest. Forty years! Holy shit, this is crazy.

Kate herron

After making her debut behind the camera on UK series like Five by five and Sex education, UK-born Herron recently joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the new Disney + series Loki. It’s safe to say that Tom Hiddleston’s alter ego would like to imagine himself as a figure a la Indiana Jones … even if he is probably closer to René Belloq.

I dressed up so much as Indiana Jones that I lost count. [Laughs] He is charismatic and [the movie] is so much fun. It’s like the perfect Saturday movie release. I think that’s what I love about the movie: the escape. When I started making movies, I was like “How do they do that? And how do they do this? “My favorite scene is probably the opening. I know it’s a cliché, but it immediately takes you by the hand and doesn’t let go. I had never seen anything like it in a movie when I was older. youthful, and the practical sets are just a feast for the imagination.

Don Hall

Since he’s in the business of making anime, it’s only fitting that Don Hall comes alive when he talks about Raiders. The longtime Disney employee began his career working on contemporary Mouse House favorites like Tarzan and Tangled, before going behind the camera himself for Winnie the Pooh and Moana. We spoke with him for Raya and the last dragon, currently streaming on Disney +.

I’ve been a long-time Disney person, but growing up in the ’70s and’ 80s, I was also a huge Spielberg fan. His films and his approach to cinema have influenced me enormously, so there is [are] a lot of The Raiders of the Lost Ark the references [in Raya]. AT many things of The Raiders of the Lost Ark the references. This is one of the best action-adventure movies ever made and every budding action adventure compares to this movie. So we’re no different, but this approach has certainly been talked about a lot. Also the fact that we have some scenes where [Raya] sneaks into a temple or ruins or something like that. It definitely sounds like an Indiana Jones kind of thing. His sword is also a bit like a whip, so it’s there too.

Sam levinson

Although he was born after Raiders had already come and left theaters, Euphoria the creator, Sam Levinson, followed the adventures of Indiana Jones on VHS then on DVD before joining the company himself. We spoke with him for his movie, Malcom & Marie, currently streaming on Netflix.

It’s interesting, I remember watching it when I was a kid and I loved it when I saw it, but it wasn’t a movie that impressed me much. Cursed temple, for some strange reason, made a bigger impression, and I think it was because of the violence of it. It was PG-13, and I remember being surprised and captivated by it. But when Steven Soderbergh made this reissue where he put Raiders in black and white, it blew me away. I watched it for its blueprint construction, and you realize its true brilliance.

Jamie bell

While not a director – at least not yet, anyway – actor Jamie Bell has the unique experience of being directed by Steven Spielberg. the Billy Elliot star played the title role in Spielberg’s motion capture show in 2011, The Adventures of Tintin, who feels like a close relative of his Indiana Jones quartet. We spoke with Bell for the action movie without remorse, currently streaming on Prime Video.

The first movie I saw was in a theater was jurassic park, and when I saw that it was directed by a guy named Steven Spielberg, I really thought he was a magician. It was like he came from another planet, you know? My favorite Indiana Jones movie has always been Cursed temple, because it’s such a bizarre entry into the canon of these movies. But I love them all, and I saw them again as I got ready to work with Steven on Tintin. I also love Harrison in these movies. What a legacy this is, and I’m super excited to see the next one, of course.

Indiana Jones (Ford) walks away from certain death in famed opening streak for

Indiana Jones (Ford) walks away from certain death in famous opening sequence for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (Photo: Paramount / courtesy Everett Collection)

When I think back to that experience, it was a very brief six week filming schedule because it was all in motion capture. At first, I almost couldn’t really talk to her to tell her how I really felt. I didn’t want to reveal my cards, because he’s such an important filmmaker to me, as he is to so many people. But one thing I’ll say is that he’s never do not invent. Even when you think he’s taking some free time or just having a casual conversation, he’s looking at things and suggesting things. He’s a factor in inventing ideas, and it’s amazing when you see him come up with something new and inventive. It is a joy to see and I am privileged to have had this experience.

Video produced by Jon San and edited by Jimmie Rhee

The Raiders of the Lost Ark is currently streaming on Paramount +

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