We made it to my top 3.
But really, for all practical purposes, I think of the original SW trilogy and RAIDERS as a 4-way tie for first place, so I’m splitting hairs here.
And I’m giving 3rd place to
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981).
I only saw this once in the theater, but OH MY GOODNESS.
Here’s me, the year RAIDERS came out:
At the time, the only other movies I had seen in the theater, as I recall, were re-releases of Disney animated classics, SUPERMAN, POPEYE, STAR WARS, and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.
So seeing RAIDERS at this time on the huge theater screen was amazing. I had never seen anything so fast paced and violent in my life. And the comedy and fun-spirited adventure was truly addicting.
When I first heard about RAIDERS I was upset because I was told that the guy who made STAR WARS made this movie, and the guy who acted out Han Solo was the main star. And I thought: WHAT?! They took a break from Star Wars to do this?!
I had thought that if RAIDERS hadn’t been made, we would have had Star Wars 3 by this time instead. Which of course wasn’t true, but that was my understanding at the time.
If I remember right, my uncle convinced my parents that we had to see it, but that it might be too much for the whole family. So my mom took my older brother and me while my dad stayed home with the younger siblings.
I went to the theater with kind of a chip on my shoulder, still thinking that this had delayed Star Wars 3. But a few minutes into the movie and I was 100% sold.
My mom forced us to cover our eyes when the Ark melts everyone at the end – hahaha! But I remember hearing all the screaming and my imagination going wild!
So what do I love about RAIDERS?
The characters, the action, the breakneck pacing, the outstanding comedy – it’s all so perfect.
So many fantastic sight-gags. Marion and Belloq mistaking Toht’s hanger for a torture device, the monkey doing the hitler salute, Marion accidentally hitting Indy with the mirror, a random guy falling on the truck in the middle of a brutal fight and making a goofy face thru the windshield, and it goes on and on.
But of course the best part is that the guy who acted out Porkins is in it:
Is there anything about RAIDERS that could have been better?
The only thing I can think of is that the Ark melting the bad-guys at the end looks a little hokey by today’s standards.
It may have been better for less to have been shown during this scene and let the imagination of the audience do the rest.
For example, we could have heard the screaming and showed ash fall to the ground without actually seeing the faces melting.
On the other hand, the face melting is fun to watch, regardless of the dated effects.
So there you have it! One of the best movies ever made!
#3 Raiders of the Lost Ark
#4 Return of the Jedi
#5 The Last Crusade
#6 The Force Awakens
#7 The Temple of Doom
#8 Revenge of the Sith
#9 Rogue One
#11 The Phantom Menace
#12 The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
#13 The Last Jedi
#14 Attack of the Clones