With Indiana Jones’s Return, Looking Back at the Opening Scene of ‘Raiders’

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate (currently in theaters), in the series, features the work of Stephen, who developed the character years ago alongside George Lucas, Philip Kaufman, and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan. It is the first film not directed by Spielberg. Still, handing over the managerial duties to James Mangold doesn’t feel too much of a burden. Because Spielberg so adeptly established the globe-trotting archaeologist character and cinematic adventure style in his first four films.

In fact, he clearly set them up in the first sequence of the first film. Today, you can watch that classic sequence shot by shot.

We first see Indiana Jones less than 30 seconds into 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. But it’s a carefully prepared heroic introduction, holding back Harrison Ford’s idiosyncratic good looks for as long as possible. Instead, we first see him from behind, in a frame that introduces the character and his signature iconography (hat, whip, jacket).

This lasts for several minutes. We only see Indiana Jones from behind, in the shadows, or in insubstantial close-ups, such as when he uses a whip to snatch a handgun from a local who is about to betray him. “That was the first time I saw him with a whip,” Lucas explained at a 1978 story conference. became available a few years ago. “That’s where the plot comes to life.” After that move, we finally got to see his face stepping into the light.

When we first look inside the cave, it has a dark, torch-lit, eerie atmosphere, and the protagonist’s vision is initially blocked by spider webs. “This is the first scene in the movie,” Spielberg, who was still best known as the director of “Jaws” at the time, strategized. “He should scream at least four times in this scene.”

Part of the MO in Jones films is how the sequences always stay at their best. Here’s a typical early example of that. When Satipo (later “Doc Ock” Alfred Molina) was surprised to find spiders splattered on Indy’s back, he only turned around to show his back. covered in spiders.

Few filmmakers are as conscious of their audience as Spielberg, so he uses Satipo as his proxy. He reacts the same way we do, being shocked and horrified by the various dangers, booby traps and skeletons he encounters along the way.

However, the director is always fair. We are on our way into the cave and at normal speed we are aware of all the dangers of the cave. So Indy and Satipo are ready to face them. Up speed on the way out.

Dr. Jones’ intelligence is also readily apparent, as both his good looks and lightning-quick reflexes are established. He sees every potential trap and carefully avoids it. The places he walks, the lights his body traverses, the careful replacement of idols with sandbags, etc.

Spielberg goes back and forth between Indy trying to switch places and Satipo watching in horror (also a substitute for the audience), and the tension seems to melt as he manipulates the switch.

And all bets will be void.

In a series of stream breakdowns, Spielberg described three different variations of one idea. “What we’re really doing here is designing rides for Disneyland.” It’s work, creating a series of lightning-fast, whiplash-inducing climbs and descents, traps and saves, fake-outs and tight squeezes. Indy finally looks like he’s free from home…and then comes the top.

The most memorable image in a scene full of them unfolds as Lucas described it in 1978. “There’s a 65-foot-tall rock that fits right in rolling down the hallway,” explained Lucas. “And it’s racing. He can get over rocks.”

And surprisingly, he does. He ends up getting covered in spider webs and escaping empty-handed, but at least he manages to escape…

… Created a little holiday using conveniently placed vines, accompanied by the music of Mr. John Williams for the first time. unforgettable main theme. And once on the plane, we find out (despite the previous sequence) that he has one thing Indiana Jones is afraid of. it’s a snake

“At the end of the day, it’s all teasers,” Lucas said of the opening he had been planning for years. and he is right. It’s a great trailer for the thrills, chills, and laughs of the movie that follows. But the Raiders opening did more than that. It set the template for the Indiana Jones series, and his post-1980s thrill-ride blockbusters.

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