LowComDom Performances Presents
Film Review - Raiders of the Lost Ark
A long time ago, Hollywood made very low budget productions and chopped them up into 15-minute segments. These were usually comic book characters like Batman or Flash Gordon. At the end of the 15 minutes, something terrible would happen and you were sure the hero had been killed. But you couldn't be sure unless you came back to the theater the next week to find out what happens.
Of course, back then the film in the theater also changed every week. The Hollywood serial was an important part of filling out the show bill. Two movies, and serial, a cartoon, and maybe a news reel.
When the full bill died, about the time the studio system was destroyed, the serial had no good reason to be made, and so it disappeared ... until now.
As the film Star Wars was premiering, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg were on the beach in Honolulu. George was hiding because he was sure Star Wars was a flop. Spielberg was there for moral support. On that beach they started worked on an idea for a film that revived the Hollywood serial.
The result is Raiders of the Lost Ark, and its hero, Indiana Jones. Jones is, of course a scholar, incredibly fit, sexy to the point of driving his female students swooning during class. And finally, he's really good at killing bad guys. To preserve the feel of the Saturday afternoon serial, Indy is constantly in peril, and survives by the skin of his teeth.
And then there is the ex-girlfriend. Marion Ravenwood is a hard-drinking, hard-hitting woman, dragged all over the earth by her father looking for treasure. She was dumped by Indy in the past and musters up a great belt to the jaw on meeting him again. Marion gives Indy a moral edge. He can't just go in guns a-blazing because there are innocent people who would be hurt ... and of course deep down, he's in love with her.
The serial? It's still dead, but Raiders did bring all those serial characters back to the screen in feature film form. Indy is an original that is a tailor fit to modern cinema.