13. 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'
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Steven Spielberg and George Lucas'
initial Indiana Jones adventure didn't just complement Lucas' "Star Wars" as an
equally affectionate ode to the serialized adventures of the '30s and '40s for
an audience hardly familiar with such fare, but it enhanced and idealized those
globe-trotting, cliff-hanging delights through the bigger-is-better prism of the
modern blockbuster as defined by the earlier successes of its creators.
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Harrison Ford took the opportunity to
expand on the rugged swagger of his star-making role as Han Solo, shifting from
intergalactic anti-hero to history-minded crusader, equal parts right and
reckless. The action sequences remain imbued with the rascally craft of a great
rollercoaster, with the stunt work rarely buried beneath a deluge of visual
effects, and Karen Allen couldn't be more of a doll as Indy's former flame and
the de facto damsel in distress, Marion Ravenwood. "Raiders" is still thrilling
to this day and every bit as influential on future generations as those serials
had been on Spielberg and Lucas, the thrills of the past preserved in such a
worthy manner than an archaeologist would have to approve out of principle. —
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(Harrison Ford in Raiders Of "The Lost Ark"/Moviestore Collection/Rex