The film that is often regarded as the greatest action film of them all, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, was released 38 years ago today.
Arriving in cinema’s on Friday 12th June 1981, Raiders of the Lost Ark became 1981’s top-grossing film ($209,562,121 in North America, becoming what was then the 3rd highest grossing film of all time behind only Star Wars and Jaws ahead of The Empire Strikes Back in 4th on its way to a final total – including re-releases in 1982, 1983 and the IMAX release in 2012 – of $248,159,971) and still sits in 22nd place on the list of the highest-grossing films adjusted for inflation with $797,776,400.
Raiders was nominated for eight Academy Awards in 1982 including Best Picture, winning for Best Art Direction, Film Editing, Sound, and Visual Effects, also taking home a Special Achievement Award for Sound Effects Editing.
In 1999 it was included in the U.S. Library of Congress’ National Film Registry, but not after spawning a prequel (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) and a sequel (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, as well as a television series, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992–1996).
2008 would see Indy return in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Harrison Ford will return one last time in 2021 for Indiana Jones 5, but today all roads lead to Raiders.