Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Indiana Jones: Best Movie Hero Ever?

I have a special place for Indiana Jones, arguably the greatest lead action hero in movie history.

"Raiders of the Lost Ark" was the first movie I have any sort of memory of seeing. Two flashing images remain -- cripes: was it really 1981?

(1) The line to see it. It was huge, like nothing I had ever seen before, snaking around the modest strip-mall on Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda, Maryland.

(2) At the end, of course, when the main Nazi baddie's face melts off.

Later, "Temple of Doom" was right in my then-11-year-old wheelhouse; I didn't care much for "Last Crusade."

But, much in part due to its particular nostalgic significance for me, "Raiders" remains one of my all-time most cherished movies ever -- if no longer a Top 5 (or even Top 10) favorite.

I'm not sure I will make the midnight screenings tonight -- or even try to brave the insane lines during this opening weekend...I think I had to be 8 to have the patience for that.

But I can't wait to see it, and I'm curious how you all feel about the Indiana Jones franchise.

You all know I'm a sucker for superlatives, and there might not be a better or more beloved lead action hero in movie history. (Certainly in my lifetime.)

-- D.S.

PS: Here's a trip in the way-back machine -- the original trailer for "Raiders." 27 years later, wow, have trailers become different.


The Professor said...

without revealing too much, you and I are from the same age group...

1. Indiana Jones
2. Han Solo


Adam said...

I was at Symphony Hall last night to hear John Williams and the Pops do a night of movie themes. He did a mix of his work as well as others (including Harry Potter and Lawrence of Arabia, which were amazing), but the encore topped them all. First he played Mudd's theme from the new Indy movie, then came back out to play the original Indy theme. That's the craziest I've ever seen a crowd get for classical music. People were still standing and cheering through the first 30 seconds of the song.

And, fwiw, The Last Crusade is my favorite, by a long shot.

Dave Kern said...

Raiders, still a GREAT movie.

Temple of Doom = garbage

Last Crusade = Good Stuff

I'll see the new one just like everyone else, but I don't have high expectations. In fact, I expect it to be campy and lame with a thin plot that seems contrived. So, basically just like "Temple of Doom."

Unknown said...

I really liked the movie but I was a bit older than you. I was born 1966 so I was 14 or 15 when it came out. I never saw Last Crusade. Since my teenage years, I don't see as many movies. I count on renting most of them and never get around to it.

I loved the Mad Max movies - well at least the first two. Third sucked as in most trilogies. I think Mel Gibson is an asshole who I would never go pay to see anymore but I loved those movies when they came out. Mad Max 2, AKA Road Warrior was released in the US first, hence the different name.

I loved the Terminator series. Well at least the first two again although the 3rd wasn't quite as bad as the 3rd Mad Max.

I agree Harrison Ford was great as Indiana Jones and Han Solo.

The only movie I saw this year at the theater was Iron Man - which was excellent even though I bought movie tickets 3 times for myself. Twice I did it just so my son and his friends could get into an R rated movie but I just went in and then left. Trust me, I wasn't being a bad parent, my son really didn't want me there.

bird said...

I have always thought that Harrison Ford's depiction of Han Solo in the first three "Star Wars" movies was the best thing about those movies. In fact, I was probably the oldest person in the theater when "Return of the Jedi" opened! I loved "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "I.J. and the Last Crusade"--with the latter, it didn't hurt that Sean Connery was wonderful as Indy's father! But, sorry Dan, "Temple of Doom" was the weakest entry as far I was concerned. Between Kate Capshaw's awful heroine (couldn't hold a candle to Karen Allen's Marion Ravenwood!) and the monkey brains banquet, that is one movie that was best seen just once!

Charlie Zegers said...

Without Temple of Doom, I wouldn't have spent a good chunk of my formative years pretending to rip my little brother's beating heart out of his chest with my bare hand.

Good times.

The Editor said...

I didn't care much for Temple of Doom. Last Crusade was great, but Raiders of the Lost Ark was the best.


jedi said...

Raiders was just pure, unadultraited fun! As "age contempories" all I wanted to do was run around with a whip after that movie. With Temple of Doom, it was monkey brains! I did really enjoy Last Crusade if nothing more than Sean and Harrison's sparing.

I will go and see this movie this weekend and I go in to it with just an expectation of FUN! For me it is critic proof. I just want to be a kid again for 2 hours.