80 Years of The Hollywood Reporter
On June 17, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark with the premiere of a digitally restored print. When the $18 million action-adventure romp bowed in June 1981, The Hollywood Reporter knew the filmmakers were on to something big. "If George Lucas were to say that he could make terrific entertainment out of Chairman Mao's Little Red Book, I'd be inclined to believe him," said reviewer Arthur Knight. "And if he wanted to bring along Steve Spielberg to direct, I'd believe him even more." However, Mao's Red Book -- whether big or small -- probably wouldn't have generated the $384 million in worldwide box office (about $900 million today) and produced three sequels, a TV series and more than a dozen video games that the first Raiders did. In 1999, the chronicle of Harrison Ford as the swashbuckling, snake-fearing archeologist Indiana Jones was included in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry of movies that are "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant, to be preserved for all time." The Academy tribute, the sequels and the Film Registry induction are all signs that Raiders' legacy is secure. In the first film, Indiana says to Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), "It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage." Lucas and Spielberg certainly got their mileage out of Raiders.