• It works almost alone without dialogue just focusing on the spectacular set pieces, the editing (Oscar win), John Williams score, and the set design (Oscar win)—silent cinema
  • Irresistibly entertaining
  • Love the opening graphic match with the mountain in south America and the Paramount pictures logo
  • This is a spectacle—plays with and borrows from James Bond (heavy iconography) and Gunga Din—like Bond this starts in medias res—and since it borrows from bond it also borrows from North by Northwest and certainly it has that sort of narrative momentum and set piece focus
  • Love the ornate set design iconic opening- the white lights through the trees
  • Cairo and Tunisia setting- clearly Spielberg is inspired by Lean and Lawrence—massive cast in the dessert
  • The supporting players are superb- Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliot and the horrifying Ronald Lacey
  • The narrative absolutely steam rolls- there’s nothing here I’d take out and everything has a purpose to propel it forward- even when we show Karen Allen in the drinking contest early in the film it’s used again in her contest and attempt to escape Paul Freeman’s character
  • I admire the long silent scenes of Ford looking for the ark with the gorgeously designed sets in the background
  • Lots of deadline editing space/time manipulations that Spielberg would be known for largely
  • Welles’ Citizen Kane warehouse that goes on forever ending—phenomenal
  • Ford is a revelation in the lead- it’s his best work and he’s been very good before (star wars, empire) and after (witness, the fugitive, blade runner: 2049)
  • A masterpiece- though I’m not longer convinced it’s necessarily better than Jaws and Schindler for Spielberg’s best