Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) Film Review by Peter Pen

Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981)
This paper discusses the use of symbolism to portray the stereotype of the American male hero in Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones" trilogy, especially "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981).
# 65138 | 1,625 words | 9 sources | MLA | 2005
Published on Apr 25, 2006 in Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.)

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This paper explains that not only are there actual symbols present in Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones" trilogy, especially "Raiders of the Lost Ark", such as Indiana's most feared enemy, the snake, but also the movies themselves serve as a symbol of American pop through the Hollywood's glorification and stylization. The author points out the symbolism in the main character Indiana Jones, played by Harrison Ford, who is a young, powerful educated man, coming from a civilized background with a catchy nickname "Indy", which all heroes must, and dressed in his classic American archaeologist attire of leather jacket and bullwhip. The paper concludes that the Indiana Jones trilogy continues to be an incredible success because it is so easy for the American population to relate to Indy, a hero who never failed, and because it reflects American pop culture of adventure, power and heroism.

From the Paper:

"It is very possible for even one trailer that is a mere one minute and fifty seconds long, to encompass so many different symbols, that have significance all throughout the movie. The clip that portrays the most symbolism in the shortest amount of time is definitely the part of the movie when Indiana Jones finds himself fighting a town full of Arabs in the middle of a marketplace in Cairo, all in order to rescue Marion. First and foremost, this entire sequence is filmed to fully capture the role of having a damsel in distress, as Indy is fighting in attempt to save Marion. Secondly, a very apparent form of symbolism appears in the background of the shot, where the entire marketplace is full of Arabs who are all wearing turbans and sandals, a very stereotypical image of the people of the eastern culture living in that region. The most noticeable glorification of the American culture becomes very evident when Indy is facing a large Arab man with a sword, who is prepared to fight him."

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