Synopsis: The year is , and Indiana Jones, a professor of archeological studies and adventuring tomb raider, is commissioned by the United States Military to obtain The Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis do. Aided by ex-lover Marion and long time friend Sallah, Indy races around the world — from Nepal, to Egypt, to the Greek isles — while fighting his archenemy Dr. Belloq and other nefarious Nazi characters to single-handedly prevent Hitler and the Nazis from turning the biblical artifact into a weapon of world conquest and domination. Introduce Protagonist: South American:

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Screenplays are living documents that change at every level. Today we're going to look at the script for Raiders of the Lost Ark and discover how it set the blueprint for the modern studio adventure film while subverting the tropes of the genre. So check those images out if you want to learn more. But we're going over the third draft of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

It was written by Lawrence Kasdan with a story by George Lucas and contains a multitude of screenwriting lessons. It's hard to believe, but when Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Lawrence Kasdan put their heads together to work on Indiana Jones , the adventure genre was struggling. The movies that came out in the 's were incredibly serious like Sorcerer or they were incredibly goofy, like Dr.

But it's not like they were working from scratch. All three men had been raised on the adventure serials from television in the s and s. They had a basis for the kinds of heroes and adventures they went on, but how did they make them their own? One of the best sequences in cinematic history is the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It sets the tone, embraces the kind of movie we'll be watching, and leans into the tropes the guys wanted to hit the screen. There are traps, indigenous people, faraway lands, and action.

There are subtle jokes and a wink and a nod to the audience that this movie was going to be all about cliffhangers and the ride. As you can see, Marion is quickly in over her head with the Nazis. By the time Indy steps into the limelight, she could use a hand. But the interesting thing about Marion and the subversion of the genre is that she can hold her own. This scene does a good job delivering the gunfire and excitement of a typical setpiece without the damsel in distress. These two characters play off each other, as they do in most of these scenes.

The comedy and interplay during the action also give us a keen sense of character. The constant juxtaposition of comedy and action also happens later in the script when they're in the marketplace. I know what you're thinking, "That's not what happens in the movie! The rumor is that Harrison Ford was sick that day so he just shot the sword-wielding actor.

It's funny. It fits the tone, and it's delightful. Sure, it was just a nut-kick, but it was in the spirit of the gunshot. Which means Spielberg, Lucas, and Kasdan knew they needed a comedic beat here. When you're writing adventure movies you tend to deal with a ton of exposition.

Dialogue writing is hard enough, but when you have to get key bits of information across to the audience without boring them, that's an art form.

Look how the dialogue is a give and take. It's a dance between both Indy and the CIA, trying to jockey for position. Since this is about men all trying to be the smartest person in the world, we get a ton of exposition out in the open through rivalry. Each side trying to impress the other. This dance keeps the exposition interesting and makes us incredibly attuned to what they're saying. Look how the entire discussion leads to the MacGuffin at the center of the movie, and it's delivered like a reveal.

Since we have this dance we get information like a gift. It's almost as if each person is reluctantly giving it away, which makes us want that exposition even more. Now, download the third script in the series and learn how theme and character dictate an adventure. And deal with your daddy issues.

Skip to main content. No Film School. June 18, The "Raiders of the Lost Ark" script is maybe the greatest adventure movie ever written. It contains amazing set pieces, dialogue, and exposition.

So there's a lot to learn. Let's read it and examine the lessons. Let's roll Read the Raiders of the Lost Ark script here!

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Raiders of the Lost Ark screenplay

Screenplays are living documents that change at every level. Today we're going to look at the script for Raiders of the Lost Ark and discover how it set the blueprint for the modern studio adventure film while subverting the tropes of the genre. So check those images out if you want to learn more. But we're going over the third draft of Raiders of the Lost Ark.


Read the 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' Script

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Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

It was produced by Frank Marshall for Lucasfilm Ltd. The film originated from Lucas's desire to create a modern version of the serial films of the s and s. The first installment in the Indiana Jones franchise , the film stars Harrison Ford as archaeologist Indiana Jones , who battles a group of Nazis searching for the Ark of the Covenant. It is often considered one of the greatest films ever made. Library of Congress ' National Film Registry as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The film began a franchise starting with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom , and including a prequel television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and numerous video games.


Go Into The Story Script Reading & Analysis: “Raiders of the Lost Ark”

During the script development of Raiders of the Lost Ark in the late s to , writer Lawrence Kasdan went through a number of drafts to produce the completed screenplay. Although the plot points largely remained the same throughout, based on the story conference Kasdan had attended with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg , a number of elements changed including dropped characters and names. Certain set pieces were also removed which would be recycled for the film's follow-up Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The story begins in the "Eyebrow of the Jungle", on the forested eastern slopes of the Andes. On the approach to the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors , nicknamed the "House of Death", the indigenous Yahua porters are spooked by its reputed curse and flee.

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