RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK is one of those movies that never cease to inspire me and it proves that even action blockbusters can be made of only good - or rather cinematically interesting and consistent scenes. And remember, this comes from someone who counts Farhadi, Fassbinder and Fellini among his favorite directors.
Since I am giving a lecture on Spielberg's use of choreography, editing and music (the one element he claims he has no control over) to achieve the specific rhythm of RAIDERS next Thursday, I have once again accumulated much more material than could ever be incorporated into a 35 minute introduction.
Based on the notion that RAIDERS is consciously based on serials, adventure films and noir classics, there are already some supercuts about the twelve minute introductory scene on the internet (some of them rather far fetched but still entertaining). So as a starter I have compiled a random side-by-side comparisons of influencing scenes most of which have been mentioned by Spielberg, Lucas or Kasdan at some time or other.
The only reference I couldn't find any first hand account of is KISS ME DEADLY (Aldrich, 1955). But since it is so obvious and may have triggered the reading of the "ark" as a metaphor for "the bomb" (after all, Brody says that any army carrying the "ark" will be invincible), I have included it anyway.
RAIDERS sources comparison from Oswald Iten on Vimeo.