HitFix ranks the legend's greatest films to date
3. 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' (1981)
Still the single greatest adventure movie Hollywood has ever made, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is a master class in tone. Watch the moment where Indiana Jones heads into the map room to see if he can discover the final resting place of the Ark. Listen to that Williams score as the sun slips into place, and watch Harrison's never-bluer eyes go wide, and check out the way Spielberg builds that scene visually. There is true awe in that moment, a sensation that Spielberg has chased throughout his career. Scene for scene, set piece for set piece, no one's done it better than this, and the supporting cast is all just as good as Ford, making this one of those films where every single character is as rich as the lead. Kasdan's script got pulp right in a way that even the original pulps rarely did, and Paul Freeman's Belloq may still be my favorite bad guy of the '80s.
- Drew McWeeny