Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark holds a special place in my heart, and to explain, I offer the following, which is part of a separate article I wrote about five years ago:
It was June of 1981, my brother's tenth birthday, and a group of us decided to celebrate it at the movies. After some minor debate, the film we settled on was Dragonslayer, a sword and sorcery adventure many of us were dying to see. We piled into my father's car and spent the entire trip to the theater talking about how great Dragonslayer was going to be. But fate intervened. As my father pulled up to the theater, he looked at the huge marquee hanging out front and muttered something underneath his breath, which then caused the rest of us to look as well, and what we didn't see was Dragonslayer in big, bold letters on the marquee. We were at the wrong theater.
Sensing my father's desperation to get us out of his car as quickly as possible (I guess we were kinda loud), I begrudgingly suggested that we change our plans and instead see the movie that was playing at this theater, which happened to be Raiders of the Lost Ark. None of us knew much about it. In fact, all I'd seen was a 15-second commercial on TV, in which a giant boulder rolled down a hill. After some more debate, and even a few tears, the others reluctantly agreed. So into the theater we went, somewhat sullenly, with no idea what was in store for us.
Looking back now, I admit I would have loved to see the expression on our faces when Raiders of the Lost Ark began. The entire opening sequence, where Indiana Jones makes his way through the jungles of South America in search of a lost idol, drew our undivided attention. I don't think we so much as blinked. I know I didn't. Never before had I seen anything so exciting, so perfectly engrossing on the big screen. It was more than a great opening to a classic adventure film; it was the moment I fell in love with the movies, and I've been hooked ever since.
Simply put, it's because of Raiders of the Lost Ark and the effect it had on me that I'm undertaking this challenge of mine.
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