A classic, of course. This was probably my 3rd or 4th watch, but the first in many years. C had never seen it before.

It's good, don't get me wrong, and it certainly is of great significance to the history of cinema (or to the history of Hollywood, at least). Dad saw it in the theater when it came out in 1981 with his aunt and a whole cohort of cousins, so it is of significance for him too, and in turn for me after watching it several times growing up.

But wow the thing didn't age well. It's a bit jarring to watch, in 2023, how the film portrays women (both Marion, the only woman with a real role in the entire film, and the starry-eyed students in Jones' classroom), and non-American people like Egyptians (mostly just decor and material for collateral damage). And then of course there's the taking (plundering, pillaging) of foreign antiquities because they "belong in a museum", preferably in America. The plot itself is pretty good, the action is nice, photography is beautiful (the colors, the browns!), but overall the watching experience felt a bit awkward under the weight of 40 years.1

Anyway I'm still looking forward to rewatching films 2 and 3 (not really 4), and also to watching film 5 when it comes out this year!



  1. look like this is a common critique nowadays, here are similar takes from the Washington Post, VICE and from the blog Tales of Times Forgotten.