In 1981 the man who created Star Wars, George Lucas, paired with the director of Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Steven Spielberg, brought us an update of the action serials of the 1930s, a return of the grand adventure. Featuring the star of Star Wars, Harrison Ford, in the lead as globetrotting adventurer Indiana Jones, the film became the biggest film of 1981 and earned itself five Academy Awards.
Over the (far too many) years since its theatrical debut, the film has been released countless times on any number of formats. Last year, 2021, we were delivered a four-movie collection remastered in gorgeous 4K with a slew of previously released extras.
For 2022, Paramount Pictures is planning to release each Indiana Jones title to 4K individually. I see it as a bit of a buildup to 2023’s Indiana Jones film. This saves one from expensing out for the four-movie collection if you didn’t care for them all, but it does cost you the extras.
Instead, each release beginning with Raiders of the Lost Ark will be delivered in a new steel book edition with a cover featuring the re-release poster art by Richard Amsel from 1982, as well as a mini-poster replica of Amsel’s original one-sheet U.S. release poster.
The film remains stunning, the score, rousing, the action beats, iconic, and all of it plays brilliantly in a picture that is sharp and clear and probably didn’t even look this good on its original prints.
And while the lack of extras is a glaring omission, not everyone needs them. Some people just want this incredible movie at their fingertips at all times. And some collectors and completionists will just NEED it for their collections.
Personally, I’m a sucker for the steel book art just looking at it before I slipped the disc in the player sends me back to the first time I saw it, and the countless times since then. I don’t remember everytime I’ve seen this movie, but I remember a lot of them. I’ve seen it projected, I’ve seen it on laserdisc, BETA, VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray, and 4K. I never tire of it, and I love every moment of it, and the 4K transfer sharpens the image so beautifully that you can pick out details that just help layer out the production.
As eager as I am to see what James Mangold and Ford do with the fifth film, I am excitedly anticipating each Indiana Jones coming out in this beautiful steel book editions. Because each one will remind you (even the maligned fourth film) that if adventure has a name, it must be Indiana Jones.
Raiders of the Lost Ark and the return of the grand adventure is available on 4K in a collector’s steel book from Paramount Canada TODAY!!!