'Raiders of the Lost Ark' turns 40

The classic adventure film was released in theaters on June 12, 1981.

Harrison Ford's Raiders of the Lost Ark turned 40 Saturday. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Harrison Ford's "Raiders of the Lost Ark" turned 40 Saturday. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

June 12 (UPI) -- Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first film to feature Harrison Ford as a archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones, turned 40 Saturday.

"Steven Spielberg and George Lucas introduced one of the cinema's great heroes, Indiana Jones (played to perfection by Harrison Ford) to audiences in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK on June 12, 1981, and his adventures have been going strong for 40 years," production company Amblin tweeted.


In addition to Ford, the beloved movie starred Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey and John Rhys-Davies. Spielberg directed it and Lucas produced it.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, a prequel to Raiders, followed in 1984 and the sequel, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, opened in 1989.

The most recent installment in the franchise was 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

A fifth Indiana Jones movie is to start production this summer with director James Mangold at the helm.

Set for theatrical release on July 29, 2022, it is being produced by Spielberg and his frequent collaborator Kathleen Kennedy.


With Jones once again the lead, the film will co-star Hannibal icon Mads Mikkelsen and Fleabag Emmy winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

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