In the late spring of 1981, I started seeing ads on TV for a movie coming out which starred Harrison Ford (he was in my favorite movie of the previous year, "The Empire Strikes Back"). It was produced by George Lucas, who was also behind the second "Star Wars" film.
I began asking my parents about seeing it. They weren't too convinced. The movie was only PG, but back then, that rating was much more strong than it is now. Lots of swear words could be contained in such a movie not to mention plenty of violence. I was 10 years old at the time and my parents were studious Jehovah's Witnesses.
My parents threw me a bone and said they'd go to the movie on their own and from there, decide if it was appropriate for me. You can imagine how eager I was that evening to hear if they were going to give me the green light. I can remember standing in the living room as my mother said that it wasn't too bad, that the main issue she had was near the end of the film when some of the villians' heads began melting. I smiled and said, "But I can still see it, right?" My mom said I could.
A few days later, I was treated to what turned out to be my favorite movie of the year. I loved the non-stop action, the search for an ancient artifact, and the music of John Williams (who had also scored the "Star Wars" films).
One of my favorite moments was in the second half of the film when Indiana sees a bunch of Nazis on a ship and says, "Holy shit". I'd never heard the word before and thought it was one of the coolest phrases ever.
Our town of 25,000 had a 4-screen theatre at the time and "Raiders" played for 10 straight weeks (held over!), then came back for 5 weeks, then returned later on for a few more. I went to it several times that year. One evening, I went to it on my own while my parents went to the Paul Newman - Sally Field courtroom drama "Absence of Malice".
That summer, I bought all the movie tie-ins that I could from it. I purchased the movie's soundtrack on record; my favorite track was probably "Desert Chase". I carried the novelization while we visited my great grandmother at the nursing home. I read the "Making Of" book at my desk in elementary school when I had free time.
One hot day, I walked from my grandma's house to JCPenney and saw that they had the first issue of the comic book adapted from the movie. I had no money, so hurried back and pleaded with my grandma to give me 50 cents so I could buy it.
On another afternoon, my mother dropped me off at Kwik Trip so that I could pick up packs of the Topps trading cards I'd heard were available there. I bought about a dozen packs and walked the seven blocks to where one of our friends lived.
Below is my favorite scene from "Raiders" and probably one of the best scenes I've ever witnessed in a movie (it's not complete for copyright reasons):