Film Style: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

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You know the problem with growing up watching a film as perfect as Raiders of the Lost Ark? You don’t actually realise it is perfect. You are so young and stupid, you think all movies are that good! It is only after spending the next few decades watching several thousand ‘not-quite’ movies, that you get to understand just what a magical combination it is. Fools. They don’t know what they’ve got there!

Harrison Ford is perfect as Indiana Jones. Karen Allen is perfect as Marian. The score is perfect, the pacing is perfect, the fight scenes are perfect, the supporting actors are perfect, the dialogue is perfect. And, oh yes, the costumes are perfect.

I’m not going to get into Indy’s clothes, because hey, men’s clothes are not what I do (even if he does have the best hat in movie history). But Marian’s outfits – wowsers.

There is a lot to love about Marian’s character. She is nice looking, but no primped and polished beauty queen. She is gutsy, and outspoken, and angry, and kind, and she sticks up for herself, and beats up bad guys with frying pans when she isn’t drinking them under the table. Karen Allen also gives Harrison a run for his money with her comic timing.

Marian’s costumes are styled to be authentically 30s (thanks to costume designer Deborah Nadoolman who also did The Blues Brothers and An American Werewolf in London, among many others), but allow enough movement that she can take her part in the action. Even the evening dress quickly gets the skirt shortened so she can properly sprint around, and the bias-cut nightie has enough fabric allowance that she is still able to move about (plus, of course, it flutters rather nicely in the breeze as the Angry Ark Ghosts rage around her and Indy).

I also like that they gave her normal hair. Yes, many ladies liked to give themselves waves and curls in the 30s, but not if they were a lady like Marian. She’s an action chick! She don’t have time for waves!

My favourite outfit, though, is the embroidered cheesecloth blouse with bright red harem trousers and scarf belt to cinch the waist. It is hard to see, but she is also wearing cork wedges with a red leather strap. I would wear that entire combination in a snap.

Oh and if anyone decided to throw in a young Harrison Ford to complement the ensemble? Well, I’d be happy to take that too.

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ElegantRaiders Lost Ark 1981 Marian 18

Not so elegant.Raiders Lost Ark 1981 Marian 19 Raiders Lost Ark 1981 Marian 20 Raiders Lost Ark 1981 Marian 21 Raiders Lost Ark 1981 Marian 22 Raiders Lost Ark 1981 Marian 23 Raiders Lost Ark 1981 Marian 27 Raiders Lost Ark 1981 Marian 24 Raiders Lost Ark 1981 Marian 26
I just included this one because I wanted to say Top. Men.
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