It’s only fitting that the “Indiana Jones” franchise – a series of films (as well as a TV show, books, comics, video games, and more) literally built on a sincere love of history – is the subject of so much mythologizing. George Lucas sold it to Steven Spielberg deeming it “better than James Bond”! The second film is much darker than the filmmakers’ previous efforts because they were both going through tough breakups! At one point, Indy had a big dog! But beyond the legendary origins of the franchise, there is at least one aspect of the series that we can go ahead and clarify right away: which film is the best. Oh no? Is this also under discussion? It feels right and is definitely worthy of further exploration and insight.
Five films and more than four decades since its inception, Spielberg and Lucas’ fascinating action-adventure franchise about an archaeologist (a true nerd AND a dashing hero) and his globetrotting exploits — heavy on the other world, with plenty of indelible human characters to keep him grounded too — is coming to an apparent conclusion with one final entry.
Since “Raiders of the Lost Ark” hit theaters in 1981, the Harrison Ford-starring series has grossed an incredible amount of box office receipts (almost 2 billion worldwide) and has proved to be one of the most reliable franchises of American cinema. Built on everything from a serious affection for the ingrained film serials of its creators’ youth to a deep affection for the killing of Nazis (something we really hope never goes out of style) and grand adventures that can depend on everything from animals smart to slippery diamonds, Indy rides are also just plain simple fun.
What else is the multiplex for, other than standing up and cheering on bad guys beaten, high-flying adventures, epic love stories, and “X” (sometimes) marking the spot? With the fifth (and presumably final) film in the franchise, ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate’ hitting theaters this week, we embark on our own mission steeped in legend, lore, fortune, glory and love for one of the world’s greatest adventurers of cinema: ranking of Indiana Jones films.