A to Z Challenge: I (John Williams’ film scores)

*Read John Williams’ biography here

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
The first of (soon to be) five action adventure movies was released in 1981. This is another in the long line of Steven Spielberg directed movies John Williams wrote scores for (he’s doing movie number five as well).

The movies star Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, an archaeologist who, while searching for the ark of the Covenant has to fight a group of Nazis.

The most famous piece from the score is the “Raiders March”, which is now synonymous with the Indiana Jones movies, and was used in the scores for the other movies.

Originally John Williams wrote two different options for the theme, but Spielberg liked them both so much that rather than choose he insisted they both be used together…and that formed the “Raiders March”.

You can hear the different themes when you listen to the music. The adventurous fanfare which gives way to a more romantic melody before returning to the original theme.

Another Academy Award nomination for John Williams for Best Original Score, but he lost to Chariots of Fire. He also lost in the BAFTAS for Best Film Music to The French Lieutenant’s Woman. It did, however, win a Saturn Award for Best Music.

I’m a huge fan of the Indiana Jones movies, particularly the first two. I think my enjoyment of the music is in part because of my enjoyment of the movies – a Pavlovian response? Which movie or scene does the music take you to?

10 comments on “A to Z Challenge: I (John Williams’ film scores)

  1. This is one of my favourite of his scores, though of course Star Wars was another. Very much connected with the film – If I hear it, I see Indy having adventures! I saw the film with some fannish friends when it first came out.

    They’re doing a fifth movie? Wow! I will have to see it, of course, but I hope it will be better than Crystal Skull. The fourth film ended interestingly – that hat blows off and lands on the ground. Indy’s son picks it up, as if to carry on his father’s adventures – then Indy grabs it off him!

    I loved the third film. Harrison Ford and Sean Connery were wonderful together. I taught it to my year 8 English class as a film text, because the Year 8 theme was “adventure” and that one had a lot of meat for class discussion, as well as being fun. The kids enjoyed it. They were quite happy to discuss it as we watched it.

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    • I believe it is due for release in 2021. I hope it finishes the Indy movies better than Crystal Skull too. I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees the film in their head when they hear the music.

  2. YASS!!! Another film and music that I actually know! hehehehe! I love how uplifting it is because I needed that this morning lol Will take me shopping with a new umpf in my step for the day!

  3. I enjoyed the first three movies, but Harrison Ford is getting a little long in the tooth to continue making Indiana Jones movies. Just my opinion. This is a great piece of music, anyway.

    • I agree with you about Harrison Ford. Maybe he’ll hand over the hat? But I have heard that the actor who played his son hasn’t been approached for #5 so not sure who he would hand it to. But I’m glad that John Williams is onboard to score the film because I don’t think anyone else would do the job as well.

  4. Ah, finally, a score I did know John Williams composed. This is a good one.

    • This is one of (in my opinion) the good ones. There are a few more, including some I absolutely love, so be interesting to see if you knew they were his.

  5. Love it. Such a Williams classic! The first movie is my favorite, followed by the third. Sean Connery is fun as Henry!

    • You are among many, Jenny, as the first and third are considered the best movies. I haven’t seen #3 more than once, so I don’t really remember it, but I have seen #1 and #2 many times.

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