Raiders of the Lost Ark is an action / adventure film created by George Lucas and released through Paramount Pictures in 1981. It is the first Indiana Jones movie ever released and is considered to be chapter twenty-four in The Complete Adventures of Indiana Jones.
Lucas began production on the movie soon after the surprise success of his 1977 motion picture Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. While vacationing in Hawaii with friend and director Steven Spielberg, Spielberg mentioned how he'd always wanted to make a "James Bond-like film". Lucas countered that he had a story that was better, and proposed a concept he and writer/director Philip Kaufman had worked on in 1975 based around Lucas' desire to see a movie-style return of 1930s and '40s action serials. The story was set aside while Lucas finished his work on Star Wars. Spielberg's comment gave Raiders new momentum and together, with Spielberg directing, contacted Lawrence Kasdanto write the screenplay.
Set in the early half of the 20th century, the film is the story of an archaeologist named Indiana Jones hired by the US government and pitted in a race against time to locate the mysterious and supernatural Ark of the Covenant before it falls into the hands of Adolf Hitler and his regime of Nazi supporters who seek to use the Biblical artifact's power as a means for world domination.