Soundtrack 2 Indiana Jones's Life
The movie I chose to analyze was Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. It is about an explorer who is in Cairo hunting for the Ark of the Covenant. In this film Indiana Jones is up against the Nazis who are also looking for the Ark because Adolf Hitler believes it will make his army invincible. The score of the film was composed by John Williams and was nominated for Best Original Score in 1981.
The movie starts off with a scene in the jungle, Indiana Jones is trekking through the heavily forested brush, all the while examining every little thing he encounters. The song for this scene is titled “In the Jungle” and it can be described as dark, low, and very intense. Every action made by the characters in this scene is heightened and enhanced by the music. At one point the music subsides while a man is held at gun point, as you hear the gun get cocked you can only assume that the situation is grave because the music is completely gone and all that is left to be heard is the heavy breathing of the characters. Then all of a sudden, the music picks back up at a much quicker tempo and Indiana Jones cracks his whip and knocks the gun out of the offender’s hand! This scene is about four minutes long and is full of suspense. Not just because of what is going on in the scene, because essentially all that is happening is three dudes walking through a jungle. But since the song is very intense, with changing tempos and volumes anytime a character does something, the scene becomes very exciting. I believe that this type of song was chosen for this scene because the director wants the viewer to get ready for what is about to happen in the scenes to come. If they just had a soft, calm opening, maybe something like him peacefully flying to his destination, it wouldn’t set the tone for the movie like this song and scene combination did.
Another song from this movie was “The Raiders March”, this is the iconic tune that pops into your head when you think of Indiana Jones. This is played during a chase scene where Indiana Jones is after the artifacts that the Nazis have stolen, during the chase he boards a truck, steals the truck, and takes out all of the bad guys along the way. This upbeat song highlights each one of his steps toward victory by playing that classic Indiana Jones theme song tune whenever he gets closer to winning. It is a song of success and triumph and the scene makes this very evident because in the end, Indiana always wins. This song becomes the marquee theme song of all the Indiana Jones movies, probably because it was the victory song of this first movie. It became the tune that came to everyone’s heads whenever they thought of Indiana Jones, so they used it to market the other movies. This is an example of the ethos that this song exhibits. People can attribute this song to Indiana Jones and the success that the first movie did, right here it shows that it received fantastic reviews from the critics, which is why the song became so iconic to the series.
This soundtrack was an excellent fit for this movie. It did a great job enhancing the scenes for the viewer and heightening the actions of the characters. Another reason I think this soundtrack was superb is because it produced the iconic theme song for the entire series, out of this soundtrack came the song that many would come to label as the sound of Indiana Jones. I give it 4.5 stars.