Sunday, January 13, 2013

Phil attends the RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK/SUPERMAN Double Feature at the Castro Theatre-January 12, 2013

This past weekend I found myself once again at the historic Castro Theatre in San Francisco. Reason being was that the theatre was having a once in a lifetime double feature that yours truly couldn't pass up! Joining me on this cinematic was my best friend Dave and his girlfriend Christine. This was their very first time at the theatre, so this was a double special occasion! So folks sit back, relax, and have fun with this review!

Theatrical Movie Poster (1981)
The first film up was producer George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg's 1981 action/adventure film RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. The film starred Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, a famed archaeologist who is hired by the U.S. Government to track down the famed biblical artifact called the Ark of the Covenant, which Adolf Hitler believes will make their army invincible. Joining Indy on his adventure is his old flame Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), as they all race to retrieve the Ark before Indy's nemesis Renee Belloq (Paul Freeman), his cohorts Colonel Dietrich (Wolf Kahler) and Major Arnold Toht (Ronald Lacey) and their Nazi Army can obtain it first!

Lucas' inspiration for the film came from his love of the old movie serials that he use to watch when he was a child. Fast forward to 1977 and Lucas is on vacation in Maui (trying to escape the enormous success of STAR WARS) and he runs into his friend and colleague Steven Spielberg, on vacation from work on CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. He told Lucas about wanting to make a James Bond action film. He told him that he had the perfect character. The rest is cinematic history. The movie was released to theaters by Paramount Pictures on June 14, 1981. The $18 million budget film grossed $384 million worldwide throughout its theatrical releases. The film spawned four sequels, toys, comic books, video games, novels and a television series entitled The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, which ran from March 4, 1992, to July 24, 1993. The film was included in the INDIANA JONES: THE COMPETE ADVENTURES Blu-Ray Boxset, which was released on September 18th, 2012.

Click here to view the film's original trailer.

Theatrical Movie Poster (1978)
The second film on the double feature was the first ever superhero movie that captured audience's imagination everywhere. The film SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE was directed by Richard Donner and starred Marlon Brando as Jor-El, Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor, Ned Beatty as his sidekick Otis, Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, Marc McClure as Jimmy Olsen, Jackie Cooper as Daily Planet chief Perry White, Glenn Ford as Jonathon Kent, and an unknown actor named Christopher Reeve as both Clark Kent and Kal-El, better known to us as Superman.

Everybody knows the story of Superman; even those who had never read the comic book knows the Man of Steel's origin. Repeating it here would be unnecessary, as the film's plot stays very faithful to the comic. Instead let me shine some light on the production of the film. Produced by Alexander and Ilya Salkind, Donner was directly both SUPERMAN and SUPERMAN II simultaneously. However, Tensions rose between Donner and the Salkinds, and a decision was made to stop filming the sequel and concentrate on finishing the first film so it could make its theatrical release date. Donner had already shot 75%, but the Salkinds fired him and brought in director Richard Lester, who who worked with the them on THE THREE MUSKETEERS and THE FOUR MUSKETEERS. Decades later, thanks to fans sending emails and petitions, Warner Brothers teamed up with Donner to release SUPERMAN II: THE RICHARD DONNER CUT. It contained the 75% footage that he shot and used other sources pulled to bring his version together.

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE was released by Warner Brothers on December 15, 1978. It grossed $300,218,018 world wide. The film spawned three sequels, and was the inspiration for the film SUPERMAN RETURNS, which was directed by Brian Singer in 2006. In 2013, director by Zack Snyder and producer by Christopher Nolan will relaunch the franchise with the film MAN OF STEEL.

Click here to view the film's original trailer.

And there you have it! A great day of watching two of the greatest action heroes of all time! There's a ton of cool films being shown here at the Castro Theatre, so if one day you find yourself in the city by the bay and you're looking for something fun to do, definitely come here and see a movie! It will change your life forever! To view the Castro Theater's film schedule, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!


  1. I love, love, LOVE Indiana Jones and Superman. Both are fantastic films. Glad to see you had a wonderful time.

  2. It was amazing to see these films back to back. I had seen them both when they first came out, so I was reliving a special part of my childhood. And it was great to see parents bringing their kids to see these films! Now they will know what great movies we had back in the day!