Today is the 25th anniversary to the day of the release of one of my favorite movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Another Indy fan has posted a detailed analysis of one of the many aspects that make it great: the spunky heroine Marion Ravenwood.
UPDATE: While doing blog maintenance, I found out that the blog I linked to, That Little Round-Headed Boy ("Happiness is a warm blog"), has disappeared. Here's a quote of part of the post that gives a flavor of what's missing:
[I]n the pairing of Indy and Marion, you have cinema alchemy, the Nick and Nora Charles of archaeology and high adventure. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK really isn't an action movie, per se. It's also one of the great romantic comedies. At the very least, it's a Howard Hawks-style adventure romance, in which the bickering way the characters keep hashing over their past history is just as important as the MacGuffin they are chasing.The post also linked to this picture of Marion.
And Karen Allen's Marion is crucial to that. She helps define Indy, helps complete him. With her in the picture, he's more than just a one-dimensional action man, he's a guy with interesting colors, a guy with a dark past whose maniacal devotion to relic hunting has led him to treat the young Marion shabbily. Indiana Jones is not James Bond with a fedora and whip: he broods over his cavalier deeds and is a little worried about a reunion with the woman he discarded. He may court extreme danger, but who is he really scared of? Marion Ravenwood.
Part tomboy, part glamourpuss, Marion is the role that Katharine Hepburn, Carole Lombard, Jean Arthur or Myrna Loy would have reveled in: the smart, spunky, independent spirit. Allen, with her bright eyes, freckles and appealing comic grin, is simply terrific. She physically throws herself into the role, making you believe she's a female Rick Blaine (running her own bar in a terrifying, remote outpost, besting the natives in drinking contests, waiting for Indy's Ilsa to come strolling back in one day.)