Raiders of the Lost Ark (later marketed as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark) is a 1981 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It was produced by Frank Marshall and Howard Kazanjian, executive produced by George Lucas, written by Lawrence Kasdan and based on a story of George Lucas and Philip Kaufman. Starring Harrison Ford, it was the first installment in the Indiana Jones film franchise to be released, though it is the second in internal chronological order. It pits Indiana Jones (Ford) against a group of Nazis who are searching for the Ark of the Covenant, which Adolf Hitler believes will make his army invincible. The film co-stars Karen Allen as Indiana's former lover, Marion Ravenwood; Paul Freeman as Indiana's nemesis, French archaeologist René Belloq; John Rhys-Davies as Indiana's sidekick, Sallah; Ronald Lacey as Gestapo agent Arnold Toht; and Denholm Elliott as Indiana's colleague, Marcus Brody.