Yeah but she's still Rambo compared to Willie and not a Nazi stooge like Elsa.
I've never been able to decide on a favorite movie, I wouldn't even put Crystal Skull at the bottom of my list. I certainly wouldn't condemn your opinion (although voicing it on an Indy forum certainly isn't the safest thing to do!)
Upon rethinking it - I can sort of see why Willie might be your favorite. She definitely goes through a big change in character: from a self-centered shallow egotist to a hard-as-nails companion - she takes one of those Thuggees out with one punch!
However, I always thought Marion was superb, because it felt like a more believable relationship. I never really bought that Indy would go for a person like Willie, and an Indy & Marion relationship was like a match made in heaven - and apparently Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford agree with me...
Apologies for this digression...
EDIT: I'd also like to address your opinion on ToD and LC. You said that you felt that the character was better there. I share your opinion somewhat on ToD, but I disagree with LC. I felt that Indy's character was lacking a lot in LC, simply because 90% of the time he was just pissed off. He didn't show a wide range of emotions, at least not until the very end, when he begins to fully reconcile with his father.
I actually find Last Crusade & Crystal Skull to be the most re-watchable & fun Indy movies for me.
Crystal Skull has obvious faults but it has a feel to it that I love. It's far-fetched, it's fast, and it's just fun.
Last Crusade, my favorite Indy movie, is far more grounded than Crystal Skull. But Connery & Ford have such great chemistry, and the humor generated between the two makes me crack up everytime I watch it without fail. I also enjoyed the heavier emotional weight to the film.
Raiders is good. Very good. Not many, if any, faults. But sometimes I find it a little... dare I say, bland? Still one of my favorite films of all time.
Temple.... is okay. It does have my favorite set piece and Indy moment of all time, that being the bridge scene. But other than that.... it's just okay for me.
Yeah, it's certainly not wrong to like Raiders the least, and I find it appalling that some users said that you were "wrong." Film is a matter of personal taste, and the fact that you're voting against the rest of the crowd is admirable, so I applaud you for your courage.
Well, as stated before in this thread, to put "Raiders of the Lost Ark" as anything BUT the best of the Indiana Jones movies, is a kind of blasphemy.
Personally I think it is the best, and the standard by which any other of the Indiana Jones movies must be measured.
But the fact that a lot of people differ in their opinion concerning this I find interesting.
Perhaps there is indeed a new paradigm by which we should measure the Indiana Jones films.
I always welcome new paradigms.
In fact, in my opinion, the Indiana Jones universe has always been somewhat overly constrained by dogma and cannon. Perhaps it is a good thing that some people look at it with fresh eyes, and a new appraisal of the films.
Raiders is probably the best in terms of emotional impact. In that respect it's definitely better than Last Crusade and KOTCS, which spend a similar amount of time on character relationships but never make them feel quite as deep as Raiders. However, I definitely find Temple of Doom more rewatchable and a more ideal portrayal of the Indiana Jones character. The Temple of Doom Indy is the Indy we were introduced to in the opening of Raiders but we get him for the entire film this time...the aggressive, learned, fortune-hunting adventurer with a grizzled exterior and a heart of gold who escapes danger with equal helpings of wit, skill, brawn and just plain good luck. Indy throughout the rest of Raiders rarely feels like he's that iconic of a character. He feels more human and down-to-earth, which is the movie's strength I suppose, but also less symbolic as a heroic figure, which is Temple of Doom's strength.
In a way we see less and less of that heroic Indy in Crusade and KOTCS, where Indy becomes downright passive and reluctant in his adventuring and even turns into more of a comedic figure, bumbling and stumbling around (falling down the stairs in Crusade or the KOTCS quicksand scene for instance). So for me, Temple of Doom is the ultimate portrayal of Indiana Jones and probably does more to define the identity of the character as most people perceive him than even Raiders did. I wish Spielberg and Lucas hadn't apparently decided to more or less disown Temple of Doom, because the further sequels would have been well-served to stick closer to that portrayal of the character rather than seeming to make an almost conscious effort to be different from Temple of Doom. If nothing else, Temple of Doom with its lean, self-contained story and its centralized focus on Indiana Jones himself presents a much better model of what an Indiana Jones SEQUEL should be than does Raiders, which Crusade and Skull clearly tried to copy more directly from, generally not to great effect (those films worked best when the scenes weren't reminding you of Raiders). Temple of Doom presents a much sharper formula for building a sequel around whereas Raiders isn't a story you can effectively repeat without either seeming like a pale imitation or a watered-down version.
I can see how movie-making wise Raiders is the best, but personally it probably isn't my favourite of the 4. Though I do wish they'd make another Indy movie with a tone like this one - or even elements of it.