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Raiders of the Lost Ark
 
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La Rochelle
Elstree Studios
Tunisia
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Opening of the Ark

 

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Raiders of the Lost Ark

TRIVIA


Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
Raiders of the Lost Ark begins with a shot of a peak in the jungle which is reminiscent of the Paramount Pictures logo. See also Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  Jock's airplane at the beginning has the registration number "OB-CPO", referring to Obi-Wan and C-3PO from Star Wars. For more references go to the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom section.
See below for other Star Wars references in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  Steven Spielberg rented stock footage to save money rather than re-creating everything out of his own imagination. The DC-3 flying over the Himalayas is lifted from 1973's Lost Horizon, while a 1930s street scene was borrowed from The Hindenburg.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  The building used for one of the exterior shots of the university is the large music conservatory on the campus of The University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. It is right down the street from where most of American Graffiti (1973) was filmed.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  Visual Effects Supervisor Dennis Muren appears as a Nazi spy who is tracking Indiana Jones on the airplane. Only his eyes can be seen, though, as most of his face is hidden behind the Life Magazine he's reading. But something is wrong with the magazine. Click here to read more about it.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  Did you know that? Actor Vic Tablian played 2 credited roles. He played Barranca (the guide Indy whipped in the intro) and the Monkey Man.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  Script originally included a long fight between a swordsman and Indiana with his whip. Actor Harrison Ford was suffering diarrhea at the time, and asked if the scene could be shortened. Spielberg said the only way he could shorten it was if Indy pulled out his gun and just shot the guy. The entire crew laughed and that's how it was filmed. Other Ford adlibs in the film include: "I'm making it up as I go" and "It's not the years honey, it's the mileage.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  The truck, that didn't have Marion in it, was flipped over by firing a section of a telephone pole through the floorboards.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  In reality, Harrison Ford wasn't afraid of snakes one bit and treated his slithery co-stars with respect. However, once the actor was back home after finishing the film, Ford was bitten by a common snake in his own garden.
"Bugs, snakes, rats -- it's all the same to me," Ford said. "It's just another day at the office."

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  Amongst the horrifying jackals is a little piece of Star Wars cleverly hidden in the dark Well of Souls. Look very closely at the wall behind the Ark of the Covenant at the complex hieroglyphics inscribed by "the ancients" and you might spot the friendly droids R2-D2 and C-3PO. They can be seen on a post next to Indy and Sallah as they remove the Ark. Smaller renditions of them also run up and down the posts of the altar that houses the sacred Ark.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  In filming the Well of Souls sequence, the producers scoured every pet shop in London and the South of England for every snake they could lay their hands on. Hence there are snakes that are identifiable from many different geographical areas. However, once all the snakes were on set, it became clear that there were not nearly enough of them, so Spielberg had several hoses cut into lengths, and these were used as well. Looking closely, you can tell which are the real snakes and which are not.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  Producer Frank Marshall has a cameo role in the film. He is the Pilot of the Flying Wing. Marion knocks him unconscious with a log when he tries to shoot Indy.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  Actor Pat Roach played 2 credited roles. He was the Giant Sherpa (wrestled Indy in The Raven bar) and the First Mechanic (the big guy Indy wrestled with in the Flying Wing sequence). Pat Roach also played the Chief Guard in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and the Gestapo man in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  During the shooting of the fight sequence with the German mechanic, Ford lost his footing and fell under one of the Flying Wing airplane's tires which then proceeded to drive up his leg. Fortunately, the plane's brakes worked, and the scalding Tunisua desert temperatures softened the tires, so crewmembers were able to rock the plane off of the pinned Ford.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
 

Ford badly bruised his ribs during the scene where he is dragged behind the truck. Harrison Ford was actually dragged behind the truck for some of the shots. When asked if he was worried, Ford quipped: "No. If it really was dangerous, they would have filmed more of the movie first." The elaborate truck chase sequence is modeled on the one in John Ford's Stagecoach.


Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  As Belloq speaks, a fly craws into his mouth and doesn't appear to come out. But seconds later a fly magically appears on Dietrich's lapel, without appearing in any previous frames. It may possibly be the same fly. The sound department also made sure to add the sound of the fly escaping in the left audio channel.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  The scene where Indy threatens to blow up the Ark as it is being carried through a canyon was filmed in the same canyon in Tunisia used in Star Wars: A New Hope when R2-D2 was zapped and stolen by Jawas. When Indy is threatening to blow up the Ark Belloq say "You're going to give mercenaries a bad name". When he says that a fly flies into his mouth and you don't see it coming out again!

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  The last scene of the entire movie, where we see the Ark in the crate carrying away in a huge warehouse is a reference to the classic Citizen Kane by Orson Welles. Where we see a similar scene, also near the ending.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  The film reused the submarine model from Das Boot (1981). The director of Das Boot Wolfgang Petersen directed also the Harrsion Ford hit Air Force One in 1997.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
 

Tom Selleck originally cast as Indiana Jones, but was committed to Magnum. Later an episode entitled "Legends of the Lost Art," Selleck paid homage to Raiders by going on his own Indiana Jones inspired adventure complete with his costume of a fedora hat, leather jacket and a bullwhip.
Sean Young was one of the first choices for the character of Marion Ravenwood. A year before she played with Ford in Blade Runner.


Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  Actor Michael Sheard who played the uncredited role as the U-boat Captain first auditioned for the role of Gestapo agent Toht, but his friend Ronald Lacey got the part. Michael Sheard returned for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in which he played Adolf Hitler.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  Indiana Jones' name comes from the name of George Lucas's dog. For more inspired character-names go to the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom section.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  An early draft of the script had Indy traveling to Shanghai to recover a piece of the Staff of Ra. During his escape from the museum where it was housed, he sheltered from machine gun fire behind a giant rolling gong. Also in the same script, Indy and Marion flee the chaos caused by the opening of the Ark in a wild mine-car chase sequence. Both of these scenes were cut from the script, but ended up in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  Director Steven Spielberg was quoted as saying: "I made it as a B-movie... I didn't see the film as anything more than a better made version of the Republic serials."

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Trivia
  Indiana Jones never loses his hat because it was thought that such a thing would cause problems with continuity. It eventually becomes a running joke through the series. On the left you can see a picture of Ford on the set of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

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