Raiders of the Lost Ark

Corrected entry: When Indy meets the government agents who are trying to get him to assist their quest to find Ravenwood, one of the agents is dressed appropriately for the time period; the other one (I think the actor is Bill Hootkins) is dressed in what appears to be a late 1970's style polyester light blue leisure suit. The style of the suit just doesn't fit the 1930's period. (00:16:05)

Correction: Suits in the 30's most definitely came in light colors, including blue.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: When Indy is in the Well of Souls trying to climb the statue, there is a snake on it. How did it manage to get there? (01:13:40)

Dr Wilson

Correction: The same way some snakes wind up in trees: it climbed.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: There is an awfully fast transition between nighttime and a clear, sunny morning during the scene where Indiana and Sallah are retrieving the Ark.


Correction: This is not a mistake. It's well into night, perhaps even after midnight, when they finally open the Well of Souls. The indication is that it took some time for Indy and Sallah to clear the snakes, locate the Ark, retrieve it, box it up and prepare the harness to lift it out.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: In the scene where Indy and Sallah are walking to the Well of Souls,in the middle of the desert, they pass a man with a running hose in his hand.

Correction: Why is this a mistake? There are any number of ways to get a running hose in the desert (connected to a pump at a well, connected to a portable water tank, etc.).


Corrected entry: When Indy whips the red hot poker out of the Nazi's hand, it is glowing brightly. But when it lands next to the curtain, the color is much darker.

Jacob La Cour

Correction: A red hot poker will cool quickly when exposed to cold air, and darken in colour.

Corrected entry: The Mark VII gas bag that Indy carries was not made until well into the second world war. They were used in the movie because the prop department found that they were cheap and plentiful.

Correction: Already been submitted.

Corrected entry: In the scene at the beginning of the movie where Indy is running from the large boulder, if you look at the left side of the boulder, you can see a stick or post attached to the boulder as it is rolling towards him.

Correction: This could have been put there by the people who built the place, to guide the boulder in the correct direction, for instance, instead of rolling into the pit Indy and Satipo had just swung over.

Corrected entry: At the very beginning of the film, Jones arrives at the temple with two companions. He leaves in a biplane, which is waiting for him on a nearby river. The biplane has only two seats. How were his companions going to get out of the area, which is swarming with hostile natives? Swim?

Correction: They are never shown arriving together, so who says they did? They just worked together. Apparently, each person arranged for their own transportation in and out of the jungle. Indy's was at the ready, the others' was not. And how were they to know that hostile natives would be so pressing a concern upon leaving?

Phixius Premium member

Corrected entry: The journey to the temple at the film's start has taken some time, as evidenced by the presence of guides and pack animals, and Satipo's fear that the poisoned dart means they are being followed - yet when escaping the natives, Indiana Jones returns to his transport after only a brief run.

Correction: Wrong turns, twisting paths, perhaps even starting off in the wrong direction; all these things could mean days in the jungle when their goal turns out to be only a few hundred yards away from where they started. Just because they've been searching the jungle for a long time does not mean they actually wound up too terribly far from where they first arrived.

Phixius Premium member

Corrected entry: When Indy and Marion are tied to the stake while the Nazis are opening the Ark, there are a few shots where R2D2's helmet is perched on top of the stake.

Correction: Not true. There is a large domed reflector around a lamp, shown lit at 1:44:45.


Corrected entry: When Indy has the bazooka like weapon pointed at the Arc of the Covenant, Beloq and Indy are talking. At one point when Beloq is talking, a fly enters his mouth and he seems to have absolutely no reaction at all.

Correction: How is this a movie mistake? I wouldn't even call this a character mistake; that sounds exactly like Beloq. Too dignified to spit, sputter, or even momentarily falter in his speech.

Phixius Premium member

Corrected entry: When walking towards the temple in the opening scene, Indy finds an arrow in a tree. His helper tastes the poison and says, 'Poison's still fresh. Three days.' The other guy says, 'They are following us'. Well, if they were following them, how could they be ahead of them? And if Indy arrived by plane - and has a pilot sitting and waiting - how could a three day old arrow be a sign that the Indians were following them?

Jacob La Cour

Correction: It's just been three days since that arrow was made, meaning it hasn't been sitting in the tree for fifteen years and finding it was mere coincidence. If the poison was fresh to the day then it would likely come from natives who just happened to be in the area hunting. Since it's three days old, that tells us someone had to do some hunting while traveling a great distance with a ready-made supply of ammunition. Why else, and in that particular area at that particular time, but to keep track of our hero?

Phixius Premium member

Corrected entry: When Indy leaves the temple with the gold idol, his 'helper' is found killed by spears. But he is on the same side of the room as the spears. How could they have come out of the wall - penetrating him - and still be on that side of the room. He would have had to have been walking very close to the wall - and the spears would have had to come with an immense force to penetrate him while standing.

Jacob La Cour

Correction: They did come out with an immense force... just as they did with Forrestal.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: Indy is surprised by finding Jack's pet snake in the plane. But how could he not have noticed it on the flight into the forest?

Jacob La Cour

Correction: The snake presumably wasn't in Indy's part of the plane when they flew in and has simply moved while the plane was stationary and waiting for Indy to return.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: Marion changes into the red pants and embroidered white shirt once they get to Egypt. This shirt is actually a traditional Ukrainian national costume blouse, not anything likely to be purchased at a market in the Middle East. In fact, this shirt was purchased in the Ukrainian store Arka on the Lower East Side of NYC, where they display a signed picture of Karen Allen wearing it.

Correction: The Black Sea separates Ukraine from many of the countries generally considered to be part of the "Middle East". Trading over sea would have been the norm in the time this film is set. It is not impossible for that shirt to be found in Egypt, considering this. Especially not when you also consider the type of fare normally found at these markets; they've got great variety from many places. Trade for these people isn't just a business, it's a livelihood; and the only way to stay successful is to have something to sell that no one else is selling. That shirt would be a rare find in such a place, to be sure, but that doesn't make this a movie mistake.

Phixius Premium member

Corrected entry: How could Sallah have known that the monkey died from a poisoned date and react quickly enough to stop it happening to Indy.

Correction: He saw a previously virile monkey suddenly dead with a pilfered date nearby. He put two and two together. Pretty straightforward.

Phixius Premium member

Corrected entry: In the scene where Marion is having the drinking contest in her bar, look at her opponent's left wrist. There is a visible mark where the actor's watch strap goes.

Correction: Wristwatches existed in the 1930's.

Phixius Premium member

Corrected entry: In the bar fight scene when the Cossack has the gun pointed at Indy, straight after he gets shot but just before the blood runs out of his mouth you can see him chewing on the blood capsule in his mouth.

Correction: Did you actually see the blood capsule, or are you making an assumption? After being shot, he could be just moving his mouth as if he were gritting his teeth in pain, not necessarily breaking open a blood pack.

Corrected entry: Indy snaps the staff in half to stop the bad guys figuring out how long it has to be to be used in the Map Room. That's not going to work. They could easily put the two pieces together again. He needs to snap it into three segments and take the centre one with him.

Correction: Character mistake.


Corrected entry: When Belloq and Dietrich are about to start interrogating Marion, Toht arrives and raises his scorched hand. He says "Hail Hitler", but it surely should be "Heil Hitler". There wouldn't be any need to speak in English, not even for the audience's benefit.

Correction: Hail and Heil sound very similar. Add Toht's accent to the confusion and there is no way to say with certainty that he is saying "Hail" and not "Heil."

Phixius Premium member

Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Indy goes to save Marion in the tent he removes the handkerchief gag. But when he decides to leave her there, he puts the gag back on and some of her hair gets caught underneath the gag on one close up shot from the left. But when the camera goes to the back of Indy, her hair is no longer caught underneath the gag. (00:56:00)

More mistakes in Raiders of the Lost Ark

Sallah: Indy, why does the floor move?
Indiana: Give me your torch. [He drops it in and sees why.] Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?
Sallah: Asps. Very dangerous. You go first.

More quotes from Raiders of the Lost Ark
Raiders of the Lost Ark trivia picture

Trivia: There's a Star Wars reference to Obi-Wan and C-3PO on the plane rescuing Indy at the start - it has the registration OB-CPO.

More trivia for Raiders of the Lost Ark

Question: Considering how powerful and dangerous the Ark is, why would Indy hand it over to the United States government, instead of putting it back where it was found and to ensure it's never located, lie to them and say him or the Nazis never found it?

Answer: Indy and Marcus Brody believed that the Ark needed to be studied. They certainly didn't want to put it back where it was found. They believed that the U.S. government would find the best archaeologists, researchers, and scientists in the world to study the Ark. They are both upset that instead, the government has decided to simply lock the Ark away. This is why Indy says "Fools. They don't know what they've got there." as he is leaving the building.


Answer: To add to the previous answer, there is no way that the ark could have been secretly returned to where it was found and conveniently forgotten. Too many people already knew of its existence and location. It would only be a matter of time before someone more sinister would retrieve it. Rightfully, it belonged to the Egyptian government and should have been turned over to them.

raywest Premium member

More questions & answers from Raiders of the Lost Ark

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.