Raiders of the Lost Ark

Corrected entry: When Indiana tells the pilot to start the plane the sound the plane makes is the same as the laser sound from Star Wars.


Correction: The sound effect is not the laser effect, but the hyperdrive malfunctions on the Millennium Falcon. Actually, this is the other way around: The winding -down sounds are actually made by a gear-driven generator found in most older radial aircraft engines. In this particular case, the seaplane was a 1941 Waco UPF-7, and with planes this old there are no buttons to start the engine; you had to wind the starter up with a crank before you could press the button and start the engine. When the starter is engaged it groans a bit, hence the laser-like sound. There are no sound effects here; this is how a genuine Waco UPF-7 sounds when you start it.


Corrected entry: The role of Indiana Jones was initially offered to Tom Selleck, who couldn't do it due to commitment to "Magnum P.I.". Harrison Ford was their second choice.

Tobin OReilly

Correction: This is only partially true. The statement about Tom Selleck is accurate, but Harrison Ford was Steven Spielberg's first choice and Tom Selleck his second. George Lucas didn't want to cast Harrison Ford again due to him having been in American Graffiti and being involved in the Star Wars trilogy. After Selleck became unavailable Lucas agreed to cast Ford.


Corrected entry: In the scene where Indy is with Marcus Brody and the two guys from the army intelligence, Indy is talking about what is in the Ark of the Covenant. He says that the Hebrews put the broken pieces of the Ten Commandments in the Ark. That's not correct. Yes, it's true that God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and then Moses broke them, but Moses went back up the mountain, and God gave him a new set of the same Commandments. The Hebrews put the new, complete, whole pieces in the Ark, not the broken ones. In Exodus 34:1, God tells Moses to bring new stone tablets so that God can write the commandments again. Exodus 34:29 states: "...Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands,..." (00:17:20)

Correction: Even Indy is not infallible, this is a character's mistake.


Corrected entry: The stunt where Indy pushes the statue through the wall in the Well of Souls happened too quickly. If you watch the stunt man, he slips and almost falls off the statue, because it fell before he was ready. (01:14:15)

Correction: This is not a movie mistake, since it's entirely possible that the Indiana character could have been surprised and nearly slip.


Corrected entry: In the scene where Indiana is running away from the Hovitos, you can see tan lines on many of the actors.

Correction: South American natives were (and are) quite pale skinned, and do get tan lines.


Corrected entry: The Well of Souls is a sealed, airtight chamber - the escape of gas when the concrete slab over the entrance is lifted proves that. Indy and Marion can only escape by smashing through a solid internal wall and then pushing a tightly fitted rock slab out of the outside wall. So, what do those snakes eat? More to the point, what do they breathe?

Correction: The internal wall wasn't solid, (it had holes that they showed snakes coming through.) The rock they pushed from the outer wall wasn't tightly fitted because they could SEE that it was loose enough to push. It wasn't sealed and it wasn't gas escaping. In a house with a window open, when you open a door the curtains will suddenly billow around. What you saw was just from the wind blowing in the holes in the walls. Lifting the slab changed the air currents which blew sand and dust from around the slab.


Corrected entry: Raiders is supposed to take place in 1936, however throughout the film, the German soldiers are using what appear to be MP-38 or MP-40 sub-machine guns (No way to tell which model they were, as they both look identical). These guns weren't put into service with the German Army until 1938 and 1940 respectively.

Correction: There was a sub-machine gun that looked very similar to the MP-38 and MP-40 in 1936. It was called the Erma EMP-36.


Corrected entry: In real life, Hitler was on a fanatical quest for the Holy Lance, used to pierce Jesus's side during the Crucifixion, rather than the Ark of the Covenant (a Jewish relic).

Correction: Hitler searched for many religious and occult artifacts.


Corrected entry: Go to the scene where Marion and Indy are in Mr. Katanga's boat, in their room. Marion comes in, and takes off the red blanket, and Indy has on his leather jacket and shirt on. Indy still has his jacket on when Marion goes to look at herself in the mirror. Then the shot goes to Indy, looking at his head on the other side of the mirror, leather jacket off. Marion turns the mirror, Indy screams, and she goes over when she sees that Indy is trying to take his shirt off. If he had so much trouble taking his shirt off, how could he have taken off his jacket within a matter of about 2-4 seconds? (01:32:00)

Correction: Leather jackets are heavy, it's easy to let them slide off under their own weight which would hardly take any time at all.


Corrected entry: The character of Indiana Jones is believed to have been based on Roy Chapman Andrews, an American archeologist in the early 20th century. It was Andrews who first discovered the velociraptor, featured in another Spielberg movie, Jurassic Park. Andrews was also a graduate of Beloit College in Wisconsin, which happens to be the arch rival of Harrison Ford's alma mater, Ripon College.

Correction: This is false. The character of Indiana Jones is based on numerous heroes from old movie serials and his look (the outfit complete with hat and jacket) is borrowed wholesale from the 1943 Alan Ladd movie "China". The character was originally conceived to be a pure treasure-hunter, and it was only decades later that Lucas decided that making him an archeologist instead would give him a little extra intellectual credibility. So it's not possible that any real life archeologist could have been the "basis" for the character since the character existed for quite a long time in Lucas's imagination before he had anything to do with archeology.


Corrected entry: As Belloq watches the reflection in the mirror of Marion changing into the evening dress in his tent, she undoes a very modern stretch bra. (01:02:25)

Correction: Women in that era actually did have stretch bras. Only the cups of the bra were more of a cone shaped.


Corrected entry: At the beginning of the movie, the helper that is shot in the back by all the poison darts and dies....he reappears later. Check out the guy with the monkey and the eye-patch in Cairo. Same person. George Lucas had a great way to save money on crew by doing this. (00:09:50 - 00:36:55)

Correction: Several films have one actor playing two or more roles in them. More trivia than a mistake.


Corrected entry: Indy's pilot (Jacques) has a distinct Australian accent when he states "That's just mah pet snoek Reggie". In his next sentence, he's become completely 'Americanized'. The accent has vanished.


Correction: The pilot could have just been immitating an Australian accent at first.


Corrected entry: In the scene where Marcus visits Indiana at his house and Indiana starts packing his suitcase to prepare for his trip to Nepal, Marcus warns Indiana about the dangerous powers of the Ark and Indiana says 'I don't believe in magic or superstitious hocus pocus'. But, since Temple of Doom (1935) was set before Raiders of the lost Ark (1936), he should have remembered all the magic that he encountered in Temple of Doom, like hearts being ripped out with bare hands while the victim is still alive, voodoo magic, and magic rocks. Does Indy have a bad memory or was all that magic not convincing enough? (00:22:00)

Correction: There are two things going on here: (1) just experiencing profoundly weird things like in Temple of Doom doesn't mean that someone will be convinced of their magical nature (in fact, many people will over the years after such events, downplay the magical aspects in their memory), and (2) Indy may believe that whatever happened in Temple of Doom wasn't magic, but just some science we don't know about (i.e. there's a perfectly rational explanation, he just doesn't know it). What it comes down to is that Indy is a cynic, and a lapsed Christian, which is important for his overall motivation (esp. in Last Crusade).


Corrected entry: As Indy gets onto the plane and we see Toth for the first time, Indy sits down with his trilby hat resting level on his head and his collar and tie fastened, but in the next shot the hat is at an angle, and the collar and tie are unfastened. (00:22:35)


Correction: It's a fedora, not a trilby. If you watch, you see Harrison raise his hand to his collar to undo the button and tie. that's how they get like that. And as for the angle of the hat, it's because he has leant back into the seat. I have a fedora, and if I look up, even just slightly, before sitting back against a tall chair, like in a car or plane, it tips itself up.


Corrected entry: How could Indy possibly believe that a double handful of dirt scooped outside the cave could weigh as much as the gold idol (to avoid setting off traps related to lifting the idol)? He even takes some dirt out of the bag to try to match the weight. Indy must have experience with the weight of gold from other artifacts, and he already knows how sophisticated the traps at this site are. From the way Indy tosses it and the sound it makes when his assistant catches it, the idol is definitely solid stone or metal, even if it's only gold plated. If Indy didn't know what the internal material was, there was no way he could possibly judge the weight. In any case, dirt is less dense than any solid rock and wouldn't weigh the same. (00:07:55)


Correction: Indy knew what the arifact was that he was looking for, how big it was, and what it made of. So he brought a pouch of dirt in with his best guess of it's weight. It obviously was a bad guess as it didn't weigh the same or the trap would not have been triggered.


Corrected entry: When Jones and Brody are discussing the Ark and its powers with the two government agents, Brody states "The Bible speaks of the Ark leveling mountains." The Bible says no such thing.

Correction: Brody was using a figure of speech. He said this because he wanted to get the attention of the government agents so that they wouldn't take the matter of the Ark lightly.


Corrected entry: It is curious how the dress and shoes that Belloq gave to Marion are a perfect fit.


Correction: Not really - anyone with the right eye could have worked out her size, maybe even tailored it accordingly.


Corrected entry: During the basket chase scene, Indiana seems to yell out "Karen," instead of "Marion." (00:40:05)

Correction: Listen closer, Indy is yelling "Marion".


Corrected entry: In the scene where Indy is fighting the Nazis who are loading the Ark on an aeroplane to ship it back to Germany, the aeroplane is of a flying-wing design. Flying wings were an American invention (Jack Northrup); the Nazis did not begin trying to build them until very late in World War II. (01:15:50)

Correction: Brothers Reimar and Walter Horten were testing (unpowered) piloted flying wings in Germany as early as 1933, and successfully flew the Ho-5b in 1938. Though Northrup did indeed put a lot of work into flying wings, his N1-M flying wing did not fly until 1940.


Revealing mistake: While Indy and Marion are in the Well of Souls, and they encounter the snakes, Indy falls to the ground only to be confronted by a hissing Cobra rearing its head. Look carefully and you'll see the snake's reflection on the safety glass between it and Indy. Briefly you can also see the torch's reflection while he's waving it around. You can also see Marion's reflection when she falls in later on and is face to face with the cobra. [This has been corrected in the new DVD set. You can only see it if you have the original VHS. I think it's visible in the "making of" on the DVD as well.]

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

Trivia: When a Nazi falls from the back of the truck carrying the Ark, a "Wilhelm scream" can be heard.

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.

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