Raiders of the Lost Ark

Factual error: Indy's satchel is a Mk VII gas mask bag, which was created for use in World War II, so it didn't even exist at the time the film takes place (1936). The similar Mk V existed at the time, though.

Revealing mistake: Where is all the light coming from in the Well of Souls, even after the entrance was re-sealed, and the only torch still burning went out?


Factual error: It should be a tricky task to put an object the size of the Ark on board a German VIIC submarine; perhaps you can find enough place inside but how do you manage to introduce that bulky case through the narrow hatches of the sub? Even the torpedo load hatches were just a little more than 21 inches in diameter.

Factual error: When flying from Nepal to Egypt Indy passes over Arabia. The state of Jordan is shown, but in 1935 Jordan was called The Emirate of Transjordan.

Jacob La Cour

Continuity mistake: When Indy and the Indian are entering the cave and clearing the cobwebs, you can see at least one spider on Indy's back. The next shot shows a clear, long shot of Indy's back with light reflecting on his jacket and no spiders. The next shot, the Indian notices the spiders. (00:04:20)

Continuity mistake: At the beginning of the film, Indiana Jones uses his whip to disarm a man with a handgun. The scene showing this action includes several quick shots, but as a result of the use of these multiple shots it can be seen that the whip descends twice. (Slow motion helps, but isn't required.)

Continuity mistake: In the beginning, Indy's partner takes the idol, throws down the whip, and leaves him hanging on a ledge with the ceiling closing down to the ground. While he is hanging the you can see that the ceiling barely has enough room for Indy to fit. Indy struggles to get up which during this time he would have no room to get under, yet when he finally gets up the ceiling has risen giving him plenty of room to get under. (00:08:45)


Continuity mistake: In the scene where Indy is telling about the Staff of Ra, the background color of the blackboard changes between shots. It looks like there are some chalk residues (after the blackboard has been washed) in one of the shots, but not in the other.

Jacob La Cour

Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Continuity mistake: The stone block Indy pushes out to create an opening which allows him and Marion to escape the Well Of Souls apparently rolls down the hill outside. We see it, in a following scene, laying about 15 feet away from the Well. But when Indy is fighting the big German guard near the airplane, one scene clearly shows the Well in the background and the dislodged stone is now laying on the hill only a few feet from the opening. (01:15:45 - 01:18:10)

Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When the government comes to see Indy at the University he is teaching, they enter the large room, I think it's a gymnasium. He puts the huge book on the table and one of the buckles comes undone. But when he goes to open the book to show the g-men a picture of the Ark he undoes both buckles. (00:15:30 - 00:19:30)

Factual error: At the beginning of the movie, when Indiana is looking for the temple, you can hear a bird call. It also can be heard when Indy is running from the natives. The bird is a willow ptarmigan. It lives in very cold areas in the far north of North America. Even a very directionally-challenged ptarmigan could not possibly end up in South America. You can also hear the unmistakable laughing sounds of the kookaburras, only found in Australia.

Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Indy is being lowered into the map room, the exterior shot of the opening does not match the interior. From the outside, the wall around the opening is a lot thicker. The angle is also different. (00:50:55)

Continuity mistake: When Indy and the German driver crash through the villager's construction ladders the truck is missing the Mercedes-Benz hood ornament that appears in every other shot.

Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Indy is trying to stop the truck that is supposedly carrying Marion in a basket, Indy shoots the driver as the truck heads towards a "dead end". The driver's foot hits the accelerator and the next shot opens up to a big open space where the truck tips over and explodes. The "dead end" has disappeared. (00:40:10)

Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Continuity mistake: Sallah and Indy are peering into the well of souls. Sallah is to the right of Indy. Indy then drops the torch into the well, and when the camera comes back up, Sallah is on the left of Indy. (01:00:00 - 01:00:45)

Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Revealing mistake: Just before Belloq says "beautiful", look carefully at the woman's ghost in the center of the screen. You can see one of the wires on her back that makes the stunt woman fly, a black line above her left shoulder.

Continuity mistake: When Sallah lowers Indy into the Map Room, from the outside Sallah is standing near the bottom of the hole, but from the inside the rope hangs from near the top. (00:50:55)


Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Continuity mistake: Just after Indiana (barely) escapes the tumbling boulder at the beginning of the movie, he leaps through a veil of spider webs, only to be held up by the native hunters and Belloq, who takes the idol from Indiana. Watch carefully - there is a thick strand of webs attached to the idol as Indy hands it to Belloq, but they disappear in the next shot as Belloq hefts the idol and holds it up in the air.


Continuity mistake: The 'Top Secret' sign is put on the crate across vertically laid planks. A shot later the sign appears slanted across horizontally laid planks. Though it could be argued that there could be a second sign on the opposite side with horizontal planks, when the warehouse guy turns left to store the crate, we get a glimpse of the left side and it's not painted.

Sacha Premium member

Belloq: How odd that it should end this way for us after so many stimulating encounters. I almost regret it. Where shall I find a new adversary so close to my own level?
Indiana: Try the local sewer.

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 then 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

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