Raiders of the Lost Ark

Factual error: The film starts in the year 1936, and just like the RPG Indy uses to threaten Belloq with, the MP40s (or at the earliest, MP38s) are an arms-historical anachronism in this movie. As the numbers in their names imply, the MP38 was first produced in 1938. The weapons in the movie are not the similar-looking ERMA MP-36, you can see the ribbed, vertically angled magazine holders typical for the MP40 - its predecessors had either a 30°-canted, smooth magazine holder (MP36) or a round viewing port for checking the ammo (MP38). (01:31:45)


Factual error: The German submarine that Indy stows away on has the number 26 on its side. The U-26 was a Type IA U-boat (it came into service in 1936 and was sunk in 1940), but the sub in the movie seems to be a Type VIIB or VIIC. It's true that the two types looked fairly similar, but they were different classes of U-boat.

Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Continuity mistake: As Indy and Satipo enter the temple, When Indy says to Satipo "stop" he is holding the whip in his right hand, yet when Indy says "stay out of the light" the whip is in his left hand. (00:05:10)

Continuity mistake: When Indy is climbing into the map room, he throws the staff of Ra down the hole, yet when he climbs down, it's resting perfectly against the wall, as if someone had placed it there. (00:50:40)

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Sallah and Jones are in the Well of Souls where they are putting the sticks in the Ark to left it up. Notice Sallah stick, when he first puts it in, on the stick are no tassels. But when they both left at the same time Sallah same stick that he put in has tassels on it.

Continuity mistake: During the shooting at the bar, Marion covers her ears to muffle the sound, but a frame later they are around the wall in front.

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Audio problem: In the bar, when the Mongolian is shot at the face and burns alive he screams in pain, but he never opens his mouth.

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Continuity mistake: The fight scene in Marion's bar clearly shows Indy using an automatic pistol to shoot at the bad guys. You can see the slide lock open when he runs out of ammo. But when the scene switches he is holding a revolver. Then when the huge guy is strangling Indy and the German says, "Shoot them, shoot them both." Indy is once again holding an automatic.

Audio problem: Watch and listen when Marion is being held prisoner in Nepal by one of the thugs. As he seizes her, she's grunting in strain/pain. We can see this in the first, frontal shot of them. However, in the following side shot (from slightly behind Marion as Toht walks over with the heated poker), Marion's mouth is completely still and almost shut, yet her sounds continue (and these sounds would have to be made with wide-spread lips).


Continuity mistake: As Indiana writes "Neolithic" on the blackboard in his classroom at the beginning of the movie, he stops and checks to see if he's spelling it right, then finishes writing it. Later shots of the board reveal the same word on the board, only either the handwriting is different or the actual structure of the word has changed.

Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Indy is running through the streets of Cairo looking for the men carrying Marion in a basket, the sweat stain on the back of his shirt shrinks and grows. (00:40:35)

Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Continuity mistake: During the scene where Indy and Marcus are with the Army intelligence agents, watch the agent who is wearing the light blue suit - at the moment when Marcus refers to a secret chamber, the agent in the blue suit has his right hand resting on top the chair that he is sitting on, but in the next shot when he replies "secret chamber" his right hand is now on his face. (00:17:55)


Continuity mistake: When Indiana is climbing the statue to escape from the Well of Souls, the snake he encounters makes a rattling sound. However, the snake has no rattle and rattlesnakes are indigenous to the Americas. (01:13:40)

Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Indy is packing his suitcase to go to Nepal, he picks up a gun that is wrapped in a piece of cloth, he tosses the gun with his left hand into his right hand and begins to unwrap the gun from the cloth by raising his right hand, so that the gun will fall into his left hand, but the gun ends up falling into Indy's right hand instead of his left hand. Slow motion helps. (00:22:10)

Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Indy is deciphering the object with the old man, there is a telescope behind them. It changes orientation between shots. (00:48:15)

Dr Wilson

Continuity mistake: In the map room, Indy pulls out a notebook and takes off the elastic band. The elastic goes flying away. Moments later he closes the book and the elastic is in his hand. Also, the elastic starts off being pink (the one that flies off), then blue (the one that he puts back onto the book) and ends as tan coloured when he puts the book back in his pocket.

Continuity mistake: While Indy is fighting the German who is driving the truck, you can see that the German has got blood on his left hand, but when he throws Indy through the windscreen his left hand is clean and there is no blood on it. (01:27:10)


Revealing mistake: When Indy is fighting the big German at the plane, if you look at the wheels when the plane is turning around, you can see a chain and sprocket assembly that is driving the wheel to actually turn the plane. (01:18:55)

Plot hole: Indy stows away on the Nazi sub on the way to the secret Nazi base somewhere near Greece. Where did he stay all that time? Inside? On a VII-Class boat, there's barely enough room for the regular crew, and hardly any places to hide. Also, everybody knows everybody, so no passing yourself off as "the new guy." Outside then maybe? Well, the boat did dive, it's in the dialog, and while on the surface, German U-boats always had a bridge watch on the tower, so no luck there either. Note that by all accounts I could find, German submarines were required to always post a bridge watch, if only because otherwise they would be running essentially blind. It's not like the helmsman's station in the tower had any windows.

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Continuity mistake: When Indy is in the map room, he blows sand away from a hole and a bunch of hieroglyphics, but in the next shot, there's sand scattered all over the stone he just finished clearing away. (00:52:10)

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

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