Raiders of the Lost Ark

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.]

Revealing mistake: Watch the shadow of the stone Indy pushes out to escape from the Well Of Souls - it bounces down the sand dune, exactly the way a large rock shouldn't. (01:15:30)

Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Revealing mistake: When Indy fights the driver of the Nazi truck, he gets thrown through the windshield, and eventually ends up underneath the truck. When he is climbing underneath the truck, heading towards the back of it, you can see the trench that was dug down the middle of the road to provide the stuntman (this being one of the few stunts that Ford didn't do himself) with the extra room needed to do this feat. (This is backed up by DVD commentary. The director stated that the truck was too low to the ground so they had to dig the trench in order for there to be enough room for the stuntman). (01:27:50)

Revealing mistake: After Indy gets behind the wheel of the truck containing the ark, he jerks the steering wheel to the right to run the pursuing jeep off the road. He then jerks the wheel to the left to hit an upcoming motorcycle. In neither case do you see his body sway with the presumably drastic swerve of the truck. Apparently this was filmed in a stationary vehicle, or one in tow that was fitted with a prop steering wheel.

Revealing mistake: When Indy jumps across the pit to pursue the spy that took the idol, he barely makes it across, grabbing the ledge on the opposite side with his hands. When he pulls himself up, he kicks loose a rock and the entire "solid" rock wall shakes like it's nothing more than a foam wall.

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?

redbaron2000

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.

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)

Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Revealing mistake: After Marion goes in the basket, there is a chase and a truck tips over, if you look amidst the dust, you can see the ram used to put the vehicle on its side.

Revealing mistake: When Marion falls in the Well of Souls, a snake jumps to bite her, but hits the protection window. Its reflection is also visible. (01:11:40)

Dr Wilson

Revealing mistake: When Indy and Marion are being sealed up in the Well of Souls, You can plainly see Marion counting down (she is mouthing the numbers) to the cue for her to scream as the Well is sealed. (01:12:20)

Revealing mistake: When the German staff car comes into the market place to find no truck, watch as Dietrich hurls the melon - the SS guy in the front is obviously a dummy for this one shot. (01:29:40)

Revealing mistake: When Indy is running through the cave and finds the spy that took the artifact with spikes through him, he brushes up against the dummy and it shakes like rubber and the light bounces off it like rubber. (00:09:10)

Revealing mistake: When Indy fights the driver of the Nazi truck, the windshield is smashed when Indy is thrown through it, but there is no wind. Look at the driver's hair, not one stirs from a breeze while driving a fast moving truck with no windshield? (01:27:30)

Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Revealing mistake: When Indy is fighting the big German at the base of the airplane, Indy reaches down and grabs a handful of sand to throw in his face. You can see the finger marks in the sand from a previous take.

Lynette Carrington
Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Revealing mistake: During the truck chase scene, Indiana is thrown or forced over the front of the bonnet and almost run over. There is a wide camera shot, and while holding on to the front fender, Indiana can be seen sitting on a chair which is attached to the truck. (01:27:40)

Revealing mistake: When we have the exterior shot of the ship that Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, and the ark are aboard, even on the DVD can be seen specks of dirt over the view of the ship and the ocean - obviously it was filmed through the window of another ship. (01:31:35)

redbaron2000

Revealing mistake: The Pan American aeroplane Indiana Jones boards in San Fransisco looks similar to (but has noticeable differences from) the Boeing 314 PanAm used for transpacific flights. This aeroplane did however not fly until 1938 and at the time of the story the company only flew transpacific with Sikorsky S-42s, an aeroplane with a completely different body than the one used in the scene.

Revealing mistake: As the truck tips to the left, the stunt driver is seen steering, and appears to be activating the ram to finish the stunt.

Movie Nut

Revealing mistake: When Belloq's head explodes, the actor has been visibly replaced by a dummy.

Phaneron Premium member
Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: After Marion supposedly dies in the truck explosion and Indy is drinking outside at the bar, watch to the left of him. You can see a man wearing a modern t-shirt and jeans walking through the crowd. (00:42:20)

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: This is probably the most famous non-mistake of all time. Denim jeans date from 1871. They were first sold by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in 1873 and the design hasn't changed much since then! Plain white cotton T-shirts date from 1898 and were first issued by the US Navy to their sailors in 1913. The design caught on immediately and they flew off the shelves. In short, there is nothing at all unusual about a man wearing jeans and a T-shirt in the late thirties.

He's the only person wearing that outfit in Cairo. Every single other person is wearing "traditional" clothing. He's clearly not meant to be in shot.

He could have been one of the few American tourists in the area.

Noman Premium member

"There is nothing at all unusual about a man wearing jeans and a T-shirt in the late thirties." However there is a good deal unusual about a caucasian man in jeans and a tshirt in cairo in the 1930s. He is entirely out of place.

Jason Hoffman

Unusual does not mean impossible, and in order for him being there to be a mistake it has to be impossible. It isn't. Unlikely is not impossible. This is not a mistake.

That's not how it works. Say someone is wearing a jacket, is off screen for 4 seconds, then cuts back and the jacket is gone. It's technically possible they ripped it off themselves in 4 seconds on a whim, but that's not actually feasible. There's one solitary man in jeans and a T-shirt in Cairo in the 30s, when every single other person on-screen is wearing different clothing. The most likely explanation is it's a screwup.

More mistakes in Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indy: There's a big snake in the plane!
Jack: Oh, that's just my pet snake Reggie.
Indy: I hate snakes, Jack! I HATE 'EM!
Jack: Oh, come on! Show a little backbone, will ya?

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.

BaconIsMyBFF

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

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