Raiders of the Lost Ark

Trivia: The mine chase that happens in Temple of Doom was originally supposed to appear in Raiders. Unfortunately there was so much material in the film that they had to shift it to the prequel.

Trivia: The German submarine is the same sub that would later be used for Wolfgang Petersen's "Das Boot".

Phil C.

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

Suggested correction: The sub wasn't later just used in 'Das Boot', the full-size prop was actually built specifically for its production. Steven Spielberg only rented it for 'Raiders of the Lost Ark', apparently much to the surprise of the German film crew, who one day found their boat 'missing' as it was on loan to Spielberg.


Trivia: For the well full of snakes, Spielberg didn't have enough when they had the scene prepared, so he had several hoses cut up and disguised as cobras. (01:00:20)

Trivia: Sallah is a tall man, but his name can be translated to mean 'sprout'. (This is probably because Lucas and Spielberg were offering the part to Danny DeVito who is considerably shorter than John Rhys Davies and only didn't take the part because of scheduling conflicts.)

Trivia: In the entire movie, the name of Arnold Toht is never spoken once. His name is never first revealed until the end credits.

Casual Person

Trivia: When Belloq and his men reach the town of Cairo after being swiped by Indy and the van with the Ark inside, notice Ronald Lacey's character Toht. In this entire scene you don't see his face, totally shadowed by his hat - his head doesn't even move! Was Ronald unavailable for filming and hired a double...?

Trivia: Indiana Jones could have escaped the rolling ball of rock by simply standing still, because the boulder started out about 15 feet over his head. Even if the boulder ended up blocking the entrance, there are several shafts of sunlight visible throughout the tunnel, indicating several potential points of escape.

Charles Austin Miller

Trivia: The rolling boulder in the opening scene was actually 22 feet in diameter and was made out of fiberglass. (00:09:20)

Trivia: The German soldier that Indy punches out of the truck is played by Terry Leonard, a stunt double of Harrison Ford.


Trivia: Actor Pat Roach is listed separately twice in the end credits 1) Giant Sherratt 2) 1st Mechanic.

Trivia: The scene in Temple of Doom where Indy cuts down the gong and jumps behind it to avoid being shot is actually a reject scene idea from Raiders, just like the mine car chase.

Trivia: When Indy swims to catch the U-Boat, the DVD and video cut out the part which ran in Canadian theatres (if not wider) where he lashes the whip to the periscope. This is probably due to the fact that just previously, Indy used the whip while he was dragged at the back of the Nazi truck and never picked it up. It was loosely hanging and about to fall away from the truck. I am assuming this was pointed out to the producers and they cut out blatant evidence of the whip being used.

Trivia: Producer Frank Marshall has a cameo as the pilot of the flying wing.

Trivia: When "Raiders of the Lost Ark" premiered in France in 1981, audiences there honestly believed that it was an adaptation of the 1964 French adventure film "L'Homme de Rio" (That Man from Rio), directed by Philippe de Broca and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo. The French film is about a soldier on-leave who gets mixed up in a museum heist and kidnapping and goes on a wild intercontinental chase to track down three museum pieces. The action is similar in both films, as are some of the plot twists (such as both heroes being rescued from certain death by a crowd of children, for example). Although French audiences immediately recognized the similarities between the two films, Steven Spielberg denied ever seeing "L'Homme de Rio".

Trivia: Producer Frank Marshall is also listed in the end credits as "Pilot" - Steven Spielberg often uses his film crew and producers as extras.

Trivia: During the chase with the ark, the truck Indy is driving comes around a turn. The sound effect the truck makes is a lion roaring.

manthabeat Premium member

Trivia: Although it lasts for six minutes on screen, the truck chase sequence took five weeks to film.

Trivia: The sound used for the boulder chasing Indiana Jones is actually a Honda Civic coasting along a gravel road.


Trivia: The German U-boat in this movie is actually a mock-up built for Spielberg's earlier movie, 1941. It's only the front half of the sub, so you never see past the conning tower in close-ups. When you see the sub in its entirety, it's a model, which was also built for 1941.

Mark Bernhard

Trivia: Actor Peter Coyote auditioned in costume for the part of Indiana Jones, but he tripped and stumbled over power cables during the audition (conveying an awkward and nervous image, just the opposite of the confident and sure-footed Indiana Jones image that Steven Spielberg wanted). So, Coyote didn't get the part. But Spielberg never forgot Coyote's earnestness, and he later cast Coyote as the compassionate Agent Keys in "E.T. The Extraterrestrial".

Charles Miller

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

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

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.