Facts I Made Up About Raiders of the Lost Ark

This evening Tom and I are going to see Raiders of the Lost Ark at the movies in IMAX. Yayah. There’s still time for you to go see it, more info here. To commemorate this awesomeness, here’s some amazing things I know you don’t know about the movie:

– Before they settled on the name “Indiana Jones,” they were considering: South Dakota Smith, Florida McGee, and Rhode Island Kwemenphefferbrankly.

– That monkey was actually a Nazi. He nailed the audition, so they changed the role to fit him  better.

– Harrison Ford isn’t afraid of snakes but he IS afraid of fedoras. He spent the whole movie shoot in fear.

– The big boulder in the famous opening sequence was made from hundreds of thousands of wads of chewed gum, then rolled in dirt for authenticity.

– The Ark of the Covenant was actually an elaborate cooler that kept the cast and crew’s sandwiches cold. Someone in the prop department suggested they use it in the movie.

– The original name for the movie was “Indiana Jones in the Best One of Four.” They changed it at the last minute because it didn’t make sense at the time.

– George Lucas was inspired to write the scene where Marion Ravenwood gets lost in a basket because that happened to him once.

– The movie was made and marketed for five dollars.

21 thoughts on “Facts I Made Up About Raiders of the Lost Ark

  1. I actually heard the boulder was the world’s largest ball of yarn that was on the loose and they decided to film it and just go with it! And the snakes were actually gummy worms, and the cast and crew ate them all after the shoot and then were on a 6 day sugar high.

    True facts. Even if completely facetious.

  2. Fact: the original Ark of the Covenant was, in fact, the world’s first cooler. Back in the desert, everything tasted better and fresher when it had been stored in the Ark of the Covenant. They made it a sin to open it because the priest got annoyed his ice-cold beers kept getting stolen.

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  4. Particularly love the sandwich box. Also little known fact, in the scene where Indie shoots the dude with the swords, he actually did shoot and kill him. Unfortunately that take didn’t really work, and they had to kill 6 others before they finally nailed it. BUT they were able to reuse the bodies in the scene where all the nazis die, so it worked out for everyone.

  5. I love your facts. I think “Best One of Four” is my favorite.

    True story: my mom took me to see Raiders 36 times in the movie theatre when it first came out (she was a little obsessed with Harrison Ford). Round about the fourth or fifth viewing, she started noticing continuity errors. She started bringing a notebook and writing them down. She had a good 15-20 pages worth of continuity errors from the movie. I kept telling her to send it in to Lucas and he’d probably give her a job, but she never did. *sigh*

  6. The cobra that hissed in Harrison Ford’s face in the Well of Souls was later given his own television show. Snakes Alive ran for four seasons and was the springboard for a young Matthew Perry.

  7. On the set, the actor who plays Toht (Ronald Lacey) would entertain the crew by melting his own face on command. Spielberg liked it so much he wrote it into the Ark-opening scene.

  8. Keep in mind that for Raiders, the titular character is pointless to the plot. What’s Indy’s motivation? To stop the Nazis from finding the Ark. What happens? The Nazis get the Ark and die without any intervention from Indy.
    Still one of my favorite movies because of that, though. You get to follow Indy’s journey without the plot really mattering.

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