Raiders of the Lost Ark

Corrected entry: In the cave in the beginning Indy tells his partner to stay out of the light, then his competitor comes shooting out of the wall attached to spears. After the competitor is killed, how did the trap reset? I doubt one of the natives came in and did it.


Correction: This is a question, not a mistake. The fact that the mechanism is unknown doesn't make it a mistake.

Jason Hoffman

Correction: It automatically retracts. It's unknown how it works though.


Corrected entry: In the temple scene when Satipo betrays Indy and he leaves with the idol, he is running away from Indy. but when Indy bumps into Satipo impaled on the spikes in the next scene, he is facing Indy.


Correction: Since we don't see Satipo get impaled in the front and then change position, it's not a mistake. When he realised he set off a trap, he could have turned around trying to escape but didn't make it.


Corrected entry: In the scene with the Nazi plane, Marion gets stuck in the pilot seat, then appears in the gunner's seat, then appears stuck in the pilot seat again.

Correction: The gunner's position and cockpit are connected through a crawl space, which, during the scene, Marion can be seen ducking down and exiting it to move between the two.

Corrected entry: At the beginning of the movie when the temple is falling apart and Indy is clinging to the plant, the stone door is slowly coming down. The implication being Indy will be trapped there forever if he doesn't get out in time. However, there is a shot from the bottom of the pit looking straight up. The scene shows trees and sky above Indy. It would be a simple matter of him climbing up the temple walls to escape.


Correction: From all we see, climbing the temple wall would be anything but a simple matter. In fact, it would most likely be impossible. Even if Indy knew he could try to climb the wall, it would be a last resort. This would be like letting the boulder trap him and Indy hope he can find another way out when it's easier, faster, and safer to escape through the actual opening.


Corrected entry: After Indy climbs out of the pit after being double crossed by the guide, he comes upon the guy impaled on the same trap that Forrestal's body was on when they entered. However, the already sprung trap with the body wasn't visible anywhere.

Movie Nut

Correction: This trap could have easily been triggered by something that they missed on the way in but didn't on the way out.


Corrected entry: In the chase through Cairo streets - Indy rounds the corner of the plaza in which the truck (supposedly holding Marion in a basket is kept) - as Indy comes around the corner, a baddie shoots at him with a machine gun - watch this closely, the gun moves in the opposite direction as the bullets on the ground. (00:41:20)

Correction: Actually, the charges set off to simulate the rounds hitting the ground started at Indy's left, proceeding to the left side of the shot and get six shots ahead of the goon, who is just raising the gun and gets the first shot off in the direction of Indy's feet.

Movie Nut

Corrected entry: In the tank chase scene they use a replica of the VIII tank, or the "international tank." It was a replica and not the real deal but the turret they put on it wasn't from that model tank, or a replica of the original. It was a turret that was used on the Matilda type tank.

Correction: Firstly I think you have the wrong movie. The Tank chase scene you mean is from The Last Crusade. Secondly, the tank is supposedly given by the Sultan of Egypt and some sort of Egyptian variant of the Cruiser VII chassis and the Matilda turret, which was a brand new design in 1938. They mixed turrets and chassis all the time.


Corrected entry: After Indy has left Marion's bar, Marion takes the medallion from around her neck. This medallion is quite large and made of gold. If it's quite big AND made of solid gold, it would be too heavy to hang from around her neck by a small chain.

Correction: It is actually bronze. This is a word for word quote from Indiana Jones while in the bar talking to Marion, "Bronze piece about this size with a hole in it off center with a crystal." Nowhere in the movie is it mentioned it is made of gold.

Corrected entry: The ship on which Indy and Marian flee Egypt with the Ark is not a freighter, but a small coastal tanker, which would not have a cargo hold.


Correction: Captain Katanga and his men are smugglers. Modifying a ship known to not have a cargo hold by putting one in sounds like a smart thing for a smuggler to do.

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

Corrected entry: During the car chase scene, they drive past several cliffs, and one car goes flying off the cliff. One problem with this, there are no big cliffs that close to Cairo. (01:25:30)

Correction: They are not close to Cairo - in the camp (the starting point of the car chase), Belloq says that "on foot, the desert is three weeks in any direction", implying that they are quite a long distance from Cairo.


Corrected entry: When the seaplane leaves San Francisco it flies west over the complete Golden Gate bridge. The movie is set in 1936, the Golden Gate bridge wasn't completed until 1937.

Correction: The bridge's structure would have most likely been completed by then, with only the roadway still under construction.

Corrected entry: In the 'guns are better than swords' scene when Indy is filmed from behind as he faces the swordsman he is not wearing a holster. But after shooting the swordsman he puts the gun in the visible holster.

Correction: The holster is there the whole time. You can see it while he is running just before the swordsman appears. Indy's shirt has come untucked a bit on his right side, so when he's not running around the shirt hangs directly over his holster. This is why you can't see it during this sequence until he lifts the bottom of his shirt aside, draws, and fires.

Phixius Premium member

Corrected entry: Harrison Ford badly bruised his ribs during the scene when he was dragged behind the truck.

Correction: Ho-hum. Not nearly interesting enough to be considered trivia. Actors get cuts and bruises all the time.


Corrected entry: When Indy - in the opening scene - is running across the open field, dust is rising from him. And in the next cut - more dust. But when he started running there wasn't any.

Jacob La Cour

Correction: There is a gap between him running in the forest, then running in the field that is not on film; more than enough time for him to take a tumble in the dirt.

Corrected entry: What are all these German soldiers doing in British controlled Egypt prior to World War II. Appeasement aside, I think that the British might be a little worried about a large group of armed Germans being in a League of Nations mandated British Protectorate!

Correction: Egypt was declared an independent nation in 1922 and largely remained neutral. True, the British had a military base in Cairo to protect the Suez Canal as a result of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936. But that wasn't ratified until December of that year. The film probably takes place before that.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: When Indy meets the government agents who are trying to get him to assist their quest to find Ravenwood, one of the agents is dressed appropriately for the time period; the other one (I think the actor is Bill Hootkins) is dressed in what appears to be a late 1970's style polyester light blue leisure suit. The style of the suit just doesn't fit the 1930's period. (00:16:05)

Correction: Suits in the 30's most definitely came in light colors, including blue.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: When Indy is in the Well of Souls trying to climb the statue, there is a snake on it. How did it manage to get there? (01:13:40)

Dr Wilson

Correction: The same way some snakes wind up in trees: it climbed.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: There is an awfully fast transition between nighttime and a clear, sunny morning during the scene where Indiana and Sallah are retrieving the Ark.


Correction: This is not a mistake. It's well into night, perhaps even after midnight, when they finally open the Well of Souls. The indication is that it took some time for Indy and Sallah to clear the snakes, locate the Ark, retrieve it, box it up and prepare the harness to lift it out.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: In the scene where Indy and Sallah are walking to the Well of Souls,in the middle of the desert, they pass a man with a running hose in his hand.

Correction: Why is this a mistake? There are any number of ways to get a running hose in the desert (connected to a pump at a well, connected to a portable water tank, etc.).


Corrected entry: When Indy whips the red hot poker out of the Nazi's hand, it is glowing brightly. But when it lands next to the curtain, the color is much darker.

Jacob La Cour

Correction: A red hot poker will cool quickly when exposed to cold air, and darken in colour.

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

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

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.