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

Raiders of the Lost Ark mistake picture

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 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 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 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 the thug with the blade sticking out his back is standing still, there is some kind of squared device on his back under his clothes, presumably to retract the fake blade to end the sequence.

Movie Nut

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.

If that's true, then what about the two guys standing in the door/archway and the one guy who is sitting in the doorway next to them - all three of them don't match the rest of the extras either? (all three are in the background to the left of Indy before the supposed blooper guy appears and walks right in front of them during the scene).

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

Noman Premium member

Highly possible. Unless you know the man's backstory who's to say he can't be where he is?

All of Cairo? I count 12 people (not including Indy) aside from him wearing traditional clothing. So one in 13 people has a different style of dress than the other 12. So what? A woman wearing a niqab in New York City might be different from others; it's not a mistake to have a niqab-wearing extra in a NYC crowd shot. This should be easily resolved anyway because there's one other person not wearing traditional clothes-INDY. And no-one gave him grief for it. Jeans aren't illegal in Cairo.

"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.

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.

That's not how it works. You're making the implication, therefore you have burden of proof. The man could be a tourist. He could have bought the clothes from a vendor who got them from an American (or from an American directly). You can't claim it's a mistake when there are perfectly reasonable explanations for why the man is there. Your term "most likely" is a statement of opinion, not fact.

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
Raiders of the Lost Ark trivia picture

Trivia: There's a Star Wars reference to Obi-Wan and C-3PO on the plane rescuing Indy at the start - it has the registration OB-CPO.

More trivia for Raiders of the Lost Ark

Question: After the scene where Indy first goes onto the German U-boat, he runs around apparently looking for something, then the scene changes to the inside of the sub where you can hear that the order has been given to dive. Was there an actual scene cut out of the film where Indy lashes himself to the periscope? (When Raiders first came out in Aus, I vividly remember seeing it with this scene.)

Answer: The scene you describe was indeed filmed. It was cut out of the US release of the film although I cannot speak for the Australian version. The scene also appears in the Marvel Comics adaptation. http://www.theraider.net/films/raiders/deleted_scenes.php has a list of this and the other deleted scenes.

Phil C.

More questions & answers from Raiders of the Lost Ark

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