10 Cool Things About Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Raiders of the Lost Ark, created by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, is undeniably one of the defining movies of the 80’s. As a tribute to this thrilling cinematic moment, here are 10 cool things about Raiders of the Lost Ark.
1. R2-D2 and C-3PO Easter Eggs
If you look carefully, in a scene in the Well of Souls, you’ll find a small pillar with an engraving of R2-D2 and C-3PO. This easter egg is amusing but not surprising at all since we all know that George Lucas is practically synonymous to Star Wars. And while Spielberg directed the film, Indiana Jones was also dear to its producer Lucas, hence the signature that he left in it.
2. The goal was to make a good budget film, not a masterpiece
Spielberg really just wanted to make a good B+ film. Since the goal was to stay on a rather cheap budget, Spielberg finished the movie as quickly as possible, affording each scene only a limited number of takes. This aim was brought about by Spielberg’s commercial flop – the movie 1941. He wanted to prove his brilliance despite being under budget and he obviously succeeded.
3. Harrison Ford had actually been run over by an airplane
The scene where Indy fights the Nazi mechanic around the plane was dangerous, not only for the character but also for Ford himself. In one instance while filming the scene, the plane’s landing gear ran over Ford’s knee, which injured a major ligament. However, true to his daredevil on-screen character, Ford just opted for an ice wrap around his leg, instead of accepting actual treatment.
4. How the movie came to be
When George Lucas released Star Wars, he doubted that it would be a box office hit. So, he immediately invited Spielberg to go on a trip with him to Hawaii, where they could plan for a new project. Spielberg wanted to direct a James Bond movie, but had been rejected. So when Lucas introduced the idea of an adventure story inspired by classic serials, Spielberg saw this as an opportunity to make a character that would be as awesome as James Bond, but with his own unique take.
5. Ford had to really outrun the boulder
In the scene where Indy steals the Golden Idol and sets off the temple’s booby-traps, we see him just barely escaping a giant boulder. As part of the audience, we would logically think that a stunt-double probably did the running part, but really, it was Ford who had to outrun that boulder. What made it crazier was that he had to do the stunt ten times.
6. More than just a hat
It’s hard to imagine Indy without his hat. He always wore it and it never fell off despite all the action that went on. But this hat is more than just a part of an outfit. In reality, it was an important aspect in the production of the movie itself because it helped obscure the character’s face, which would then make it difficult to tell whether or not Ford’s stunt double was doing the riskier scenes.
7. It could’ve been Indiana Smith
In the initial stages, the lead character was named Indiana Smith. There were other name suggestions, but Lucas really wanted to call the character Indiana because it was the name of his Alaskan Malamute. While Spielberg agreed to using Indiana, he didn’t want to use Smith because he was worried that their protagonist would be compared to Nevada Smith, a 1966 movie character. However, both directors decided that a common name would work well, so they chose Jones instead.
8. How the monkey learned the Nazi salute
When you cast an animal in a movie, you’re pretty much always setting yourself up for difficult takes down the line. This proved more than true when the movie’s villainous but adorable capuchin monkey took 50 takes to master a scene. But how did the team teach this monkey how to do a Nazi salute? It was actually pretty simple. They just hung a grape from a fishing pole and dangled it in front of the monkey off-camera until he reached for it, which appeared as if he was saluting.
9. The filming was sped up using miniature models
Since CGI was not yet fully developed in the 80s, the use of miniature models in filming was pretty common. Lucas used this technique in the Star Wars trilogy and it was also done in the Raiders of the Lost Ark. The miniature models helped the crew film the scenes as efficiently as possible.
10. Indy wasn’t supposed to just shoot the swordsman
In one scene, as the swordsman boasted his skills, Indy casually pulls his gun out and shoots him dead. However, in the original script, Indy was supposed to use his whip to fight the swordsman. Unfortunately, Ford was struggling with dysentary and a long drawn out fight would’be been a major strain on his body. They were shooting in Tunisia at that time and were also struggling with the heat. Spielberg wanted to finish the scene as soon as possible and Ford suggested that it would make sense to simply shoot the swordsman. And in so doing, an iconic Indy moment was born.
Raiders of the Lost Ark Gift Ideas
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With so much to choose from, where do you start? My focus has been on cool, fun and quirky items, all garnering decent ratings from well-priced sellers.
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