If classic adventure has a name, it must be Raiders of the Lost Ark. From the blockbuster tag-team of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg comes this fantastic first outing for the wise-cracking, whip-cracking archaeologist known as Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford). In it, the fedora-wearing hero finds himself battling Nazis to recover the sacred Ark of the Covenant - a Biblical artifact of unspeakable power. The only thing standing in his way: ancient booby traps, venomous snake pits, countless car chases, fistfights, and shootouts. It all adds up to an action-packed flick that's as thrilling as it is timeless.
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Top 10 Fun Facts
- Raiders of the Lost Ark was originally intended to be a small, low-budget adventure picture but by the end of production the costs had tripled to $22 million. That money turned out to be a good investment. The movie was the biggest grossing film of 1981.
- Actor Tom Selleck was originally cast as the title character in Raiders of the Lost Ark. His Magnum P.I. commitments forced him to back out of the project. Selleck did get a chance to have an "Indy" experience when his TV show parodied the adventure flick; complete with hat, whip and booby traps.
- Although it is almost impossible to imagine anyone other than Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones, he was not the first choice to play the adventure-seeking archeologist. Nick Nolte, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Jack Nicholson all turned down the role in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- The battered leather jacket wore by Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark was actually a brand new one. It had to be artificially aged by the costume department. In fact, ten brand new jackets had to go through this long process.
- A sheet of glass separated Harrison Ford from the deadly arched cobra during the filming of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was a very necessary precaution since the vicious snake ended up spraying venom onto the glass.
- The now famous hat Harrison Ford wore in Raiders of the Lost Ark came from the famous Herbert Johnson hat shop in Saville Row, London, England. Ironically, it was the "Australian model."
- To make Indy's "very lived in and well-loved" hat look like it was old and well-used, Raiders of the Lost Ark's costume designer did everything you wouldn't do to a favorite hat, she twisted it and sat on it. And then she had Harrison Ford sit on it for good measure.
- Shooting Riders of the Lost Ark turned out to be a painful time for Harrison Ford. The actor bruised his ribs shooting one scene and tore the ligaments in his knee while shooting another scene. A good example of suffering for your art.
- One way to achieve the sound of thousands of snakes slithering is to jump into a snake pit with them or you can use Raiders of the Lost Ark sound designer Ben Burtt's more enjoyable method. He captured the sound of people sticking their fingers into a cheese casserole. Bon appétit!
- When an out-of-control airplane actually ran over Harrison Ford's knee during shooting of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ford decided to take his chances rather than submit to Tunisian healthcare. He wrapped his knee in ice and continued the shoot. Way to go, tough guy.
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