Trivia: Raiders of the Lost Ark

  • Common Knowledge: George Lucas has been known to use the phrase "pointer scene" on DVD Commentary when comparing an Infodump in another film to the scene where Jones explains the history of the Ark to the government men. The closest thing to a pointer in the scene is Jones drawing on a blackboard with chalk, but so many parodies of the film include presentation pointers that fans tend to remember seeing one in the original film.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Michael Sheard has a "blink and you'll miss him" appearance, having gone from commanding the Imperial flagship to being captain of a German U-boat. He would become Hitler himself in The Last Crusade.
    • Indy's partner in the opening temple scene is Doc Ock. Given he had spiders on his back, no wonder he double-crossed Indy.
    • Of course Sallah is considered a great digger — he does have dwarf blood in him.
    • The "Top.Men," Army Intelligence agent? Star Wars' very own Porkins!
    • During Indy's flight to Nepal, the agent spying on him (while reading Life magazine) is played by Dennis Muren, one of the effects wizards at Industrial Light & Magic.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Dietrich is played by Wolf Kahler, who also voiced Kaiser Vladd and his ancestor, Lord Ferrok, from Battalion Wars and its sequel.
  • Older Than They Think: George Lucas has confirmed that the iconic boulder Chase Scene was borrowed from the climax of the Disney comic "The Seven Cities of Cibola" (1954) by Carl Barks, starring another famous Adventurer Archaeologist Scrooge McDuck.
  • Prop Recycling: The U-boat sailing prop was the U-96, rented from the production of Das Boot. In fact, the German crew woke up one day to find it was suddenly missing because someone forgot to tell them that Spielberg was borrowing it.
    • The secret U-boat base was filmed at the La Rochelle U-boat Pen, which was also used in the filming of Das Boot.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: The swordsman chase scene originally involved Indy disarming the man with his whip, but Ford was sick with dysentery at the time, and he asked if he could just shoot the man, which the final cut had him doing.
  • Star-Making Role: For Harrison Ford. Star Wars was a huge success and his Lovable Rogue became an Ensemble Dark Horse, but it was after Raiders of the Lost Ark that he stopped being "the guy from Star Wars" and became Harrison Ford. Tellingly, despite his ties to George Lucas, Ford only got the role when first pick Tom Selleck couldn't get time off from Magnum, P.I., considering Lucas was against using him to avoid having him be his Robert De Niro answer to Martin Scorsese using him in several of his early films.
  • What Could Have Been: Michael Sheard was the runner-up to play Toht before ultimately being cast as the U-boat captain. He would play Hitler in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
    • Klaus Kinski was offered to appear in the film, but he chose to do a killer snake film Venom instead.
    • Tom Selleck was one of the choices to play Indiana Jones, but he couldn't make it due to his commitment to Magnum, P.I.
    • Early storyboard sketches show Toht originally having a light in one of his eyes and a cannon for an arm that could transform into a flamethrower! No, this was Spielberg's idea shot down by Lucas for being far-fetched, why do you ask?