Open main menu

Raiders of the Lost Ark

1981 film by Steven Spielberg
The Bible speaks of the Ark leveling mountains and laying waste to entire regions. An army which carries the Ark before it ... is invincible.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 film about archeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones, who is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis do.

Directed by Steven Spielberg. Written by Lawrence Kasdan, based on a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman.
The return of the great adventure. Taglines


Marion RavenwoodEdit

  • Goddamn, Indy! Where doesn't it hurt?

René BelloqEdit

  • [to Colonel Dietrich] Let me ask you this: Would you feel more comfortable opening the Ark in Berlin for your Führer? Finding out, only then, if the sacred pieces of the Covenant are inside? Knowing, only then, whether you've accomplished your mission and obtained the one true Ark?


Belloq: Dr. Jones. Again, we see there is nothing you can possess which I cannot take away. And you thought I'd given up. [Indy reaches for his gun, but pauses and hands over his gun when the warriors draw back their weapons.] You chose the wrong friends. This time it will cost you.
Jones: Too bad the Hovitos don't know you the way I do, Belloq. [Indy hands over the prized idol.]
Belloq: Yes, too bad. You could warn them...if only you spoke Hovitos.

Jock: Oh, that's just my pet snake Reggie!
Jock: Come on, show a little backbone, will ya?

Maj. Eaton: Dr. Jones, we've heard a great deal about you.
Jones: Have you?
Maj. Eaton: Professor of Archaeology, expert on the occult does one say it? Obtainer of rare antiquities.
Jones: That's one way of saying it. Why don't you sit down? You'll be more comfortable.
Col. Musgrove: Thank you. Yes, you're a man of many talents. Now, you studied under Professor Ravenwood at the University of Chicago?
Jones: Yes, I did.
Maj. Eaton: And you have no idea of his present whereabouts? [Indy and Marcus exchange a look]
Jones: Ah, just rumors, really. Somewhere in Asia, I think. I haven't spoken to him for ten years; we were friends but...we had a bit of a falling out, I'm afraid.
Col. Musgrove: Dr. Jones, you must understand this is all strictly confidential. Yesterday afternoon, our European sections intercepted a... a German communiqué that was sent from Cairo to Berlin. Now, to Cairo...
Maj. Eaton: See, over the last two years, the Nazis have had teams of archaeologists running around the world looking for all kinds of religious artifacts. Hitler's a nut on the subject. He's crazy. He's obsessed with the occult. And right now, apparently, there's some kind of German archaeological dig going on in the desert outside of Cairo.
Col. Musgrove: Now we've got some information here, but we can't make anything out of it, and maybe you can. [he reads the communiqué] Tanis development proceeding. Acquire headpiece, Staff of Ra, Abner Ravenwood, U.S.
Jones: The Nazis have discovered Tanis.
Maj. Eaton: Just what does that mean to you, uh, Tanis?
Brody: Well, it-- [Jones interrupts him]
Jones: The city of Tanis is one the possible resting places of the Lost Ark.
Col. Musgrove: The Lost Ark?
Jones: Yeah, the Ark of the Covenant. The chest the Hebrews used to carry around the Ten Commandments.
Maj. Eaton: What do you mean, 'commandments'? You're talking about the Ten Commandments?
Jones: Yes, the actual Ten Commandments. The original stone tablets Moses brought down from Mount Horeb and smashed, if you believe in that sort of thing. Either of you guys ever go to Sunday school?
Col. Musgrove: Well, I--
Jones: Oh, look. The Hebrews took the broken pieces and put them in the Ark. When they settled in Canaan, they put the Ark in a place called the Temple of Solomon.
Brody: In Jerusalem.
Jones: Where it stayed for many years. Until, all of a sudden, whoosh, it's gone.
Maj. Eaton: Where?
Jones: Well, nobody knows where or when.
Brody: However, an Egyptian pharaoh--
Jones: Shishak.
Brody: Yes... invaded the city of Jerusalem around about 980 B.C., and he may have taken the Ark back to the city of Tanis and hidden it in a secret chamber called the Well of Souls.
Maj. Eaton: Secret chamber?
Brody: However, about a year after the pharaoh had returned to Egypt, the city of Tanis was consumed by the desert in a sandstorm that lasted a whole year. Wiped clean by the wrath of God. [the agents exchange looks]
Col. Musgrove: Obviously, we've come to the right men. Now, you seem to know, uh, all about this Tanis, then.
Jones: No, no, not really. Ravenwood's the real expert. Abner did the first serious work on Tanis. Collected some of its relics. It was his obsession. But he never found the city.
Maj. Eaton: Frankly, we're somewhat suspicious of Mr. Ravenwood. An American being mentioned so prominently in a secret Nazi cable.
Brody: Oh, rubbish. Ravenwood's no Nazi.
Col. Musgrove: Well, what do the Nazis want him for, then?
Jones: Well, obviously, the Nazis are looking for the headpiece to the Staff of Ra and they think Abner's got it.
Maj. Eaton: What exactly is a headpiece to the Staff of Ra?
Jones: Well a staff is just a stick. [gestures with his hands to convey the length of the staff] I don't know, about this big, nobody really knows for sure how high... and it's... [he draws a diagram on a blackboard] It's capped with an elaborate headpiece in the shape of the sun with a crystal in the center. And what you did was, you take the staff to a special room in Tanis, a map room with a miniature of the city all laid out on the floor, and if you put the staff in a certain place, at a certain time of day, the sun shone through here — and made a beam that came down on the floor here. And gave you the exact location of the Well of the Souls.
Col. Musgrove: Where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, right?
Jones: That's exactly what the Nazis are looking for.
Maj. Eaton: What does this Ark look like?
Jones: There's a picture of it right here. [he opens a Bible to show the image of the Israelites holding the Ark above them. There are great jets of light emanating from the Ark piercing the ranks of the opposing army surrounding them, representing them in various states of agony or death.] That's it.
Maj. Eaton: Good God!
Brody: Yes, that's just what the Hebrews thought.
Col. Musgrove: Uh, now, what's that supposed to be coming out of there?
Jones: Lightning ... fire ... power of God or something.
Maj. Eaton: I'm beginning to understand Hitler's interest in this.
Brody: Oh, yes. The Bible speaks of the Ark leveling mountains and laying waste to entire regions. An army which carries the Ark before it ... is invincible.

Brody: Marion's the least of your worries right now, believe me, Indy...Well, I mean, for nearly three thousand years, man has been searching for the lost Ark. That's not something to be taken lightly. No one knows its secrets. It's like nothing you've ever gone after before.
Jones: Oh, Marcus, what are you trying to do? Scare me? You sound like my mother. We've known each other for a long time. I don't believe in magic, a lot of superstitious hocus-pocus. I'm going after a find of incredible historical significance. You're talking about the boogie-man. Besides, you know what a cautious fellow I am. [he throws his gun into his packed belongings just in case.]

Jones: Hello, Marion.
Marion: Indiana Jones. Always knew someday you'd come walkin' back through my door. I never doubted that. Something made it inevitable. So what are you doing here in Nepal?
Jones: I need one of the pieces your father collected.
[As he turns away, she unleashes a solid right to his jaw]
Marion: I learned to hate you in the last ten years.
Jones: I never meant to hurt you.
Marion: I was a child. I was in love. It was wrong and you knew it!
Jones: You knew what you were doin'.
Marion: Now I do. This is my place. Get out!

Jones: Belloq.
Belloq: Good afternoon, Dr. Jones.
Jones: I ought to kill you right now.
Belloq: Not a very private place for a murder.
Jones: Well, these guys don't care if we kill each other. They're not going to interfere in our business.
Belloq: It was not I who brought the girl into this business. Please, sit down before you fall down. We can at least behave like civilized people. :[Indy then sits down while the monkey then crawls off his shoulder.] I see your taste in friends remains consistent. How odd that it should end this way for us, after so many stimulating encounters. I almost regret it. Where shall I find a new adversary so close to my own level?
Jones: Try the local sewer.
Belloq: You and I are very much alike. Archaeology is our religion, yet we have both fallen from the purer faith. Out methods have not differed as much as you pretend. I am a shadowy reflection of you. It would take only a nudge to make you like me, to push you out of the light.
Jones: Now you're getting nasty.
Belloq: You know it's true. How nice. Look at this. [holds out a pocket watch.] It's worthless. Ten dollars from a vendor in the street. But I take it, I bury it in the sand for a thousand years, it becomes the Ark. Men will kill for it. Men like you and me.
Jones: What about your boss, der Führer? I thought he was waiting to take possession.
Belloq: All in good time. When I am finished with it. Jones, do you realize what the Ark is? It's a transmitter. It's a radio for speaking to God. And it's within my reach.
Jones: You want to talk to God? Let's go see Him together. I've got nothing better to do.
[Indy prepares to fight; Belloq's men train guns on him, but a crowd of children hurries in to escort him away]
Belloq: Next time, Dr. Jones, it'll take more than children to save you.

[Indy and Sallah are peering down upon opening the Well of Souls]
Sallah: Indy, why does the floor move?
Jones: Give me your torch.
[Indy takes the torch and drops it in revealing hundreds of snakes all over the floor of the Well of Souls]
Jones: Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?
Sallah: Asps... very dangerous. You go first.

Belloq: [looking down at Indy in the Well of Souls] Hello! Hello! Why, Dr. Jones, whatever are you doing in such a nasty place?
Jones: Why don't you come on down here, I'll show ya.
Belloq: Thank you, my friend, but I think we are all very comfortable up here. Yes, indeed. We are all very quite comfortable up here. So once again, Jones, what was briefly yours is now mine. What a fitting end to your life's pursuits. You're about to become a permanent addition to this archaeological find. Who knows? In a thousand years, even you may be worth something.
Jones: [laughs] [muttering] Son of a bitch!
Belloq: I'm afraid we must be going now, Dr. Jones.
Dietrich: Our prize is awaited in Berlin. Yes...we are finished here with everything. But we do not wish to leave you down in that awful place...all alone.

Jones: I'm going after that truck.
Sallah: How?
Jones: I don't know. I'm making this up as I go.

Marion: You're not the man I knew ten years ago.
Jones: It's not the years, honey; it's the mileage.

Jones: Hello! [Indy is aiming a grenade launcher at the Ark from a ridge above]
Belloq: Jones? Jones!
Jones: I'm gonna blow up the Ark, René!
Belloq: Your persistence surprises even me. You're going to give mercenaries a bad name.
Col. Dietrich: Dr. Jones. Surely you don't think you can escape from this island?
Jones: That depends on how reasonable we're all willing to be! All I want is the girl!
Col. Dietrich: If we refuse?
Jones: Then your Führer has no prize.
Belloq: [Ordering the soldiers] Okay, stand back. All of you, stand back. Get back. [to Jones] Okay, Jones. You win. Blow it up. [some soldiers move in the way of the Ark, but Belloq holds a machine gun to them and they move back] Yes, blow it up! Blow it back to God. All your life has been spent in pursuit of archaeological relics. Inside the Ark are treasures beyond your wildest aspirations. You want to see it open as well as I. Indiana, we are simply passing through history. This... [gestures to the Ark] This is history. Do as you will. [Indy lowers the grenade launcher and four soldiers appear above him]

Brody: Where is the Ark?
Maj. Eaton: I thought we'd settled that. The Ark is somewhere very safe.
Jones: From whom?
Brody: The Ark is a source of unspeakable power and it has to be researched!
Maj. Eaton: And it will be, I assure you, Doctor Brody, Doctor Jones. We have top men working on it right now.
Jones: Who?!
Maj. Eaton: Top... men.

Marion: Hey, what happened? You don't look very happy.
Jones: Fools. Bureaucratic fools!
Marion: What'd they say?
Jones: They don't know what they've got there.
Marion: Well, I know what I've got here. Come on. I'll buy you a drink. You know, a drink?


  • The return of the great adventure.


See alsoEdit


  • Lucas: A bounty hunter of antiquities
  • Spielberg: I like that. The doctor with the bullwhip.
  • Lucas: He could have known this little girl when she was just a kid. Had an affair with her when she was eleven.
Kasdan: And he was forty-two.
Lucas: He hasn’t seen her in twelve years. Now she’s twenty-two. It’s a real strange relationship.
Spielberg: She had better be older.
  • Lucas: It has to be unique. It’s a character. Very Americana. Square. He was born in Indiana.
Kasdan: What does she call him, Indy?
Lucas: That’s what I was thinking. Or Jones.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark Brainstorming Session [1]

External linksEdit