20 Things You Didn't Know About Raiders Of The Lost Ark

15. The Sword Fight

Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Paramount Pictures

The funniest moment in Raiders is when Indy encounters a swordsman at a market. As his opponent shows off his skills with his blade, Indy nonchalantly pulls his gun from his holster and shoots him dead.

In the original script, Indy was meant to battle the swordsman with his whip. Unfortunately, Ford had such a bad case of dysentery, he had to rush to the bathroom every ten minutes. Spielberg panicked because he was filming the scene in Tunisia and was struggling with the intense heat. He was meant to film there for six weeks and didn't want to spend another week for Ford to recover to shoot the rest of the scene.

To save time, Ford reasoned it would make more sense to just "shoot the sucker". Spielberg agreed, knowing it would be hilarious. On top of that, he could leave Tunisia a week early.

The actor who portrayed the swordsman, Terry Richards, (who also played the Wampa in The Empire Strikes Back) was frustrated by this decision since he spent weeks choreographing for the scene and it was all for nought.


James Egan has written 80 books including 1000 Facts about Superheroes Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Supervillains Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about The Greatest Films Ever Made Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Video Games Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about TV Shows Vol. 1-3 Twitter - @jameswzegan85