20 Things You Didn't Know About Raiders Of The Lost Ark
12. The Airplane Propeller Scene Was A Nightmare To Shoot
In the film's most famous fight scene, (the swordsman scene doesn't count because he doesn't actually fight), Indy gets bashed around by a hulking brute near a plane propeller. Despite taking every precaution to ensure the safety of the actors, the plane ran over Harrison Ford’s knee and tore his ligaments.
However, there was another mishap while shooting this scene which isn't as well known (and way funnier.) In one shot, Marion gets inside the plane and uses its turret to blast several Nazis. Steven Spielberg didn't want to show gallons of blood while the bullets shredded the troops' bodies to pieces so he consulted his stunt co-ordinator, Kit West, on how to shoot the scene. West said there should be mild red mist around the Nazis when they get shot that would resemble blood but it wouldn't look gory.
So, what did West use for the red mist? Cayenne pepper. In case you haven't experienced it, it is AGONY if this stuff gets in your eyes (which is exactly what happened to all the actors in this scene).
You know what the worst thing is? Most people forget this shot is even in the film, meaning the actors suffered for nothing.