20 Things You Somehow Missed In Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Both the years and the mileage have concealed these surprises in the first Indiana Jones film.

Raiders of the Lost Ark Harrison Ford
Paramount Pictures

When he released Raiders of the Lost Ark back in 1981, Steven Spielberg intended it to be nothing more than light entertainment; an homage to the swashbuckling adventure films of yesteryear. Little did he know, however, that in giving life to George Lucas's intrepid archaeologist, Indiana Jones, he was helping to create one of the most endearing and widely loved franchises of all time.

The tale of an archaeologist who lecturers at a prominent American university for a day job and spends the rest (admittedly most) of his time hunting for elusive and mysterious artefacts across the globe never fails to impress and inspire audiences. Besides being an action adventure movie, it is also regarded as quite a romantic one, firstly because Karen Allen co-stars as Indy's old flame, Marion Ravenwood and due to its endearing reliance on older filmmaking techniques.

There is an explicit level of detail contained within the movie and it is filled with little Easter eggs and references that can easily be missed. However, all of them contribute in their own small way in making Raiders of the Lost Ark a glorious cinematic experience and something of a modern epic.

Here are 20 of the most notable things in the film that often go unnoticed.

20. Frank Marshall's Cameo

Raiders of the Lost Ark Harrison Ford
Paramount Pictures

Along with his wife, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall is one of the key creative influences behind many a Steven Spielberg film, having joined Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment in 1981 (Kennedy joined in 1982, and Marshall and Kennedy married in 1987).

An infrequent actor, Marshall featured as the hapless pilot of the Nazi flying wing who gets knocked unconscious by Karen Allen's Marion Ravenwood in the famous fight sequence between Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones and a mechanic portrayed by Pat Roach. All's fair in love and war, however, as Frank was trying to shoot Indy at the time!

Seriously, though, dressed in his flying uniform and sat in the mock-up of the flying wing, Marshall had to endure hours of scorching heat purely to film a cameo in which he ends up getting whacked over the head.

He also went on to feature as a tourist at the Shanghai airfield in the film's 1984 sequel (really a prequel), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. No more being knocked unconscious for him!


I started writing for WhatCulture in July 2020. I have always enjoyed reading and writing. I have contributed to several short story competitions and I have occasionally been fortunate enough to have my work published. During the COVID-19 lockdown, I also started reviewing films on my Facebook page. Numerous friends and contacts suggested that I should start my own website for reviewing films, but I wanted something a bit more diverse - and so here I am! My interests focus on film and television mainly, but I also occasionally produce articles that venture into other areas as well. In particular, I am a fan of the under appreciated sequel (of which there are many), but I also like the classics and the mainstream too.