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Toht severely burns his hand trying to retrieve it and flees the bar in agony. Jones and Marion escape with the headpiece, and Marion decides to accompany Jones in his search. The pair travels to Cairo, Egypt , where they meet up with Jones' friend and skilled digger Sallah. He informs them that Belloq and the Nazis are digging for "the Well of Souls", believed to lead to the Ark's location, with a replica of the headpiece created from the scar on Toht's hand.
They realize the Nazi headpiece is incomplete and that the Nazis are digging in the wrong place. After a confrontation with Belloq in a local bar, Jones and Sallah infiltrate the Nazi dig site; Jones finds Marion bound and gagged in a tent but does not set her free in fear of alerting the Nazis, and promises come back for her later.
Jones and Sallah use their staff to locate the Ark in the snake-infested Well of Souls. The two escape to a local airstrip, where Indy gets into a fistfight with a mechanic and destroys the flying wing that was to transport the Ark to Berlin, Germany.
The panicked Nazis load the ark onto a truck, but Indy manages to catch up on horseback, hijack the truck, and make arrangements to transport the ark to London aboard tramp steamer Bantu Wind. The next day a Nazi U-boat intercepts the ship. Belloq, Toht, and Dietrich seize the Ark and Marion but cannot locate Jones, who stows away aboard the U-boat and travels with them to an island in the Aegean Sea.
Once there, Belloq plans to test the power of the Ark before presenting it to Hitler.
Jones reveals himself and threatens to destroy the Ark with an anti-tank rocket, but Belloq calls his bluff and Jones surrenders. The Nazis take Jones and Marion to an area where the Ark will be opened and tie them to a post to observe. Belloq, dressed as an Israelite kohen gadol , performs a ceremonial opening of the Ark and finds it full of sand. Spirits emerge from the Ark, revealing themselves to be angels of death. Belloq, Toht, Dietrich and the gathered Nazi soldiers are killed when the Ark turns its fury on them; flames then engulf the remains of the doomed assembly, save for Jones and Marion as they keep their eyes shut , in a whirlwind of fire before the Ark seals itself shut.
Jones and Marion find their ropes burned off and embrace. Back in Washington, D.
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It is then shown being stored in a giant government warehouse among countless other crates. Additionally, Wolf Kahler portrays Colonel Dietrich , a ruthless German officer leading the operation to secure the Ark. Alfred Molina , in his film debut, portrays Satipo , one of Jones' guides through the South American jungle but betrays Jones and steals the idol from him but is killed by traps before he can leave the temple. Jibbles plays Jongles, the monkey.
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Producer Frank Marshall played a pilot in the airplane fight sequence. The stunt team was ill, so he took the role instead. The result was three days in a hot cockpit, which he joked was over " degrees". He had the rare opportunity to be killed twice in one film. Lucas convinced his friend Spielberg that he had conceived a character "better than James Bond" and explained the concept of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Spielberg loved it, calling it "a James Bond film without the hardware",  although he told Lucas that the surname 'Smith' was not right for the character. Lucas replied, "OK. What about 'Jones'? Lucas told him, however, that he already had the next two movies written, so Spielberg agreed. But when the time came for the first sequel, it was revealed that Lucas had nothing written for either sequel. Between January 23—27, , for nine hours a day, Lucas, Kasdan, and Spielberg discussed the story and visual ideas. Lucas later acknowledged that the idea for the idol mechanism in the opening scene and deadly traps later in the film were inspired by several Uncle Scrooge comics.
Spielberg and Lucas disagreed on the character: although Spielberg saw him as a Bondian playboy, Lucas felt the character's academic and adventurer elements made him complex enough. Spielberg had a darker vision of Jones, interpreting him as an alcoholic similar to Humphrey Bogart 's character Fred C. Dobbs in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre This characterization fell away during the later drafts, though elements survive in Jones's reaction when he believes Marion to be dead.
Nadoolman based the look of Ford's costume on that of Heston's, and observed that Indiana is a "kinder and gentler" Harry Steele. By April , Kasdan's fifth draft was produced, and production was getting ready to shoot at Elstree Studios , with Lucas trying to keep costs down. Special effects were done using puppets, miniature models, animation, and camera trickery. It was like silent film--shoot only what you need, no waste", Spielberg said.
Principal photography began on June 23, , at La Rochelle , France, with scenes involving the Nazi submarine,  which had been rented from the production of Das Boot. The only venomous snakes were the cobras , but one crew member was bitten on set by a python. Growing to 1. In the finished film, during the scene in which Indiana comes face-to-face with the cobra, a reflection in the glass screen that protected Ford from the snake was seen,  an issue that was corrected in the digitally-enhanced re-release.
Unlike Indiana, neither Ford nor Spielberg has a fear of snakes, but Spielberg said that seeing all the snakes on the set writhing around made him "want to puke".
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All the opening scenes set in the Peruvian jungle were filmed on the Hawaiian island of Kauai to which Spielberg would return for Jurassic Park. The first shot uses a westerly view of Kalalea Mountain in Anahola, Hawaii. As a working cattle ranch, Kipu is not generally open to the public.
The scenes set in Egypt were filmed in Tunisia , and the canyon where Indiana threatens to blow up the Ark was shot in Sidi Bouhlel, just outside Tozeur. Several cast and crew members fell ill and Rhys-Davies defecated in his costume during one shot.
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Much was improvised: the scene where Marion puts on her dress and attempts to leave Belloq's tent was improvised as was the entire plane fight. During that scene's shooting, a wheel went over Ford's knee and tore his left leg's cruciate ligament , but he refused local medical help and simply put ice on it. The fight scenes in the town were filmed in Kairouan , while Ford was suffering from dysentery.
Stuntman Terry Richards had practiced for weeks with his sword to create the scripted fight scene, choreographing a fight between the swordsman and Jones' whip. Moore following Spielberg's storyboards, including Indiana being dragged by the truck performed by stuntman Terry Leonard , in tribute to a famous Yakima Canutt stunt. Spielberg then filmed all the shots with Ford himself in and around the truck cab. The interior staircase set in Washington, D. The University of the Pacific 's campus in Stockton, California , stood in for the exterior of the college where Jones works, while his classroom and the hall where he meets the American intelligence agents was filmed at the Royal Masonic School for Girls in Rickmansworth , Hertfordshire , England , which was again used in The Last Crusade.
His home exteriors were filmed in San Rafael, California. Eventually, a post-war British Short Solent flying-boat formerly owned by Howard Hughes was located in California and substituted. After viewing the film's rough cut, Lucas's then-wife and frequent collaborator Marcia Lucas opined that there was no emotional closure, because Marion did not appear at the ending. Although Marcia is not credited in the film, her suggestion led to Spielberg reshooting the final exterior sequence with Ford and Allen.
The bulk of effects shots were featured in the climactic sequence wherein the Ark of the Covenant is opened and God's wrath is unleashed. This sequence featured animation, a woman to portray a beautiful spirit's face, rod puppet spirits moved through water to convey a sense of floating,  a matte painting of the island, and cloud tank effects to portray clouds.