Raiders of the Lost Ark (partially found unreleased R-rated version of adventure film; 1981)

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Raiders of the Lost Ark.jpg

The film's poster.

Status: Partially Found

Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 action-adventure film. The film went on to be the highest-grossing film of the year and is often considered to be one of the greatest films in its genre, along with in general. However, the film was heavily edited prior to release.

Censored Scene

The climactic scene where the Ark of the Covenant was opened had to be changed in order to get a PG rating from the Motion Picture Association of America. It was to originally end with the main antagonist, Dr. Rene Belloq, having his head explode. However, unlike in the final film, the explosion was not blocked by any flames. In order to get a lower rating, the scene was altered to have it obscured by flames.

It should be noted that even with this alteration, the scene itself still includes lightning going through people and two people having their faces melt (occurring right before the explosion). Additionally, a character is stabbed with several spears, characters are shot, and profanity is still in the final film.

It is not known if any other scenes were modified to get a lower rating.

No footage has surfaced of the uncensored scene. However, on November 14th, 2013, Will McCrabb uploaded a picture of the original scene on Twitter.

Other Deleted Scenes

Various other scenes were deleted from the film:

  • A scene of Marion Ravenwood kissing Indiana Jones in the bar scene where they first meet. Appears in the Marvel Comics adaptation.
  • A longer version of Indy fighting the Cairo Swordsman.
  • A longer version of the scene where Imam explains the dangers of the Ark to Indy and Sallah.
  • A longer version of Sallah creating time while Indy is in the Well of Souls.
  • A continuation of the previous scene where Sallah is about to be executed by a Nazi soldier.
  • After Indy and Marion escape the Well of Souls, he knocks out an Arab who is there. The unconscious person can be seen in the background in the final film.
  • A scene showing Indy riding on the periscope when the submarine he is on descends. Appears in the Marvel Comics adaptation.

Of the scenes that were shown, only the first two can be seen by the public.

Additionally, there was a scene that was scripted where a woman is with Indy when Marcus Brody visits him. However, this was not actually filmed.




Deleted Indy and Marion kissing scene.

Original swordfight scene.

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