Raiders of the Lost Ark continues to be one of the greatest action blockbusters of all time, nearly forty years after it was released. Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Harrison Ford raised the bar for action epics with the first Indiana Jones movie. Its opening scene remains arguably one of the best in movie history.
Raiders has had multiple home video releases, so fans thought they’d seen every shred of behind-the-scenes footage from the film. But they haven’t. Via Screen Crush, Joe Hughes released about 45 minutes of previously unseen footage on YouTube. No Indy fan will want to miss this glimpse behind the camera. Most of the scenes in this video come from the film’s iconic opening sequence, where pilot Jock Lindsey rescues Indy from a mob of angry natives in South America.Hughes discovered the footage in his grandpa’s collection of VHS tapes. The video sat there for decades, so it hasn’t been seen by anyone, really. Hughes says the Raiders of the Lost Ark production team rented Jock Lindsey’s plane from Hughes’ grandpa’s neighbor. The family went along with the plane to Hawaii during filming and captured a look at the making of the now iconic scene.
As you probably noticed, the footage is silent. It’s interesting as is, but Hughes hopes his grandfather will provide a commentary track to it soon to add context and details.
This footage reminds fans that Raiders of the Lost Ark did not have a huge budget, even for the time. They followed a by-the-seat-of-your-pants style of filmmaking. So much so that the production wrecked the plane during filming, and then had to repair it. But considering the Indiana Jones movie’s place in the overall canon of film, we think it was all worth it.
Images: Paramount Pictures