AFI Movie Club: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK – American Film Institute
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark Film Still - Harrison Ford



Watch it on CBS Sunday, May 3, 8 P.M./7 P.M. CST

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK appears on both of AFI’s lists of the greatest American films of all time – the original list and again on the 10th Anniversary Edition. It ranks #10 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Thrills list – and Indiana Jones is named the second greatest screen hero of all-time on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes & Villains list! RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK also boasts contributions by no fewer than four AFI Life Achievement Award recipients – director Steven Spielberg, producer George Lucas, star Harrison Ford and composer John Williams!

Movie Trivia about RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

-DID YOU KNOW that George Lucas conceived of the RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK story around the same time that he came up with the idea of STAR WARS? After becoming preoccupied with STAR WARS, he offered the synopsis to his friend, director Steven Spielberg.

-DID YOU KNOW Tom Selleck was Lucas’ first choice for the male lead? However, Selleck had recently been cast in the title role of the television drama MAGNUM P.I. and its producers were unwilling to release the actor from his production schedule.

-DID YOU KNOW that Debra Winger reportedly turned down the role of Marion Ravenwood, which eventually went to up-and-coming actress Karen Allen?

-DID YOU KNOW in order to capture “Indy” being chased by a rolling boulder, the crew attached the boulder prop to an arm-like contraption that allowed the rock to spin on a hinge and follow the action? However, when the boulder careened down its chute, the stalactite props on set were broken and had to be reconstructed for each take.

-DID YOU KNOW that the name “Indiana” was inspired by George Lucas’ dog – an Alaskan Malamute who also inspired the character of Chewbacca in STAR WARS?

-DID YOU KNOW that George Lucas created a television series about the adventures of young Indiana Jones? In it, the budding adventurer intersects with many important figures of the early twentieth century, teaching audiences about history!

Learn more at the AFI Catalog.

The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions

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-How does music affect emotion in the film? Are there any particular scenes where the music ramps up feelings of suspense or wonder?

-What are the different reasons that the Nazis and Indy want to find the Ark?

-Belloq says of a pocket watch “It’s worthless…but I take it, I bury it in the sand for a thousand years, it becomes priceless.” What are some modern-day objects that you think might become priceless artifacts a thousand years from today?

-When was the first time you saw RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK? What new details have you picked up upon watching it again?

-Have you seen all of the Indiana Jones films? Do you have a favorite?

-How would you rate RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK?


WATCH: George Lucas talks about creating RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK in this exclusive AFI Archive Video.

In this exclusive clip from the 2016 AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony, Harrison Ford pays tribute to famed composer John Williams:

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In this time when we are reminded “There’s no place like home,” AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. Each day’s film is accompanied by fun facts, family-friendly discussion points and material from the AFI Archive to enrich your viewing experience.

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