Raiders of the Lost Ark
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
The Abridged Script
EXT. HOMAGE TO JUNGLE SCENES FROM OLD SERIAL FILM ADVENTURES â€“ 1939
ALFRED MOLINA, some OTHER GUY, and THE INDY HAT find a DART in a TREE.
(tastes dart, spits)
Poison. Fresh. Three days.
(looks over shoulder)
They're following us.
If the poison is three days old, doesn't that put them AHEAD of us?
It would if we hadn't just spent FIVE days trekking around in a giant circle. Look, our seaplane is right over there.
It's time to double-cross the Indy Hat.
If you think so. Just be sure to get to within bullwhip range before you start shooting.
OTHER GUY reaches for his GUN and COCKS IT, forgetting he had previously hooked it up to a NAD-C 275BEE STEREO POWER AMPLIFIER with SURROUND SOUND BOSE SPEAKERS. In a FLASH OF ACTION, the INDY HAT DISARMS the OTHER GUY who RUNS OFF! Dramatically, the INDY HAT moves forward to reveal HARRISON FORD underneath it!
C'mon, Alfred. I still need your clumsy, oafish help to get past the hair-trigger booby-traps and retrieve the tiny treasure that I can hold in one hand.
INT. HOMAGE TO RUINED TEMPLE SCENES FROM OLD SERIAL FILM ADVENTURES
HARRISON and ALFRED explore the TEMPLE that has helpfully been built with NO SIDE CORRIDORS or INTERSECTIONS or DEAD ENDS WHATSOEVER.
Wait, stay out of that light beam. If you interrupt the flow of solar energy to those camouflaged photoreceptive cells, it'll set off the 2,000-year-old trap.
There's the idol! Hm, it's behind pressure-sensitive floor tiles that trigger darts.
We could use a big stick to press all the tiles and empty the dart guns...
That's silly, you might as well say I could just run past them really fast.
HARRISON TIPTOES around the TILES and reaches the IDOL!
Now to use my X-ray spectrometer vision to determine the precise composition of the idol, so I know how heavy it is.
Oh damn, it's gold-painted solid titanium laced with supercondensed lead, no way I can cram enough sand in this tiny bag to match its weight. I'll just grab it.
He DOES, setting off ALL THE TRAPS!!
Oh crap, we gotta get out of here!
Now what was that thing about the light I learned two minutes ago?
A GIANT ROCK tries to crush HARRISON, but he craftily stacks the ELEVEN MILLION HOMAGES TO THIS SCENE behind him, thus BLOCKING it! He ESCAPES only to be caught by PAUL FREEMAN and the TRIBE, who are NOT A ROCK BAND.
Once again, there is nothing you can possess, that I cannot take away.
I guess so, except for an acting career that extends beyond the end of this movie OH SNAP
HARRISON RUNS! The TRIBE CHASE him, but he daringly jumps TWO FEET to a VINE, then swings FOUR FEET off the SHORE, finally dropping ONE FOOT into the WATER!
That may not be much of a stunt, yet somehow it was 100 times more thrilling than a random CGI monkey-chase covering tens of miles would have been, to choose a purely hypothetical example.
He GETS AWAY in a ROUSING HEROIC TRIUMPH having accomplished UTTERLY JACK SHIT besides making his MORTAL ENEMY RICHER.
INT. HOMAGE TO OLD SERIAL ADVENTURE SCENES SET IN STUFFY OLD UNIVERSITIES - LECTURE ROOM
HARRISON is describing his latest D&D CAMPAIGN to the class.
...so yeah, there was a secret door here, and some orcs behind it, but my +2 dagger made quick work...
One of his FEMALE STUDENTS makes a pass at him!
Hmm, I guess you heard about my predilection for younger girls. Much, much younger girls. Which is, er, an ugly rumour. Ha, ha ha.
(class bell sounds)
Whaaa, class is over?! How surprising! Well not really, but I'm not going to be the only movie teacher in history to actually plan out their goddamn lecture to fit the time slot.
INT. UNIVERSITY - VAST IMPRESSIVE WOODEN ROOM SUCH AS ONE MIGHT FIND IN AN OLD SERIAL ADVENTURE, OKAY, YOU GET THE IDEA
DENHOLM ELLIOTT takes HARRISON to see a couple of GOVERNMENT ASSHOLES.
GOVERNMENT ASSHOLE #1
Harrison, we've learned that the Nazis are working with the father of that underage kid you banged.
GOVERNMENT ASSHOLE #2
Nailing your colleague's daughter, THAT'S classy. I mean, really, what kind of sleazeball...
NAZIS?! They must want the Ark of the Covenant!
GOVERNMENT ASSHOLE #1
Which is what?
I'll show you. Since I don't believe in religion and think it's all crap, I have a huge ornate clasped Bible that I carry with me at all times. And oh look, it falls open to the page about the Ark even though I had no idea what this discussion was going to be about.
INT. HARRISON'S HOUSE - LATER THAT DAY
Wonderful news, Harrison. They want you to go on a suicide mission to single-handedly get the Ark out from under the nose of the entire Nazi army! Isn't that great?
Awesome! I shall celebrate with my best Steve Martin impersonation!
I would have gone myself, you know, if "Last Crusade" hadn't retconned me into a fucking imbecile. Do be careful, Harrison.
I'm always careful, don't worry. Look, I've packed two distinct John Williams leitmotifs. TWO!
HARRISON flies to NEPAL and sets into FUCKING CEMENT how every movie character will fly to other countries for the REST OF GODDAMN TIME.
INT. SEEDY BAR - NEPAL
Bar owner KAREN ALLEN establishes her BADASSNESS by consuming FIVE TIMES her body weight in ALCOHOL.
Well hello yourself, Indy Silhouette. I suppose you brought that bum Harrison Ford along?
Yup. Look, I know you haven't seen me since I statutorily raped you, but I want to talk about your recently dead father and pay you off for a medallion he found, because I have the sensitivity of a hippo turd.
Wow. Why would I help an asshole like you?
Because, fraulein, the alternative is outrageously over-the-top supervillains! Nyah ha ha! Burn and sear and maim everything!!
There is a COOL BAR FIGHT during which EVERYTHING BURNS DOWN but KAREN and HARRISON escape!
You're stuck with me now, Ford! I'm your goddamn partner!!
(thrusts medallion towards camera)
Hi, remember me, I was right outside too? Oh hey, that's the medallion I wanted.
HARRISON and KAREN arrive to see JOHN RHYS-DAVIES.
Welcome, friends! Karen, I see you bought a pet already.
Huh? No, this is just some random wild monkey I found that has a tailored jacket, as wild monkeys do. But you mentioned shopping! Harrison, can we go shopping?!
Since we've recently learned the Nazis are after you, I suppose there's no reason we can't go wandering about in public.
They go SHOPPING but are ATTACKED by A SWARM OF EXTRAS!
(beating up extras)
Good thing these guys wait to get within punching distance before using their swords!
HARRISON suddenly has to take an ENORMOUS SHIT and so simply SHOOTS the head swordsman. Luckily it does not occur to the NAZIS to just SHOOT HIM BACK and so they continue to send ASSHOLES WITH SWORDS after him.
Maybe if I inject some zaniness into the chase, nothing seriously bad will happen.
(hits henchman with frying pan)
There we go! Now it should be all safe madcap hijinks from here on.
(is thrown into truck)
HARRISON SHOOTS at the TRUCK and suddenly an IDENTICAL TRUCK in a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PART OF TOWN falls over, which makes something EXPLODE close to HARRISON and it turns out to be the ORIGINAL TRUCK!
Oh no, Karen, dead! And all I did was fire bullets in her direction, how did this happen?!?
PAUL FREEMAN arrives to gloat and be French at HARRISON.
We are not so different, you and I. I am a shadowy reflection of you.
Wow, it's so weird to see this done properly before 2,000 knockoff versions kinda ruined it for everyone.
HARRISON is about to be GUNNED DOWN but JOHN RHYS-DAVIES sends in his CHILDREN to save him, which WORKS because during all of World War Two NOTHING BAD ever, ever happened to CHILDREN.
Yes, I heard. But on the other hand, I still have a wife and lots of kids! Yay me! Don't you feel better?
INT. OLD MYSTICAL DUDE'S PLACE
HARRISON and JOHN show the medallion to the OLD MYSTICAL DUDE.
OLD MYSTICAL DUDE
Putting the medallion into a staff will lead to the Ark's location. And the markings on the amulet tell us exactly how long the staff should be.
Does it mention anything about correcting for the angle of the sun? Because depending on which time of year...
OLD MYSTICAL DUDE
NO IT DOES NOT, THE HEIGHT IS ALL THAT MATTERS SO SHUT UP.
HARRISON almost eats a POISONED DATE but luckily the hyper-intelligent monkey wasn't paying attention at EVIL-LACKEY MORNING BRIEFING and eats one FIRST, thus warning JOHN in time!
So, the evil monkey is dead. But I guess we still have to watch out for his TRUE master, eyepatch motorcycle guy.
Or, strangely, we don't.
EXT. NAZI DIG SITE - THE NEXT DAY
HARRISON and JOHN SAUNTER OVER to the INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT MAP ROOM which is, naturally, TOTALLY UNGUARDED. HARRISON casually drops the staff inside, where it shatters into three pieces, wrecking all his plans and dooming the world to eternal Nazi rule until he spends TEN HONOUR POINTS for a REROLL and the staff lands undamaged. Meanwhile JOHN nonchalantly builds a FREIGHT ELEVATOR and lowers HARRISON inside.
Must act quickly to get the location of the Ark!
Dammit, how do I get a progress bar on this thing? Acquiring crucial plot information is ALWAYS shown with progress bars! Wait a sec...
HARRISON plugs the STAFF into a DATA PORT and creates a 30,000-WATT BEACON OF LIGHT which is fine because he's only COMPLETELY SURROUNDED BY NAZIS.
EXT. DIG SITE
HARRISON avoids a GUARD by ducking into a TENT and...
Ohmigerd, Karen, you're alive!
Hm, if I rescue you, Paul Freeman will know I'm here.
But he already knows you're here and that you want the Ark. I could lead some guards on a wild goose chase while you get it?
We can't, that would make you dangerously close to an equal protagonist. Better sit tight! Meanwhile I will continue my covert operations by wearing my trademark hat against the setting sun, creating a striking silhouette easily visible to the whole camp.
INT. PAUL FREEMAN'S TENT - LATER THAT NIGHT
PAUL arrives and unties KAREN, whaaa?!
You can't escape, Karen. The desert is three weeks in every direction.
But in the big chase scene we reach the next city in like 10 minutes...
Gosh, you're right, you really got me there HEY I KNOW MAYBE THE EVIL FRENCHMAN IS LYING?!!! DURRRRRR HERPY DERP DERP let's have a drink.
KAREN almost manages to ESCAPE with her ALCOHOL POWERS but RONALD LACEY stops her!
Hello again, fraulein. Now you must deal with ME, and this sinister gadget... which is... a COATHANGER!
Phew! You had me worried.
Yes, it was only a travel accessory, ha ha. However, what you thought was a simple pocket handkerchief is actually an anal corkscrew drill, so fucking talk.
EXT. HARRISON'S DIG SITE
HARRISON and his CREW excavate the ARK ROOM and find SNAKES!
Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?
Well if you wanted gumdrop bunnies you should have foreshadowed THAT instead. It's your own damn fault really.
HARRISON goes and gets the ARK, but PAUL FREEMAN sets "FORCE TRADES" to "ON" and swaps KAREN ALLEN for the ARK.
Now, I seal you inside, dooming you both! BWAH HA HA HA!
Though as chief archeologist on this site, I should REALLY know that only one wall separates you from a path to freedom. Not sure how we managed to uncover the room NEXT to the Ark, but not this one. Maybe I should have that exit guarded? Ah, fuck it.
We've got to do something, Harrison! Eventually the snakes will work around that clear plexiglass barrier and kill us!
Don't worry, I think I can topple that twenty-foot solid stone statue with my legs.
He DOES! They ESCAPE and find JOHN RHYS-DAVIES!
John, you're okay? Last we saw, the Nazis had you at gunpoint. They just let you go?
Er, yes. But let's not worry about that. And let's also not worry about how they track down the boat that I'll put you on, later in the movie. Or how they knew that you were in Cairo in the first place. Or how I manage to support a wife and twelve kids doing menial labour. Ha, ha ha.
Look, an action set piece!
HARRISON beats up a MECHANIC but must then contend with an ENORMOUS SHIRTLESS GERMAN!
Put zem up, Yankee! I always challenge trespassers to fistfights before reporting zem!
Damn, my fists are useless against you! Hm, what's slightly tougher than a human fist. I know, giant rotating metal blades!
HARRISON makes mincemeat of the SHIRTLESS GERMAN, but the MECHANIC GETS AWAY because he only FIXES machines that will kill Allied troops and doesn't OPERATE them personally. Meanwhile KAREN ALLEN SLAUGHTERS THE LIVING FUCK out of a whole TRUCKLOAD OF SOLDIERS some of whom were likely basically good people who thought they were just serving their country, not like that mechanic who was actually an evil fucker, too late now though!
I think Karen's body count might be larger than mine at this point. Yet her action beats are still filmed like cutaway meanwhile-type moments. Weird.
EXT. ELSEWHERE ON THE BASE
The ALCOHOLIC, SKETCHY LABOURER, and SEX OFFENDER regroup to plan their next HEROIC MOVE.
Grr, we blew up the plane but still don't have the Ark back.
Well I certainly didn't send you on a wild goose chase to your almost certain death, if THAT'S what you're implying! I honestly thought sending you up against dozens of armed Nazis was the safe play. Anyway, now I suggest you attack an entire armed convoy of Nazis. Because, yay America?
HARRISON defeats the NAZI CONVOY with his power of MAKING ANY LANDSCAPE APPEAR THAT HE DAMN WELL WANTS.
NAZI TRUCK DRIVER
TREES?! We were in open desert a second ago...
SERIOUSLY WHERE THE FUCK DID THIS CLIFF COME FROM AAAAAAIIEEEEEEEE
(plummets to death)
HARRISON drives off with the ARK and because the NAZI ARMY can't be bothered to search a TWO-BLOCK AREA for a GIANT TRUCK containing THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER, our heroes get away!
JOHN introduces HARRISON and KAREN to FREIGHTER CAPTAIN GEORGE HARRIS.
Harrison, do you think we can trust him?
He got a cool tracking shot reveal, that's good enough for me.
Goodbye, my friends. Have an enjoyable giant stack of tainted Nazi cash, er, I mean, trip.
INT. ON BOARD SHIP
HARRISON creates some humour by COMPLAINING somewhat about his MULTIPLE DEBILITATING INJURIES.
You're sure not the man I knew ten years ago.
What, seriously, we're already mentioning how old I am? In the first goddamn movie?
Well it's not like you're going to still be doing this role 30 years later, HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA OH JEEZ GOOD ONE KAREN HA HA HA HA
Uh-oh, a Nazi sub found us! Well that made the most exciting part of the movie totally pointless now didn't it.
KAREN gets captured! HARRISON swims to the SUB and we've all heard two dozen versions of the "he should drown now" joke, so take a moment to remember your favourite one, and let's continue.
EXT. REMOTE NAZI ISLAND
PAUL FREEMAN and the NAZIS (also NOT A ROCK BAND) are AMBUSHED by HARRISON and a ROCKET LAUNCHER!
Let Karen go, Paul, or I'll blow up the Ark!
Damnit, you're right. I surrender.
(inhaling entire snake)
Thanks. Good thing you didn't threaten to blow up, I dunno, ME instead. I'd have totally caved.
AW FUCKITY CRAP
(devouring three whole species of mollusk)
Now, because you are my sworn enemy and nothing would be crueller than to kill you before you got to look inside the Ark, I will let you see what's in the Ark.
PAUL FREEMAN OPENS the ARK! CRAZY ANGEL THINGS come out and start FRAGGING NAZIS!
Don't look, Karen! Keep your eyes shut! We'll be safe if we remain in a state of wilful blindess!
So, wait, we've established you're guilty of murder and sex with minors. But you're saying God won't judge your actual sins, only whether you choose to face the truth? You can commit all the child rape you want as long as you go "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU"?! Where are you getting this from?
Hm? Oh, just something I learned from my childhood parish priest, I mean, history book. Now get with the eye-shutting!!
PAUL FREEMAN and RONALD LACEY look in the ARK and SCREAM! Then they SCREAM again, look at the ARK, and decide to SCREAM! Then their heads EXPLODE AND/OR MELT as they finally realize that THE SISTINE CHAPEL CEILING LIED TO THEM.
Phew, we survived! Now we just have to deal with being stuck on this island deep in Nazi territory with no transportation and whoops we're home.
INT. GOVERNMENT BUILDING - BACK IN AMERICA
GOVERNMENT ASSHOLE #2
I'm sorry, Harrison, but I can't divulge the Ark's current whereabouts.
That's okay, I'll just wait to see where the next giant column of fire and death appears.
GOVERNMENT ASSHOLE #1
I'm glad you agree. Wait, what?
The ARK gets stuffed deep into a GIANT WAREHOUSE to be FOREVER LOST and NEVER FOUND AGAIN, along with MOOD RINGS and LEISURE SUITS and GEORGE LUCAS'S ABILITY TO COME INTO CONTACT WITH A MOVIE WITHOUT TURNING IT INTO A HUGE STEAMING PILE OF WHALESHIT.