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Scene Dissection: Raiders Of The Lost Ark – Swordsman Scene

I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions that my favorite movie of all time is Raiders Of The Lost Ark. It’s a brilliant action movie with great performances. My favorite scene is the famous swordsman scene.


Indy has been fighting several henchman hand to hand when a new one pops up, this time brandishing a fancy ass sword.


You’d expect Indy to pull out a sword and get into an awesome duel with him. A lesser movie would have. But this is no lesser movie. See, Indy is fucking tired of fighting for now. So, instead, Indy just pulls out a gun and fucking shoots him.


It’s the cinematic equivalent of Alexander The Great cutting the Gordian Knot. I just LOVE it when characters do something so… real like this and this is my favorite example.


(my second favorite example)

The most fascinating part of all this, at least for me, is that it was completely unplanned. Originally, Indy was going to pull out a sword and get into an awesome duel with him. The actor playing the swordsman was a trained swordfighter. But when they were about to shoot the scene, a wrench was thrown in their plans: Harrison Ford caught dysentery. Afraid that he would shit himself filming a complex swordfight, Ford suggested that he just shoot the swordsman instead.


I have to admit, I was shocked to learn that this was unplanned since it seems so perfect for Indy. Just goes to show how perfectly Ford understood the character.