I watched Raiders Of The Lost Ark last night; the first time I’ve seen it in high definition on Blu Ray. The frame by frame restoration is masterfully done, and brings a whole new dimension to Indy’s adventures. With all that said, the only thing that really matters though is that rip-roaring story, accompanied by the iconic Raiders March.
I don’t know why, but this is probably my favourite small moment from the movie.
It’s not even a rousing action scene, and yet it deserves the music. It’s triumphant, and then it cuts to the island, and Indy is all wet. No one really questions this. We all assume that he either clambered inside before the submarine descended, or that he stayed on deck, and it never descended at all.
Except, that’s not true.
Originally, Indy straps himself to the periscope with his whip, and manages not to drown that way. They even filmed it. How pretty is this image?
And here’s them shooting it from a boat.
And here’s a screengrab from the final movie courtesy of TheRaider.net, which seems to show Indy strapped to that very periscope.
To be honest, I’ve known about this missing scene for quite a while, though I didn’t realise they had actually shot it.
What I didn’t know was that there’s another deleted scene in which Sallah meets a very different fate.
With Indy and Marion left to suffocate in the Well of the Souls the Germans decide that Sallah should be executed. A young German soldier was supposed to carry out the dirty job, but things changed when the latter started having second thoughts. A German youth vacationing in Tunisia had been hired for the part of the young soldier … This inexperienced young man managed to express brilliantly the moral dilemma of a young soldier forced to decide whether or not to kill a harmless stranger.
The result was beyond description, with this German student playing an intensely moving and emotional scene, making David Wisniewitz and Karen Allen call it the greatest moment since the film began. Spielberg said the bitter truth was that brilliant and memorable though the scene was, it would probably end up on the cutting-room floor because it was just too long. So it did.
That’s Spielberg directing the actors, for what looks to be a really bleak moment.