Paramount Pictures

10+ 'Indiana Jones: Raiders Of The Lost Ark' Facts Fans Didn't Know

Harrison Ford has one heck of a career. In fact, he's played some of the biggest and most iconic characters in the history of cinema.

But none more so than the fedora-wearing, whip-cracking archaeologist, Indiana Jones.

Below are 10+ Raiders of the Lost Ark behind the scenes secrets that fans didn't know. Have a look and see how your knowledge of the film measures up!

1. It was incredibly hot filming the desert scenes.

Spielberg actually shot in the middle of the Sahara.

According to an interview the legendary director gave on the Dick Cavett Show, the days averaged around 135 degrees — in the shade!

2. Tom Selleck was almost Indiana Jones!

While making an appearance on The Rachel Ray Show, Tom revealed that he had done a screen test for the part.

It came down to him having to make a choice between doing Raiders of the Lost Ark or starring in Magnum, P.I..

3. Steven Spielberg actually threw a live snake on Karen Allen!

The way Steven rationalizes his behavior was that he was being a "method director." He needed a real blood-curdling scream from Karen and figured there was no better way.

I would have walked off the set immediately were I in Karen's place.

4. The film took 'on location' shooting to an entirely new level.

Paramount Pictures

The bulk of what you see, especially the Jungle scene at the beginning of the movie, is the real deal.

Raiders of the Lost Ark shot on the Hawaiian Islands, in parts of Tunisia, and even France!

5. Harrison Ford's trivia knowledge of *Raiders Of The Lost Ark* isn't great.

During an appearance on The Conan O'Brien Show, Harrison was asked by Indiana Jones super fan, Jordan Schlansky, what color the whip-fall was in the first film?

Harrison responded, "Who gives a [expletive]?"

6. Indiana Jones was named after George Lucas' dog.

Paramount Pictures

Indiana was an Alaskan malamute. Indiana was always going to be the nickname for Henry Jones, Jr. but his last name was originally going to be Smith!

Supposedly, Lucas' dog was also the inspiration for Chewbacca as well!

7. George Lucas ripped-off the opening boulder scene from a Scrooge McDuck comic.

No, that's not a joke. If you look at the panels of the comic, you'll see that the scene from Raiders is nearly identical.

I guess you never know where or how inspiration will strike?

8. Harrison Ford signed on for three films right away.

"I knew that it was meant to be a series. And while I had not agreed to do three Star Wars films, in the case of Indiana Jones I felt there was enough information to allow me to do a number of those," Ford told Vanity Fair.

Translation: Indy got paid.

9. Indy's guide at the beginning of the film is played by Alfred Molina!

This was actually the future award-winning actor's breakout American film role. These days, Alfred is regarded as one of the better character actors working today in Hollywood.

I'm blown away by how young he looks!

10. Those were real live tarantulas in the opening scene!

Paramount Pictures

When they first began shooting, the tarantulas stayed perfectly still on Alfred Molina's back. They were all male, so none had reason to act in an aggressive manner.

Once they introduced a female to the group, they began to move around.

11. Harrison Ford ad-libbed one of the film's most iconic scenes.

In the original script, Indiana wasn't supposed to shoot the swordsman. He was supposed to wage an all-out duel.

However, Harrison's health was waning at the time and he was looking for a way out.

"I proposed to Steven that we just shoot the son a [expletive] and Steve said 'I was thinking that as well.'”

Paramount Pictures

Harrison further explained during his Reddit AMA that the stuntman was confused at the change:

"The poor guy was a wonderful British stuntman who had practised his sword skills for months in order to do this job, and was quite surprised by the idea that we would dispatch him in five minutes."

12. Why'd it have to be 7000 snakes?

Paramount Pictures

Well, because according to Steven Speilberg, that's how many were required to make the shot look menacing! Originally, they'd budgeted for only 2000 snakes but it wasn't enough to fill the room.

So steven decided to go out and find another 5000 slithering serpents!

Things got very real inside the snake pit, very quickly.

Paramount Pictures

According to Spielberg, the pythons were absolutely vicious! They were biting and snapping at the snake wranglers on set, as well as the actors themselves!

There isn't enough money in the world to make me do that.

13. The iconic face-melt scene almost earned the film an R-rating.

Paramount Pictures

By today's standards, it not only seems pretty tame but fairly fake. Back in the '80s, this wasn't the case.

Production had to edit the scene to make it appear less gruesome.