Raiders of the Lost Ark questions

It occurred to me while watching it again last night that Indy could of saved himself a helluva lot of blood, sweat, and tears by just WAITING for Belloq and the Nazis to pull up anchor from their dig for the Well of Souls.
Professor Ravenwood had the only true headpiece to the Staff of Ra, right? Belloq had a copy with markings on only one side, hence his staff was too long to be used accurately in the map room. I realize that Hitler was ‘nuts on the subject’ to find the Ark, but the desert is vast and even he (I would surmise) would finally give the order to Col. Dietrich to give up the ghost(s).
Wouldn’t it logically follow that all Indy had to do was hang in Cairo with Marion and Sallah while intermittently checking to see if the Nazis had left? It seems the height of stupidity to start a brand new dig right under the bad guys collective noses.

Oh, and how the FUCK did Indy and Marion get off the island at the end? What, did they know how to pilot a sub?

It’s possible. But the site where Indy ends up finding the Ark is pretty much right next to where the Nazis are digging, and it’s attached to adjacent chambers, so it seems pretty likely the Nazis are going to stumble across it fairly soon.

After all, they get caught because Belloq sees the diggers from smack in the middle of his own excavation site.

To answer the last question, assuming that everyone on the island was dead except for them, all they had to do was radio for a ship, right?

That would work even if everybody wasn’t dead, but it would make the rescue more difficult.

Or maybe they just hung onto a periscope as it travelled 200+ miles through the Med. After all, that’s how Indy arrived. :wink:

As to the question about the Well of Souls, I think it was implied that the Nazis were close to finding it through trial and error even without the proper headpiece.

Yup. They were pretty close already.

Of course, the point was made long ago that Indy should just have stayed at Wherever U. and kept teaching. When the Nazis opened the Ark it was gonna kill 'em all anyway.

but then he wouldn’t have saved the girl. Much more important

But if he had never met Marian he might have avoided the quest for the crystal skull. Much, much more important.

But then the aliens would not have been set free and allowed to go home.

Won’t someone please think of the aliens!!!

On the face of it, this conclusion sounds friggin brilliant… IF Indy knew that opening, let alone touching the Ark to begin with would melt your face.

Since the Bible explicitly describes the Ark as striking down anyone who touches it without God’s approval… yeah, I think a pretty good argument can be made that he should have known that.

But I thought the threat was that “an army that marches with the Ark in front of it was unstoppable.” So if the Nazi’s had just left the cover on - it would be a huge war weapon.

It was just that Belloq’s hubris that did them in…

Indy is familiar with the Biblical accounts of the Ark’s power, but remember he doesn’t actually believe in it at that point. He’s just interested in the Ark as a priceless historical artifact (not to mention the fame and fortune of helping to find it). It’s not until the end, when scary noises and eerie light starts coming from the Ark, that he finally thinks, “Oh crap, it’s real.”

The better question is why the Nazis, who believed in its power all along, ever thought it would be a cinch to manipulate an artifact powered by a Jewish deity. Uh, guys? Really? You honestly think you’re getting off that island without at the very least a melted face?

Yeah, that’s a fair point.

This is a good question, but it’s not a flaw in the movie, it’s a flaw in real life. There’s tons of Christian anti-Semites out there, many of whom are (or were) also Nazis. Somehow, they’re able to reconcile the contradiction, so it’s no real stretch to figure that Spielburg’s Nazis use the same rationalization when they attempt to us the Ark for themselves.

I think taking the lid off the Ark is what makes the army unstoppable. Presumably, the army marches up to the enemy, all the soldiers cover their eyes while the priests lift the lid off, and the ghosts inside melt the faces off their enemies.

This is precisely how I interpreted it. I don’t think the Ark actually made the armies themselves invincible. The picture in the book showed some dudes holding the Ark and it blasting energy in all directions- it didn’t show an army crushing another army.

He already knew Marian at the beginning of the movie, so sitting out the events wouldn’t have stopped him from meeting her.

Might have prevented him from knocking her up, though, thus keeping Shia The Beef out of the fourth film.

I wonder if the illustration of the ark in Indy’s book when he shows it to the G-men was from a real historical reference or just artwork for the film?

Oh. Right.

Well, what Miller said, then.

Is closing your eyes really enough not to get killed by it? I thought Indy just told Marion not to look so she wouldn’t have to see faces melted off. I thought the Nazis just got killed for they were bad.