Karen Allen Says She Changed Seduction Scene

  • “Raiders of the Lost Ark” star Karen Allen says she had to fight to form the Marion Ravenwood we saw on screen.
  • She told IndieWire that she asked to change a scene where she would have had to seduce her way out of a Nazi camp.
  • She said she thought there were moments where her character became a “true damsel in distress.”

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” star Karen Allen told IndieWire that she had to ask to change a scene where she would have to seduce her way out of Nazi camp because it didn’t fit her character.

Allen starred in the first “Indiana Jones” movie as Marion Ravenwood, the daughter of an archaeologist who gets brought into Jones’ (Harrison Ford) mission to track down the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis get to it. 

For the movie’s 40th anniversary, Allen spoke to IndieWire about the creation of the iconic character. She said she was originally excited to play Ravenwood because the character had “one of the best introductions of a character” that she had “ever come across.”

However, Allen wasn’t pleased with all her scenes in the movie. One particular scene she brought up in the interview was the part of the movie where Ravenwood tries to outsmart René Belloq (Paul Freeman) to escape her capture in a Nazi camp in Cairo. In the original script, Allen seduced Freeman and this did not sit right with her and Freeman. Allen said Steven Spielberg, the director of all four “Indiana Jones” movies, was “open” to change this.

“He [Spielberg] basically said, ‘Well, if you can come up with something better and you want to show it to me, we’ll shoot it,'” she recalled. “We came up with this idea that the reason I put this dress on is in order to hide this knife that I’ve taken from the food that they’ve brought me. It’s all about escaping. It’s not about a seduction that gets stopped, which is what it had been in the beginning. We made it about her trying to fool him or lull him into some sort of belief that he was going to seduce her and then she was going to turn the tables on him.”

Harrison Ford starred as Indiana Jones in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images


Allen also said that she thought her character was left behind in moments in the story. In a video for the 40th anniversary of “Star Wars,” Mencia Lucas, an Academy award-winning editor who also edited “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” revealed that the ending of the movie where Ravenwood and Jones meet up again was nearly cut from the movie because Spielberg thought it wasn’t important enough to film.

Allen said in the interview with IndieWire: “There were moments where this wonderful, bright, intelligent, talented boys’ club that had written the script, had, I thought, left her in the lurch in certain moments throughout the story. They created this very resourceful, very independent, very strong woman and then sometimes they would, whether it was for comic effect or whether it was unconscious, whatever it was, it felt sometimes like there were moments in which she did become a true damsel in distress.”

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