The Arab Swordsman (also known as the Cairo Swordsman) challenged Indiana Jones in Cairo in 1936 during Indy's frantic search for the kidnapped Marion Ravenwood. A busy Cairo marketplace suddenly parts as a black-robed man confronts Jones with a scimitar. However, Jones decides he has no time for a protracted fight and simply shoots him. The Cairo citizens cheer this and run off with his sword.

Behind the scenes

The Swordsman was portrayed by Terry Richards.

The scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark as shot for the film was dramatically shortened; the original script intended Indy to fight the swordsman with a lengthy choreography and usage of his whip. However, Harrison Ford along with most of the crew were suffering from dysentery, and could not wear their trousers for more than a few minutes. Ford then suggested they "just shoot the f***er". Steven Spielberg agreed resulting in the biggest laugh of the film and one of it's most memorable sequences.[1]

The scene is humorously revisited in the prequel, Temple of Doom. After Indy escapes the Temple, two swordsmen challenge him, and he reaches for his gun. The music cue confirms the homage to Raiders of the Lost Ark; however, this time, Indy can do nothing but smile, shrug, and fight them with his whip, as his gun was lost by Willie Scott earlier in the film.


Notes and references

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