The Cairo Henchman was one of a group of local misfits and criminals hired off the streets of Cairo, Egypt by German intelligence agents as part of their work to waylay threats and prevent interference to the Nazi excavation of nearby Tanis to unearth the lost Ark of the Covenant.
In 1936, the henchman, one of the few local toughs not to hide his face chased down Marion Ravenwood after she and archaeologist Indiana Jones, who were looking for the Ark, got separated following the group's ambush of the pair in a Cairo marketplace.
By 1936, a German Gestapo agent and two associates had infiltrated Cairo, Egypt as part of the Nazi excavation of the lost Ark of the Covenant at Tanis. Positioned to prevent threats to the ongoing work at Tanis, the German agent and his partners monitored the movements of American archaeologist Indiana Jones and bar owner Marion Ravenwood when they arrived in the city chasing the location of the Ark themselves.
An Arab henchman, along with several other native toughs, was hired by the German agents to form part of an attack against Jones and Ravenwood near a marketplace where the two were shopping. When the initial assault only succeeded in separating Jones and Ravenwood from each other, the henchman – who had played no part in the attack and forwent hiding his face behind a keffiyeh like the others – chased down Marion.
The bar owner quickly armed herself with frying pan from a nearby stall. As the henchman approached, however, he simply drew a knife and laughed. Ravenwood reassessed her situation and fled while the man gave pursuit. She ducked into a building to escape but when the tough followed her inside, she clobbered him with the pan, knocking him unconscious.
He fell backwards out of the doorway and took a second hit when his head collided with the cobblestone ground, before Ravenwood dragged his body inside to avoid attracting attracting any of his associates.
Behind the scenes
The Cairo Henchman was portrayed by an uncredited performer in Raiders of the Lost Ark. The character was named as such in Hasbro's Indiana Jones toy line which bundles him in a set alongside a Marion Ravenwood figure.
His figure is actually just a repaint of the toy line's Arab Swordsman with a different head, in colors based on one of the Arab Henchmen who attack Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood earlier in the Cairo marketplace, rather than the man who played the specific character knocked out by Ravenwood's frying pan. However, the description on the toy's box clearly indicates that the figure is intended to be him.
With the exception of those individually named in the film's credits, the Cairo-based Egyptian antagonists are all collectively called Arab Henchmen in the Raiders of the Lost Ark Sourcebook and share the same gameplay stats.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (First appearance)
- Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark junior novel