Karen Allen Raiders of the Lost Ark
Source: Screenshot YouTube/Screenshot YouTube

To mark the 40th anniversary of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, actress Karen Allen is speaking out to reveal why she insisted on changing a scene that involved her character of Marion Ravenwood using seduction to escape from a Nazi camp.

Here’s the original trailer from 1981. Take a look:

Allen Recalls Changing Scene

Allen told Fox News that she was initially excited to be playing Marion because the character was the anti-“damsel in distress.”

The scene in question initially had Marion have to outwit René Belloq (Paul Freeman) in order to escape her confinement in a Nazi camp in Egypt. While she was initially supposed to seduce him, neither she nor Freeman wanted to do it.

Allen explained that director Steven Spielberg had made it clear to the actors that he was “open” to making whatever changes needed to make his movie a hit.

“[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.

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Allen Has A Better Idea

That’s when Allen came up with a better idea. 

“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,” Allen recounted. “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.”

Here’s the scene in question:

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Allen Is Happy With Final Version Of Scene

Allen remains glad to this day that Spielberg allowed her to change the scene. She feels she ended up staying true to her character with the final result.

“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,” Allen continued.

“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,” she concluded. 

Raiders Of The Lost Ark is a truly timeless movie that continues to entertain fans of all ages.

Good for Allen for stepping up to change a scene and make it even better!