IJ-001 Raiders of the Lost Ark - Milestones

I've gone finer grain on this one, partly because I'm learning to appreciate the grains and partly because this movie beautifully exemplifies fine-grained progression of plot. I've also changed the name of the eighth Milestone to Deciding Incident from Resolution. Of course, there's so much detail in this chart that the eighth Milestone is more Resolution than Incident, but oh well.

It's a thing of wonder how tightly packed the steps are in this flick. No one ever seems to be doing anything just because the plot calls for it--yet everything is plot-oriented. One thing proceeds from another till we get to the end.

Notice the density of information released around the Inciting Incident. Notice also that we meet Marion at the first Plot Turn. In romance or romance fusion, we would meet her at the Inciting Incident, signalling that she is the real focus of the conflict. Instead, she does quadruple duty as Indie backstory, subplot love interest, main plot key to obtaining the headpiece, and main plot additional stakes. This is adroitly planted by the interweaving of her obsession with Indie's ruining of her life back in college and Indie's obession with finding the headpiece. For Marion, it's all about Marion. For Indie, it's all about the Ark. This braiding of plots is paid off masterfully when Indie threatens to blow up the Ark if the Nazis don't release Marion but cannot bring himself to act on the threat when Belloq calls his bluff. Ironically, in the end, Indie loses the Ark but gets the girl.

Minute Calc Dec Min Min:Sec Milestones Quote Range MaL Range MiL Range MiH Range MaH
End minute 0.17 0:1 Hook Indiana Jones overcomes treacherous porters, masses of tarantulas, and deadly booby traps, only to lose a golden idol to competitor René Belloq.     3:38 7:06
110.92 14.01 14:01 Inciting Incident (13:27) Museum curator Marcus Brody enters Indie's classroom just before the dismissal bell. (14:01) In the midst of a lecture, Indie reads a love note penciled on a co-ed's eyelids. (14:55) Marcus tells Indie he's brought some people to see Indie. (15:10) Marcus tells Indie the people are important and are waiting. (15:12) They are Army Intelligence. (15:22) The Army Intelligence agents list Indie's credentials. (15:48) They mention that Indie studied under Professor Ravenwood at the University of Chicago. (15:54) They ask if Indie knows of Ravenwood's whereabouts. (16:12) They tell Indie that they are about to share something strictly confidential. (16:31) They tell Indie about Hitler's search for religious artifacts. (16:51) They read a German communique about the Tanis Development. (16:59) Indie realizes the Nazis have discovered Tanis. (17:07) Indie tells the agents that the city of Tanis is one of the possible resting places of the Lost Ark. (18:09) Marcus tells the agents that the city of Tanis was supposedly wiped clean by the wrath of God. (18:14) The agents think they've come to the right men. (18:27) Indie responds that Abner Ravenwood is the real expert, having done some of the first serious work on Tanis and collected some of its relics, though he never found the city. (18:48) Indie deduces that the Nazis are looking for the headpiece to the Staff of Ra, which is needed to locate the Well of Souls. 7:06 10:33 17:28 20:56
First minute 27.86 27:5145 Plot Turn 1 (25:00) Marion Ravenwood wins a drinking contest in her tavern in Nepal. (25:25) Indie enters Marion's tavern. (25:43) Marion tells Indie she always knew someday he'd come walking back through her door. (25:51) He tells Marion he needs one of the pieces her father collected. (25:52) Marion slugs his face and tells him she learned to hate him in the last ten years. (25:59) Indie replies that he never meant to hurt her. (26:00) Marion counters that she was a child and in love, and that it was wrong and Indie knew it. (26:04) Indie replies that she knew what she was doing. (26:07) Marion tells Indie to get out of her place. (26:12) Indie replies that he did what he did and Marion doesn't have to be happy about it, but maybe they can help each other out now. (26:18) He repeats that he needs one of the pieces her father collected. (26:20) He describes the piece. (26:26) Marion says she knows the piece. (26:33) She tells Indie that Abner Ravenwood is dead. (26:40) Indie expresses regeret. (26:42) Marion aks if Indie knows what Indie did to her and her life. (26:46) Indie says he can only say he's sorry so many times. (27:05) Marion says she might give Indie the medalion. but she doesn't know where it is.  (27:34) She tells Indie to come back tomorrow. (27:51) As Indie leaves the tavern, Marion tells him she'll see him tomorrow. (28:10) Marion removes the medalion from under her shirt. (28:52) Nazi agent Toht enters the tavern. 20:56 24:24 31:19 34:47
0.17 41.70 41:42 Pinch 1 (41:42) A basket containing Marion is put in the back of a truck carrying munitions and explosives. (41:47) Indie intercepts the truck and kills the driver and a guard. (41:58) The truck overturns and explodes. (42:45) Nazi agents tell Indie a man in the bar wants to speak with him. (43:23) Indie recognizes Belloq. 34:47 38:14 45:1 48:37
Preminutes 55.55 55:33 Midpoint (54:02) The Staff of Ra pinpoints the location of the Well of Souls. (55:09) Indie ducks into a tent and discovers Marion tied to a tent pole. (55:33) Indie decides releasing Marion now will jeopardize the mission to retrieve the Ark. (55:45) He tells Marion he knows where the Ark is. (56:44) Indie locates the Well.   48:37 52:05 59 62:28
0.17 69.39 69:23 Pinch 2 (67:30) Agent Toht intercepts Marion as she attempts to escape Belloq's tent. (69:23) Indie and Sallah set  the Ark in a crate. (69:56) Belloq spies Indie's excavation. (70:06) Indie's and Sallah's torches are burning out and the snakes are closing in. (70:27) After Sallah climbs out of the Well, someone drops the rope down. (70:33) Belloq waves down to Indie. (70:53) Belloq gloats that once again what was briefly Indie's is now Belloq's. (71:00) He tells Indie that Indie is about to become a permanent addition to this archeological find. (71:23) Toht throws Marion down into the Well. (72:27) Workers seal the Well. 62:28 65:56 72:51 76:19
Minute total 83.23 83:14 Plot Turn 2 (81:23) Sallah tells Indie the Ark is being loaded onto a truck for Cairo. (82:07) Indie tells Sallah and Marion to get back to Cairo and get Indie and Marion some transport to England. (83:14) On horseback, Indie intercepts the truck carrying the Ark. (89:26) Indie drives the truck into Omar's Garage in Cairo. (90:00) Sallah tells Indie the Ark is on board a boat with a trustworthy crew. 76:19 79:46 86:42 90:09
110.75 97.08 97:05 Deciding Incident (94:48) A U-boat intercepts the boat carrying the Ark. (95:10) The Nazis seize Marion (95:23) and the Ark. (97:05) The U-boat prepares to depart with the Ark. (97:32) Indie climbs onto the outer deck of the U-boat. (102:10) Indie threatens to bazooka the Ark. (102:36) He tells Colonel Dietrich all he wants is the girl. (102:57) Belloq calls Indie's bluff. (103:51) Indie relents.  90:09 93:37 100:32 103:6
  110.92 110:55 Conclusion (104:49) The Nazis open the Ark. (105:33) The generator goes on the fritz. (105:54) Ghostly lights emerge from the Ark. (106:24) Indie tells Marion to shut her eyes. (107:16) Fire engulfs Belloq, (107:19)  shoots through the Nazi minions, (107:35) kills Belloq, Toht and Dietrich, (107:54) and consumes the entire Nazi retinue. (108:19) The lid of the Ark slams back in place. (108:25) Indie discovers the rope binding him and Marion has disintegrated. (108:38) Indie and Marion embrace in shock and relief. (109:05) The Military Intelligence agents praise Indie's service to the country. (109:14) Indie tells the agents the money's fine but the situation is totally unacceptable. (109:18) Marcus asks where the Ark is. (109:24) The agents say it's somewhere very safe (109:37) being researched by top men. (109:42) Indie asks who the top men are. (109:44) The agents repeat that the researchers are top men. (109:59) Marion tells Indie she knows what she's got in him and persuades him to let her buy him a drink.  (110:28) The Ark is stored in a secret US Army Intelligence facility among thousands of other items in identical crates. 103:6 107:28    
Av Distance                
Min Range                
Max Range                 

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Badbot Fields
If you see these fields, something is wrong.
If you see this field, something is wrong.
If you see this field, something is wrong.
If you see this field, something is wrong.