Movie Myths: Did Harrison Ford’s Dysentery Inspire the Best Scene in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’?
Seems that Harrison Ford caught himself a case of diarrhea due to Dysentery on the set of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark,' and it was this illness that inspired the actor to respond to the crazy scimitar-wielding warrior in the desert with an exhausted look before shooting him dead on the spot in one of the film's most notorious and hilarious scenes.
True or False? True! Harrison Ford had been ill with Dysentery for several days while shooting 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' with director Steven Spielberg. The script called for a three and a half page fight between Indiana Jones and the scimitar guy, but Ford asked if they could shoot the scene differently, allowing him to spend more time in the bathroom and less time on set. Spielberg obliged, and after the swordsman did his intense and exaggerated display of skill, Ford gave that now-famous tired look, pulled out his gun, and shot the guy. And it worked! Spielberg loved it and we can't imagine that scene going any other way -- and it was all thanks to diarrhea.