At the beginning of Raiders on the Lost Ark, when Indy and several hired guides are making their way to the South American temple, one of the guides tries to shoot Indy, who takes the gun out of the would-be shooter's hand with his whip.

I get the point of the scene was to show Indy has mad skills with the whip, but I don't get why the guide would want to shoot him in the first place- can anyone enlighten me?

3 Answers 3


Indy has found the lost temple that has the golden idol in it. Barranca (the guide/assistant with the gun) believes that now that the temple is located, he could kill Indy and get the golden idol and keep it for himself.

He is unaware of both the traps within the temple and the fact that Belloq and the Hovitos are waiting for Indy to recover the idol so they can have it for themselves.


Why did the guide pull his gun on Indy?

Very short answer: greed. Once the temple and idol were located, they thought they could keep the gold for themselves.

Barranca and Satipo had decided long ago to double-cross Indy and keep the golden idol.

Satipo and Barranca then have a fast, silent communication: Barranca indicates his desire to slit Indy’s throat; Satipo gives him a look that says “Be patient, you idiot”.

Then, they need the second part of the plan before they can get rid of him.

Indy takes the weird feather from the band of his hat. From around its point, he slips a tightly rolled piece of parchment. Barranca and Satipo exchange a quick “So that’s where is was!” look.

Quotes are from the script by Laurence Kasdan.

Here's the opening scene showing the 2 men (guides) in the scene where the first one attacks Indy. It's a little bit different from the script, where both guides try and double-cross Indy, not as a team, but individually. We can't see a real connexion between those two like we do in the script, so I guess it's a director's choice.

  • 1
    Not sure why this is not the accepted answer from OP...it should be Jul 2, 2023 at 16:33
  • I came late by 20mn, but the accepted one is quite inaccurate :)
    – OldPadawan
    Jul 2, 2023 at 16:47
  • Yeah, that's the frustrating part about SE...inexperienced users will accept the first answer given, even if it's inaccurate :( Jul 2, 2023 at 16:49
  • @ToddWilcox : actually, when you write "Barranca [...] believes that [...] he could kill Indy and Satipo", it's weird, because there's no clue about that neither in the script (where they team up) nor in the movie (where they seem to act individually). But nowhere we can guess (from words or looks or action) than Barranca wants to kill the other guide.
    – OldPadawan
    Jul 4, 2023 at 15:00

The film's official novelisation gives us a little more background on Satipo and Barranca. These two aren't hired guides, but are in fact Indy's business partners in this little endeavour. They've managed to acquire most of the map that leads to the Idol Shrine and he's managed to convince them that he can get them into the temple safely. Once he reveals how he's going to accomplish that (e.g. that he somehow has the missing part of the map), they decide to kill him.

Barranca shrugged and glanced at Satipo; some kind of silent communication passed between them. They’ll choose their moment, Indy knew. They’ll make their move at the right time.


Barranca stared at the entranceway. “How can we trust you, Senor Jones? No one has ever come out alive. Why should we put our faith in you?”

Indy smiled at the Peruvian. “Barranca, Barranca -you’ve got to learn that even a miserable gringo sometimes tells the truth, huh?” And he pulled a piece of folded parchment out of his shirt pocket. He stared at the faces of the Peruvians. Their expressions were transparent, such looks of greed. Indy wondered whose throats had been cut so that these two villains had managed to obtain the other half. “This, Barranca, should take care of your faith,” and he spread the parchment on the ground. Satipo took a similar piece of parchment from his pocket and laid it alongside the one Indy had produced. The two parts dovetailed neatly. For a time, nobody spoke; the threshold of caution had been reached, Indy knew-and he waited, tensely, for something to happen.

“Well, amigos,” he said. “We’re partners. We have what you might call mutual needs. Between us we have a complete map of the floor plan of the Temple. We’ve got what nobody else ever had. Now, assuming that pillar there marks the corner-”

Before he could finish his sentence he saw, as if in a slowed reel of film, Barranca reach for his pistol.

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