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Indiana Jones & The Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Harrison Ford’s Whip

Before you learn anything of the character, before a word is spoken, before you even see his face, Indiana Jones uses his bullwhip.

It’s a wonderful moment that opens Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and it’s the crack of the whip that seems to linger in moviegoers memories. During filming Harrison Ford became an expert in the use of this deadly weapon and along with the fedora and pistol it has become the world famous calling card for the character.

This special effects bullwhip came from the personal collection of a senior crew member who worked closely with Harrison Ford on Raiders of the Lost Ark. It is approximately 12 feet long and skilfully made from 12 plait natural tan kangaroo hide by master whip maker David Morgan who also made the whips for Catwoman in Batman Returns and Antonio Banderas as Zorro.

What makes this whip unique is that is was custom made for a particular scene. A very famous scene. This whip contains a steel cable core, it also has a steel loop at each end. One loop connected to Harrison Ford (fore the close up shots) and also intrepid stunt man Terry Leonard, the other loop connected to a certain Nazi truck.

This whip was used in the amazing scene where Indiana Jones is knocked through the truck window, dragged underneath the moving vehicle and then pulled along behind it. As the tension increases, Indy then climbs back aboard and regains control of the steering wheel despatching evil doers along the way. It is one of the most famous scenes in movie history (it replicated the legendary Yakima Canutt stunt seen in John Ford’s “Stagecoach”) and one of the scenes that helped establish Raiders of the Lost Ark as an all time classic.

The whip shows evidence of its remarkable history and its heavy use during filming. The base of the grip and the kangaroo hide loop are both missing, probably scraped away along that dusty section of Tunisian road. The body of the whip is scratched and torn with running repairs visible in black gaffer tape. However, it remains instantly recognizable to film fans the world over, we are very proud to have this signature Harrison Ford prop in the Prop Store collection.

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