Marion Ravenwood

If there were a word to describe the dark-haired beauty Karen Allen played in Raiders of the Lost Ark, it would be feisty. I could have chosen fiery, but fiery gives the connotation she has a temper, something I’d attribute to any Molly Ringwald character from the ‘80s. No, feisty’s more like it. Besides, what better way to add another entry to my Women Who Wow Wednesday series than to feature the feisty love interest of Indiana Jones?

Indiana Jones' Marion
Indiana Jones’ Marion

The first time we meet the character Marion Ravenwood is in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indiana Jones, the adventurous archeologist, visits her in Nepal. Before he enters the scene, she has her hands full in an all-out drinking game. There must have been at least twenty or thirty shot glasses on her side of the table. Whatever the amount, she easily out drinks this burly beast of a man who passes out as a token to her win.

When Indiana Jones shows up, the smile on her face couldn’t be bigger. Long lost love. Past moments. Regrets. This is how it all went down:

Indiana: Hello, Marion.
Marion: Indiana Jones. I always knew some day you’d come walking back through my door. I never doubted that. Something made it inevitable. So, what are you doing here in Nepal?
Indiana: I need one of the pieces your father collected.
[Marion surprises him with a right cross to the jaw]
Marion: I’ve learned to hate you in the last ten years!
Indiana: I never meant to hurt you.
Marion: I was a child. I was in love. It was wrong and you knew it!
Indiana: You knew what you were doing.
Marion: Now I do. This is my place. Get out!

Feisty much? Never one to fold, Marion digs her heels.

Indiana: I can only say I’m sorry so many times.
Marion: Well, say it again anyway!
Indiana: Sorry.

Marion Ravenwood
Marion Ravenwood

Unfortunately, her bar goes up in smoke when a firefight breaks out between Indiana and the Nazis looking for the same artifact. Seeking payment for the destruction of her place from her former lover, Indiana becomes her new partner.

From there they travel to Tanis, Egypt where Marion finds herself threatened by a knife-wielding hood, is captured by the Nazis, attempts to escape, gets interrogated, is left for dead in an ancient Egyptian tomb with Indiana, fights a brood of snakes, escapes again (this time with Indy), and manages to thwart the transport of the ark to Cairo by single-handedly commandeering a plane and firing its machine guns on the Nazis. Whew!

This girl never lets up! Marion can find herself in the worst possible scenario, and no matter what, she’ll find a way to make it all better. Nothing seems to throw her in the dumps. She’s a fireball of energy. A spitfire of a maiden. A true-to-form overcomer. If anyone needs help, it’ll be the other guy because she’s the one who’ll cause the trouble.

Indiana Jones, you’ve met your match.

Ever see Raiders of the Lost Ark? What did you think of Marion?

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26 thoughts on “Marion Ravenwood

  1. I couldn’t agree more, she is a fantastic entry into your Wednesday series. I have seen Raiders of the Lost Ark countless times, so I can clearly picture the scene in the film when Indy and Marian first meet.

  2. She is a great character. I really liked the way they distanced her from classic damsel in distress sidekick. From the drinking game in Nepal you know that she is going to be Indy’s equal. Great choice for the column.

  3. Blondie from Temple of Doom is Mrs. Spielberg: Kate Capshaw. I’ve seen her in other movies I’ve liked like “Code Name: Dancer,” but she truly sucked in Temple of Doom. And don’t forget Alfred Molena in the beginning sequence of “Raiders”. How he’s changed over the years, but not our Marion.

    • Who can ever forget this great line: “The Hovitos are near. The poison is still fresh, three days. They’re following us.” Which begs the question: how does he know what the poison tastes like? 😉

  4. She was a great mix of tough and feminine. I’ll never forget her hanging on to Indiana for dear life in the snake pit. Good times!

  5. I love Indianna Jones!! If Sean Connery can’t show up to have adventures with Indy every time, then Marion is my next choice. She’s just awesome! (And never mind blondie from Temple of Doom. We’re just going to pretend she never happened, ok? 🙂 )

  6. my favourite Marion quote is “You can’t do this to me, I’m an American!” She was without a doubt the best :p

  7. I love when she’s telling Mud to watch his stance as he duels the evil Soviet villian lady. Now THAT’S a mom!!! We love Marion in this house. My son thinks he’s going to marry her 🙂 He was shocked to see her in The Crystal Skull. “They’re the olderest people in ITALY!” he exclaimed! But she was still great.

    • Absolutely. When researching the history of the relationship, I found Marion was just 14 when they got together. He left her when he was 27, which means their relationship lasted 2-3 years. So, a cad? that’s putting it mildly.

  8. ahhh, Marion…i don’t there has ever been a couple that gelled so well as Indy and Marion. Loved her character and was happy to see her come back with a son in the last installment.

    • The last one had a great story. Aliens from another planet. A secret society of tomb keepers. I was waiting for the zombies to show up. Shia LaBeouf was perfect as Indy’s son. Got to hand it to Spielberg, he knows who to cast in his movies.

  9. Marion is awesome! She was the toughest, most spirited girl in the whole series. I am glad they brought her back for crystal skulls. And she looked liked she didn’t age a day eitherツ

    • Agreed. She has this awesome way about her that’s always captured my attention. Childlike at times and humble. But, aye, nothing replaces that opening scene with her meeting Indy for the first time in 10 years. Such a classic.

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