'Raiders Of The Lost Ark': What Is Marion Ravenwood Holding When Indiana Jones Shows Up?

Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark is unquestionably one of the best adventure movies ever made, and every inch of the film has been examined and analyzed by film lovers since it came out in 1981. But I just discovered something new about the movie that I'd never heard before. During the scene in which Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood reunite for the first time in years, Marion has her hands full – but she's not carrying what it sounds like she's carrying.

Read on to learn the truth about this Raiders of the Lost Ark trivia.

In Raiders, we first meet Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) as she outdrinks a huge guy in her bar and wins a bunch of cash in the process. (I've written before about what an awesome character introduction that is.) After she kicks all of the customers out, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) walks into the bar, she gives him a killer right hook to the jaw, and the rest of the movie is off and running.

But it's the small, weird thing that happens in between that I've never really picked up on before: what exactly is Marion holding in her hands when she sees Indy's shadow on the wall?

Ian McCamey brought this to my attention in a series of tweets:

I've always thought Marion was holding shot glasses, but McCamey's Facebook post says he came across an alternate version of the script that explains that she's actually holding snowballs up to her temples – presumably to help ease the effects of all the alcohol she's just consumed. That version of the script has been kicking around for a long time online, so some of you may have already been aware of this "mystery," but since I'd never heard about it before, I figured it was worth sharing.

Take a look at a longer excerpt from the script, which is labeled as the "revised fifth draft" from April 1980:

Raiders script

In this version, it doesn't specifically say anything about Marion tossing the snowballs aside, and as you can see, the blocking is totally different than what we see in the final movie. Here, Indy is already seated inside the bar instead of coming in separately and casting his iconic shadow on the wall in front of her. But little changes like this are very common, so it's not surprising that things changed during the actual shooting of the sequence.

Update: Twitter user @Jussing zoomed in on the image and gives us our best look yet at the snowball in Marion's hand:

Still, McCamey raises an interesting question: did Spielberg or famed sound designer Ben Burtt add the sound of glasses breaking to purposefully mislead the audience into thinking Marion was holding glasses, or is that sound there just to convey the impact of snowballs crashing into the glasses? I've reached out to Lucasfilm for an answer, and I'll update this article with a response if I get one.