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Did Paul Freeman Accidentally Eat A Fly In Raiders of the Lost Ark?

raiders of the lost ark fly in mouth

The Famous Indiana Jones Fly In Belloq's Mouth Scene.  Did It Really Happen?

I've always wondered if Paul Freeman unintentionally consumed a fly in this scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark?  It's the scene where Indiana Jones shouts down to Bellosh...I mean Belloq and threatens to blow up the ark.  Did a fly go in his mouth?

I remember watching this scene back in the early eighties and my ten year old mind thought he definitely had a snack while filming.  I recall talking about 'flygate' in my school playground at the time and the general consensus with my friends was that Freeman definitely had a sneaky snack.

Paul Freeman talks about the famous 'fly' scene in an interview with and settled 'flygate:'

This is a bit of a dicey question so don’t get too upset. (Laughs) A movie’s always got bloopers in it, some have a lot, and some only have three or four. And the most remarkable blooper was right before the opening of the Ark scene. In that scene, Belloq had some great dialogue, but because of some animal, the scene became humorous to the people viewing the film. Can you tell us something about that, and working with the most famous fly in the world?

Ah, yes. I don’t think anybody noticed it during the shoot, there wasn’t any hilarity at that point in the film, and I think if you look at it carefully, if you freeze the frame around that point, you’ll see that actually some frames are missing.

Yeah, I think I noticed that, just a little too jerky.

Yeah, I think they just took out a couple of frames when the fly flew off, just to make the joke. I got a very nice review from Pauline Kayland who noted what a devoted actor I was to go through it, with eating the fly and all.

So there you have it.  The fly just flew away, there was no bug in the mouth but those cheeky editors took a few frames out just to give us something to talk about years later.

To back up this story, Simon Pegg a few years back worked with Paul Freeman on a movie called "A Fantastic Fear Of Everything."  Pegg being the geek he is asked Freeman about the fly in mouth incident and tweeted:

"For the record, he never ate the fly. It took off faster than the frame rate of the camera and thus appears to go into his mouth."

Pegg was almost right, as we discovered from the interview above.  The crew just cut those few frames to make it appear the fly went in Belloq's mouth and never came out.

Did Bellow eat a fly in Indiana Jones?  Answer: No, it just flew away but movie magic made it look like it did.  The fun continues though, if you watch the video below and listen very carefully you will notice that the sound effects department added the sound of the fly landing on Belloq's face and a second later you can hear the sound of it flying away.  The crew were definitely having fun with this one.


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