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Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rene Belloq (Paul Freeman)

Site Rating: 77%
(ratings: 10)
Writeup Rating: 80%
(ratings: 3)
Film: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Deceased Character: Rene Belloq (Paul Freeman)
Archetype: Baddy (Major)
Killed with: Ark of the Covenant

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'Explosion' icon 'Combustion' icon 'Wrath of the Gods' icon
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Written by Mr. Mouseburger 29th Jun 2005

Belloq is a rival archaeologist to Indiana Jones, and throughout the film has profited from Indy's endeavours using his slimy Gallic charm. After Jones has discovered the Ark of the Covenant and dug it up, Belloq, using his Nazi friends, manages to take it from our hero.

Before showing it to the Fuhrer, Belloq decides to open up the Ark to make sure this is the real thing and not some imitation. We then cut to a hastily constructed altar on some remote island. Jones and Marion are tied to a stake at one end of the set a group of Nazis (including a Nazi film crew) are watching the ceremony at the other.

Belloq opens the Ark and everything seems quite trippy, with spirits floating around the altar and passing through peoples bodies. Events start turning sour when the friendly spirits take on a more sinister mien and start attacking the assembled Nazis. We cut back to Belloq who is still looking at the Ark in awe when a ball of fire comes from the Ark and engulfs him.

The ball of fire uses Belloq as a conduit, and lightning shoots out of Belloq's chest and strikes the assembled Nazis, killing them. Belloq's death is not far behind. Screaming in terror as the fire consumes him, Belloq is finally put out of his misery when his body explodes.

Note: It is hard to describe these events accurately, as 'God works in mysterious ways'. Belloq's death is detailed as seen by this witness.

3 categories : Explosion, Combustion, Wrath of the Gods

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Other Death Reviews for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Arab swordsman (Terry Richards)
Colonel Dietrich (Wolf Kahler)
German Soldier (John Rees)
Gobler (Anthony Higgins)
Rene Belloq (Paul Freeman)
Satipo (Alfred Molina)
Toht (Ronald Lacey)

Last Updated: 2nd Jun 2008
Number of views for this review since 30th May 2008: 16058
This review has 10 comments. Reply to the comments
Comment 1 by 'KrazyCorn' (reply to this comment)
Belloq gets my pick for the gretest exlosion death of all time
Comment 2 by 'Mr. Briggs Incorporated' (reply to this comment)
Jerry Dandridge (Dandruff?!) from Fright Night gets my vote, I eagerly wait it's inclusion! (Which may be a long ways away, as I wrote about 10 pages of it!) I'm not sure where Belloq falls, but Based on the images it should be pretty high! (Then I have not seen Raiders in what seems like ages)
Comment 3 by 'Matt' (reply to this comment)
The pillar of fire superimposed on top was so that the film got a PG certificate, instead of the R rating.
Comment 4 by 'Flashpenny' (reply to this comment)
Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the reason why Belloq opened the Ark right there on the island is because he wanted to gain its power before Hitler did. He just said to make sure it's the real deal to convince Toht and Dietrich to let him open it on the island.
Comment 5 by 'Kooshmeister' (reply to this comment)
It's never made clear exactly what Belloq thinks he has to gain from the Ark. He seems entirely uninterested in power. Beyond the money the Nazis are giving him, his interest in the Ark is a bit hard to pin down. It seems as though it brings out the true archeologist in him, i.e. he actually becomes curious to see what will happen when it is opened, instead of looking at it as just another meal ticket.

That said, Belloq's understanding of the Ark was incomplete and inaccurate but he seemed to think he knew what he was doing, and, his curiosity satisfied, I believe he would've totally handed the thing over to the Nazis and collected his money. He probably thought Hitler would open it incorrectly (i.e. without the Jewish ritual) and blow himself up, and I see Belloq laughing about it all the way back to Marseilles.

(For what it's worth, the novelization's description of Belloq's demise is similar to what happens to Spalko later; his eyes burn out and he sees into eternity or somesuch nonsense. It also describes him as looking and behaving like a man possessed both before and during the ritual.

The novel is somewhat non-canon, though, as it has Toht dying during the truck chase due to having the misfortune of riding in the same car as Gobler. In his place at the Ark-opening ceremony is a new character named Captain Mohler, a Nazi officer. Annoyingly, though, Mohler's face doesn't melt so we're deprived of even that death on a different character; he and Dietrich just burn up with the other Nazis collectively. Only Belloq is given "the royal treatment" of a descriptive and gruesome death there.)
Comment 6 by 'Flashpenny' (reply to this comment)
That's what trusted informant Dr. Wik E. Pedia said Belloq wanted. grinning smiley
Comment 7 by 'Kooshmeister' (reply to this comment)
I'm uncertain what your insinuating.
Comment 8 by 'Flashpenny' (reply to this comment)
[] Says it right in there. :samurai:
Comment 9 by 'Flashpenny' (reply to this comment)
Matt Wrote:
> Trivia:
> The pillar of fire superimposed on top was so that
> the film got a PG certificate, instead of the R
> rating.

I thought that the fire was the thing that killed him in the first place. If watch the scene, the fire is spurting at intense heat around the three main villains. I'm guessing the heat is what causes Dietrich's skin to shrivel up and soften his skull enough that it gets crushed while it also caused Toht's face to melt off. So logically, since the fire was going straight into Belloq's face wouldn't it cause it to explode as it is?
Comment 10 by 'The Commentor Formerly Known As Monk' (reply to this comment)
Why isn't it spelt Belloch? It's just that I remember a scene where Sallah mentions him, saying that they call him "Bellosh". It just seems more likely to me that they mispronounced it after seeing it written down. And, as he's French ch tends to be pronounced either sh or k. Just wondering if there is a spelling mistake.