Your tweens and teens might be asking if they can see this one. The star power is there with Harrison Ford! But can they? What is the true age rating of Raiders of the Lost Ark? Can your kids watch this one? We’re covering the 7 big things parents need to know about the age rating for Raiders of the Lost Ark in this parents guide.
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About Raiders of the Lost Ark
The year is 1936 and the intrepid archaeologist Indiana Jones sets out in search of the fabled Lost Ark of the Covenant, racing a bitter rival and his Nazi cohorts to the prize. Over the course of a hair-raising adventure, Indy endures explosions, spiders, snakes, booby traps, and bad guys in his quest to save the holy relic.
Age Rating of Raiders of the Lost Ark: Parents Guide (7 Big Things)
Can your kids watch this one? What is the age rating of Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark?
This parent’s guide will help you decide if your family can handle the seven big issues with movies and shows: mature topics, gore, violence, language, sex, romance, and nudity. We’ll also give the age rating and age-appropriate recommendations.
There are a few words that parents may want to be reminded of in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
There’s not as much swearing as you might think, however. There are no F-Bombs dropped at all.
Your kids will hear:
- g-d d@mn
- son of a b!tch
- oh g-d
- d@mn it
Age Rating of Raiders of the Lost Ark: Is It Safe For Teens When It Comes To Sex, Romance, and Nudity?
Raiders of the Lost Ark does have some nudity and romance in the movie.
Early on, you will see the indigenous people running after Indiana and they are bare-chested men with bare bottoms. Your kids will see butts.
There is a scene where you see a woman change into a dress with a man watching her covertly. You will only see her bare back in the scene.
There are multiple instances where women are flirting with men (teen students at a university flirt with their professor, and a main character flirts with her captor).
Implied sex between a woman and a man when a woman wakes up and appears naked in bed. A man is seen tucking his shirt in and leaving the room.
Violence and Gore: Is Raiders of the Lost Ark Too Scary For Kids Under 13?
This is where the PG rating really fails parents.
Before 1984, there was not a PG-13 rating. Raiders of the Lost Ark would certainly be rated PG-13 due to violence and gore if it was rated in modern day.
Here’s a rundown of some of the more violent, gory and scary moments that you may have forgetten in Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- use of guns, explosions and hand to hand combat
- there are multiple jump scare moments in the movie
- skeletons are used in jump scares, one has a big snake coming out of its mouth
- characters are in extreme peril throughout
- people are shown on fire and burned
- scenes with choking and branding are shown
- lots of snakes if this is a big scare for your kids (hey, Indy doesn’t like them either!)
- propellers of an airplane kill a man and bright red blood sprays all over the airplane
- voices and lights stream out of the Ark and circle around people
- a woman apparittion turns into a skeleton and begins attacking people
- people are peirced with light beams and killed
- faces melt similar to a candle melting
- a head explodes
Is Indiana Jones Ok For Kids: Mature Topics
There is the death of an animal by poisioning.
Marion mentions her previous romantic relationship with Indiana by saying, “I was a child!” While there are no implicit ages mentioned, its been reported that Marion is 25 in this movie and Indy is 37. Their relationship started 10 years before the action in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
While your kids may not pick up on that, we felt it was worth noting in case they do ask about that line of dialogue.
Abandonment and death of a parent are discussed in the movie.
Heavy N*zi imagry is shown throughout as they are the main villains in the movie.
There are scenes with drinking to excess and becoming drunk enough to pass out.
Characters are seen smoking and gambling.
Raiders of the Lost Ark Age Rating: What Ages Can Really Watch This One?
Raiders of the Lost Ark is rated PG for extreme action, violence, language, some nudity, blood and gore.
Please note: This is rated PG in 1981, before the PG-13 system was in place. As a 1st grader, my parents took me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark and boy, did it leave an impact!
Gen X was just… different, eh?
The PG-13 rating was created after parents complained of violence and gore in movies like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins. Steven Spielberg suggested the PG-13 label as a stepping stone between PG and R ratings.
A more accurate rating is PG-13 for Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Parents Guide: Is Raiders of the Lost Ark Appropriate For Kids Under 13?
As always, you know your kids best!
We think this one deserves a reminder that PG in 1981 is not the same as PG today. Would we put Raiders on par with Elemental? Not a chance!
If your kids have seen similar action adventure movies (Star Wars, most Marvel movies) then we think kids 10 and up can handle Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Anything younger than that: you may be setting yourself up for some nighttime visits with nightmares. It’s more intense than I think our Gen X memories serve, so prescreen it before sitting down with the family.
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Patty Holliday is a parent movie reviewer, writer, and podcaster living in the Washington, DC area. Her goal is to bridge the gap between casual fandom and picky critic with parent movie and television reviews. As a lifelong fangirl and pop culture connoisseur, she’s been creating online since 2009. You can find her work at No-Guilt Disney.com, No-Guilt Fangirl.com, No-Guilt Life, and as host of the top-rated No-Guilt Disney Podcast.