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Raiders of the Lost Ark star Karen Allen reminisces as film marks 40th anniversary

It's hard to believe it's been 40 years since Harrison Ford came swinging, shooting and swashbuckling onto big screens all over the world in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones and Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood in 1981 hit Raiders of the Lost Ark. Source: Getty

The beloved adventure film included iconic scenes like when Ford and co-star Karen Allen get stuck in the Well of Souls — an underground cavern filled with 6000 live snakes — which Allen called "the strangest feeling in the world."

Allen says it took two weeks to film all the snake shots and while she wasn't particularly fearful of snakes before shooting the scenes, she was wary of the biting snakes like the pythons and cobras. "If they started moving in your direction, you just went the opposite way as quickly as you could," remembered Allen in a recent interview with the AP.

"Over time, I did I did sort of get used to them. I mean, they wanted to immediately leave the set when they were put on the set because the lights were hot and they like cool, dark places. So they would bring a bin with one hundred snakes in it and literally just after ... they'd bring Harrison and I to the set and they'd literally kind of pour the snakes down the side of my body so that they would be at my feet. And then they turn on the cameras. And and the first three times that happened, I was like 'oy yi yi yi yi!' It was just the strangest feeling in the world."

Allen has starred in more than 50 films, and though playing Marion Ravenwood in Raiders was one of her first big roles, she knew it was special. "It was fantastic ... the first scene that I had to work with was the scene in the bar where we meet her and she's drinking these men under the table and then she orders them all out of the bar. And then Harrison comes in and she punches him in the face. And I just remember reading it and thinking, 'wow, that's my kind of girl'," Allen recalled. "When I started to work on it — because they wanted me to audition with that scene — I really fell in love with her. I mean, I just thought 'this is the kind of character I really am going to so enjoy playing'."

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the classic film, Paramount is releasing remastered versions of all four Indiana Jones films in a special 4K ultra HD collection this week.