Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Character: Lara Croft
Original Release: June 11, 2001 (US)
Directed by: Simon West
Written by: Sara B. Cooper, Mike Werb, Michael Colleary, Simon West, Patrick Massett, John Zinman
Produced by: Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Colin Wilson
Running Time: 100 minutes (Both Versions)
Box Office: $131,144,183 (US)

A member of a rich British aristocratic family, Lara Croft is a "tomb raider" who enjoys collecting ancient artifacts from ruins of temples, cities, etc. worldwide, and doesn't mind going through death-defying dangers to get them. She is skilled in hand-to-hand combat, weapons training, and foreign languages - and does them all in tight outfits.

Well, the planets of the solar system are going into planetary alignment (Which occurs every 5,000 years), and a secret society called the Illuminati is seeking an ancient talisman that gives its possessor the ability to control time. However, they need a certain clock/key to help them in their search, and they have to find the talisman in one week or wait until the next planetary alignment to find it again. Lara happens to find that key hidden in a wall of her mansion.

The Illuminati steal it, and Lara gets an old letter from her deceased father telling her about the society's agenda (Her father was also the one who hid the key). Now, she must retrieve the key and find and destroy the talisman before the Illuminati can get their hands on it.

Cast & Characters

Jon Voight (Lord Richard Croft), Iain Glen (Manfred Powell), Noah Taylor (Bryce), Daniel Craig (Alex West), Richard Johnson (Distinguished Gentleman), Chris Barrie (Hillary), Julian Rhind-Tutt (Mr. Pimms), Leslie Phillips (Wilson), Robert Phillips (Julius, Assault Team Leader), Rachel Appleton (Young Lara)

Photo Gallery
Filming Dates: July 31, 2000 - November 30, 2000
Filming Locations: (view all)
  • Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Jökulsárlón, Breiðamerkursandur, Austurland, Iceland
  • Natural History Museum, South Kensington, London, England, UK (Interior of Lara's Home/Base)
  • Dulwich College, Dulwich, London, England, UK (Exterior of Lara's Home/Base)
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
  • A lot of the movements, quotes and certain scenes are directly inspired from the actual video games.
  • Angelina Jolie did her own Bungee-Ballet, and according to an interview with her on the Jay Leno show, injured her ankle on the first take when landing on top of a chandelier went bad, so that part of the scene had to be done over again after she recovered.
  • Towards the end of the film when Lara finds a bunch of wolves, she says "A-ha". This was a link to the original games where Lara would use this phrase whenever she picked up an item.
  • Filming the scenes where Lara drives her Land Rover through the jungle there had to be endless re-shoots due to snakes and other wildlife falling through the open top roof. Angelina Jolie herself was reported to be terrified.
  • Lara Croft's father is played by Angelina Jolie's real life father, actor Jon Voight.
  • Highest grossing action film with a woman in lead role. Second is Aliens (1986).
  • Lara Croft is English and Alex West is American. However, the actress Angelina Jolie who plays Croft is American and Daniel Craig, the actor who plays West, is English.
  • Lara never actually wounds or kills anyone with a gun in the entire movie.
  • In the video game, Lara Croft is a 36DD. Angelina Jolie is naturally a 36C, and was padded to a 36D for the movie, as it was felt that padding to the original character size would be too unrealistic.
  • Angelina Jolie received weapons training from an instructor of the SAS, the United Kingdom's elite special forces, to prepare herself for the role.
  • In the much-shown previews, at one point Lara says to Powell "You might try to kill me." Powell replies that he "would never kill a lady." She replies archly "I said you'd try." That exchange doesn't appear in the actual movie.
  • At the time of filming, Angelina Jolie sported a large tattoo on her upper left arm. Make-up was used to cover the tattoo, but one can see where the tattoo has been covered up on several scenes.
  • Angelina Jolie had lessons in yoga and kickboxing to prepare for her role as Lara Croft. She also learned how to handle guns and other weapons.
  • Martin Clunes was originally asked to play Lara's butler, but filming dates clashed with his wedding anniversary (he makes a special point of never working on his anniversary), so he turned it down. The part was eventually taken by Chris Barrie.
  • Angelina Jolie was extremely hesitant towards wearing Lara's famous short shorts that she wears in the games and the opening fight scene with Simon, however she eventually agreed because she knew it would make the fans of the character happy.
  • The poem Lara reads is by William Blake, "To see your world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower. Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, An eternity in an hour."
  • Angelina Jolie stated in an interview that she kept Lara's holsters and keeps them at home.
  • Is left-handed and therefore had to have guns specially made so that she could reload them easily in the movie.
  • Angelina Jolie took drug tests to test her mental wellbeing during filming due to concern about the rumors of drug use and her relationship with Billy Bob Thornton.
  • Angelina Jolie trained for 6 months to get in shape for the film.
  • Stephen Herek was originally supposed to direct, but he dropped out to make Rock Star (2001) instead.
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones, Elizabeth Hurley, Sandra Bullock, Ashley Judd, Christina Applegate, Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Nicole Eggert, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Lopez, Gwyneth Paltrow and Anna Nicole Smith were considered for the role of Lara Croft.
  • At one point, Demi Moore was widely reported to have been in consideration for the role of Lara Croft.
  • Denise Richards, Charlize Theron, Uma Thurman and Liv Tyler turned down the role of Lara Croft.
  • Fairuza Balk, Kirsten Dunst and Milla Jovovich auditioned to play Lara Croft.
  • Performed her own stunts and received cuts from the chandelier scene as a result. She also set fire to her silk pajamas on the chandelier while she was doing her "bungee jumps" in the house. She was taken to a hospital with minor burns but resumed filming the next day.

Different Versions
  1. Original Version - 100 minutes. In the fighting scene with Manfred Powell (Iain Glen) Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) headbutts him.
  2. UK Version - 100 minutes. In the same fighting scene Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) hits him with her fist instead.

The scene is 0,72 seconds long and there is no difference in the total time of the film. You can view a video clip in the video archive with a compilation of the differences on the scene. And you can also view screencaptures in the photo gallery.

  • In July of 2001, director Simon West stated in an interview with Empire magazine that he had produced an alternate version of the film for release on DVD, including some scenes that were dropped from the original cut. This supposed alternate cut has never been released.
  • The UK video and DVD versions are 4 seconds shorter than the uncut US and international versions, due to BBFC cuts. Compulsory cuts were required to what the BBFC called "glamorising shots" of a flick knife, including the sight and/or sound of the knife opening. A close shot of the knife covered in blood was removed in the final fight scene, as was the sight of the knife being twirled by Powell. Also, the head butt delivered by Lara Croft in the end brawl was completely removed and substituted with a punch. The final deadly throat chop Lara gives Powell was cut for cinema release, but restored for UK video and DVD releases. Although these cuts would have been waived for a 15 certificate the distributors chose to remove the scenes for a lower 12 rating. The Blu-ray release was finally passed uncut, though upgraded to a 15 certificate, in 2009.

Read more detailed information about the versions here.

Memorable Quotes

Lara Croft: I woke up this morning and I just hated everything.

Lara Croft: Oh... very funny.
Hilary: I'm only trying to turn you into a lady.
Lara Croft: Mm...
[walks past him and drops the towel she was wearing]
Hilary: [sighs] And a lady should be modest.
Lara Croft: Yes, a lady should be modest.

Lara Croft: Was it programmed to stop before it took my head off?
Bryce: Ah well... that would be a... no.

Alex West: Lara Croft, I don't believe it. Still pretending to be a photojournalist? Ya know, I think it's really cool that you can still keep a day job, though it's obviously just for show.
Lara Croft: So, Alex, still pretending to be an archaeologist?

Lara Croft: It's a clock... It's ticking.
Bryce: Oh... one of those ticking clocks, eh?

Lara Croft: But you might try to kill me.
Manfred Powell: I'm not going to kill you.
Lara Croft: I said you'd try.

Manfred Powell: Lady Croft, tell me, is there a good reason why I just kept you alive?
Lara Croft: Yes. That is not the true eye.
Manfred Powell: This is the true eye.
Lara Croft: It's not, actually. It's a mirror image.
Manfred Powell: Ms. Croft, I think you're trying to cheat me out of my little ray of sunshine.
Lara Croft: Why would I try and cheat you out of anything, now, I need you to get the piece so I can steal it from you later.
Manfred Powell: You're bluffing! Julius, make a mental note, kill Ms. Croft if she attempts any such thing.
Julius: Yes, sir.
Lara Croft: Well we can do it my way, or we can all come back in time for the next alignment and you're welcome to try and kill me then, in oh, say, another 5,000 years?

Bryce: What's that smell?
Lara Croft: Five AM

Lara Croft: Hello, Alex.
Alex West: I suppose you think I'm a greedy, unscrupulous sell-out who'll do just about anything for money?
Lara Croft: Yes. That's right.
Alex West: Well, the money bit's true I guess.
Lara Croft: Is it, Alex? If you cross me, we may not be able to remain friends.
Lara Croft: Always a pleasure.
Alex West: Now for a cold shower...

Bryce: Me bum's gone to sleep again, all down the left cheek.
Lara Croft: Really? That's fascinating.

Lara Croft: We have 83 rooms. Why can't you live in the house?
Bryce: Well, I'm a free spirit, me.

Lara Croft: But time was stolen from us and it's not fair.
Lord Richard Croft: No, it's not fair.

Lara Croft: [after reading the ancient writing in the tomb] Right, so... Pretty much touch anything, and you get your head chopped off.

Bryce: My ignorance amuses me... My ignorance amuses me?
Lara Croft: Yes well I've always found your ignorance quite amusing.

Lara Croft: This is where I start to have fun.

Bryce: How are you going to get to Cambodia and get the clock back in... 15 hours?
Lara Croft: I'll be calling in a favor.
Hilary: What kind of favor?
Lara Croft: Well, that is a secret.If a told you, I'd have to kill you.

Quotes from Cast & Crew

''I wanted to be able to do as much as I could. So I worked really hard to be able to jump in her [Lara Croft] world and her skin a bit. ''
- Angelina Jolie, on training

"I'll make it real simple, I'm a 36-C. In the game, she's a double-D. In the movie [Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)], she's a D. We split the difference... [Lara] is much more athletic, and she has smaller breasts, but she's still Lara Croft, so there."
- Angelina Jolie

Awards & Nominations

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films - Best Science Fiction Film - Best Actress - Angelina Jolie
Best DVD Special Edition Release
Bogey Awards, Germany - Bogey Award in Silver
DVD Exclusive Awards - Best Overall New Extra Features, New Release
Kids' Choice Awards - Favorite Female Action Hero - Angelina Jolie
MTV Movie Awards - Best Female Performance - Angelina Jolie
MTV Movie Awards - Best Fight - Angelina Jolie
Teen Choice Awards - Film - Choice Drama/Action Adventure
Teen Choice Awards - Film - Choice Actress - Angelina Jolie