Steven Spielberg’s beloved adventure film was broadcast with part of its climactic scene omitted – in which a group of Nazi villains have their faces melted off after opening the Ark of the Covenant.
The uncensored film is rated PG (“Parental Guidance”) in the UK, meaning it is approved for “general viewing” and “should not unsettle a child aged around eight or older”.
However, it does contain several scenes which would be unlikely to make it into a PG-rated modern film, including scenes depicting bloody injury, the face-melting scene, and a sequence in which a man is implied to be sliced by the blades of an aeroplane propeller.
Writing on social media, fans voiced their objection to the censorship of Raiders, which aired before the 9pm watershed.
“Right, just watching Raiders of the Lost Ark and IT HAS NOT SHOWN THE FACES MELTING. Censored. That's it, I'm done,” wrote one viewer.
“Channel 4 showing the censored version of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Pah, I'm out. I mean really? What's the point of showing it?” complained another.
“@Channel4 if you're not going to show a film in it's entirety then either don't bother showing it or show at a time where it doesn't need to be censored/edited,” suggested someone else. “Raiders of the Lost Ark, even the BBC show the melting and exploding heads.”
Another person also addressed the broadcaster, writing: “20 years ago, you were only terrestrial channel who didn't edit films as a point of principle. Planes, Trains and Automobiles last week, and Raiders of the Lost Ark today were most censored versions I've seen on UK TV, even afternoon BBC version of latter was longer. Poor show.”
A fifth instalment in the Indiana Jones franchise is currently in production, with Harrison Ford set to reprise the role of daring archaeologist Dr Henry “Indiana” Jones.
Watch: Harrison Ford to star in new 'Indiana Jones' movie