Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom


1h 58m 1984

Brief Synopsis

After fleeing a nightclub shooting and being dropped out of an abandoned plane, professor Indiana Jones, singer Wilhelmina 'Willie' Scott and twelve-year-old Short Round find themselves in a starving Indian village who blame their plight on the loss off three mystical stones that have always brought

Film Details

Also Known As
Indiana Jones e il Tempio Maledetto, Indiana Jones och de fördömdas tempel
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1984
Location
Macau, China; England, United Kingdom; Osceola County, Florida, USA; Sri Lanka

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 58m

Synopsis

After fleeing a nightclub shooting and being dropped out of an abandoned plane, professor Indiana Jones, singer Wilhelmina 'Willie' Scott and twelve-year-old Short Round find themselves in a starving Indian village who blame their plight on the loss off three mystical stones that have always brought the village prosperity. Jones vows to return the stolen rocks and comes face to face with a deadly Thuggee cult obsessed with death.

Crew

Barbara Affonso

Visual Effects

Roy Alon

Stunts

Vic Armstrong

Stunts

Karen Ayers

Other

Tommy Bacon

Propman

Charles Bailey

Visual Effects

Craig Barron

Photography

Jane Bay

Assistant

Greg Beaumonte

Other

Ron Beck

Wardrobe Supervisor

Bill Beecham

Other

Dickey Beer

Stunts

Paul Beeson

Photography

Peter Bennet

Location Manager

John Benson

Sound Effects Editor

Anne Berardini

Other

David Berry

Photography

Robert Betts

Other

Keith Blake

Camera Assistant

Patricia Blau

Location Coordinator

Gloria S Borders

Editor

Bruce Botnick

Audio Consultant

Peter Brace

Stunts

Lance Brackett

Other

David Bracknell

Assistant Director

Andy Bradford

Stunts

Barbara Brennan

Animator

Garrett Brown

Steadicam Operator

Kris Brown

Other

Tom Brown

Rigging Gaffer

Tony Brown

Assistant Camera

Ian Bryce

Assistant Director

Lyle Burbridge

Sound

Gary Burritt

Negative Cutting

Ben Burtt

Sound

Ben Burtt

Sound Design

Roy Button

Assistant Director

Wally Byatt

Camera Operator

Tony Caccavale

Construction

Terry Cade

Stunts

Roger Cain

Art Director

Patricia Carr

Production Manager

Anthony Carroll

Production Associate

Sean Casey

Animator

Alan Cassie

Art Director

Patty Chan

Assistant Director

Colin Charles

Sound Mixer

Valerie Charlton

Chief Modelmaker

David Childers

Other

Wade Childress

Other

Terry Chostner

Visual Effects

Tom Christopher

Sound Editor

Terry Claborn

Color Timer

Donald Clark

Photography

Ken Clarke

Other

Mike Cochrane

Visual Effects

Danny Colangelo

Property Master

Harold Cole

Other

John J Connor

Camera Operator

Richard Conway

Special Effects

Catherine Coombes

Other

Ceri Evans Cooper

Script Supervisor

Jack Cooperman

Photography

Patrick Crane

Assistant

Fred Crawford

Other

Graeme Crowther

Stunts

Mike Culling

Animal Trainer

Yvonne Curry

Makeup

Colin Dandridge

Sound

Danny Daniels

Choreographer

Diane Dankwardt

Production Accountant

Peter Davey

Special Effects Assistant

Allen Daviau

Dp/Cinematographer

Allen Daviau

Director Of Photography

John Davis

Production Supervisor

Richard Davis

Visual Effects

Roger Dawson

Carpenter

Jack Dearlove

Stand-In

Patsy Delord

Other

Rita Desilva

Other

Willie Desilva

Production Manager

Linda Devetta

Makeup

Joe Dipple

Props

Jeff Doran

Film Lab

Dick Dova

Other

Karen Dube

Other

Eamonn Dunne

Gaffer

Cheryl Durham

Other

Teresa Eckton

Sound Effects Editor

John Ellis

Photography

Chrissie England

Other

Eric Engler

Camera Assistant

Christopher Evans

Matte Painter

Martin Evans

Gaffer

Jane Feinberg

Casting

Mike Fenton

Casting

Dean Ferrandini

Stunt Coordinator

Rick Fichter

Photography

David Fincher

Matte Painter

Deborah Fine

Researcher

Bob Finley

Pyrotechnics

Robert Finley Iii

Other

Ken Fischer

Sound Effects Editor

Stan Fleming

Storyboard Artist

John Flemming

Dolly Grip

Terry Forrestal

Stunts

Suzanne Fox

Sound Effects Editor

Pamela Mann Francis

Script Supervisor

Warren Franklin

Production Supervisor

Louis G. Friedman

Assistant Director

Joe Fulmer

Camera Assistant

Michael Fulmer

Visual Effects

Barbara Gallucci

Visual Effects

Sydney Ganis

Other

Tim Geideman

Film Lab

William George

Visual Effects

George Gibbons

Production

George Gibbs

Digital Effects Supervisor

Carlos Gil

Assistant Director

Marietta Gillman

Stunts

Michael Gleason

Editor

Nobby Godden

Camera

Bruce Green

Assistant Editor

Caroleen Green

Matte Painter

Ted Grossman

Stunts

Lynda Gurasich

Hair

Hilary Haines

Hair

Taffy Haines

Sound

Caroline Hamilton

Choreographer

Stephen Hamilton

Special Effects Assistant

Howard W Hammerman

Audio

Keith Hamshere

Photography

Karen Harding

Sound

Reg Harding

Stunts

Steven Harding

Assistant Director

Stephen Hargreaves

Carpenter

Barbara Harley

Production

David Harris

Digital Effects Supervisor

Bernard Hearn

Props

Frank Henson

Stunts

Rebecca Heskes

Animator

Ed Hirsh

Production

Nick Hobbs

Stunts

K.c. Hodenfield

Other

Richard J Holland

Other

Bob Hollow

Special Effects

Tomlinson Holman

Audio

Michael Hook

Assistant Director

Jack Hooper

Negative Cutting

Tom Hooper

Negative Cutting

Billy Horrigan

Stunts

Peter Howard

Other

Derek Howarth

Visual Effects

Peter Howitt

Set Decorator

Peg Hunter

Other

Paul Huston

Visual Effects

Gloria Huyck

Screenplay

Willard Huyck

Screenplay

Richard Hymns

Editor

Charles Ixer

Props

Colin Jamison

Hair

Janet Jamison

Hair

Jerry Jeffress

Other

Randy Johnson

Camera Assistant

Tom Johnson

Audio Technician

Joanna Johnston

Assistant

Joe Johnston

Art Director

Eddie Jones

Other

Michael Kahn

Editor

Jim Kane

Dolly Grip

Paula Karsh

Other

Barbara Kassel

Wardrobe

Simon Kaye

Sound Mixer

Donna Keegan

Stunts

Donna Keegan

Stunt Man

Ira Keeler

Visual Effects

Brian Kelly

Audio

Errol Kelly

Art Director

Steven Kemper

Assistant Editor

Kathleen Kennedy

Associate Producer

Martin Kenzie

Assistant Camera Operator

Jim Kessler

Other

George King

Production

Martin Kingsley

Props

Pat S. Kirkwood

Gaffer

Steve Klocksiem

Sound

Kathleen Korth

Sound Editor

Laurel Ladevich

Executive Editor

Adria Later

Other

Robert Latham Brown

Unit Production Manager

Susan Leahy

Other

Mary Helen Leasman

Sound Editor

Wendy Leech

Stunts

May Leung

Location Manager

Ellen Lichtwardt

Animator

Marci Liroff

Casting

Bert Long

Construction Manager

George Lucas

Executive Producer

George Lucas

From Story

George Lucas

Story By

Film Details

Also Known As
Indiana Jones e il Tempio Maledetto, Indiana Jones och de fördömdas tempel
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1984
Location
Macau, China; England, United Kingdom; Osceola County, Florida, USA; Sri Lanka

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 58m

Award Wins

Best Visual Effects

1984

Award Nominations

Best Score

1984

Articles

The Adventures of Indiana Jones on DVD


Since its advent, DVD technology has created a new and wholly original generation of movie collectors. Not content with bulky VHS tapes, film fans have embraced the slender, attractive, and affordably collectible DVD like it's a priceless artifact. Now available from Paramount is the Golden Fleece of DVD, The Adventures of Indiana Jones. (The Holy Grail of DVD would be the first Star Wars trilogy, rumored for a late 2004 release.) Breathlessly awaited by legions of fans, the four-disc set, encompassing Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and a fourth disc of marvelous special features, does not leave you wishing for more, not even an audio commentary track. The blockbuster success of the Indy trilogy, both in terms of dollars and endless imitations, may have dimmed since the "final" chapter The Last Crusade debuted in 1989 (a fourth film, Indiana Jones and the fill-in-the-blank-here, is currently in the pre-production phase, projected for a Summer 2005 release), but these discs are an excellent reminder of how much fun are The Adventures of Indiana Jones.

The first film in the series, Raiders of the Lost Ark, was released in May of 1981, shortly after executive producer George Lucas' sublime The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and director Steven Spielberg's titanic misfire, 1941 (1979). While basking in the radiant glow of their recent respective successes, Star Wars (1977) and Jaws (1975), Lucas and Spielberg dreamed up the Indiana Jones character, while vacationing in Hawaii.

For those who have never seen Mr. Jones' tales of wonder, Raiders of the Lost Ark introduces Indiana Jones (named Indiana Smith in earlier drafts of the script) as a renowned archaeologist, college professor, and adventurer who is more adept at plunging into ancient, snake-infested tombs than in reacting to a smitten student's clever come-on. Indy is a nostalgic throwback to the hero of the Republic Studios serials that Lucas and Spielberg grew up on, as well as a postmodern statement on movie heroism. Indy is sort of an "anti-James Bond": rugged, rough and ready, but exasperated, professorial, and prone to groan and bleed when hurt. Raiders finds Indy squaring off against the old-standby of cinematic heavies, the Nazis, in a relentless game of "keep-away" with God's long-lost box, the Ark of the Covenant. Indy is convinced the Ark belongs in a museum where it can be studied and marveled over, while the Nazis are bent on opening the thing and turning it into a Hopelessness Chest for the free world. The film has it all: Unbelievable stunt sequences that still have not been equaled for their sheer fun and inventiveness; a legendary, majestic score by John Williams that is still stuck in many moviegoers' heads; and superb performances that really have no business being in a popcorn escapist film. All of this, plus God showing the Nazis who's boss. In this era of advanced CGI, the simple effect used to wipe away the Nazis in a maelstrom of Yahweh anger is still truly frightening. Small children and the squeamish should avert their eyes.

The worldwide success of Raiders in dollars and critical accolades, including the winning of several Academy Awards and even a nomination for Best Picture, pressure-cooked the demand for a sequel, a demand that Spielberg and Lucas were already prepared for, having planned on making a trilogy anyway. But they still needed a story on which to hang their first sequel. Screenwriting team Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz were called in to develop a story set in India, since the twosome were familiar with the country and its culture. Using several set pieces that were carried over from Raiders (including the river rafting and the mine car sequences), they came up with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), a dark tale of the intrepid adventurer coming to the rescue of an impoverished Indian village that has suffered twin debilitating losses: their children and three sacred, life-giving rocks, all stolen by the Thugee killer cult that is spiritually poisoning the region under the legitimizing front of the Maharaja. Note the ingenuous way in which Indy gets out of a pickle on a suspension bridge in the film's thrilling climax. It's a potent, gutsy, and shocking solution that you don't see much in action adventure films.

Lucas and Spielberg meant for the second Indy adventure to be darker in tone, a horror movie even, but it turned out to be much darker than either one of them thought. Lucas opines in the documentary on the making of the film that perhaps the darker tone had to do with the divorce he was going through at the time of production. This darker tone was practically pitch black, thanks to gruesome scenes of a character having his beating heart taken out of his chest, slave children put under the whip of Thugee henchmen, and a over-the-top gross-out dinner scene, consisting of all sorts of macabre munchies. But perhaps the most disturbing plot point has Indy turning into a mindless Thugee zombie. It could be argued that many a serial's hero was temporarily placed under the spell of the villain, but in a film already surrounded by so much ugliness, this plot point is wholly unnecessary. It's no wonder that this film and the malevolent, Spielberg-produced Gremlins (1984) were responsible for the motion picture rating, PG-13.

Less offensive than the darker tone is Kate Capshaw's character, Willie Scott (named after Spielberg's dog--Indy was named after Lucas' dog), who is nearly as annoying as Jar-Jar Binks in Lucas' Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1998). But to Capshaw's credit, she portrayed the whining, selfish, vain, screaming Willie as written. So blame Willie Scott on screenwriters Huyck and Katz, who also floated for us Howard the Duck in 1986. The documentary gamely addresses the screaming criticism, as well as the gripe that Willie Scott is just another stereotypical woman. That is all true, but her character is at least consistent. A bigger negative of the first and third films are the inconsistent characters. When we first meet the heroine Marion Ravenwood in Raiders, she is literally drinking a heavy oaf of a man under the table, portraying a gutsy femininity that would be a help to globe-trotting Indy, rather than an hindrance. And yet, when she is chased through the streets of Cairo by Nazi stooges, she's reduced to wielding a frying pan when not protesting loudly, "You can't do this to me. I'm an American!" And Denholm Elliot's Marcus Brody in Raiders is almost a totally different character in The Last Crusade. He acts as a grounding agent for Indy in Raiders, reminding him of the dangers involved and what finding the lost Ark of Covenant means to humanity and to Indy. No one can gravely say "Wiped clean by the wrath of God" quite like the Denholm Elliot and mean it. But in The Last Crusade, Brody is simply comic relief, which is fine, but instead of an intellectual-fish-out-of-water trying to keep up with the Joneses, Brody's a doddering fool in the Jerry Lewis tradition.

Stinging slightly from the criticism incurred from The Temple of Doom, Spielberg and Lucas came home again with the third film in the series, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). Originally intended to be a haunted castle adventure, the creators wisely got Indy back out in the open, hoping across the globe in places like Venice, instead of being cooped up in one setting, like the Thugee temple in the last film. Spielberg and Lucas came up with a quest for the Holy Grail, even though that search had been the basis of a legendary search by some guy named Arthur and a gang of knights. The filmmaking duo reasoned that the search for the Holy Grail would really be a metaphor for Indy's search for redemption and reconciliation with his estranged father, Professor Henry Jones, Sr., played by a welcome Sean Connery. Back again were the Nazis, this time led by duplicitous American Walter Donovan (Julian Glover), a entrepreneur more interested in the Grail rather than Nazis ideology. Donovan is much like Belloq from Raiders, only without the Frenchman's worldly sex appeal. The Last Crusade was unfairly criticized for being too much like Raiders. Admittedly, Crusade's well-done tank chase does seem derivative of Raider's truck chase, but the development of Indy's character through the lens of his troubled relationship with the Senior Jones makes for a compelling and entirely fresh Indiana Jones chapter.

All three segments of The Adventures of Indiana Jones are steeped in a wink-wink-nudge-nudge game of cinematic "allusionism." Aside from the obvious nods to the Republic serials that inspired the film series in the first place, homage to and inspiration from the films that made up Spielberg and Lucas' movie-going heritage are replete. The government bureaucrats who hire Indy to find the Ark in Raiders bear a suspicious resemblance to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, while the ignominy of the Ark's fate quotes the famous ending to Citizen Kane (1941). Indiana's adversaries in The Temple of Doom are the Thugee cult, a malevolent tribe of religious zealots who also served as bloodthirsty villains for British soldiers Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Victor McLaglen in the classic Gunga Din (1939). The throwbacks to old Hollywood were especially helpful when it came time for Spielberg and Lucas to fill their cast. Karen Allen brought to the role of Marion Ravenwood a saltiness that Carole Lombard possessed, while Spielberg insisted that Ford instill Humphrey Bogart into his characterization of Indy. The lead villain, Frenchman Belloq (played by the fine Paul Freeman), may be a humorous nod to one of Spielberg's mentors, Francois Truffaut, while sniveling, sadistic SS agent Toht (Ronald Lacey) was creepy in the Peter Lorre tradition. As numerous as the allusions to old classics, there are just as many to Lucas' Star Wars (1977), which shares many of the same crew members with Raiders. The excellent documentary shows the detail of an engraving of R2-D2 and C-3PO on a column in the Well of the Souls from Raiders. And let us not forget Club Obi-Wan in The Temple of Doom.

The documentary, which can be divided up into three chapters, each covering one film, is a treasure trove of interviews. Aside from Lucas, Spielberg, and Ford, cast members from all three films are represented. Karen Allen, Kate Capshaw and Alison Doody all share their experiences of being put through the Indy wringer, while John Rhys-Davies, Alfred Molina (soon to star as Dr. Octopus in another sure-fire winner, Spider-Man 2, set for Summer 2004), Paul Freeman, Ke Huy Quan, Roshan Seth and Sean Connery all voice their take on their supporting characters and the films. Interviews with late co-stars Denholm Elliot and River Phoenix are welcome and insightful. Behind-the-scenes participants are given their due, from cinematographer Douglas Slocombe and producer Robert Watts to screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders), Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz (The Temple of Doom) and stunt coordinator Glen Randall. Unfortunately, the documentary makes no mention of Jeffrey Boam, screenwriter of The Last Crusade, who died in 2000.

The documentary takes into account the development of all three films, from conceptual pow-wows, through scriptwriting, production, casting and release. The quality of the documentaries, written, directed and produced by frequent Spielberg DVD collaborator Laurent Bouzereau, are top-notch. They utilize concept drawings, full-scale models, and original screen tests to tell the painstaking story of each film's evolution. More valuable is the abundance of on-set footage. Cast and crew work through tricky production problems, such as the realization that 2,000 snakes for the Well of the Souls scene in Raiders were woefully inadequate. Solution: producer Frank Marshall wrangles 7,000 more slithering reptiles for the sequence. (And speaking of snakes, the famous gaffe, that of the cobra's visible reflection in the glass that protected Harrison Ford, has been digitally erased for the DVD.) The footage is also a fun window into the filmmakers clowning around, rehearsing scenes, and a rare peek into deleted scenes, included one where Sallah is about to be executed by a German soldier.

Rarer still is the documentary's coverage of the casting process. Peter Coyote, Tim Matheson, and Tom Selleck all tested for Indiana Jones, even though Spielberg initially wanted Harrison Ford. Lucas was reluctant to cast Ford, since Ford had already been in three of Lucas' film. He didn't want Ford to be his "Bobby DeNiro," a reference to the frequent partnership between actor Robert DeNiro and director Martin Scorsese. But after Tom Selleck had to turn down the offered part due to commitments with his new television series, Magnum, P.I., Ford was cast. Similarly, Spielberg really wanted Danny DeVito to play Sallah, but DeVito couldn't do it because of his role on the television series Taxi. Sean Young tested for Marion Ravenwood, but Karen Allen was the overwhelming favorite for Spielberg and Lucas. Screen tests of Selleck and Young, Matheson and Allen, and Kate Capshaw can all be seen in the documentaries.

In addition to the truly excellent documentary, there are several featurettes which delve into the more nuanced areas of production. "The Stunts of Indiana Jones" is a fine crash course in the efforts to bring Indiana's derring-do to the screen. Vic Armstrong, who doubled Ford in I>Raiders, and served as Stunt Arranger for studio shooting in The Temple of Doom and as Stunt Coordinator for The Last Crusade, discusses how a stuntman prepares for a trick and how he or she contributes to the overall production. Stuntman Terry Leonard took the bumpy ride for Indy underneath the moving truck in Raiders, a stunt that was based on a maneuver pioneered by legendary stuntman Yakima Canutt, performed for director John Ford's Stagecoach (1939). Leonard notes that ever since he unsuccessfully attempted the stunt for the The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981), he had been itching to try it again. With fellow stuntman Glen Randall at the wheel of the truck, Leonard was confidant the stunt would work.

Other featurettes include the marvelous "The Sound of Indiana Jones," featuring the unique and Oscar-winning talents of Ben Burtt (who came up with, among many other things, the lightsaber sounds in the Star Wars pictures), The Music of Indiana Jones," and "The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones," which discusses how Industrial Light and Magic created the films' special effects.

The Adventures of Indiana Jones is a near-perfect presentation of three grand entertainments. It is annoying that Paramount has re-named the first film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, but that is a small quibble with a fine boxed set. Now the only question is whether or not Paramount will release a whole different Indiana Jones set when and if the fourth Indy movie is released. But for now, this Golden Fleece set is a grand addition to your DVD museum.

To order The Adventures of Indiana Jones - The Complete DVD Movie Collection (Letterboxed Edition), go to TCM Shopping.

by Scott McGee
The Adventures Of Indiana Jones On Dvd

The Adventures of Indiana Jones on DVD

Since its advent, DVD technology has created a new and wholly original generation of movie collectors. Not content with bulky VHS tapes, film fans have embraced the slender, attractive, and affordably collectible DVD like it's a priceless artifact. Now available from Paramount is the Golden Fleece of DVD, The Adventures of Indiana Jones. (The Holy Grail of DVD would be the first Star Wars trilogy, rumored for a late 2004 release.) Breathlessly awaited by legions of fans, the four-disc set, encompassing Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and a fourth disc of marvelous special features, does not leave you wishing for more, not even an audio commentary track. The blockbuster success of the Indy trilogy, both in terms of dollars and endless imitations, may have dimmed since the "final" chapter The Last Crusade debuted in 1989 (a fourth film, Indiana Jones and the fill-in-the-blank-here, is currently in the pre-production phase, projected for a Summer 2005 release), but these discs are an excellent reminder of how much fun are The Adventures of Indiana Jones. The first film in the series, Raiders of the Lost Ark, was released in May of 1981, shortly after executive producer George Lucas' sublime The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and director Steven Spielberg's titanic misfire, 1941 (1979). While basking in the radiant glow of their recent respective successes, Star Wars (1977) and Jaws (1975), Lucas and Spielberg dreamed up the Indiana Jones character, while vacationing in Hawaii. For those who have never seen Mr. Jones' tales of wonder, Raiders of the Lost Ark introduces Indiana Jones (named Indiana Smith in earlier drafts of the script) as a renowned archaeologist, college professor, and adventurer who is more adept at plunging into ancient, snake-infested tombs than in reacting to a smitten student's clever come-on. Indy is a nostalgic throwback to the hero of the Republic Studios serials that Lucas and Spielberg grew up on, as well as a postmodern statement on movie heroism. Indy is sort of an "anti-James Bond": rugged, rough and ready, but exasperated, professorial, and prone to groan and bleed when hurt. Raiders finds Indy squaring off against the old-standby of cinematic heavies, the Nazis, in a relentless game of "keep-away" with God's long-lost box, the Ark of the Covenant. Indy is convinced the Ark belongs in a museum where it can be studied and marveled over, while the Nazis are bent on opening the thing and turning it into a Hopelessness Chest for the free world. The film has it all: Unbelievable stunt sequences that still have not been equaled for their sheer fun and inventiveness; a legendary, majestic score by John Williams that is still stuck in many moviegoers' heads; and superb performances that really have no business being in a popcorn escapist film. All of this, plus God showing the Nazis who's boss. In this era of advanced CGI, the simple effect used to wipe away the Nazis in a maelstrom of Yahweh anger is still truly frightening. Small children and the squeamish should avert their eyes. The worldwide success of Raiders in dollars and critical accolades, including the winning of several Academy Awards and even a nomination for Best Picture, pressure-cooked the demand for a sequel, a demand that Spielberg and Lucas were already prepared for, having planned on making a trilogy anyway. But they still needed a story on which to hang their first sequel. Screenwriting team Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz were called in to develop a story set in India, since the twosome were familiar with the country and its culture. Using several set pieces that were carried over from Raiders (including the river rafting and the mine car sequences), they came up with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), a dark tale of the intrepid adventurer coming to the rescue of an impoverished Indian village that has suffered twin debilitating losses: their children and three sacred, life-giving rocks, all stolen by the Thugee killer cult that is spiritually poisoning the region under the legitimizing front of the Maharaja. Note the ingenuous way in which Indy gets out of a pickle on a suspension bridge in the film's thrilling climax. It's a potent, gutsy, and shocking solution that you don't see much in action adventure films. Lucas and Spielberg meant for the second Indy adventure to be darker in tone, a horror movie even, but it turned out to be much darker than either one of them thought. Lucas opines in the documentary on the making of the film that perhaps the darker tone had to do with the divorce he was going through at the time of production. This darker tone was practically pitch black, thanks to gruesome scenes of a character having his beating heart taken out of his chest, slave children put under the whip of Thugee henchmen, and a over-the-top gross-out dinner scene, consisting of all sorts of macabre munchies. But perhaps the most disturbing plot point has Indy turning into a mindless Thugee zombie. It could be argued that many a serial's hero was temporarily placed under the spell of the villain, but in a film already surrounded by so much ugliness, this plot point is wholly unnecessary. It's no wonder that this film and the malevolent, Spielberg-produced Gremlins (1984) were responsible for the motion picture rating, PG-13. Less offensive than the darker tone is Kate Capshaw's character, Willie Scott (named after Spielberg's dog--Indy was named after Lucas' dog), who is nearly as annoying as Jar-Jar Binks in Lucas' Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1998). But to Capshaw's credit, she portrayed the whining, selfish, vain, screaming Willie as written. So blame Willie Scott on screenwriters Huyck and Katz, who also floated for us Howard the Duck in 1986. The documentary gamely addresses the screaming criticism, as well as the gripe that Willie Scott is just another stereotypical woman. That is all true, but her character is at least consistent. A bigger negative of the first and third films are the inconsistent characters. When we first meet the heroine Marion Ravenwood in Raiders, she is literally drinking a heavy oaf of a man under the table, portraying a gutsy femininity that would be a help to globe-trotting Indy, rather than an hindrance. And yet, when she is chased through the streets of Cairo by Nazi stooges, she's reduced to wielding a frying pan when not protesting loudly, "You can't do this to me. I'm an American!" And Denholm Elliot's Marcus Brody in Raiders is almost a totally different character in The Last Crusade. He acts as a grounding agent for Indy in Raiders, reminding him of the dangers involved and what finding the lost Ark of Covenant means to humanity and to Indy. No one can gravely say "Wiped clean by the wrath of God" quite like the Denholm Elliot and mean it. But in The Last Crusade, Brody is simply comic relief, which is fine, but instead of an intellectual-fish-out-of-water trying to keep up with the Joneses, Brody's a doddering fool in the Jerry Lewis tradition. Stinging slightly from the criticism incurred from The Temple of Doom, Spielberg and Lucas came home again with the third film in the series, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). Originally intended to be a haunted castle adventure, the creators wisely got Indy back out in the open, hoping across the globe in places like Venice, instead of being cooped up in one setting, like the Thugee temple in the last film. Spielberg and Lucas came up with a quest for the Holy Grail, even though that search had been the basis of a legendary search by some guy named Arthur and a gang of knights. The filmmaking duo reasoned that the search for the Holy Grail would really be a metaphor for Indy's search for redemption and reconciliation with his estranged father, Professor Henry Jones, Sr., played by a welcome Sean Connery. Back again were the Nazis, this time led by duplicitous American Walter Donovan (Julian Glover), a entrepreneur more interested in the Grail rather than Nazis ideology. Donovan is much like Belloq from Raiders, only without the Frenchman's worldly sex appeal. The Last Crusade was unfairly criticized for being too much like Raiders. Admittedly, Crusade's well-done tank chase does seem derivative of Raider's truck chase, but the development of Indy's character through the lens of his troubled relationship with the Senior Jones makes for a compelling and entirely fresh Indiana Jones chapter. All three segments of The Adventures of Indiana Jones are steeped in a wink-wink-nudge-nudge game of cinematic "allusionism." Aside from the obvious nods to the Republic serials that inspired the film series in the first place, homage to and inspiration from the films that made up Spielberg and Lucas' movie-going heritage are replete. The government bureaucrats who hire Indy to find the Ark in Raiders bear a suspicious resemblance to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, while the ignominy of the Ark's fate quotes the famous ending to Citizen Kane (1941). Indiana's adversaries in The Temple of Doom are the Thugee cult, a malevolent tribe of religious zealots who also served as bloodthirsty villains for British soldiers Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Victor McLaglen in the classic Gunga Din (1939). The throwbacks to old Hollywood were especially helpful when it came time for Spielberg and Lucas to fill their cast. Karen Allen brought to the role of Marion Ravenwood a saltiness that Carole Lombard possessed, while Spielberg insisted that Ford instill Humphrey Bogart into his characterization of Indy. The lead villain, Frenchman Belloq (played by the fine Paul Freeman), may be a humorous nod to one of Spielberg's mentors, Francois Truffaut, while sniveling, sadistic SS agent Toht (Ronald Lacey) was creepy in the Peter Lorre tradition. As numerous as the allusions to old classics, there are just as many to Lucas' Star Wars (1977), which shares many of the same crew members with Raiders. The excellent documentary shows the detail of an engraving of R2-D2 and C-3PO on a column in the Well of the Souls from Raiders. And let us not forget Club Obi-Wan in The Temple of Doom. The documentary, which can be divided up into three chapters, each covering one film, is a treasure trove of interviews. Aside from Lucas, Spielberg, and Ford, cast members from all three films are represented. Karen Allen, Kate Capshaw and Alison Doody all share their experiences of being put through the Indy wringer, while John Rhys-Davies, Alfred Molina (soon to star as Dr. Octopus in another sure-fire winner, Spider-Man 2, set for Summer 2004), Paul Freeman, Ke Huy Quan, Roshan Seth and Sean Connery all voice their take on their supporting characters and the films. Interviews with late co-stars Denholm Elliot and River Phoenix are welcome and insightful. Behind-the-scenes participants are given their due, from cinematographer Douglas Slocombe and producer Robert Watts to screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders), Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz (The Temple of Doom) and stunt coordinator Glen Randall. Unfortunately, the documentary makes no mention of Jeffrey Boam, screenwriter of The Last Crusade, who died in 2000. The documentary takes into account the development of all three films, from conceptual pow-wows, through scriptwriting, production, casting and release. The quality of the documentaries, written, directed and produced by frequent Spielberg DVD collaborator Laurent Bouzereau, are top-notch. They utilize concept drawings, full-scale models, and original screen tests to tell the painstaking story of each film's evolution. More valuable is the abundance of on-set footage. Cast and crew work through tricky production problems, such as the realization that 2,000 snakes for the Well of the Souls scene in Raiders were woefully inadequate. Solution: producer Frank Marshall wrangles 7,000 more slithering reptiles for the sequence. (And speaking of snakes, the famous gaffe, that of the cobra's visible reflection in the glass that protected Harrison Ford, has been digitally erased for the DVD.) The footage is also a fun window into the filmmakers clowning around, rehearsing scenes, and a rare peek into deleted scenes, included one where Sallah is about to be executed by a German soldier. Rarer still is the documentary's coverage of the casting process. Peter Coyote, Tim Matheson, and Tom Selleck all tested for Indiana Jones, even though Spielberg initially wanted Harrison Ford. Lucas was reluctant to cast Ford, since Ford had already been in three of Lucas' film. He didn't want Ford to be his "Bobby DeNiro," a reference to the frequent partnership between actor Robert DeNiro and director Martin Scorsese. But after Tom Selleck had to turn down the offered part due to commitments with his new television series, Magnum, P.I., Ford was cast. Similarly, Spielberg really wanted Danny DeVito to play Sallah, but DeVito couldn't do it because of his role on the television series Taxi. Sean Young tested for Marion Ravenwood, but Karen Allen was the overwhelming favorite for Spielberg and Lucas. Screen tests of Selleck and Young, Matheson and Allen, and Kate Capshaw can all be seen in the documentaries. In addition to the truly excellent documentary, there are several featurettes which delve into the more nuanced areas of production. "The Stunts of Indiana Jones" is a fine crash course in the efforts to bring Indiana's derring-do to the screen. Vic Armstrong, who doubled Ford in I>Raiders, and served as Stunt Arranger for studio shooting in The Temple of Doom and as Stunt Coordinator for The Last Crusade, discusses how a stuntman prepares for a trick and how he or she contributes to the overall production. Stuntman Terry Leonard took the bumpy ride for Indy underneath the moving truck in Raiders, a stunt that was based on a maneuver pioneered by legendary stuntman Yakima Canutt, performed for director John Ford's Stagecoach (1939). Leonard notes that ever since he unsuccessfully attempted the stunt for the The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981), he had been itching to try it again. With fellow stuntman Glen Randall at the wheel of the truck, Leonard was confidant the stunt would work. Other featurettes include the marvelous "The Sound of Indiana Jones," featuring the unique and Oscar-winning talents of Ben Burtt (who came up with, among many other things, the lightsaber sounds in the Star Wars pictures), The Music of Indiana Jones," and "The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones," which discusses how Industrial Light and Magic created the films' special effects. The Adventures of Indiana Jones is a near-perfect presentation of three grand entertainments. It is annoying that Paramount has re-named the first film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, but that is a small quibble with a fine boxed set. Now the only question is whether or not Paramount will release a whole different Indiana Jones set when and if the fourth Indy movie is released. But for now, this Golden Fleece set is a grand addition to your DVD museum. To order The Adventures of Indiana Jones - The Complete DVD Movie Collection (Letterboxed Edition), go to TCM Shopping. by Scott McGee

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States May 1984

Released in United States Spring May 1, 1984

Sequel to "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (USA/1981), directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Harrison Ford and Karen Allen.

Released in USA on video.

Second installment of the "Indiana Jones" series.

Released in United States May 1984

Released in United States Spring May 1, 1984