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The Indiana Jones trilogy is the boy’s own adventures we read and discarded as pulp fiction but jacked up on some sort of Spielberg-inspired crack.
Introduced in 1981 with Raiders of the Lost Ark, the 1936-set adventure pits Jones against the Nazis travelling through the jungles of South America, the Tibetan hinterland, Egyptian deserts and James Bond-esque secret submarine bases, isolated islands and hidden tombs. Jones, ably assisted by Marion Ravenswood tries to prevent the sadistic Nazis from recovering the Ark of the Covenant. Do they survive the traps, pitfalls, massive rolling boulders, double-crosses, ambushes and snakes? Of course they do! This is a spectacular adventure story with Spielberg at his consummate best.
The second film, The Temple of Doom is a prequel, set a year earlier in 1935 is generally agreed to be the weakest of the three films. Along with nightclub singer Willie Scott, Indy and his trusty sidekick Short Round travel to India to free the three Sankara stones and a group of enslaved children from the feared and bloodthirsty Thuggee cult. Spoiler alert…they do.
Back to the high-octane, escapist brilliance of the first film, The Last Crusade was set in 1938 and introduces Indy’s back story, including the first appearance of his father, played perfectly by the legend that is Sean Connery and young Indy played by River Phoenix. This time they’re in a race from America, via the catacombs of Venice and through the deserts of the Middle East against Nazi mystics to find the Holy Grail.
While the film fetishists will look for hidden meanings, themes and leitmotifs, what we have here is pure, unadulterated and unashamed thrill-a-minute adventure which defined a new genre of film. It is escapist entertainment at breakneck speed and each film will take you on a celluloid thrill ride, the likes of which you have yet to experience. These films beg to entertain you, and entertain you they most certainly will. By way of comparison, we can look only to a select few films that have captured their audience’s hearts and never let go – the Star Wars films, ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and most of the James Bond franchise.
Some of our favourite Indiana Jones quotes…
Indiana Jones: Nazis. I hate these guys.
Toht: You Americans are all the same, always overdressing for the wrong occasions.
Dietrich: Dr. Jones, surely you don’t think you can escape from this island?
Indiana Jones: That depends on how reasonable we’re all willing to be. All I want is the girl.
Dietrich: And if we refuse?
Indiana Jones: Then your Führer has no prize.
Short Round: I keep telling you, you listen to me more, you live longer!
Indiana Jones: DON’T call me Junior!
Willie: Aren’t you gonna introduce us?
Lao Che: This is Willie Scott; this is Indiana Jones, a famous archaeologist.
Willie: Well I always thought that archaeologists were always funny looking men going around looking for their mommies.
Indiana Jones: Mummies.
Short Round: Indy, I love you [burns Indy with a torch] Short Round: Wake up Indy! You’re my best friend! Wake up Indy!
René Belloq: Dr. Jones. Again we see there is nothing you can possess which I cannot take away.
Indiana Jones Trivia!
In 1973, George Lucas wrote a story called ‘The Adventures of Indiana Smith’. Some years later he spoke with Spielberg who always wanted to do a Bond film but Lucas convinced him that Indiana Smith was a much better character than James Bond!
Because Lucas has used Harrison Ford in American Graffiti and Star Wars, Tom Selleck was chosen for the part of Indy, but he dropped out to make Magnum PI. Nick Nolte also turned the role down!
The airplane at the beginning of raiders of the Lost Ark has the tail sign OB-CPO, referring to Obi Wan and C3PO from Star Wars.
The name Indiana Jones comes from an Alaskan Malamute George Lucas owned in the 70s!
The chilled monkey brains were made from a quite delicious combination of custard and raspberry sauce!
The sounds of the mine car running along the tracks during the chase scene were recorded on the rollercoasters at Disneyland, with the music and sound effects turned off.
The Stars of Indiana Jones – Where Are They Now?
The most bankable movie star of the 80s, Harrison Ford is renowned as Han Solo in Star Wars, Jack Ryan in the Patriot Games series as well as the lead in Witness, Presumed Innocent, The Fugitive, Air Force One and What Lies Beneath. He’s married to Calista Flockhart and at one point, four of the top six box-office hits of all time included him.
After finding fame as Katy in National Lampoon’s Animal House, Indiana Jones was her game-changer. She spent time in the theatre and then returned to the movies with roles in Scrooged with Bill Murray, Spike Lee’s Malcolm X and The Perfect Storm alongside Mark Wahlberg and George Clooney.
Kate beat 120 actresses to the role of Willie Scott, fell in love with Steven Spielberg, converted to Judaism and married him! A few minor film roles came her way (including A Girl Thing, where she has a love scene with Elle McPherson) but she spends her time taking care of six children!
Jonathan Ke Quan
After Indiana Jones, he was cast as Data in The Goonies and appeared in a number of TV series’, including Head of the Class. After he graduated from university he starred in a Hong Kong-made film but now works as a stunt choreographer on films such as X-Men and The One.
Sir Sean Connery
Er, James Bond, The Hunt for Red October, The Untouchables, The Rock, Highlander, Entrapment, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Sexiest Man of the Century, Oscar winner and Greatest Living Scot.
Coming of age drama Stand by Me instantly catapulted River Phoenix onto Hollywood’s ‘A’ list and he continued to put in exceptional performances in Running on Empty (for which he earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor) and My Own Private Idaho. In the middle of filming Dark Blood, he collapsed and died of drug-induced heart failure outside West Hollywood nightclub The Viper Room. He was 24.