Movie Club: Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade

Discussion in 'Introductions & Off Topic' started by LiamABC, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    WELCOME EVERYBODY TO THE LATEST DISCUSSION THREAD OF THE NEW MOVIE CLUB, DESIGNED TO RUN PARALLEL WITH R.O.C.K.S. A big thanks to everyone that are joining us through all of this.
    The next few weeks we're going to do another acclaimed series of films from the 80s, the Indiana Jones films. We're continuing this week with Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade.

    Remember any ideas for films to discuss are most welcome, and should be made on the Movie Club Introduction thread (the sticky one), and anyone is welcome to add their thoughts about movies already discussed on their respective threads.

    Just a friendly reminder to everyone that, whilst fans are obviously welcome to passionately discuss and give their views on these movies, please remember to keep things on a friendly footing and respect your fellow posters.
    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full movie online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the movie in whatever manner you want.
  2. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    I actually hadn't seen this thread. Thanks for drawing my attention to it @LiamABC :thumbsup

    This is the Indiana Jones movie that I've seen the most number of times, probably twice as many times as all the other movies combined! It's just so much fun!! It is more similar in tone to Raiders than Temple of Doom. The first three Indiana Jones movies kinda remind me of the first three Star Wars movies. In both of them, the first was a commercial and critical smash hit, the second had a much darker tone, the third was more light-hearted. Of course, "The Empire Strikes Back" was much well received critically than "Temple of Doom". And in both these trilogies, the third is my favorite! :)

    Sean Connery is probably the best thing in the movie! He's just so hilarious and his chemistry and interactions with Indy are far more entertaining than those that Indy had with his leading ladies in the previous movies. I didn't particularly like how they turned Marcus into an almost bumbling idiot. He wasn't like that at all in "Raiders". It was good to have Salaah back. The stunts are more extravagant and thrilling the third time around. Some of the humor was perhaps a wee bit childish.

    When I first saw the movie back int he 80s I was pleasantly surprised to see Kevork Malikyan as Kazim. I recognized him immediately from the sitcom "Mind Your Language" in which he plays Maximillian Papandrious. I LOVE that show!!!!!

    I guess that this is perhaps the only non-James Bond movie to feature a Bond, a Bond villain and a Bond girl!
    Mark M likes this.
  3. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Like @Wilycub this is also the Indiana Jones movie I have watched the most. Definitely a lot more than the others as this was the only one we had recorded on VHS.
    This the third in the original trilogy is also my favourite just like Return of the Jedi is my favourite in the Star Wars trilogy. :D

    I really enjoyed the opening scene with the chase on the train and I guess the origin of Indy's hat.

    My favourite scene though is probably Indy's quest to the Grail and selecting the grail from all the others.

    Harrison Ford is great as usual.
    Sean Connery really is great in this movie.
    River Phoenix made a good young Indiana. It's a shame he died so young as perhaps he could have ended up in The Young Indiana Jones series.
    Alison Doody was great as a Nazi...I hope that sounds right lol...I wouldn't have believed she was Irish.

    This really is a great movie. It is quite similar to Raiders of the Lost Ark but it also different enough from it and The Temple of Doom to make it stand out.

    I actually used to have the first part of the comic adaption of this movie. I am not sure which comic it was in other than it was a Marvel comic with four separate stories. The Incredible Hulk, Dr Who, G.I. Joe and Indiana Jones.

    It's a shame no toy companies wanted to risk taking on the licence for merchandise for this film. I suppose the lack of success for the previous toy lines played a big part. But considering Kenner took a chance in 1989 of making Bill and Ted action figures I really would like to hear why they thought they would sell better and be of more interest than Indiana Jones figures! But I suppose like the previous two films it was still set in the 40's and not very contemporary.
    At least the characters from this movie all got made in the 2008 toyline.
    Wilycub likes this.
  4. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    This was the first Indiana Jones film I ever saw. It's probably my favourite too.

    After Temple Of Doom was less successful they went back to the first one and made sure of ticking the boxes from there. They're using a more culturally familiar artefact as the plot point, and they've brought back Sallah and Marcus. Sallah is a great comic character who you'd want on your side because he's got the muscles as well. Marcus' being used as a bumbling idiot for comic effect is a little cheap, yes. Maybe they felt they needed something funny at that point in the film as it was getting too tense. I don't know. It's probably the one problem with this movie.

    Sean Connery though . . . he has never been more like Sean Connery than he is in this film. Possibly because he was the only actor they wanted to play the part of Indy's father, they wrote the part as an exaggerated form of Sean Connery - again, the fact that Bond was an influence on the character of Indy probably had something to do with this.

    The prologue of young Indy's adventures with that cross is a great idea because it does two things. First, it explains where EVERYTHING about Indy came from - his fear of snakes, his use of the whip, and even his outfit. The look of that head looter clearly inspired Indy completely, not just the hat! And secondly, the link to the "present day" is seamless with him tracking down that cross at last, a quarter of a century later. One gets the impression that it's always been in the back of his mind and he's just been waiting for a chance to do something about it. I can identify with that.

    As for River Phoenix, it's worth mentioning that he died after the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles finished airing, so if they'd wanted him for that they could have got him. Still, he did a good enough job here.

    Alison Doody as Elsa is particularly interesting. She reminds me of the Anne-Marie, the German nurse in Where Eagles Dare. Albeit the book rather than the film. Obviously the matronly-looking officer played by Olga Lowe in the film we covered last year is a far cry from Elsa, but in the book the character is described as (and I quote) "big, blonde, blue-eyed and beautiful. She could have been a pin-up girl for the Third Reich." Apart from big, that description definitely applies to Elsa.

    I've mentioned the Chipmunks parody before, "Daytona Jones and the Pearl of Wisdom" - which has moments from all three original films parodied in it, and this film provides a lot of the more memorable ones. When "Bellyache" gets "Daytona Jones" (Alvin) and his brother "Saratoga" (Simon) at his mercy and demands the map from them, Simon confidently asks him if he thinks they'd be stupid enough to bring it with them. "Oh I know you wouldn't be stupid enough," Bellyache acknowledges to Simon, before pointing to Alvin and saying, "but I know he would!" - and proving himself right by pulling the map out of Alvin's pocket. Also the confrontation at the end when there are three pearls to pick from is influenced by the variety of different grails at the end of this one, although in this the characters who pick the wrong pearls just fall through trapdoors that open up beneath them if I recall correctly. Speaking of which . . .

    The whole climax of this movie is great.

    The other memorable moments for me though, well, let's see. First there's the whole "path to the grail" sequence. I've mentioned before a kids' game show called Knightmare which is a legitimate candidate for the title "best kids show of all time" and certainly no shortlist worth its salt would be complete without it. Well, not long after this film, a couple of memorable rooms appeared in the series. The Corridor of Blades debuted in 1990, and the causeway floor puzzles in 1991, both I have no doubt inspired by the challenges in this film. The last challenge, the step of faith onto the bridge that's so indistinguishable from the rest of the cliff, however, I have issues with. Mainly with the camerawork I guess. If they'd kept all the shots of it from Indy's viewpoint it would have worked better but we get an objective viewpoint of Indy at one point where we can see absolutely no floor from a different angle and that is just wrong. It's only supposed to be from Indy's viewpoint that we can't see it until we realise how intricately carved the bridge is, so any other angle, especially such a low-down shot of his feet, should have shown it.

    Then of course there's the reaching the grail chamber and we find out what became of the third brother - we suddenly remember the story told at the start about three brothers searching for the grail, only two returned, and their fates are described. At that point, we initially assume the third died before that point, but now we learn otherwise. Then we have the question of which grail is the right one? Very cleverly done. The sequence with Donovan ageing rapidly is the one my best friend finds the most gruesome out of the trilogy, I remember him saying to me one time about 15yrs ago when we were discussing them.

    And the finale after that with them trying to recover the grail from the ledge . . . powerfully done, Indy is saved by his father finally calling him Indiana, rather than "Junior". Great moment. His dad saying, so warmly, to let it go, is amazing. Henry Jones Senior has devoted his life to finding the grail, but he can let it go. So can Indy.

    Definitely my pick of the original three.

    I have never seen the fourth one - and just a reminder, that's going to be the next pick for Movie Club, might as well do the lot!
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  5. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    @LiamABC that is partially correct. However after The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles ended in 1993 they made four TV movies from 1994-1996 that were later edited into a series of 22 episodes called The Adventures Of Young Indiana Jones.
  6. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    There are a couple of things that have always bugged me about the movie though. I'd love to hear your thoughts on them

    1. When talking to Donovan about the Grail, Indy mockingly dismisses it as a "bedtime story". Really? I mean the guy is still skeptical about the grail even after he has personally witnessed what the Ark of the Covenant, the Sankara Stones and Mola Ram could do?

    2. The Knight's Tomb in Venice was under a cafe the whole time? And all one had to to access it was just go down a manhole? Indy clearly took the long way via the library, but in all these years, didn't any of the city workers EVER go down that particular manhole? Also, we see bits of fire falling from Indy's torch into the sea of petroleum below and nothing happens.

    3. The clue to bypass the first trap is to "kneel" but immediately after Indy kneels and avoids the decapitating horizontal blade, there's another blade that pops out of the ground. That's not fair!!!

    4. In the second booby trap, Indy steps onto the wrong first tile and almost falls through the lettered floor. Clearly the wrong letters all break away and only stepping on the right spelling will get you past the trap. Here's the thing that bugs me, after Indy falls through the wrong tile, he is hanging on to a bunch of nearby tiles which are also all wrong. Shouldn't they all have collapsed as well????

    5. The knight reveals that the grail cannot go beyond the great seal, and obviously neither can anyone who wishes to remain immortal. So in a way, even if the bad guys got their hand on the right grail and drank from it, the only way they could remain immortal is if they remained in that cave all their lives. The moment they got out the immortality is gone. So it would be a pretty pointless endeavor either way.

    6. Did Elsa purposely give Donovan the wrong cup? I've never been a 100% sure of this. As a character Elsa wasn't just plain evil like her comrades. And also she did like Indy. And her expression when Donovan is drinking appears a bit ambiguous to me. What do you guys think. Did she betray Donovan or was it an honest mistake?

    7. And this is a very minor quibble, but I find it a little bit hard to believe that Henry Sr., who devoted his entire life to finding the grail, who was so obsessed with it, would actually not remember how to get past the three traps. That just seems like something the filmmakers did so that the heroes would have to go back to Berlin in order to add a little bit more excitement to an already exciting movie.
  7. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Some interesting points there. Some of them I have been wondering about myself.

    Firstly, the question of Elsa giving Donovan the wrong cup - I was wondering that when I saw it at the weekend for one very specific reason - she says with great certainty that the grail would not be made of gold. She doesn't sound like she's kicking herself at having just made an obvious error.
    Also the issue of the grail having to stay behind the great seal - I see what you're getting at, but there's nothing to stop people leaving and coming back again for a top-up. After all, it appears to cure all sickness and injuries, so short of a bullet to the head, they'd probably have enough time to get back there.

    Indy's cynicism at the legend of the grail, yes, good point, if he's seen the ark of the covenant, then the idea that the holy grail also exists shouldn't be that far-fetched to him.

    The booby-traps - yes, that second blade is a bit unfair. As for the floor tiles, that was probably just forgetfulness on the part of the producers.

    The fact of the tomb being under that café the whole time - yes, that's one of those "how come nobody ever spotted it until now" moments that happens in a lot of films.

    As for Henry Sr's memory, that's a definite point! He sent the diary back to his son, so he must have been confident about finding the place without it. It's possible he was more concerned that the Nazis shouldn't have it and work out the clues for themselves though.

    Oh, and back on your Bond theme - you said this was possibly the only non-Bond movie to feature a Bond (Connery), a Bond girl (Doody) and a Bond villain (Glover) - we can actually go one better with this, because John Rhys Davies was in The Living Daylights as a foreign general who helped Bond after Bond helped him fake his own death.
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  8. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I always just assumed that she was certain the most elaborate one she picked was the grail rather than purposefully betraying Donovan.

    As for leaving the Chamber I never thought they had to just stay there but I would assume the Nazi's didn't know all the facts.

    Indy dismissing the Grail seems odd considering what he witnessed in the previous two movies.
    Wilycub likes this.
  9. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    A good point! I hadn't thought that it could be used in that manner. As a cure-all. And also Mark makes a valid point as well.
    Even Indy didn't appear to know that fact until the knight told him. Donovan too thought the grail would grant him eternal youth. But by looking at the knight it seems that the grail slows down the ageing process but doesn't stop it completely. So if Donovan and the Nazis had known about these limitations, perhaps they wouldn't have been in that much of a hurry to get it. Come to think of it, even Toht and Belloq didn't know exactly what the Ark could do nor how to use it. It seems only Mola Ram was fully aware of what he was doing. ;)

    Well blow me down! You are absolutely right! Nice catch, Liam. :thumbsup
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  10. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    And another Bond connection I remembered, David Yip who was with Indy at the start of "Temple of Doom" was also in "A View To A Kill". Sadly he gets killed in both of them rather quickly. :(

    And wasn't Daniel Craig in one episode of "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles"? I think I recall reading that somewhere.
    Mark M likes this.
  11. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Yes Daniel Craig is in one episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: Palestine, October 1917.

    I must start watching TYIJC and TAOYIJ shows.
  12. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Something that occurred to me after watching Crystal Skull, in which we learn that Indy's dad has now died.

    OK, so he drank from the grail to cure his bullet wounds rather than to extend his life. However it worked, however much the grail had to do with it, he lived for about another 15-20yrs after drinking it.

    The old guy who guards the grail has lived for centuries. So obviously he takes a regular sip from the grail, but that appears to be his only source of sustenance. Does he not need food?

    Plus, the fact that he drinks from it regularly would mean that he disturbs any dust building up around it. So in order for the identity of the correct grail to remain a mystery, he must do a lot of dusting to make sure any visitor doesn't look and see, "oh, that simple carpenter's cup clearly gets a lot of use, that must be the one!"
  13. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Henry was only healed while he was in the temple. It cured is wound then he was able to live the rest of his natural life.
    I don't think the knight took a regular sips from the cup.
    I believe it states that the grail only grants eternal life so long as you never leave the chamber or go beyond the seal in the temple.
    So he didn't need food or water etc while he was in the chamber.
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  14. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    The answer is pretty much what Mark said. The knight only drank from the grail once and that granted him immortality and because he remained behind the great seal, his immortality remained intact. The knight says so himself that neither the grail nor the person who drank from it can go beyond the great seal. That is the price of immortality. So even though Indy and his dad both drank from the grail, their immortality was lost the moment the crossed the seal.
    Mark M likes this.
  15. The Drifter

    The Drifter Berbill

    IMHO, Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade (or LC for short) was a sub-par, well below average film. It's my least favorite film in the IJ franchise.

    I'm a big IJ/Lflm. fan from way back, and did see this back in '89. Note that I've tried to like LC since it's an IJ film, but have had a problem with this since Day 1:

    I didn't like the beginning scene with River Phoenix as a Young Indy. First of all, he was obviously a lot older than the other boy scouts in the film. Plus, the "origin" story with the hat, whip, and fear of snakes seemed very artificial to me: We are expected to believe that three iconic elements to the IJ character all took place within a day?! Ridiculous...

    The inappropriate comedy was too much - there were too many jokes made here which got grating after a while. The scene when the German officer got thrown off the train & the "no tickets" line was almost painful to watch - the Germans were not as threatening here as they were in Raiders, and I felt this was the wrong approach.

    The presence of S. Connery was out of place in an IJ film, and took the focus away from Ford as Indy. I also didn't find the interaction between father & son interesting; it was more grating/annoying than anything else.

    The film was basically a re-done version of the first film in the franchise (Raiders), with the Germans, the artifact they were all racing to find, etc. There were a lot of other storylines they could have come up with - what we saw here was extremely unoriginal.

    And, though many may be surprised at this, I liked Crystal Skull much more than LC (I actually thought Crystal Skull was a solid film, but that's another thread).
  16. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    There may be a slight similarity in the premise of The Last Crusade to Raiders of the Lost Ark but at least it's not a plot point remake like The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.

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