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The Indiana Jones Trilogy DVDs

A Special GSFS Marathon Presentation
at Friday Saturday Night Movies:

The Indiana Jones Trilogy

Saturday, February 21st
Movies @ 3p, 6p and 9p *


"What a fitting end to your life's pursuits. You're about to become a permanent addition to this archaeological find. Who knows? In a thousand years, even you may be worth something."

USA: 1981/1984/1989 -- Directed by Steven Spielberg
Written by George Lucas & Philip Kaufman (story), Lawrence Kasdan (I), Willard Huyck & Gloria Katz (II), Jeffrey Boam (III)
Starring Harrison Ford, Karen Allen (I), John-Rhys-Davies (I + III), Kate Capshaw (II), Jonathan Ke Quan (II), Sean Connery (III), and River Phoenix (III)

You call *this* archaeology?
--Sean Connery as Dr. Henry Jones

As with Star Wars, the George Lucas-produced Indiana Jones trilogy was not just a plaything for kids but an act of nostalgic affection toward a lost phenomenon: the cliffhanging movie serials of the past. Episodic in structure and with fate hanging in the balance about every 10 minutes, the Jones features tapped into Lucas's extremely profitable Star Wars formula of modernizing the look and feel of an old, but popular, story model. Steven Spielberg directed all three films, which are set in the late 1930s and early '40s: the comic book-like Raiders of the Lost Ark, the spooky, Gunga Din-inspired Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and the cautious but entertaining Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Fans and critics disagree over the order of preference, some even finding the middle movie nearly repugnant in its violence. (Pro-Temple of Doom people, on the other hand, believe that film to be the most disarmingly creative and emotionally effective of the trio.) One thing's for sure: Harrison Ford's swaggering, two-fisted, self-effacing performance worked like a charm, and the art of cracking bullwhips was probably never quite the iconic activity it soon became after Raiders. Supporting players and costars were very much a part of the series, too--Karen Allen, Sean Connery (as Indie's dad), Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan, Amrish Puri, Denholm Elliot, River Phoenix, and John Rhys-Davies among them. Years have passed since the last film (another is supposedly in the works), but emerging film buffs can have the same fun their predecessors did picking out numerous references to Hollywood classics and B-movies of the past.

This long-awaited DVD set of the Indiana Jones trilogy is a classy set built for the fan. However, the DVD-extras junky will be disappointed because there's not a bevy of extras: no storyboards, galleries, commentaries, or long-rumored deleted scenes. The three films are the real star here, restored frame by frame and--blessedly--unchanged from their initial release (the first movie has been retitled on the packaging only). Anyone who has grown up with TV airings will be amazed by what they see, as everything seems to glow. The three hours on the bonus disc are quite entertaining, and far warmer then your standard PR piece. The newly produced 127-minute documentary is put together chronologically through each movie, so it works as a good substitute for the lack of a commentary track. Lots of behind-the-scenes footage is laced with new interviews of every major living actor and crew member including stuntmen and even a bit player (Alfred Molina, talking about his first role in Raiders). They tell us many things we have heard, and many we haven't (like how the film company became a rat breeder for Last Crusade). And Spielberg enjoys showing us how an editor can save a scene or--ironically--how much creative fun went into special effects before the computer took over. Rounding out the extras are featurettes on the music, sound, and--too briefly--special effects, and stunts.

Hope to see you there. I'll save you an aisle seat and a pre-columbian jade monkey.

Karen Allen and Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark


Raiders of the Lost Ark:
Won Oscars for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Effects, Visual Effects , Best Film Editing and Best Sound
Won Special Achievement Oscar for Best Sound Effects Editing
Nominated for Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Music, Original Score
Won Saurn Award for Best Fantasy Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Harrison Ford), Best Actrss (Karen Allen), Best Music (John Williams), Best Writing and Best Special Effects
Won Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom:
Won Oscar for Best Visual Effects
Nominated for Oscar for Best Music, Original Score

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:
Won Oscar for Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing
Nominated for Oscar for Best Sound and Best Music, Original Score
Nominated for Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Sean Connery)
Won Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation

More awards

Memorable Quotes

Raiders of the Lost Ark:
Toht: You Americans, you're all the same. Always overdressing for the wrong occassions

Indiana: You want to talk to God? Let's go see him together, I've got nothing better to do!

Belloq: How odd that it should end this way for us after so many stimulating encounters. I almost regret it. Where shall I find a new adversary so close to my own level?
Indiana: Try the local sewer.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom:
Willie: You're gonna get killed chasing after your damn fortune and glory!
Indiana Jones: Maybe. But not today.

Short Round: Hey Dr. Jones, no time for love. We've got company.

Guest at dinner: Ah! Dessert... .Chilled Monkey-Brains!

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:
Professor Henry Jones: You know, sharing your adventures is an interesting experience.

Walter Donovan: Germany has declared war on the Jones boys.

[Encountering a painting of the Ark of the Covenant.]
Elsa: What's this?
Indiana Jones: Ark of the Covenant.
Elsa: Are you sure?
Indiana Jones: Pretty sure.

Sallah: Please, what does it always mean, this... this "Junior"?
Professor Henry Jones: That's his name.
[points to himself] Professor Henry Jones: Henry Jones...
[points to Indy] Professor Henry Jones: ... Junior.
Indiana Jones: I like "Indiana."
Professor Henry Jones: We named the *dog* Indiana.

More quotes

Harrison Ford, Jonathan Ke Quan and Kate Capshaw in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Kate Capshaw and Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom


Raiders of the Lost Ark:
Indiana Jones never loses his hat because it was thought that such a thing would cause problems with continuity. It eventually becomes a running joke through the series.

The hieroglyphics in the Well of Souls include engravings of R2-D2 and C-3PO (from Star Wars (1977), etc). They can be seen on a post to the right of Indy and Sallah as they remove the Ark.

In filming the Well of Souls sequence, the producers scoured every pet shop in London and the South of England for every snake they could lay their hands on. Hence there are snakes that are identifiable from many different geographical areas. However, once all the snakes were on set, it became clear that there were not nearly enough of them, so Spielberg had several hoses cut into lengths, and these were used as well. Looking closely, you can tell which are the real snakes and which are not.

The desert scenes were shot in Tunisia, very close to where Star Wars (1977) was shot. In fact, the canyon in which Indy threathens to blow up the ark is the same canyon in which R2-D2 was ambushed by the Jawas.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom:
The "chilled monkey-brains" were made from custard and raspberry sauce.

Filmakers were unable to get permission to shoot scenes in India. The Indian government requested that a copy of the script to be read and also demanded that the word "Maharajah" to be removed fearing that the content does not reflect their culture. As a result, production was moved to Sri Lanka where some locations were also used for The Bridge on The River Kwai.

While filming the whipping scene, the crew played a practical joke on Harrison Ford. While he was chained to a large stone, Barbra Streisand appeared, dressed in a leather dominatrix outfit. She proceeded to whip him, saying "That's for Hanover Street (1979), the worst movie I ever saw." She continued whipping him for Star Wars (1977), and making all of that money. Carrie Fisher then threw herself in front of Ford to protect him, and Irvin Kershner chided director Steven Spielberg. "Is this how you run your movies?" This entire sequence was filmed.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:
In the movie the grail is located in the Republic of Hatay near the city of Alexandretta. There actually was a Republic of Hatay from 1938 to 1939, after the region was granted independence from French Syria and before it became a province of Turkey. The capital of Hatay was Alexandretta before 1939 when the city's name was changed to Iskenderun and the capital moved to Antioch. An early title indicates the movie's action takes place in 1938.

When making Star Wars (1977), George Lucas owned a dog named "Indiana". This means that Sallah's laughing "you were named after a dog?" is true.

The film stars a former James Bond (Sean Connery), a former Bond ally (John Rhys-Davies), a former Bond girl (Alison Doody), two former Bond commanding officers ('Byrne, Michael' and Billy J. Mitchell), a former Bond nightclub owner (Vernon Dobtcheff), and three former Bond villains (Julian Glover, Stefan Kalipha and Pat Roach).

More trivia


Raiders of the Lost Ark:
Anachronisms: The small arms (the MP-40 and P-38) used by the German soldiers weren't developed in 1936. But the Panzerfaust (literally means "tank fist") that Indy uses to threaten the Ark wasn't deployed until late in 1943 after the Germans saw the effectiveness of the U.S. Army bazooka.

Continuity: The staff is supposed to be 60 inches tall (6 kadams = 72 inches, minus 1 kadam). The pole that Indy inserts into the hole in the map room towers over his head, indicating (incorrectly) that Indy is less than five feet tall. The laserdisc edition disproves any claim that he's standing on a lower step.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom:
Anachronisms: In the secret passage, Short Round thinks that they are stepping on fortune cookies. Fortune cookies were invented in the USA in the early part of the 20th century (either in Los Angeles or San Francisco, depending on whose story you believe) and were not taken to China until towards the end of the 20th century. Then again, given Short Round's fondness for American popular culture, perhaps he had heard of them without ever seeing one and was simply using a colorful analogy.

Short Round is said to have been living on the streets of Shanghai all of his life, and as a result should speak Mandarin as a first language (especially since he had been in Shanghai since he was extremely small). However, when he runs away from the dancers in the palace he clearly yells out "Help me" in Cantonese.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:
Anachronisms: The letters on the floor Indy must cross include the letter "j" which was not part of the Latin alphabet and was added to the English alphabet only 400 years ago, several centuries after The Crusades.

More goofs

Robert Eddison in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Sean Connery and Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade