Revisiting Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

Feature Simon Brew 28 Jan 2014 - 05:53

Simon takes another look at arguably the most brutal blockbuster movie of the 1980s: Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom...

This feature contains spoilers for Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

One of the pleasures I've found of being a parent is being able to introduce my offspring to some of the classic films of my own youth. My now ten-year old son worked his way through the Back To The Future trilogy last year, loving them all (with a special soft spot for the third), and for every modern release he watches, I try and introduce him to something a little older.

For some time, he's been asking about Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom. I showed him, to his delight, Raiders Of The Lost Ark last year, and he's been keen to see more of Indy's adventures. But I couldn't put out of my head how I felt when I first watched Temple Of Doom. Bluntly, I was terrified, even more so than when the RoboCop-prototype stepped out of Evil Robert Vaughn's supercomputer come the end of Superman III (we discussed her in this piece, here). Still, he persisted, and over the weekend, we settled down to watch the film.

My son is made of stern stuff, barely flinching at things that would have crept under my skin at his age. He's had an early schooling in Doctor Who, which helped. But the film that's had him flinching, covering his eyes, and looking more uncomfortable than any I've ever shown him, was this one. When the credits finally rolled, as Indy and Willie return the (exclusively male) children to the village from whence they came, he almost breathed out with relief. He liked the film, he consequently reported. It just scared him.

Fear in family movies isn't a bad emotion, I've always believed (and I wrote about it here). Terror? Different story, but feeling a bit scared, and a bit uncomfortable, isn't a bad thing for me. That said, on a couple of occasions, he pretty much jumped - proverbially, you'll be pleased to hear - out of his skin. And the scenes of child torture I confidently expect him to be relating to his counsellor in 20 years time. I half expected him to ring Childline.

Thing is, I've always been on the same page as him where this particular film is concerned. Unlike the cycle of The Goonies, Back To The Future, Short Circuit and RoboCop (come on, we all had an underage copy), it wasn't a film I ever rewatched in my childhood. In fact, it was only five years ago that I saw it again, and was pleasantly surprised that it was more interesting, darker and better than I remembered. Watching it again, I still think that. I think it's a muddy film, and one that gets in a few logic muddles. I'm also not convinced its core narrative is that strong (although next to Crystal Skull? Well, you know). It's hardly dripping too in what we now come to regard as Indiana Jones DNA.

But there's nonetheless plenty to enjoy and like, even if it is sometimes from behind the nearest cushion. This is very much a follow-up made in an era where the focus group wasn't prevalent, and you can tell. Say what you like about the film, but it's uncompromising and unflinching in its approach.

In fact, the story goes that it was Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, along with Gremlins, that led to the creation of the, er, 'beloved' PG-13 rating in the US. Temple Of Doom remains a PG in the UK, as it was on its original US release. I'd argue it makes the likes of The Wolverine, The Lone Ranger and World War Z look tame in comparison.

So how did it come about? Well, before he agreed to direct Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, Steven Spielberg had never helmed a sequel. Jaws had seen follow-ups, but Spielberg wasn't behind the camera for them. And outside of the Indiana Jones movies, one further Jurassic Park would be as far as Spielberg the director would go into sequel land. But then George Lucas' plan from the start here was a trilogy of films, and he got his wish when Raiders Of The Lost Ark hit box office gold.

The problem? There was no story in place. This wasn't a trilogy where the path was mapped out, and as such, Lucas and Spielberg were starting almost from scratch. As always with the Indy films, Lucas came up with the story, and that was enough to scare Raiders screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan away. Lucas told Kasdan that he wanted a story encapsulating child slavery, religion and human sacrifice. Kasdan passed, leaving scripting duties in the hands of Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck. Kasdan did not come to regret his decision.

Katz and Huyck have talked about the film since, and relayed that basically what they wrote in the script made it to the screen. There were moments, as has been revealed since, that Spielberg tried to lighten, aware that the film he was making was quite harsh. But those moments are not in bountiful supply.

What's also come to light since though is the circumstances facing the main three players in the Temple Of Doom production. Both Lucas and Spielberg have expressed regret as to how dark they allowed Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom to go, but then both were in dark places themselves. Lucas was going through a divorce at the time the film was being put together, and Spielberg himself had seen a long term relationship of his own fall apart (interestingly Lucas, Ford and Spielberg had become fathers not long before embarking on Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade).

Those weren't the only reasons for the harsher tone of the film - Lucas was trying to follow the path he'd successfully followed with The Empire Strikes Back - but both have admitted that it didn't help. As Spielberg told the Sun-Sentinel back in 1989, "I wasn't happy with the second film at all. It was too dark, too subterranean, and much too horrific. I thought it out-poltered Poltergeist. There's not an ounce of my own personal feeling in Temple of Doom".

On top of that then, there was Harrison Ford, who was in agony for much of the production. Ford was found to have slipped discs in his back, which put him out of action for over a month. As such, stunt double Vic Armstrong plays Indy on screen for much more of the film than you may think (Armstrong recounts his Indiana Jones tales in his entertaining autobiography). Spielberg shot around Ford's absence for weeks, and it clearly added another challenge to a film facing high expectations, and no shortage of other problems.

Furthermore, if Temple Of Doom feels a bit cobbled together narratively, then that's arguably because it was. The opening scenes were originally in the script for Raiders Of The Lost Ark (as Harrison Ford drinks the slowest-acting poison known to movie audiences ever), whilst the film shoots off around the world for the best part of half an hour, before going underground - pretty much literally - for most of the remaining running time.

That it hangs together as well as it does then is no small achievement. But there are a few moments that really, really strike.

Take the whole opening 20 minutes or so. Paul Greengrass was rightly praised for his approach to the Bourne movies, and the feeling that you were watching a non-stop action movie, with one scene effortlessly blending into the next. The opening of Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom is very much like that. We go from Club Obi Wan, with a song, dance and antidote chase that instantly sets a very different tone to Raiders, to a chase, to a plane, to the plane crashing, to Indy, Short Round and Willie improbably surviving by, er, sitting in a life dinghy (that someone manages to absorb the impact of a massive fall, in a way a fridge in the future will take inspiration from). Then said dinghy goes over a waterfall. Then its three occupants survive with barely a scratch. And then, finally, they're where they need to be. Then you can breathe out.

It's an exhilarating, improbable, illogical opening, but chaotically good fun. It's also one of Spielberg's most fluid action sequences, one that he touched on the flow of in The Adventures Of Tintin.

Even back in 1984 when the film was first released though, it was stung by accusations of racism in its portrayal of a deprived village in North India. Indeed, the Indian government refused permission to film in the country, partly on racism grounds. Rewatching the film now, it's hard to feel comfortable with some of the scenes, and you can see the reasons for the accusations.

Then, though, Indy, Short Round and Willie head off on their quest, and the gloom soon descends. There's no way round this: this is where the film gets really brutal. The clues are in the meal they 'enjoy'. It's played partly for laughs, but eyeballs in the soup, snakes coming out of a bigger snake and the infamous chilled monkey brains generate as many winces as chuckles.

It's just a proverbial taste of what's to come. Yet the more I think about it, the more I admire Spielberg for not shirking the cruelty in his story. For even though there's the odd trick used to cloud the visual impact here and there, you see the child slaves been treated badly. You see a man being lowered to his burning death. And, most memorably perhaps, you see someone's heart being taken out of their body. By the time the voodoo doll comes out, it looks like small change. But there's no playing any of it for cartoon violence.

The heart moment in particular has parallels in last summer's The Lone Ranger and The Wolverine, but there's something harsher, nastier about it here (and that's saying something). It's bloodless, which presumably got it under the ratings guideline, but shocking. Spielberg does not pull his punches. It's as if he's got this far, he's not going to duck at the last minute.

That the movie eventually results in a frantic mine car chase fails to lighten what's gone before, no matter how well it's done. And in fact, the only sequence from that point on that feels like it bore much relation to Raiders Of The Lost Ark is the rope bridge (which was filmed in three different countries, I've since learned). That's proper Indy: a slow-ish sequence, where you see the before middle and after.

It's interesting just how little the famous Indiana Jones fanfare is used in Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, but perhaps not too surprising. Because set against the other two films in the trilogy (we don't count the 2008 travesty), it's lost the sense of fun, the feel of an old style serial. But that's no reason to write the film off: far from it. There's a lot to like here, and it feels like a stark, strong antidote to cookie-cutter modern blockbuster cinema.

Is it suitable for a ten year old? That question hasn't changed since 1984 in truth, and the sanitisation of some areas of blockbuster cinema if anything makes it even more pertinent. My ten year old remains glad he watched it certainly, but I suspect it may be a decade or so until he works out exactly what he's got from it. It's certainly clear that he's felt, as I did, that he's watched something far different from what he was expecting. But he was just a little relieved when I told him Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade was a lot lighter, and a lot funnier...

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Disqus - noscript

Crystal Skull was better then Temple.

No, it wasn't.
(Balance is restored.)

I think it says a lot when not even Lawrence 'make it darker, kill off a character' Kasdan could buy into what Luca$ wanted for TOD... glad he's involved with the new 'Star Wars' movies and not ol' Georgie!

Not only was TOD a woefully inappropriate film for a 'family' audience - on any number of levels - it simply doesn't or couldn't have an equally strong macguffin to drive the plot (such as it is)... how do you follow up the Ark of the Covenant? They couldn't and they didn't... on any of the Indy sequels, and that is their inherent problem! All that being said, and strangely enough, TOD has some of the best (non-CGI) showstopping action sequences of recent memory...

Let this little episode serve as a lesson on why NO-ONE should ever listen to George Luca$ - a man who tried to mainstream human/fowl bestiality with 'Howard the Duck' - when writing a screenplay!

They're both flawed, but I agree. At this point George Lucas could produce the greatest film ever made and people would follow the herd mentality and claim it is garbage.

it's the opposite of star trek, the odd number movies are best :-)

It's a great point thought that is maybe worth another article, when do we show our kids our fav films. lots of my friends have shown their 3 year olds star wars and they love it. It's fine but I think it's wasted on them at that age and I think they'll get more from star wars and goonies when they're 8 or ten. Not because i'm worried they're inappropriate, far from it just wondering when they'll get the most from them get what we all got.

As Robocop is on Netflix i'm wondering if I should let him find it himself when he's 10ish kind of getting one over on dad. that always felt good watching an 18 you thought your parents didn't know you had seen

Ha! George Luca$! Whereas I am a fan of the man's work despite what the masses believe, I have to admit that is funny. I always preferred Lucas the Hutt, though.

I prefer Temple to Crusade (Which felt like a lighter rehash of Raiders). The middle section of Temple is a little flat - but the opening 20 minutes and the final hours is pretty much balls to the wall action.
Oh and I'm going on record here and saying I loved Shorty (and his relationship with Indy).....but yeah Willie kindoff was awful.

He might want to watch between his fingers when the guy drinks from the wrong grail!

I showed this to my 8 and 5 year old a few weeks ago. They're both big Doctor Who fans, which gives them a good grounding in scares mixed with humour. I was initally concerned about Raiders, which we'd watched previously, as I remembered the melting faces. They were fine with that (though I'd warned them it was coming, and showed them some 'making of' shots after). I didn't remember Temple as much. If I had I might have been more concerned about it.

As it was, they were fine with it. Disgusted when it was disgusting, excited when it was exciting, and scared when it was scary. As with all such questions, you need to know your kids and what they'll enjoy. My 8 year old would have been ready for it a year or two ago, but had to wait a bit as she has a younger sister. My 5 year old would probably be better had she seen it in a year or two.

I'm a younger sibling, and am well aware I saw stuff before I was ready for it. Not just scary stuff - sophisticated stuff too. e.g. I watched Grange Hill when my sister three years my senior watched it.

I'm happy to scare my kids in a safe environment. If it started disturbing their sleep regularly I'd need to reassess.

Ah yes Naterpee - that bit got my daughters clinging to me quite tightly!

You could argue that Raiders is actually scarier given the themes and scenes - biblical destruction, face melting, branding, impalement, and like Indy, I f***ing HATE snakes! ToD is a breeze in comparison.

It's an interesting article, but I simply can't take anyone serious when they effectively shout "lalalalala can't hear the fourth movie".

It simply makes it seem as if a child wrote it from that point onwards.

@tyrunn - many of us ignore the fourth film. It's not the aliens/interdimensional beings I can't stand, it's the cg. I did recently admit to my kids there's a fourth movie, so they'll watch it one day, but I'm in no hurry.

I recently investigated Gremlins, looking at parent guides on the internet to see whether people thought it was OK for (horror tolerant/hungry) kids. I reckon my kids would be OK with it, but then read about and remembered the 'that's how I found out there was no Santa' scene.

Made me feel a bit ridiculous showing them movies which are probably not aimed at their age group, whilst trying to maintain the Santa myth. That said, you can't go through life without realising you're inconsistent/hypocritical in many ways. You've just got to get comfortable with the fact, and work out when it matters to you.

This is the first in a short Indiana Jones series. We are coming to Crystal Skull... - Simon

I still think the end scene of 'Raiders' far out scares anything seen in Temple of Doom.

When those lovely innocent lady ghosts turn into evil skeleton type ghosts, I literally peed in my pants. But no, it's not over, now we have to witness the Nazi's melting in front of our very eyes where I then not only continued to pee in my pants, but now I was onto another number all together.

The fact that it was all puppetry and 'actual' special effects and not CGI made it all that more terrifying.

For my money the Indy films have a pretty linear relationship with the law of diminishing returns. Personally I think Temple of Doom is the second best of the films - I loved the first one, really like this one and while I like Crusade, there are several issues I have with it. As for Crystal Skull - that one I have a *lot* of issues with, but there is still some enjoyment to be had there :)

it's the aliens that do it for me, it seemed to break the established universe for Indy. he existed in a world where a mythological power existed and then it was switched to sic-fi and it was totally wrong for the rules they'ed set out

Always tricky when you're desperate to enjoy a film with your kids that they might not be quite ready for. Sat down with my 8 year-old to watch this the other day, mindful of the film's dark reputation and hand ready on the remote just in case. It strikes the wrong note almost immediately, as Indy grabs Willie and threatens her with a knife in front of the chinese gangsters. We know/hope he won't do it, but it's clear he's a very different 'hero' to the first film. We didn't make it past the indian village and it's gone back on the shelf for a few years...

Whilst going through a divorce, Lucas plots a scene in which a mans heart is ripped out.

Yeah... I think we get the allegory.

I thought the infamous 'feast` scene was more gross-out than scary and the 'heart-tearing-out' scene, for me, was less scary than the 'melting face' scene in Raiders or 'he chose poorly' scene in Crusade. Possessed evil Indy had to be the scariest thing in this film.

I can certainly see that it's a bit jarring. For me though, having the grail, ark and magic stones meant that anything goes (as the song says). I read Indy comics as a kid too, which I seem to remember touched on aliens here and there, so I was willing to go with them. If the film had been good.

I don't think it's a complete disaster, but it has that modern CG-led attitude of 'we can show anything we like on screen without having to make it in the real world, so lets just do anything we want'. This is also a large part of my problem with the Star Wars prequels (though that had many other problems!)

I'm not completely adverse to the argument that the problems I have are more to do the the fact that I saw the originals when I was a kid, and the new one when I was (at least technically) a grown up.

About the blood...

I have always watched the 'UK cut' of this film (here in Malta we have practically identical film classification guidelines) and could never understand what the fuss was all about when it came to the heart scene...sure, it's scary but not that graphic. I have since seen the original cut and can tell you that it really is quite horrific. It's just an extra 2 seconds or so but it would definitely have made this a 12 rather than PG.

Any thoughts on the 'American' cut? Would love to hear Den Of Geek’s views on this – and how those extra 2 or 3 seconds would affect the film as a whole in our collective memory.

As a kid this was actually my favourite of the entire trilogy. I've since decided that Raiders is the best but something about Temple Of Doom still pulls me straight back to the old childhood

Thanks for the article Simon, but Temple is for me the weakest of the Indy quartet. Kate Capshaw is just highly irritating throughout, and Ford and Spielberg just seem to be going through the motions.

My memory's not what it was, was the UK version cut for cinema?

I do remember however, watching it from the front row of the Empire Leicester Square and almost falling out of my seat during the mine skip/ rollercoaster chase!

Oh num Shiva, Oh num Shiva

Interesting how crystal skull preserved the fun and silliness of the franchise, far moreso than temple, yet some cannot accept it. I Like most of crystal skull, save for the last fifteen minutes or so where everything ends so abruptly. Its a better film than doom by far.

Other than that, yah doom feels really.... Odd. It feels like it doesnt know what kind of film it wants to be, and feels like several films fused together.

Also I hated Willy. Worst love interest ever. Even as a child, i just wanted her to shut the hell up.

... really? does people actually think this movie is too dark and scary? that's news for me because I loved it and always though the 'scary' scenes were in line with the other three movies in the series (I don't care what people says, there are FOUR Indy movies and I love all of them) so I don't the whole rejecting, ashaming or whatever. I don't like sugar coated movies that don't have the balls to show or tell serious or 'dark' stuff

I hadn't seen the full heart scene until recently. To be honest, it was always more horrific to me when I didn't see it happening – I imagined something far worse than the rather obvious rubber chest effect.
This is the case with so much horror, I find. Often far more efefctive when you don't actually see it.

I have a 5 year old and he has watched all the Indiana Jones films, but with me and a remote control fast forwarding past bits. So he has watched nearly all of Raiders apart from the melting Nazi's, very little of TOD (start and mine chase), all of Crusade and Crystal Skull. My 3 year old is banned from all of them apart from Crystal Skull and the mine chase of TOD.
The 3 year old loves Crystal Skull.

Considering the sources of the Indiana Jones series, particularly adventure comics like Frank Robbins' Johnny Hazard, ToD is the one nailing it. It looks right, it has the right feeling, even down to the blatant multi-layered racism of adventure novels, comics, serials, films it is based upon. ToD gets the cartoonish right without losing - as Crusade and Crystal Skull do - suspense, scares, and danger.

I always thought the heart removal seen was misinterpreted by viewers. My understanding of it was that the heart was not actually removed from the victim (thus no blood) and was a prop heart used (simulating the removal) to induce further fear in the already petrified victim. I know the films are hardly reknowned for their realism but how else would the victim be alive long enough to see his own heart removed.

once said that he made Last Crusade as an apology for Temple of Doom.
No need for an apology Steven - this movie is a non-stop roller coaster
ride from start to finish and is hugely under appreciated. And while it
may have some of the bloodiest moments in the entire Indy saga, it also
has some of the funniest. Plus, the entire bug tunnel/spike room
sequence is Spielberg at his very best.

I saw Robocop when i was ten and it never did me any harm. Although i am serving a 20 year sentance for blowing someones arms off!! Only joking of course.

I was always in awe of Indy's plan to rescue the children, basically going in and beating up everyone single handed. It probably wouldn't have as much credibility if it didn't have what is probably Spielberg's best shot ever, of Indy's appearance in the mine as the light pans up to reveal the angry face of someone who really means business. What I never understood though is why Indy never checked to see if he still had his gun before embarking on the plan.

It's all right, they're NAZIS!

I was watching this film on a daily basis when i was 4 years old

It wasn't but it's still a very good film. Fame at me all you like, I don't care. It's Indy, and all the Indy films are great, two are outstanding.

Yeah, *that's* why Crystal Skull is reviled-- because Lucas made it. Nothing to do with aliens, refrigerators, LaBoof, cgi monkeys, stupid action scenes, terrible story...

It opens with a musical number. The story is dumb. The kid is annoying. The woman is annoying, shrill, stupid, and unlikeable. The villains are forgettable. The eating scene is dumb. There is only one cool scene (the mine cart scene), and Harrison Ford is still great, but it's not enough to save this movie, which is terrible.

There is only one Indiana Jones movie to me, and it's called Raiders of the Lost Ark-- none of that 'Indiana Jones and the', Lucas-retroactively-renaming-his-movies BS. Even The Last Crusade, which i saw again recently, is not very good, despite Ford and Connery being pretty good together (the opening sequence with River Phoenix as the young Indy is just plain weird (which i thought when i saw it in the theater when it was released, before Phoenix's death)). I was bored with it in 1989, and i'm bored with it now. The latter movies just don't have the characters, villains, or story (not to mention music, cinematography, editing, even special effects) the first one has so effortlessly.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the greatest films of all time. The others? Even the best of them is little more than a somewhat well made action/comedy romp with nothing more to it than "hey, Sean Connery!" The worst of them are unwatchable.

"I hate snakes, Jock! I hate 'em!"

"Snakes... why'd it have to be snakes?"

No "f***ing."

This is honestly the first time i've ever heard this theory, and it's *everyone else* who's misinterpreted this scene? Seems a pretty far fetched interpretation to me.

Gotta disagree. Crystal Skull *slightly* edges out Temple of Doom in terribleness.

I think Temple of Doom is the best Indy movie...
To me, Raiders is so well crafted and is like the baseline setting for an Indy movie, but it's just not as entertaining or colorful as Temple.

Temple has everything, crazy villains, huge action pieces, Ford looking the most like an action hero out of all the films, dark moments, light moments, great locations...

I like Last Crusade, but as someone else here said, it's a bit like a light version of Raiders, where it goes back to being a little bit bland comparatively (though the end section does make up for it).
I'd have personally liked to have seen Indy go to a totally different sort of setting and feel for the third one, like frozen tundra Indy or underwater Indy or whatever... Fate of Atlantis style would have been good. Then you would have three different flavors.

I think it sucks that the critics managed to convince Spielberg that Temple wasn't as good and so he kind of has this negative slant towards it now. Temple should really be the basis for any future Indy movies, not Raiders, as Temple shows perfectly how to spice up a franchise and to make each one different.

To me, Temple has arguably the most memorable scenes out of all of them.

You don't mention your son's age but could you please explain to him that us Indians don't actually eat any of that stuff they were serving at the table!

The Indy films are my absolute favourite movies of all time. Fourth was stupid so, like most fans, I've written it off. I actually prefer the UK cut to the US cut. The US cut, you see the hand go in and take the heart out without any blood. The wound then heals itself. The UK imo is better because there is a slight element of supernatural mystery to it. I always imagined the hand not actually going in. When I was younger, I thought that Mola Ram grabbed the fellas chest and the heart appeared, as if by magic. That scared me a lot more than just casually sticking his arm in and grabbing the heart. I still prefer to think that is happened, because when the flames ignite on the heart, it's like there is some magical connection between the bloke and the heart. Really scary stuff.

I think people unfairly give Temple a lot of stick. The only thing I would really change in it would be Kate Capshaw. She is terrible. Such an annoying character and it seemed like they went backwards after having such a strong female in Marion. There are also quote a few really iconic scenes in Temple, like the mine cart chase and the rope bridge. Could it have been less dark? Sure. Could there be a bit more consistency? Definitely. There was no reason to make it a prequel to Raiders. Making it a prequel just destroys that bit in Raiders when Indy tells Marcus he doesn't believe in "believe in magic, a lot of superstitious hocus pocus".

It could be better, but it's still good fun. Just think: if Temple wasn't so dark, we wouldn't have gotten Last Crusade the way it is. That is certainly something I am happy living with.

The thing that gets me now about temple of doom is that, when I went to university and studied religious studies (well, someone had to!!) I learned what shivalinga means - the penis of shiva. That kind of puts a different spin on it, doesn't it??

Learn phonics dude. Your comment make zero sense.

My version's rated R.

The heart scene aside, I don't remember this as a particularly frightening film. My recal of the dinner scene is one of humor and with the mine chase, raft, opening number and double shooting of sword dudes there is plenty of light in here.

We walk from here.


The only thing in Temple of Doom tat irritates me, is willie's excessive screaming. It's almost as bad as the kid in the Tom cruise rendition of War of the Worlds

I had no problem with the idea of the aliens; just that they didn't make any sense. Why did they separate/come together to form one being? How did one of them manage to lose it's head?? Who took it and why didn't they take everything else???
Compared to the CG monkeys, the jungle-chopping machine that existed just to have a chase involving a jungle-chopping machine, the total waste of all of the supporting cast and the lack of any real ending (oh, the aliens just go away) I suppose the logic of the skull is small potatoes.

oh and of course the fridge, that made the dinghy from ToD look like something from an Alan Clarke film.

I can't Fame at you, my leg warmers are in the wash.

The kids returned to the village aren't exclusively male. I clearly remember a little girl in a brown dress with a few missing teeth jumping into the arms of her family.

I hate those guys.

I also love how Indy gets to be an actual hero in this. In raiders & last crusade he doesn't really achieve much, whereas in temple he saves a village's children & brings them peace.

this, Temple of Doon is better than the third. The first 10 minutes are awesome an the temple scenes are really scary, as they should be.

hahahahaha thats a joke surely. Skull is one of the worst films i have ever seen. So bad

Someone give this man a drink, he's onto something...

Yeah, for sure! Cause that's why I watch pulp serials, for a sense of realism! Like when the Arc melts all of the Nazis faces off in that could have really happened!

I´m astonished that so many here watched the Indiana Jones movies as children (and made their children watch them). When these films were released, they were for young adults. At the cinema, there was a strong policy not to even allow parents to accompany their underaged. - So, IMO, "Temple of Doom" was never meant for a 8 or 5 year old, it was done for audiences of the age 13 upwards. And let me be honest: to watch someone rip someone´s heart out should scare and disgust everybody. If you get used to that, it starts a dangerous trend.

I wonder how many others like me first saw this movie on xmas day 1987 on the was cut and it wasn't till i saw the vhs release a few years later i saw how darker ths film really was.

Me too, in fact it was the only one I had on video as a kid (heavily cut version taped off telly) so will always be my favourite. Watching it now, certain things jump out as strange or goofy (the bit with the dinghy, skewering that bloke with a kebab) that as a kid I completely took at face value. Tbh though I love Raiders now, it's really quite dour and I never liked it as a kid because it was far less 'fun' than the other two.

Funnily enough we wathced ToD on Sunday, and a friend commented that - with the minecart chase - it might be the film that is mostly responsible for this recent rash of films that feel more like theme park rides (The Hobbit, King Kong etc).

Me too!

I would argue that this film shows that too many people stress too much about what they show to kids. I remember watching this at the cinema. I would have been 8 at the time yet it never occurred to me that it was too brutal for me, and my parents never seemed to question it either. It's only looking back on it and when it's pointed out in articles such as this that I think "Oh yeah, I guess a human heart being ripped out is quite strong for a child".

Maybe it wasn't an issue because we all knew it was a story and wasn't real (which most people in the media think children aren't capable of understanding). I also watched Aliens when I was 11 (on video with my mum in the room in case I got freaked out) and most of those classic mid 80s action films when I was early teens and yet it didn't do me any harm.

Yet I cannot watch any serious footage of dead body parts on the news or videos online of terrorist executions without closing my eyes or refusing to watch, because I know that IS real.

As a side note this film often seems to get a kicking online and it simply doesn't deserve it. IMO it's better than crusade, which was great but often feels like a list ticking exercise.

I re-watched this weekend, during the Club Obi Wan poison/diamond fight Indy turns round and knocks out the cigarette lady! It's inexplicable and downright bizarre!

Absolutely spot on. Raiders was perfect, the rest just total meh. As a kid Temple of Doom was my first experience of crushing cinematic disappointment and paved the way for future mistrust of sequels that has almost always since been justified.

I don't know if i'm ready. It still hurts...

it's also just not got the sense of fun of the first 3. And for me part of that is that Ford plays Indy as a man who loves doing this stuff. In the 4th, Ford doesn't do that.

There's also just that none of the supporting characters are memorable. There's no Toht or Belloq or Donovan. They had Cate Blanchett and Ray Winstone, both capable of doing something interesting and both were dull.

And to me, nuke the fridge is the best moment, because that's entirely consistent with the crazy stuff in the other films.

I first saw this film when it was on TV in the 80s as a big movie premiere. When I then bought the VHS I was surprised by how much had been cut. Then when the DVD was first released in 2003, I wanted to see what else had been missing so got the Region 1 release to see the uncut version (which has now been recently released on Blu Ray as a 12 certificate for the uncut version).
There were a few moments cuts from the film. There was obviously the heart ripping scene, in which you see Mola Ram's hand push into the victim's chest, then the wound seals itself back up (hence no blood or hole). Later as the victim is lowered into the lava pit, you see him scream for longer, the heart beat faster as he gets more terrified, you see him wrythe in agony on fire for a couple of shots, then eventually the cage drop into the lava.
Another cut occurs later on in the film, where Mola Ram is feeding Indy the black blood of Kali Ma. In this scene Pat Roach's huge Thugee guard whips Indy, whilst you also see Short Round whipped too. Indy shouts "leave him alone you b**tards!", all of which was cut from the UK version.
Then later there are a few extra shots during the Short Round, Maharaja fight during the escape (just before the minecart chase).
Ok, so I saw the original trilogy so often I could quote each film, word for word, by the time I was a year into secondary school, so that by the time I got hold of the uncut version I knew exactly what I was looking for.

Just in case you don't know, there was a line in the original script where Indy notes that the food isn't typical Indian cuisine - it's one of the first things that makes him suspect his hosts. It was cut from the film, however, which is a pity. Not only is it offensive, but surely someone as worldly and knowledgeable as Indy would know something was amiss...

The fact that Indy is a sceptic in each of his cinematic outings makes zero sense, but it suits the character. I guess you have to imagine that, in between each film, he has normal archaeological outings where nothing magical happens. (But then if you read the expanded universe material, that doesn't work...)

That's how your sheep vision makes you see it. Either way, I'd trust Roger Ebert's opinion over yours any day. At least he knew how to view films objectively.

With Last Crusade, you can tell he's sceptical but there is that little nod to Raiders that reminds you that he isn't as willing to reject the supernatural as he was in Raiders. I just wish Temple was set after Raiders. There was just no need to make it a prequel.

the cops didn't like when i threw bobby out of a van to see if he could fly...

Was there ever a bigger badass than Clarence Boddicker?

I agree. But I was off school once ill and my parents were out (I grew up in a pub) and i found a copy of Alien and thought it might be like ET. Safe to say i didn't sleep well for months after that film.

What no "chilled monkey brains" for lunch?

Well that's a whole other level of scary sh!t. I wasn't allowed near Alien and probably for the best.

It means there's a nice character arc in Temple, though. He's all 'fortune and glory' at the start, then learns that some things are more important.
Of course, the HUGE problem here is that in TLC, he's yammering about 'it belongs in a museum' back when he was a kid. So at some stage, I guess, he became jaded and greedy, before coming back around to a moral standpoint.

You clearly haven't seen many films.

I believe he hits her because he is swooning and disoriented as the poison is taking effect and strikes out at the first thing that moves

Something I read was that in actuality, George's contract with Paramount was for five films, the reason he says that he stopped at "The Last Crusade" is because he didn't have a story he liked!

I know this reply is late in coming, but i just have to say that i think that Roger Ebert would have been the last person to say that he viewed and reviewed films "objectively". I've read hundreds of his reviews, and he was well known for bringing in his personal experiences and viewpoints into his experience of and writing on films.

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