This movie is by far my most favourite of the Indiana Jones trilogy. But there are four, you say. Not in my world. I do not own the fourth, nor have I seen the fourth. Perhaps this is down to movie snobbery, perhaps it is down to reading some bad reviews..
No, I will admit it isn’t either of those things. It is that the third movie essentially ends at the greatest point possible – Indiana and his Dad riding into the sunset, literally. They could not improve on such perfection. I could not fathom a fourth movie. I never got around to seeing it.
Why is this movie my favourite of the three? This was sheer genius on the part of the movie people – taking a character we already know, love, and care about, and then raising the stakes by adding in the father of that character. Despite their long estrangement, it is apparent these two people care about each other.
The choice of Sean Connery as Henry Jones Sr was a deeply inspired one. Sean Connery and Harrison Ford have some amazing chemistry together – but when you add in some brilliant writing, well, movie magic does not get any better than this. All these two have to do is look at each other and it is comedy gold. There are some of my most favourite movie lines of all time hidden away in here.
Our situation has not improved.
River Phoenix plays a young Indiana Jones and that was also the best choice possible. Released four years before his untimely death, he is fantastic and believable as young Indy. What a career he would have had! It is a great shame.
Michael Byrne plays one of my favourite baddies of all time in this movie. He is deeply hateable as Vogel the Nazi.
Alison Doody is incredible as Dr Elsa Schneider.
Did we ever think that Indiana Jones would meet Adolf Hitler?
I prefer this meeting, myself.
I love that they actually went to Jordan to film the Al-Khazneh scenes. It looks completely like it has been filmed via green screen in the movie but they really did go there.
The scene where Walter Donovan sips from the wrong grail and then instantly ages and dies is a little scary, especially for younger audiences, but it is very well done.
Overall, this movie is a incredibly watchable over and over again, and I say that as someone who had this on laserdisc back in the days of sound lounges selling speaker systems, I have seen some of the scenes in this movie more times than I could ever count, and even to this day I get caught up in what is going on in the movie rather than what I am supposed to be doing – in this case, taking screenshots took a lot longer than it normally does.
For those of us with arachnophobia, there are thankfully zero spiders in this film. For those who do not like snakes, there are some snakes right at the beginning when we learn the origins of Indiana disliking them. There are also quite a lot of rats at one point.
As far as action movies go, this one has a little less action than most – however the snappy dialog between Indy and his Dad more than makes up for it. If you have it at home and have not seen it for a while, re-watch! ;)
Here is an awesome article to read if you want to know more – 15 Things You Might Not Know About ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ – plus Wikipedia has more info on the movie overall.
FYI – I realise there are some movies I love which I have never written about here, so during 2016 I plan to change that, adding one movie review each month to the post schedule. :)