Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”: The popular film turns 35

After the premiere “Temple of Doom” Lucas and Spielberg they considered several ideas for a third film about Jones' adventures. Creator “Star Wars” he proposed that the archaeologist first fight ghosts in Scotland and then go to Africa in search of the fountain of youth. Another idea was for Indiana to face the mythological Monkey King. Meanwhile, Lucas suggested that Jones search for the Holy Grail. At first, Spielberg didn't pay much attention to this idea. However, he insisted that the third part would be less brutal and dark than the previous one.

Creator “Jaws” he suggested introducing the character of Indiana Jones' father. Ultimately, it was the thread of Henry Jones Sr.'s relationship with his son that became the main theme, and the search for the Grail faded into the background. I liked this idea Harrison Ford, who returned in the lead role. “Indy behaves differently around his father. Who else would call him 'junior'?” he laughed.

When it came to casting Indiana's father, Spielberg immediately thought of Sean Connery. The director was a huge fan of James Bond films starring the Scottish actor. Connery initially turned down the role because he was only 12 years older than Ford. He accepted it when the creators agreed to include his corrections in the script. “Whatever Indy did — my character did it, and better,” Connery sarcastically said. If the actor refused, the role would go to Gregory’Peck's ego, Christopher Plummer or Jon Pertwee’ego.

However, the small age difference between the actors was a significant problem for the filmmakers. It was decided that Indiana would be clean-shaven throughout the film, while his father would be shown with a gray beard. Additionally, attention was paid to the movement of both characters. Indiana took part in dynamic action scenes. In turn, Connery was told to move slower and more carefully.

“The Last Crusade” was supposed to refer to the atmosphere of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. Indiana Jones set out again in search of a religious artifact, and along the way he faced Nazis. Characters not seen in the second part also returned, such as Dr. Brody (Denholm Elliott) and Sallah (John Rhys-Davies).

The first of these served as “Raiders of the Lost Ark” the role of Indiana's mentor. Since in “The Last Crusade” this function fell to Jones Sr., the creators changed the nature of the character. The new Brody was an unlucky and scatterbrained scientist who could get lost in his own museum. Elliott reprized the character, although not long before he found out he was HIV positive. He repeatedly asked for breaks on set due to ailments related to his deteriorating health. He died in October 1992 at the age of 70.

The film begins with a scene from Jones' youth. River Phoenix played the teenage hero. He was recommended for the role by Ford, with whom he played in “Mosquito Coast.” The actor who played Han Solo believed that of all the candidates, Phoenix resembled him the most.

After the premiere, the young actor admitted that he based his role not on previous films about Jones, but on Ford's behavior outside the set. When Lucas began working on the series “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles” in 1992, he invited Phoenix to return to the role. He refused because he did not want to return to television. The young actor died a year later from an accidental drug overdose. He was only 23 years old.

One of the most famous scenes in the film is Indiana's short trip to Berlin, during which he meets Adolf Hitler. Scottish actor Michael Sheard, who plays the dictator, played him several times in television productions, including in the unsuccessful sequel “The Dirty Dozen”. In the same scene, Heinrich Himmler was played by Ronald Lacey. The actor played Major Toht of the Gestapo in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. Spielberg also ordered that every actor playing a Nazi hold his other hand behind his back with his fingers crossed when saluting.

Movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” turned out to be a box-office hit. With a budget of $48 million, it grossed $474 million worldwide. Unlike “Temple of Doom”, it also received very good reviews from critics. During the 1990 Academy Awards ceremony, he was awarded a statuette for sound editing. Sean Connery had a chance to win a Golden Globe and a British Academy Film Award for his role as Father Indiana.