20 THINGS YOU GENUINELY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT INDIANA JONES
preparation for the inevitable, though heavily delayed, Indiana Jones IV,
the original Indiana Jones Trilogy – Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Temple Of
Doom and The Last Crusade – has just been re-released worldwide as a
three video box set. In addition, LucasFilm is releasing the entire series
of Young Indiana Jones Adventures, chronologically numbered alongside with
the big screen movies, so you can follow the life of Harrison Ford’s
swashbuckling archaeologist from little guy through to big guy. Bubblegun
has chained itself to the hype wagon to bring you 20 Things You Genuinely
Didn’t Know About Indiana Jones…
out of the public eye during the release of Star Wars in May 1977,
George Lucas took a Hawaiian holiday with his friend Steven Spielberg.
While soaking up the UV on the beach one afternoon, Spielberg happened
to mention how much he’d love to direct a James Bond movie. Lucas
hit him an idea he was toying with based upon the cliffhanger
adventure serials of the 1930s. Three years later, Spielberg was
directing Raiders Of The Lost Ark from a script by Lucas. It has made
more than $240,000,000 at the US box office alone.
first choice for Indy was ET actor Peter Coyote, when it was realised
that no one knew who he was Tom Selleck was approached to play “Indiana
Smith”, but he had to drop out due to filming commitments on Magnum
P.I. The character was renamed when Lucas’s carpenter chum Harrison
Ford was brought on board.
Ford wasn’t the only Star Wars connection in Raiders Of The Lost
Ark. The plane seen in the opening sequence has the registration OB-CPO,
while hidden among hieroglyphics in the Well Of Souls are engravings
of druids R2-D2 and C-3PO. The scene where Indiana Jones threatens to
destroy the Ark Of The Covenant with a bazooka was filmed in the same
Tunisian canyon as the scene from Star Wars where Obi-Wan Kenobi is
first introduced. In Temple Of Doom, the opening nightclub sequence is
set in “Club Obi-Wan”. During the sequence set in the Nazi
submarine base, the tannoy calls out the words: "eins, eins, drei,
acht”, or “One, one, three, eight” – a reference to Lucas’s
first movie, THX 1138.
early draft of the script featured many of the more extreme scenes
later used in Temple Of Doom; Indiana hiding behind a giant rolling
gong, a mine cart chase sequence, and leaping out of an aeroplane in a
rubber dinghy, and subsequently using it to slide down a mountain.
They were considered a little too “out there” at the time of
famous scene where Indiana Jones shoots a master swordsman in a
crowded marketplace was improvised on set, and suggested by Harrison
Ford. The script originally had the swordsman being disarmed by
final effect sequence, in which ghosts are unleased from the Ark Of
The Covenant, was achieved using a water tank technique pioneered on
Spielberg’s Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. For the effect of
the Nazis being struck by lightning the actors were required to wear
flashbulbs beneath their costumes. The shot of the melting Nazi heads
was achieved by constructing models out of gelatine, and melting them
with electric fires. The footage was then speeded up to achieve the
Of Doom was released in 1984, but was in fact a prequel to Raiders Of
The Lost Ark, set approximately a year earlier. It featured the worse
movie tagline of all time: “The Man With The Hat Is Back”,
suggesting that the focus original film had been about a man with a
notable hat, and not a high-octane action/adventure. No better was The
Last Crusade’s “The Man With The Hat Is Back… And This Time
He’s Bought His Dad”.
Temple Of Doom sidekick Short Round was named after the dog of the
film’s screenwriter Willard Huyuck.
Of Doom was the least successful of the trilogy. It could be Huyuck
who placed the kiss of death on its fortunes; he also wrote the other
LucasFilm flops Howard The Duck, Radioland Murders and More American
Graffiti. Pray Lucas doesn’t enlist the skank to help with Star Wars
filming the crew played bizarre practical joke on Harrison Ford. While
chained to a stone waiting to be whipped by Thugee guards, Barbara
Streisand appeared and began whipping Ford, shouting “That’s for
Hanover Street – the worse movie I ever saw!”, at which point his
Star Wars co-star Carrie Fisher arrived to defend him from
Steisand’s mock punishment. Perhaps you had to be there…
Last Crusade was released in 1989, and was something of a return to
form for the series after the relatively disappointing Temple Of Doom.
Even so, it failed to achieve the same box office success as
Raiders Of The Lost Ark.
Connery isn’t the only James Bond actor to appear in The Last
Crusade. John Rhys-Davies was in The Living Daylights, Alison Doody
(Dr. Elsa Schneider) had been a Bond girl, Michael Byrne (Vogel) and
Billy J. Mitchell (Dr Mulberry) were officers in Tomorrow Never Dies
and Never Say Never Again respectively, Vernon Dobtcheff (a butler)
had played a nightclub owner in The Spy Who Loved Me, and Julian
Glover (Walter Donovan), Stefan Kalipha (a tank gunner) and Pat Roach
(a Gestapo officer – best known as Bomber in Auf Wiedersehen Pet)
had all been Bond villains or henchmen.
late River Phoenix, who plays the young Indiana Jones during the
film’s opening moments, had previously played Harrison Ford’s son
in The Mosquito Coast. Phoenix claimed that his portrayal of the
character was based on Harrison Ford himself, and not on Ford’s own
portrayal of Indiana Jones.
young Indy sequence reveals the origin of the character’s prominent
chin scar as being the misuse of his whip. In reality Harrison Ford
got the scar during a car crash when he was 20.
revelation of the “Indiana” name being based on the boy Indy’s
dog is another example of real life intruding upon the film; during
the 1970s, George Lucas had a dog called Indiana.
Ford was 47 when he made The Last Crusade. Sean Connery, who plays
Indy’s father, is just 12 years older than Ford.
with all the Indiana Jones movies The Last Crusade opens with a shot
that perfectly matches the famous Paramount mountain logo that
preceeds it. In this instance it was a rock formation in the Utah
desert. In Temple Of Doom it was engraved onto the big gong that Indy
shields himself behind.
Young Indiana Jones TV series was a testbed for production and digital
effects techniques that Lucas would later use on his Star Wars
prequels. Huge crowd scenes were accomplished using virtual actors,
while Cory Carrier, who portrayed the character between the ages of 8
and 12, was digitally “shrunk” when he filmed additional scenes
for the 1996 special edition of 1991’s series pilot Curse Of The
addition to Harrison Ford, four other actors have played Indiana Jones
to date; River Phoenix in The Last Crusade (age 16), the
aforementioned Cory Carrier, Sean Patrick Flannery (in Young Indiana
Jones, aged 17 to 21), and George Hall (as the old Indy during the
series’ framing sequences). Harrison Ford reprised the role for one
episode of Young Indiana Jones set in the 1950s.
Jones wears a hat.