Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

PG   |    |  Action, Adventure


Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) Poster

In 1935, Indiana Jones arrives in India, still part of the British Empire, and is asked to find a mystical stone. He then stumbles upon a secret cult committing enslavement and human sacrifices in the catacombs of an ancient palace.


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  • Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
  • Harrison Ford and Kate Capshaw in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
  • Steven Spielberg in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
  • Steven Spielberg and Ke Huy Quan in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
  • Harrison Ford and Kate Capshaw in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
  • Harrison Ford and Kate Capshaw in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

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9 September 2004 | barnabyrudge
6
| An entertaining experience, but unable to match the sheer brilliance of the original.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is the second of the Indy films from director Steven Spielberg, though chronologically it is actually the first. This prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark tries to out-do its predecessor for breakneck spills and gross-out moments, but the sparkle isn't quite there. It's an entertaining film for sure, but not as good as the original, partially because the plotting this time round is a little awkward and partially because Kate Capshaw as the main female character is an almighty irritation.

The film opens in a Shanghai restaurant, where Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) causes a riot in pursuit of a diamond. Fleeing the scene with American singer Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) and teenaged pick-pocket Short Round (Ke Huy Quan), he escapes to the airport. However, Indy and his companions unwittingly board an airplane owned by one of Indy's enemies, from which they have to make an audacious mid-air escape when the real pilots bail out mid-flight! Soon, the intrepid trio find themselves in India, where they come across a village in the grip of starvation. The village children have been kidnapped by local cultists to work in a mine, digging for the sacred Sankara Stones, and Indy is persuaded by the distraught villagers to rescue their youngsters. His quest takes him to the opulent Pankot Palace and, beneath it and beyond a maze of tunnels, the Temple of Doom.

Ford is great as Jones, bringing genuine charisma to a role that he was born to play (can you imagine how things would have turned out if Tom Selleck had got the part, as originally planned?) There are some great moments along the way too, including the intentionally subversive opening sequence in Shanghai, a particularly funny and exciting runaway mine-train sequence, and an unforgettable banquet at Pankot Palace in which the food served up is enough to churn any stomach. But Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom still can't live up to the standard set by Raiders of the Lost Ark. As mentioned, Capshaw is a real pain on the senses as the always-squealing heroine, and the plot seems to over-stretch in an effort to link to the next development or set piece. The hunt-for-the-missing-children plot device allows Spielberg to dip into the kind of cloying sentimentality that occasionally mars his films too. This is certainly an entertaining and professionally assembled film, but in no way a rival or an equal to the excellence of its predecessor.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally, the Amber Palace in Jaipur was going to be used for all the exterior shots of Pankot Palace, when the movie was originally going to be filmed in India, but after negotiations between producer Robert Watts and the Indian government for permission to film in India broke down and filming was moved to Sri Lanka, matte paintings were used for the exterior shots of the palace, with the interior shots filmed at Elstree Studios in London.


Quotes

Wu Han: Be careful.


Goofs

While Indy is fighting to not be flattened under the rock crusher the distance between his head and the stone wheel gets larger between shots.


Crazy Credits

In the opening credits Philip Stone's first name is misspelled "Phillip". Similarly, in the closing credits Roshan Seth's first name is misspelled "Rushan". Both these spelling mistakes are corrected in the DVD release.


Alternate Versions

To avoid an '15' certificate in the UK (with the sacrificial ceremony said to be bordering on '18', according to a letter sent by the BBFC to UIP in 1984), the BBFC cut 1 minute 6 secs from the film and later said that it was one of the strongest PG ratings they had ever issued. Among the cuts made were a heart ripped from a sacrificial victim and his lowering into the blazing pit, edits to a whipping scene and the fight between Indiana and the overseer, and the removal of a shot of a man's head hitting the side of a cliff. The line "Leave him alone, you bastards" was changed to "Leave him alone" and sounds of screams and violence were also considerably reduced. This PG rated print was the only version available in the UK for many years until October 2012, when the cuts were fully waived for the 12 rated Blu-Ray release.


Soundtracks

Raiders March
(uncredited)
Written by
John Williams

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Adventure

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