Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Overview
 
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 American adventure film
Adventure film
Adventure films are a genre of film.Unlike pure, low-budget action films they often use their action scenes preferably to display and explore exotic locations in an energetic way....

 directed by Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

, from a story co-written by executive producer George Lucas
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, and director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones...

. It is the third film in the Indiana Jones franchise. Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford is an American film actor and producer. He is famous for his performances as Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy and as the title character of the Indiana Jones film series. Ford is also known for his roles as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, John Book in Witness and Jack Ryan in...

 reprises the title role
Indiana Jones
Colonel Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr., Ph.D. is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Indiana Jones franchise. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg created the character in homage to the action heroes of 1930s film serials...

 and Sean Connery
Sean Connery
Sir Thomas Sean Connery , better known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globes Sir Thomas Sean Connery (born 25 August 1930), better known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy...

 plays Indiana's father, Henry Jones, Sr.
Henry Jones, Sr.
Professor Henry Walton Jones, Sr. is a fictional character in the Indiana Jones franchise. He is the estranged father of Indiana Jones, who is captured by the Nazis while searching for the Holy Grail to act as bait for Indy....

 Alison Doody
Alison Doody
-Early life:The youngest of three children, she was born in Dublin, Ireland. Her mother, Joan, was a beauty therapist, and her father, Patrick, worked in the property business and farmed...

, Denholm Elliott
Denholm Elliott
Denholm Mitchell Elliott, CBE was an English film, television and theatre actor with over 120 film and television credits...

, Julian Glover
Julian Glover
Julian Wyatt Glover is a British actor best known for such roles as General Maximilian Veers in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, the Bond villain Aristotle Kristatos in For Your Eyes Only, and Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.-Personal life:Glover was born in...

, River Phoenix
River Phoenix
River Jude Phoenix was an American film actor, musician, and teen icon. He was the oldest brother of fellow actors Rain, Joaquin, Liberty, and Summer Phoenix.Phoenix began acting at age 10 in television commercials...

, and John Rhys-Davies
John Rhys-Davies
John Rhys-Davies is a Welsh actor and voice actor. He is perhaps best known for playing the charismatic Arab excavator Sallah in the Indiana Jones films and the dwarf Gimli in The Lord of the Rings trilogy...

 also have featured roles. In the film, set largely in 1938, Indiana searches for his father, a Holy Grail
Holy Grail
The Holy Grail is a sacred object figuring in literature and certain Christian traditions, most often identified with the dish, plate, or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper and said to possess miraculous powers...

 scholar, who has been kidnapped by Nazis.

After the mixed reaction to the dark Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the second film in the Indiana Jones franchise and prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark . After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone...

, Spielberg chose to compensate by completing the trilogy with a film lighter in tone.
Encyclopedia
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 American adventure film
Adventure film
Adventure films are a genre of film.Unlike pure, low-budget action films they often use their action scenes preferably to display and explore exotic locations in an energetic way....

 directed by Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

, from a story co-written by executive producer George Lucas
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, and director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones...

. It is the third film in the Indiana Jones franchise. Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford is an American film actor and producer. He is famous for his performances as Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy and as the title character of the Indiana Jones film series. Ford is also known for his roles as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, John Book in Witness and Jack Ryan in...

 reprises the title role
Indiana Jones
Colonel Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr., Ph.D. is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Indiana Jones franchise. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg created the character in homage to the action heroes of 1930s film serials...

 and Sean Connery
Sean Connery
Sir Thomas Sean Connery , better known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globes Sir Thomas Sean Connery (born 25 August 1930), better known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy...

 plays Indiana's father, Henry Jones, Sr.
Henry Jones, Sr.
Professor Henry Walton Jones, Sr. is a fictional character in the Indiana Jones franchise. He is the estranged father of Indiana Jones, who is captured by the Nazis while searching for the Holy Grail to act as bait for Indy....

 Alison Doody
Alison Doody
-Early life:The youngest of three children, she was born in Dublin, Ireland. Her mother, Joan, was a beauty therapist, and her father, Patrick, worked in the property business and farmed...

, Denholm Elliott
Denholm Elliott
Denholm Mitchell Elliott, CBE was an English film, television and theatre actor with over 120 film and television credits...

, Julian Glover
Julian Glover
Julian Wyatt Glover is a British actor best known for such roles as General Maximilian Veers in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, the Bond villain Aristotle Kristatos in For Your Eyes Only, and Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.-Personal life:Glover was born in...

, River Phoenix
River Phoenix
River Jude Phoenix was an American film actor, musician, and teen icon. He was the oldest brother of fellow actors Rain, Joaquin, Liberty, and Summer Phoenix.Phoenix began acting at age 10 in television commercials...

, and John Rhys-Davies
John Rhys-Davies
John Rhys-Davies is a Welsh actor and voice actor. He is perhaps best known for playing the charismatic Arab excavator Sallah in the Indiana Jones films and the dwarf Gimli in The Lord of the Rings trilogy...

 also have featured roles. In the film, set largely in 1938, Indiana searches for his father, a Holy Grail
Holy Grail
The Holy Grail is a sacred object figuring in literature and certain Christian traditions, most often identified with the dish, plate, or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper and said to possess miraculous powers...

 scholar, who has been kidnapped by Nazis.

After the mixed reaction to the dark Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the second film in the Indiana Jones franchise and prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark . After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone...

, Spielberg chose to compensate by completing the trilogy with a film lighter in tone. During the five years between Temple of Doom and Last Crusade, he and executive producer Lucas reviewed several scripts before accepting Jeffrey Boam
Jeffrey Boam
Jeffrey David Boam was an American screenwriter and film producer. He is known for writing the screenplays for Lethal Weapon 2 and Lethal Weapon 3, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Innerspace, and The Lost Boys. Boam's films had a cumulative gross of over US $1 billion. He was educated at...

's. Filming locations included Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

.

The film was released in North America on May 24, 1989 to mostly positive reviews. It was a financial success, earning $474,171,806 at the worldwide box office totals. It won the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing.

Plot

In 1912, 13-year-old Indiana Jones
Indiana Jones
Colonel Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr., Ph.D. is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Indiana Jones franchise. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg created the character in homage to the action heroes of 1930s film serials...

 is horseback riding with his Boy Scout
Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over 4.5 million youth members in its age-related divisions...

 troop in Utah. He discovers robbers in a cave who find an ornamental cross which belonged to Coronado
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado y Luján was a Spanish conquistador, who visited New Mexico and other parts of what are now the southwestern United States between 1540 and 1542...

 and steals the cross from them. As they give chase, Indiana hides in a circus train. Although he escapes, the robbers bring the sheriff, and Indiana is forced to return it. Meanwhile, his oblivious father, Henry Jones, Sr.
Henry Jones, Sr.
Professor Henry Walton Jones, Sr. is a fictional character in the Indiana Jones franchise. He is the estranged father of Indiana Jones, who is captured by the Nazis while searching for the Holy Grail to act as bait for Indy....

, is working on his research into the Holy Grail
Holy Grail
The Holy Grail is a sacred object figuring in literature and certain Christian traditions, most often identified with the dish, plate, or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper and said to possess miraculous powers...

, keeping meticulous notes in a diary. The leader of the hired robbers, dressed very similarly to the future Indiana and impressed by the young Indiana's tenacity, gives him his fedora and some encouraging words.

In 1938, after recovering the cross and donating it to Marcus Brody's museum, Indiana is introduced to Walter Donovan, who informs him that Indiana's estranged father has vanished while searching for the Holy Grail, using an incomplete inscription as his guide. Indiana then receives a package by post which turns out to be his father's Grail diary, containing his father's research. Understanding that his father would not have sent the diary unless he was in trouble, Indiana and Marcus travel to Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

, where they meet Henry's colleague, Dr. Elsa Schneider. Beneath the library where Henry was last seen, Indiana and Elsa discover catacombs
Catacombs
Catacombs, human-made subterranean passageways for religious practice. Any chamber used as a burial place can be described as a catacomb, although the word is most commonly associated with the Roman empire...

 and the tomb of a knight of the First Crusade
First Crusade
The First Crusade was a military expedition by Western Christianity to regain the Holy Lands taken in the Muslim conquest of the Levant, ultimately resulting in the recapture of Jerusalem...

, which also contains a complete version of the inscription that Henry had used, this one revealing the location of the Grail. They flee when the catacombs are set aflame by The Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword, a secret society. Indiana and Elsa are pursued and escape on a speedboat, and a chase through Venice ensues in which they capture the secret society's leader, Kazim. After Indiana convinces him of their legitimate intentions, Kazim explains that The Brotherhood are protecting the Grail from those with evil intentions, and that Henry was abducted to Brunwald Castle on the Austrian-German border.

Indiana infiltrates the castle and finds his father, but learns that Elsa and Donovan are working with the Nazis
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, hoping that Indiana would discover the location of the Grail for them. The Nazis capture Marcus, who had traveled to Hatay, Turkey with a map that Henry had drawn to show the route to the Grail's hiding place. The Joneses are able to escape and recover the diary from Elsa at a Nazi rally in Berlin while barely escaping possible arrest by Adolf Hitler. On a Zeppelin
Zeppelin
A Zeppelin is a type of rigid airship pioneered by the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin in the early 20th century. It was based on designs he had outlined in 1874 and detailed in 1893. His plans were reviewed by committee in 1894 and patented in the United States on 14 March 1899...

 and later a plane they escape from Germany. They then meet Sallah
Sallah
Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir, better known as Sallah , is a fictional character played by John Rhys-Davies in two of the four Indiana Jones films: Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade...

 in Hatay, where they learn of Marcus' abduction and that the Nazis are already moving to the Grail's location. With the help of The Brotherhood, the Joneses ambush the Nazi convoy and rescue Marcus. Donovan and Elsa continue on to the Canyon of the Crescent Moon, the location of the Grail.

Indiana, Henry, Marcus, and Sallah catch up and find that the Nazis are unable to pass through traps set before the Grail. After the four are discovered, Donovan shoots Henry, mortally wounding him, and thus forces Indiana ("The healing power of the grail is the only thing that can save your father now") to circumvent the traps by using the information in his father's diary, with Donovan and Elsa following. Indiana succeeds and finds himself in a room with the last Knight, kept alive with the power of the Grail, which has been hidden among dozens of other cups. Elsa selects a gilded cup encrusted in jewels for Donovan; when Donovan drinks from it, he rapidly decays and crumbles into dust. Indiana, recognizing that the Grail would be that of a humble carpenter
Carpenter
A carpenter is a skilled craftsperson who works with timber to construct, install and maintain buildings, furniture, and other objects. The work, known as carpentry, may involve manual labor and work outdoors....

 instead of a wealthy king, selects the plainest-looking cup in the group, which turns out to be the correct vessel. He fills it with water and quickly takes it to his father, pouring the holy water onto his chest and giving it to him to drink, which instantly heals his gunshot wound. As they prepare to leave, the Knight warns them to not take the Grail past the great seal in the temple's floor, but Elsa disobeys, causing the temple to collapse. Elsa falls to her death into an abyss while attempting to recover the Grail; Indiana nearly suffers the same fate until his father tells him to let it go. The Joneses, Marcus, and Sallah narrowly escape the collapsing temple, while the Knight watches them with his mission accomplished. The four then ride out of the canyon, and into the sunset.

Cast

  • Harrison Ford
    Harrison Ford
    Harrison Ford is an American film actor and producer. He is famous for his performances as Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy and as the title character of the Indiana Jones film series. Ford is also known for his roles as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, John Book in Witness and Jack Ryan in...

     as Dr. Indiana Jones
    Indiana Jones
    Colonel Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr., Ph.D. is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Indiana Jones franchise. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg created the character in homage to the action heroes of 1930s film serials...

  • Sean Connery
    Sean Connery
    Sir Thomas Sean Connery , better known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globes Sir Thomas Sean Connery (born 25 August 1930), better known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy...

     as Professor Henry Jones
    Henry Jones, Sr.
    Professor Henry Walton Jones, Sr. is a fictional character in the Indiana Jones franchise. He is the estranged father of Indiana Jones, who is captured by the Nazis while searching for the Holy Grail to act as bait for Indy....

  • Denholm Elliott
    Denholm Elliott
    Denholm Mitchell Elliott, CBE was an English film, television and theatre actor with over 120 film and television credits...

     as Dr. Marcus Brody
  • Alison Doody
    Alison Doody
    -Early life:The youngest of three children, she was born in Dublin, Ireland. Her mother, Joan, was a beauty therapist, and her father, Patrick, worked in the property business and farmed...

     as Dr. Elsa Schneider
  • John Rhys Davies
    John Rhys-Davies
    John Rhys-Davies is a Welsh actor and voice actor. He is perhaps best known for playing the charismatic Arab excavator Sallah in the Indiana Jones films and the dwarf Gimli in The Lord of the Rings trilogy...

     as Sallah
    Sallah
    Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir, better known as Sallah , is a fictional character played by John Rhys-Davies in two of the four Indiana Jones films: Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade...

  • Julian Glover
    Julian Glover
    Julian Wyatt Glover is a British actor best known for such roles as General Maximilian Veers in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, the Bond villain Aristotle Kristatos in For Your Eyes Only, and Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.-Personal life:Glover was born in...

     as Walter Donovan
  • River Phoenix
    River Phoenix
    River Jude Phoenix was an American film actor, musician, and teen icon. He was the oldest brother of fellow actors Rain, Joaquin, Liberty, and Summer Phoenix.Phoenix began acting at age 10 in television commercials...

     as Indiana Jones
    Indiana Jones
    Colonel Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr., Ph.D. is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Indiana Jones franchise. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg created the character in homage to the action heroes of 1930s film serials...

     (aged 13)
  • Michael Byrne
    Michael Byrne (actor)
    Michael Byrne is an English actor noted for his roles on film and television. He has often been cast in Nazi military roles such as Colonel Vogel in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Obergruppenführer Odilo Globocnik in the BBC radio dramatisation of the novel Fatherland by Robert Harris...

     as SS-Standartenführer (Colonel) Ernst Vogel
  • Kevork Malikyan
    Kevork Malikyan
    Kevork Malikyan is an English character actor of Armenian descent, perhaps best known for his role as Kazim in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade....

     as Kazim
  • Robert Eddison
    Robert Eddison
    Robert Eddison was a British actor, who is probably most widely remembered in the role of the Grail Knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade...

     as the Grail Knight
  • Vernon Dobtcheff
    Vernon Dobtcheff
    Vernon Dobtcheff is a French and British actor.Dobtcheff was born in Nîmes, France, to a family of Russian descent. He attended Ascham Preparatory School in Eastbourne, Sussex, England, in the 1940s, where he won the Acting Cup...

     as the Butler

Development

Lucas and Spielberg had intended to make a trilogy of Indiana Jones
Indiana Jones
Colonel Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr., Ph.D. is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Indiana Jones franchise. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg created the character in homage to the action heroes of 1930s film serials...

films since Lucas had first pitched Raiders of the Lost Ark
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by George Lucas, and starring Harrison Ford. It is the first film in the Indiana Jones franchise...

to Spielberg in 1977. After the mixed critical and public reaction to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the second film in the Indiana Jones franchise and prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark . After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone...

, Spielberg decided to complete the trilogy to fulfill his promise to Lucas and "to apologize for the second one". The pair had the intention of revitalizing the series by evoking the spirit and tone of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Throughout development and pre-production
Pre-production
Pre-production or In Production is the process of preparing all the elements involved in a film, play, or other performance.- In film :...

 of The Last Crusade, Spielberg admitted he was "consciously regressing" in making the film. Due to his commitment to The Last Crusade, the director had to drop out of directing Big
Big
Big is a 1988 romantic comedy film directed by Penny Marshall and stars Tom Hanks as Josh Baskin, a young boy who makes a wish "to be big" to a magical fortune-telling machine and is then aged to adulthood overnight...

and Rain Man
Rain Man
Rain Man is a 1988 drama film written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass and directed by Barry Levinson. It tells the story of an abrasive and selfish yuppie, Charlie Babbitt, who discovers that his estranged father has died and bequeathed all of his multimillion-dollar estate to his other son,...

.

Lucas initially suggested making the film "a haunted mansion
Haunted house
A haunted house is a house or other building often perceived as being inhabited by disembodied spirits of the deceased who may have been former residents or were familiar with the property...

 movie", for which Romancing the Stone
Romancing the Stone
Romancing the Stone is a 1984 American action-adventure romantic comedy. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, it stars Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. The film was followed by a 1985 sequel, The Jewel of the Nile....

writer Diane Thomas
Diane Thomas
Diane Thomas was a screenwriter. She was working as a waitress while writing scripts and then had the opportunity to pitch the script for Romancing the Stone to customer Michael Douglas who then bought, produced, and starred in the film with Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito.Diane Thomas died in a...

 wrote a script. Spielberg rejected the idea because of the similarity to Poltergeist, which he had co-written and produced. Lucas first introduced the Holy Grail
Holy Grail
The Holy Grail is a sacred object figuring in literature and certain Christian traditions, most often identified with the dish, plate, or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper and said to possess miraculous powers...

 in an idea for the film's prologue, which was to be set in Scotland. He intended the Grail to have a pagan basis, with the rest of the film revolving around a separate Christian artifact in Africa. Spielberg did not care for the Grail idea, which he found too esoteric, even after Lucas suggested giving it healing powers and the ability to grant immortality. In September 1984 Lucas completed an eight-page treatment titled Indiana Jones and the Monkey King
Sun Wukong
Sun Wukong , also known as the Monkey King is a main character in the classical Chinese epic novel Journey to the West . In the novel, he is a monkey born from a stone who acquires supernatural powers through Taoist practices...

, which he soon followed with an 11-page outline. The story saw Indiana battling a ghost in Scotland before finding the Fountain of Youth
Fountain of Youth
The Fountain of Youth is a legendary spring that reputedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks of its waters. Tales of such a fountain have been recounted across the world for thousands of years, appearing in writings by Herodotus, the Alexander romance, and the stories of Prester John...

 in Africa.

Chris Columbus
Chris Columbus (filmmaker)
Christopher Joseph "Chris" Columbus is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Columbus had his largest success with the first two films in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, along with Home Alone, the last...

—who had written the Spielberg-produced Gremlins
Gremlins
Gremlins is a 1984 American horror comedy film directed by Joe Dante, released by Warner Bros. The film is about a young man who receives a strange creature—called a Mogwai—as a pet, which then spawns other creatures who transform into small, destructive, evil monsters. It was followed by a sequel,...

, The Goonies
The Goonies
The Goonies is a 1985 American adventure-comedy film directed by Richard Donner. The screenplay was written by Chris Columbus from a story by executive producer Steven Spielberg. The premise surrounds a band of pre-teens who live in the "Goon Docks" neighborhood of Astoria, Oregon hoping to save...

, and Young Sherlock Holmes
Young Sherlock Holmes
Young Sherlock Holmes is a 1985 mystery/adventure film directed by Barry Levinson, produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Chris Columbus, based on characters by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle...

—was hired to write the script. His first draft, dated May 3, 1985, changed the main plot device to a Garden of Immortal Peaches. It begins in 1937, with Indiana battling the murderous ghost of Baron Seamus Seagrove III in Scotland. Indiana travels to Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

 to aid Dr. Clare Clarke (a Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

 type, according to Lucas) who has found a 200-year-old pygmy. The pygmy is kidnapped by the Nazis during a boat chase, and Indiana, Clare and Scraggy Brier—an old friend of Indiana—travel up the Zambesi river to rescue him. Indiana is killed in the climactic battle but is resurrected by the Monkey King. Other characters include a cannibalistic African tribe; Nazi Sergeant Gutterbuhg, who has a mechanical arm; Betsy, a stowaway student who is suicidally in love with Indiana; and a pirate leader named Kezure (described as a Toshirō Mifune
Toshiro Mifune
Toshirō Mifune was a Japanese actor who appeared in almost 170 feature films. He is best known for his 16-film collaboration with filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, from 1948 to 1965, in works such as Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, and Yojimbo...

 type), who dies eating a peach because he is not pure of heart. The tank is three stories high and requires Indiana to ride a rhinoceros to commandeer it.

Columbus's second draft, dated August 6, 1985, removed Betsy and featured Dash — an expatriate
Expatriate
An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing...

 bar owner working for the Nazis — and the Monkey King as villains. The Monkey King forces Indiana and Dash to play chess with real people and disintegrates each person who is captured. Indiana subsequently battles the undead, destroys the Monkey King's rod, and marries Clare. Location scouting
Location scouting
Location scouting is a vital process in the pre-production stage of filmmaking and commercial photography. Once scriptwriters, producers or directors have decided what general kind of scenery they require for the various parts of their work that is shot outside of the studio, the search for a...

 commenced in Africa but Spielberg and Lucas abandoned Monkey King because of its negative depiction of African natives, and because the script was unrealistic. Spielberg acknowledged that it made him "...feel very old, too old to direct it." Columbus's script was leaked onto the Internet in 1997, and many believed it was an early draft for the fourth film because it was mistakenly dated to 1995.

Unsatisfied, Spielberg suggested introducing Indiana's father, Henry Jones, Sr.
Henry Jones, Sr.
Professor Henry Walton Jones, Sr. is a fictional character in the Indiana Jones franchise. He is the estranged father of Indiana Jones, who is captured by the Nazis while searching for the Holy Grail to act as bait for Indy....

 Lucas was dubious, believing the Grail should be the focus of the story, but Spielberg convinced him that the father–son relationship would serve as a great metaphor in Indiana's search for the artifact. Spielberg hired Menno Meyjes
Menno Meyjes
Menno Meyjes is a Dutch-born screenwriter, film director and producer.He moved to the United States in 1972 and studied at the Art Institute of California – San Francisco. He was nominated for several awards for his screenplay to the 1985 film The Color Purple, adapted from the novel by Alice Walker...

, who had worked on Spielberg's The Color Purple
The Color Purple (film)
The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker. It was Spielberg's eighth film as a director , and was a change from the summer blockbusters for which he had become famous...

and Empire of the Sun
Empire of the Sun (film)
Empire of the Sun is a 1987 American coming of age war film based on J. G. Ballard's semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. Steven Spielberg directed the film, which stars Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, and Nigel Havers...

, to begin a new script on January 1, 1986. Meyjes completed his script ten months later. It depicted Indiana searching for his father in Montségur
Montségur
The Château de Montségur is a former fortress near Montségur, a commune in the Ariège department in southwestern France. Its ruins are the site of a razed stronghold of the Cathars. The present fortress on the site, though described as one of the "Cathar castles," is actually of a later period...

, where he meets a nun named Chantal. Indiana travels to Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

, takes the Orient Express
Orient Express
The Orient Express is the name of a long-distance passenger train service originally operated by the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. It ran from 1883 to 2009 and is not to be confused with the Venice-Simplon Orient Express train service, which continues to run.The route and rolling stock...

to Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, and continues by train to Petra
Petra
Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited...

, where he meets Sallah
Sallah
Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir, better known as Sallah , is a fictional character played by John Rhys-Davies in two of the four Indiana Jones films: Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade...

 and reunites with his father. In the denouement, the Nazis touch the Grail and explode; when Henry touches it, he ascends a staircase into Heaven
Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

. Chantal chooses to stay on Earth and marries Indiana. In a revised draft dated two months later, Indiana finds his father in Krak des Chevaliers
Krak des Chevaliers
Krak des Chevaliers , also Crac des Chevaliers, is a Crusader castle in Syria and one of the most important preserved medieval castles in the world. The site was first inhabited in the 11th century by a settlement of Kurds; as a result it was known as Hisn al Akrad, meaning the "Castle of the...

, the Nazi leader is a woman named Greta von Grimm, and Indiana battles a demon at the Grail site, which he defeats with a dagger inscribed with "God is King". The prologue in both drafts has Indiana in Mexico battling for possession of Montezuma
Montezuma
Montezuma, Moctezuma, Moteczoma, Motecuhzoma, Moteuczomah, Mwatazuma, are variant spellings and may refer to:*Moctezuma II , ninth Aztec Emperor, ruler at the beginning of the Spanish conquest of Mexico...

's mask with a man who owns gorillas as pets.

Spielberg suggested Innerspace
Innerspace
Innerspace is a 1987 science fiction comedy film directed by Joe Dante and produced by Michael Finnell. Steven Spielberg served as executive producer. The film was inspired by the classic 1966 science fiction film Fantastic Voyage. It stars Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan, Robert Picardo and...

writer Jeffrey Boam
Jeffrey Boam
Jeffrey David Boam was an American screenwriter and film producer. He is known for writing the screenplays for Lethal Weapon 2 and Lethal Weapon 3, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Innerspace, and The Lost Boys. Boam's films had a cumulative gross of over US $1 billion. He was educated at...

 perform the next rewrite. Boam spent two weeks reworking the story with Lucas. Boam told Lucas that Indiana should find his father in the middle of the story. "Given the fact that it's the third film in the series, you couldn't just end with them obtaining the object. That's how the first two films ended," he said, "So I thought, let them lose the Grail, and let the father–son relationship be the main point. It's an archaeological search for Indy's own identity and coming to accept his father is more what it's about [than the quest for the Grail]." Boam said he felt there was not enough character development in the previous films. In Boam's first draft, dated September 1987, the film is set in 1939. The prologue has Indiana retrieving an Aztec relic for a professor in Mexico and features the circus train. The leader of the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword is Kemal, a Hatayan secret agent who allies with the Nazis because he wants the Grail for the glory of his country. He shoots Henry and dies drinking from the wrong chalice. Henry and Elsa (who is described as having dark hair) were searching for the Grail on behalf of the Chandler Foundation. The Grail Knight battles Indiana on horseback, while Vogel is crushed by a boulder when stealing the Grail.

Boam's February 1988 rewrite utilized many of Connery's comic suggestions. It included the prologue that was eventually filmed; Lucas had to convince Spielberg to show Indiana as a boy because of the mixed response to Empire of the Sun, which was about a young boy. Spielberg—who was later awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award
Distinguished Eagle Scout Award
The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award is a distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America . It is awarded to an Eagle Scout for distinguished service in his profession and to his community for a period of at least 25 years after attaining the level of Eagle Scout...

—had the idea of making Indiana a Boy Scout
Boy Scout
A Scout is a boy or a girl, usually 11 to 18 years of age, participating in the worldwide Scouting movement. Because of the large age and development span, many Scouting associations have split this age group into a junior and a senior section...

. Indiana's mother, named Margaret in this version, dismisses Indiana when he returns home with the Cross of Coronado, while his father is on a long distance call. Walter Chandler of the Chandler Foundation features, but is not the main villain; he plunges to his death in the tank. Elsa shoots Henry, then dies drinking from the wrong Grail, and Indiana rescues his father from falling into the chasm while grasping for the Grail. Vogel is beheaded by the traps guarding the Grail, while Kemal tries to blow up the temple during a comic fight in which gunpowder is repeatedly lit and extinguished. Leni Riefenstahl
Leni Riefenstahl
Helene Bertha Amalie "Leni" Riefenstahl was a German film director, actress and dancer widely noted for her aesthetics and innovations as a filmmaker. Her most famous film was Triumph des Willens , a propaganda film made at the 1934 Nuremberg congress of the Nazi Party...

 appears at the Nazi rally. Boam's revision the following month showed Henry causing the seagulls to strike the plane. Tom Stoppard
Tom Stoppard
Sir Tom Stoppard OM, CBE, FRSL is a British playwright, knighted in 1997. He has written prolifically for TV, radio, film and stage, finding prominence with plays such as Arcadia, The Coast of Utopia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Professional Foul, The Real Thing, and Rosencrantz and...

 rewrote the script by May 8, 1988 under the pen name Barry Watson. He polished much of the dialogue, and created the "Panama Hat" character to link the segments of the prologue featuring the young and adult Indianas. Stoppard also renamed Kemal to Kazim and Chandler to Donovan, and made Donovan shoot Henry.

Filming

Principal photography
Principal photography
thumb|300px|Film production on location in [[Newark, New Jersey]].Principal photography is the phase of film production in which the movie is filmed, with actors on set and cameras rolling, as distinct from pre-production and post-production....

 began on May 16, 1988 in the Tabernas Desert
Tabernas Desert
The Tabernas Desert is a desert in Spain. It is located in the province of Almería about north of the capital, Almería, in the Tabernas municipality...

 in the Almería province
Almería (province)
-History:The rich customs and Fiestas of the denizens retain links deep into the past, unto the Moors, the Romans, the Greeks, and the Phoenicians.During the taifa era, it was ruled by the Moor Banu al-Amiri from 1012 to 1038, briefly annexed by Valencia , then given by Zaragoza to the Banu Sumadih...

 of Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. Spielberg originally had planned the chase to be a short sequence shot over two days, but he drew up storyboards to make the scene an action-packed centerpiece. Thinking he would not surpass the truck chase from Raiders of the Lost Ark (because the truck was much faster than the tank), he felt this sequence should be more story-based and needed to show Indiana and Henry helping each other. He later said he had more fun storyboarding the sequence than filming it. The second unit
Second unit
In film, the second unit is a team that shoots subsidiary footage for a motion picture. Its work is distinct from that of the first unit, which shoots all scenes involving principal actors...

 had begun filming two weeks before. After approximately ten days the production moved to Bellas Artes to film the scenes set in the Sultan of Hatay's palace. Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park
Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park
Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park is a natural park in Andalusia, Spain, near the city of Almería. It is the largest terrestrial-maritime reserve in the European Western Mediterranean Sea, covering 460 km² including the town of Carboneras, the mountain range of Sierra de Cabo de Gata, and...

 was used for the road, tunnel and beach sequence in which birds strike the plane. The Spanish portion of the shoot wrapped on June 2, 1988 in Guadix
Guadix
Guadix, a city of southern Spain, in the province of Granada; on the left bank of the river Guadix, a sub-tributary of the Guadiana Menor, and on the Madrid-Valdepeñas-Almería railway...

, Granada
Granada (province)
Granada is a province of southern Spain, in the eastern part of the autonomous community of Andalusia. It is bordered by the provinces of Albacete, Murcia, Almería, Jaén, Córdoba, Málaga, and the Mediterranean Sea . Its capital city is also called Granada.The province covers an area of 12,635 km²...

 with filming of Brody's capture at İskenderun train station. The filmmakers built a mosque near the station for atmosphere, rather than adding it as a visual effect.

Filming for the castle interiors took place from June 5 to 10, 1988 at Elstree Studios
Elstree Studios
"Elstree Studios" refers to any of several film studios that were based in the towns of Borehamwood and Elstree in Hertfordshire, England, since film production begun in 1927.-Name:...

, England. The fire was filmed last. On June 16, the Royal Horticultural Society
Royal Horticultural Society
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 in London, England as the Horticultural Society of London, and gained its present name in a Royal Charter granted in 1861 by Prince Albert...

 was used for the airport interiors. Filming returned to Elstree the next day to capture the motorcycle escape, continuing at the studio for interior scenes until July 18. One day was spent at North Weald Airfield
North Weald Airfield
North Weald Airfield is an operational airfield, near the village of North Weald Bassett in Epping Forest, Essex, England. It was an important fighter station during the Battle of Britain, when it was known as the RAF Station RAF North Weald. It is the home of North Weald Airfield Museum...

 on June 29 to film Indiana leaving for Venice. Ford and Connery acted much of the Zeppelin table conversation without trousers on because of the overheated set. Spielberg, Marshall and Kennedy interrupted the shoot to make a plea to the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 to support the economically "depressed" British studios. July 20–22 was spent filming the temple interiors. The temple set, which took six weeks to build, was supported on 80 feet of hydraulics and ten gimbal
Gimbal
A gimbal is a pivoted support that allows the rotation of an object about a single axis. A set of two gimbals, one mounted on the other with pivot axes orthogonal, may be used to allow an object mounted on the innermost gimbal to remain immobile regardless of the motion of its support...

s for use during the earthquake scene. Resetting between takes took twenty minutes while the hydraulics were put to their starting positions and the cracks filled with plaster. The shot of the Grail falling to the temple floor—causing the first crack to appear—was attempted on the full-size set, but proved too difficult. Instead, crews built a separate floor section that incorporated a pre-scored crack sealed with plaster. It took several takes to throw the Grail from six feet onto the right part of the crack. July 25–26 was spent on night shoots at Stowe School
Stowe School
Stowe School is an independent school in Stowe, Buckinghamshire. It was founded on 11 May 1923 by J. F. Roxburgh, initially with 99 male pupils. It is a member of the Rugby Group and Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. The school is also a member of the G20 Schools Group...

, Stowe, Buckinghamshire
Stowe, Buckinghamshire
Stowe is a civil parish and former village about northwest of Buckingham in the Aylesbury Vale district of Buckinghamshire, England. The parish includes the hamlets of Boycott, Dadford and Lamport....

 for the Nazi rally.

Filming resumed two days later at Elstree, where Spielberg swiftly filmed the library, Portuguese freighter, and catacombs sequences. The steamship fight in the 1938 portion of the prologue was filmed in three days on a sixty-by-forty-feet deck built on gimbals at Elstree. A dozen dump tanks—each holding three hundred imperial gallons (360 U.S. gallons; 3000 lb) of water—were used in the scene. Henry's house was filmed at Mill Hill
Mill Hill
Mill Hill is a place in the London Borough of Barnet. It is a suburb situated 9 miles north west of Charing Cross. Mill Hill was in the historic county of Middlesex until it was absorbed by London...

, London. Indiana and Kazim's fight in Venice in front of a ship's propeller was filmed in a water tank at Elstree. Spielberg used a long focus lens to make it appear the actors were closer to the propeller than they really were. Two days later, on August 4, another portion of the boat chase using Hacker Craft sport boats, was filmed at Tilbury Docks
Port of Tilbury
The Port of Tilbury is located on the River Thames at Tilbury in Essex, England. It is the principal port for London; as well as being the main United Kingdom port for handling the importation of paper. There are extensive facilities for containers, grain, and other bulk cargoes. There are also...

 in Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

. The shot of the boats passing between two ships was achieved by first cabling the ships off so they would be safe. The ships were moved together while the boats passed between, close enough that one of the boats scraped the sides of the ships. An empty speedboat containing dummies was launched from a floating platform between the ships amid fire and smoke that helped obscure the platform. The stunt was performed twice because the boat landed too short of the camera in the first attempt. The following day, filming in England wrapped at the Royal Masonic School
Royal Masonic School
The Royal Masonic School for Girls is an independent school in Rickmansworth, England with both day and boarding pupils. The school was instituted in 1788, with the aim of maintaining the daughters of indigent Freemasons, unable through death, illness, or incapacitation to support their families...

 in Rickmansworth
Rickmansworth
Rickmansworth is a town in the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire, England, 4¼ miles west of Watford.The town has a population of around 15,000 people and lies on the Grand Union Canal and the River Colne, at the northern end of the Colne Valley regional park.Rickmansworth is a small town in...

, which doubled for Indiana's college (as it had in Raiders of the Lost Ark).

Shooting in Venice took place on August 8. For scenes such as Indiana and Brody greeting Elsa, shots of the boat chase, and Kazim telling Indiana where his father is, Robert Watts
Robert Watts
Robert Watts is a British film producer who is best known for his involvement with the Star Wars and Indiana Jones film series. His half brother is Jeremy Bulloch, who played Boba Fett in the original Star Wars trilogy.-Chichester University Visit:...

 gained control of the Grand Canal from 7 am to 1 pm, sealing off tourists for as long as possible. Cinematographer Douglas Slocombe
Douglas Slocombe
Douglas Slocombe OBE, BSC, A.S.C. is a British cinematographer who has enjoyed a long career in the British film industry...

 positioned the camera to ensure no satellite dishes would be visible. San Barnaba di Venezia
San Barnaba di Venezia
Campo San Barnaba is a campo in Venice, northern Italy. The neighborhood's church, the San Barnaba, was featured in numerous films....

 served as the exterior to the library. The next day, filming moved to the ancient city of Petra
Petra
Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited...

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, which stood in for the temple housing the Grail. The cast and crew became guests of King Hussein
Hussein of Jordan
Hussein bin Talal was the third King of Jordan from the abdication of his father, King Talal, in 1952, until his death. Hussein's rule extended through the Cold War and four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict...

 and Queen Noor. The main cast completed their scenes that week, after 63 days of filming.

The second unit filmed part of the 1912 segment of the prologue from August 29 to September 3. The main unit began two days later with the circus train sequence at Alamosa, Colorado
Alamosa, Colorado
The city of Alamosa is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Alamosa County, Colorado, United States. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the city population was 8,682 in 2005...

. They filmed at Pagosa Springs
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Pagosa Springs is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat of, and the only incorporated municipality in, Archuleta County, Colorado, United States. The population was 1,591 at the 2000 census...

 on September 7, and then at Cortez
Cortez, Colorado
The city of Cortez is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Montezuma County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 8,482 at the 2010 census...

 on September 10. From September 14 to 16, filming of Indiana falling into the train carriages took place in Los Angeles. The production then moved to Arches National Park
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is a U.S. National Park in eastern Utah. It is known for preserving over 2000 natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch, in addition to a variety of unique geological resources and formations....

 in Utah to shoot more of the opening. A house near the park was used for the Jones family home. The production had intended to film at Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is a U.S. National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Montezuma County, Colorado, United States. It was created in 1906 to protect some of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the world...

, but Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 representatives had religious objections to its use. When Spielberg and editor Michael Kahn
Michael Kahn (film editor)
Michael Kahn is an American film editor. His credits range from TV's Hogan's Heroes to feature films directed by George C. Scott and Steven Spielberg, with whom he has had an extended, notable collaboration over more than thirty years.Kahn is a member of the American Cinema Editors...

 viewed a rough cut
Rough cut
In filmmaking, the rough cut is the second of three stages of offline editing. The rough cut is the first stage in which the film begins to resemble its final product...

 of the film in late 1988, they felt it suffered from a lack of action. The motorcycle chase was shot during post-production
Post-production
Post-production is part of filmmaking and the video production process. It occurs in the making of motion pictures, television programs, radio programs, advertising, audio recordings, photography, and digital art...

 at Mount Tamalpais
Mount Tamalpais
Mount Tamalpais is a peak in Marin County, California, United States, often considered symbolic of Marin County. Much of Mount Tamalpais is protected within public lands such as Mount Tamalpais State Park and the Mount Tamalpais Watershed.-Geography:...

 and Fairfax
Fairfax, California
Fairfax is an incorporated town in Marin County, California, United States. Fairfax is located west-northwest of San Rafael, at an elevation of 115 feet...

 near Skywalker Ranch
Skywalker Ranch
Skywalker Ranch is the name of the workplace of film director and producer George Lucas. It is located in a secluded, but open area near Nicasio, California, in Marin County. The ranch is located on Lucas Valley Road, although Lucas is not related to the road's namesake, who was a...

. The closing shot of Indiana, Henry, Sallah and Brody riding into the sunset was filmed in Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 in early 1989.

Design

Mechanical effects supervisor George Gibbs said The Last Crusade was the most difficult film of his career. He visited a museum to negotiate renting a small French World War I tank
Tanks in World War I
The development of tanks in World War I began as a solution to the stalemate which trench warfare had brought to the western front. The first prototype of the Mark I tank was tested for the British Army on September 8th 1915...

, but decided he wanted to make one. The tank was based on the Tank Mark VIII, which was 36 feet and 28 tons. Gibbs built the tank over the framework of a 28-ton excavator
Excavator
Excavators are heavy construction equipment consisting of a boom, stick, bucket and cab on a rotating platform . The house sits atop an undercarriage with tracks or wheels. A cable-operated excavator uses winches and steel ropes to accomplish the movements. They are a natural progression from the...

 and added seven ton tracks that were driven by two automatic hydraulic pump
Hydraulic pump
Hydraulic pumps are used in hydraulic drive systems and can be hydrostatic or hydrodynamic.Hydrostatic pumps are positive displacement pumps while hydrodynamic pumps can be fixed displacement pumps, in which the displacement cannot be adjusted, or variable displacement pumps, which have a more...

s, each connected to a Range Rover
Range Rover
The Range Rover is a large luxury four-wheel drive sport utility vehicle produced by British car maker Land Rover. The model, launched in 1970, is now in its third generation...

 V8 engine
V8 engine
A V8 engine is a V engine with eight cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two banks of four cylinders, in most cases set at a right angle to each other but sometimes at a narrower angle, with all eight pistons driving a common crankshaft....

. Gibbs built the tank from steel rather than aluminum or fiberglass because it would allow the realistically suspensionless
Suspension (vehicle)
Suspension is the term given to the system of springs, shock absorbers and linkages that connects a vehicle to its wheels. Suspension systems serve a dual purpose — contributing to the car's roadholding/handling and braking for good active safety and driving pleasure, and keeping vehicle occupants...

 vehicle to endure the rocky surfaces. Unlike its historical counterpart—which had only the two side guns—the tank had a turret and two guns on its sides. It took four months to build and was transported to Almería on a Short Belfast
Short Belfast
The Short Belfast is a heavy lift turboprop freighter built by Short Brothers at Belfast. Only 10 were built for the British Royal Air Force with the designation Short Belfast C.1. When they were retired by the RAF, five went into civilian service with the cargo airline HeavyLift Cargo Airlines...

 plane and then a low loader truck.
The tank broke down twice. The rotor arm in the distributor
Distributor
A distributor is a device in the ignition system of an internal combustion engine that routes high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plugs in the correct firing order. The first reliable battery operated ignition was developed by Dayton Engineering Laboratories Co. and introduced in the...

 broke and a replacement had to be sourced from Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

. Then two of the valves in the device used to cool the oil exploded, due to solder
Solder
Solder is a fusible metal alloy used to join together metal workpieces and having a melting point below that of the workpiece.Soft solder is what is most often thought of when solder or soldering are mentioned and it typically has a melting range of . It is commonly used in electronics and...

 melting and mixing with the oil. It was very hot in the tank, despite the installation of ten fans, and the lack of suspension meant the driver was unable to stop shaking during filming breaks. The tank only moved at ten to twelve miles per hour, which Vic Armstrong
Vic Armstrong
Victor Monroe Armstrong is a BAFTA winning British film director and stunt double -- the world's most prolific according to the Guinness Book of Records...

 said made it difficult to film Indiana riding a horse against the tank while making it appear faster. A smaller section of the tank's top made from aluminum and which used rubber tracks was used for close-ups. It was built from a searchlight trailer, weighed eight tons, and was towed by a four-wheel drive truck. It had safety nets on each end to prevent injury to those falling off. A quarter-scale model by Gibbs was driven over a 50 feet (15.2 m) cliff on location; Industrial Light & Magic created further shots of the tank's destruction with models and miniatures.

Michael Lantieri
Michael Lantieri
Michael Lantieri is a special effects supervisor on films and also was the director of Komodo. He has worked on numerous films with Steven Spielberg. One of his most famous movies was "Mars Attacks!" where he had the job of creating the very much life-like animations.He was also part of destruction...

, mechanical effects supervisor for the 1912 scenes, noted the difficulty in shooting the train sequence. "You can't just stop a train," he said, "If it misses its mark, it takes blocks and blocks to stop it and back up." Lantieri hid handles for the actors and stuntmen to grab onto when leaping from carriage to carriage. The carriage interiors shot at Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood is a movie studio and theme park in the unincorporated Universal City community of Los Angeles County, California, United States. It is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood movie studios still in use...

 were built on tubes that inflated and deflated to create a rocking motion. For the close-up of the rhinoceros that strikes at (and misses) Indiana, a foam and fiberglass animatronic was made in London. When Spielberg decided he wanted it to move, the prop was sent to John Carl Buechler in Los Angeles, who resculpted it over three days to blink, snarl, snort and wiggle its ears. The giraffes were also created in London. Because steam locomotives are very loud, Lantieri's crew would respond to first assistant director David Tomblin's radioed directions by making the giraffes nod or shake their heads to his questions, which amused the crew. For the villains' cars, Lantieri selected a 1912 Ford Model A
Ford Model A (1903)
The original Ford Model A is the first car produced by Ford Motor Company, beginning production in 1903. Ernst Pfenning of Chicago, Illinois became the first owner of a Model A on July 23, 1903. 1,750 cars were made from 1903 through 1904...

 and a 1914 Saxon
Saxon (automobile)
The Saxon was an automobile produced by the Saxon Motor Car Company, from 1913 to 1923. The company was based in Detroit and then Ypsilanti, Michigan....

, fitting each with a Ford Pinto
Ford Pinto
The Ford Pinto is a subcompact car produced by the Ford Motor Company for the model years 1971–1980. The car's name derives from the Pinto horse. Initially offered as a two-door sedan, Ford offered "Runabout" hatchback and wagon models the following year, competing in the U.S. market with the AMC...

 V6 engine
V6 engine
A V6 engine is a V engine with six cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two banks of three cylinders, usually set at either a right angle or an acute angle to each other, with all six pistons driving a common crankshaft...

. Sacks of dust were hung under the cars to create a dustier environment.

Spielberg used doves for the seagulls that Henry scares into striking the German plane because the real gulls used in the first take did not fly. In December 1988, Lucasfilm ordered 1000 disease-free gray rats for the catacombs scenes from the company that supplied the snakes and bugs for the previous films. Within five months, 5000 rats had been bred for the sequence; 1000 mechanical rats stood in for those that were set on fire. Several thousand snakes of five breeds—including a boa constrictor
Boa constrictor
The Boa constrictor is a large, heavy-bodied species of snake. It is a member of the family Boidae found in North, Central, and South America, as well as some islands in the Caribbean. A staple of private collections and public displays, its color pattern is highly variable yet distinctive...

—were used for the train scene, in addition to rubber ones onto which Phoenix could fall. The snakes would slither from their crates, requiring the crew to dig through sawdust after filming to find and return them. Two lions were used, which became nervous because of the rocking motion and flickering lights.

Costume designer Anthony Powell
Anthony Powell (designer)
Anthony Powell is an English costume designer for stage and screen.-Awards:* Academy Award for Best Costume Design – 1973, 1979, 1981* BAFTA Award for Best Costume Design – 1979...

 found it a challenge to create Connery's costume because the script required the character to wear the same clothes throughout. Powell thought about his own grandfather and incorporated tweed
Tweed (cloth)
Tweed is a rough, unfinished woolen fabric, of a soft, open, flexible texture, resembling cheviot or homespun, but more closely woven. It is made in either plain or twill weave and may have a check or herringbone pattern...

 suits and fishing hats. Powell felt it necessary for Henry to wear glasses, but did not want to hide Connery's eyes, so chose rimless ones. He could not find any suitable, so he had them specially made. The Nazi costumes were genuine and were found in Eastern Europe by Powell's co-designer Joanna Johnston, to whom he gave research pictures and drawings for reference.

Gibbs used Swiss army training planes for the German planes. He built a device based on an internal combustion engine
Internal combustion engine
The internal combustion engine is an engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer in a combustion chamber. In an internal combustion engine, the expansion of the high-temperature and high -pressure gases produced by combustion apply direct force to some component of the engine...

 to simulate gunfire, which was safer and less expensive than firing blanks
Blank (cartridge)
A blank is a type of cartridge for a firearm that contains gunpowder but no bullet or shot. When fired, the blank makes a flash and an explosive sound . Blanks are often used for simulation , training, and for signaling...

. Baking soda was applied to Connery to create Henry's bullet wound. Vinegar was applied to create the foaming effect as the water from the Grail washes it away.

Effects

Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) built an eight-foot foam model of the Zeppelin to complement shots of Ford and Connery climbing into the biplane. A biplane model with a two-foot wingspan was used for the shot of the biplane detaching. Stop motion
Stop motion
Stop motion is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence...

 animation was used for the shot of the German fighter's wings breaking off as it crashes through the tunnel. The tunnel was a 210 feet model that occupied 14 of ILM's parking spaces for two months. It was built in eight-foot sections, with hinges allowing each section to be opened to film through. Ford and Connery were filmed against bluescreen
Chroma key
Chroma key compositing is a technique for compositing two images together. A color range in the top layer is made transparent, revealing another image behind. The chroma keying technique is commonly used in video production and post-production...

; the sequence required their car to have a dirty windscreen, but to make the integration easier this was removed and later composited
Compositing
Compositing is the combining of visual elements from separate sources into single images, often to create the illusion that all those elements are parts of the same scene. Live-action shooting for compositing is variously called "chroma key", "blue screen", "green screen" and other names. Today,...

 into the shot. Dust and shadows were animated onto shots of the plane miniature to make it appear as if it disturbed rocks and dirt before it exploded. Several hundred tim-birds were used in the background shots of the seagulls striking the other plane; for the closer shots, ILM dropped feather-coated crosses onto the camera. These only looked convincing because the scene's quick cuts merely required shapes that suggested gulls.
Spielberg devised the three trials that guard the Grail. For the first, the blades under which Indiana ducks like a penitent man were a mix of practical and miniature blades created by Gibbs and ILM. For the second trial, in which Indiana spells "Iehovah
Jehovah
Jehovah is an anglicized representation of Hebrew , a vocalization of the Tetragrammaton , the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible....

" on stable stepping stones, it was intended to have a tarantula crawl up Indiana after he mistakenly steps on "J". This was filmed and deemed unsatisfactory, so ILM filmed a stuntman hanging through a hole that appears in the floor, 30 feet above a cavern. As this was dark, it did not matter that the matte painting and models were rushed late in production. The third trial, the leap of faith that Indiana makes over an apparently impassable ravine after discovering a bridge hidden by forced perspective
Forced perspective
Forced perspective is a technique that employs optical illusion to make an object appear farther away, closer, larger or smaller than it actually is. It is used primarily in photography, filmmaking and architecture...

, was created with a model bridge and painted backgrounds. This was cheaper than building a full-size set. A puppet of Ford was used to create a shadow on the 9 feet (2.7 m) by 13 feet (4 m) model because Ford had filmed the scene against bluescreen, which did not incorporate the shaft of light from the entrance.

Spielberg wanted Donovan's death shown in one shot, so it would not look like an actor having makeup applied between takes. Inflatable pads were applied to Julian Glover
Julian Glover
Julian Wyatt Glover is a British actor best known for such roles as General Maximilian Veers in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, the Bond villain Aristotle Kristatos in For Your Eyes Only, and Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.-Personal life:Glover was born in...

's forehead and cheeks that made his eyes seem to recede during the character's initial decomposing, as well as a mechanical wig that grew his hair. The shot of Donovan's death was created over three months by morphing
Morphing
Morphing is a special effect in motion pictures and animations that changes one image into another through a seamless transition. Most often it is used to depict one person turning into another through technological means or as part of a fantasy or surreal sequence. Traditionally such a depiction...

 together three puppets of Donovan in separate stages of decay, a technique ILM mastered on Willow
Willow (film)
Willow is a 1988 American fantasy film directed by Ron Howard and produced/co-written by George Lucas. Warwick Davis stars in the film, as well as Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, and Patricia Hayes...

(1988). A fourth puppet was used for the decaying clothes, because the puppet's torso mechanics had been exposed. Complications arose because Allison Doody's double had not been filmed for the latter two elements of the scene, so the background and hair from the first shot had to be used throughout, with the other faces mapped
Texture mapping
Texture mapping is a method for adding detail, surface texture , or color to a computer-generated graphic or 3D model. Its application to 3D graphics was pioneered by Dr Edwin Catmull in his Ph.D. thesis of 1974.-Texture mapping:...

 over it. Donovan's skeleton was hung on wires like a marionette
Marionette
A marionette is a puppet controlled from above using wires or strings depending on regional variations. A marionette's puppeteer is called a manipulator. Marionettes are operated with the puppeteer hidden or revealed to an audience by using a vertical or horizontal control bar in different forms...

; it required several takes to film it crashing against the wall because not all the pieces released upon impact.

Ben Burtt
Ben Burtt
Benjamin "Ben" Burtt, Jr. is an American sound designer who has worked on various films including: the Star Wars and Indiana Jones film series, Invasion of the Body Snatchers , E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial , and WALL-E...

 designed the sound effects. He recorded chickens for the sounds of the rats, and digitally manipulated the noise made by a Styrofoam cup for the castle fire. He rode in a biplane to record the sounds for the dogfight sequence, and visited the demolition of a wind turbine
Wind turbine
A wind turbine is a device that converts kinetic energy from the wind into mechanical energy. If the mechanical energy is used to produce electricity, the device may be called a wind generator or wind charger. If the mechanical energy is used to drive machinery, such as for grinding grain or...

 for the plane crashes. Burtt wanted an echoing gunshot for Donovan wounding Henry, so he fired a .357 Magnum
.357 Magnum
The .357 S&W Magnum , or simply .357 Magnum, is a revolver cartridge created by Elmer Keith, Phillip B. Sharpe, Colonel D. B. Wesson of firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson, and Winchester. It is based upon Smith & Wesson's earlier .38 Special cartridge. The .357 Magnum cartridge was introduced in...

 in Skywalker Ranch
Skywalker Ranch
Skywalker Ranch is the name of the workplace of film director and producer George Lucas. It is located in a secluded, but open area near Nicasio, California, in Marin County. The ranch is located on Lucas Valley Road, although Lucas is not related to the road's namesake, who was a...

's underground car park, just as Lucas drove in. A rubber balloon was used for the earthquake tremors at the temple. The Last Crusade was released in selected theaters in the 70 mm Full-Field Sound format, which allowed sounds to not only move from side to side, but also from the front to the rear of the theater.

Matte painting
Matte painting
A matte painting is a painted representation of a landscape, set, or distant location that allows filmmakers to create the illusion of an environment that would otherwise be too expensive or impossible to build or visit. Historically, matte painters and film technicians have used various techniques...

s of the Austrian castle and German airport were based on real buildings; the Austrian castle was a small West German castle that was made to look larger. Rain was created by filming granulated Borax
Borax
Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. It is usually a white powder consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water.Borax has a wide variety of uses...

 soap against black at high speed. It was only lightly double exposed into the shots so it would not resemble snow. The lightning was animated. The airport used was at San Francisco's Treasure Island, which already had appropriate art deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

 architecture. ILM added a control tower, Nazi banners, vintage automobiles and a sign stating "Berlin Flughafen". The establishing shot of the Hatayan city at dusk was created by filming silhouetted cutouts that were backlit and obscured by smoke. Matte paintings were used for the sky and to give the appearance of fill light
Fill light
In television, film, stage, or photographic lighting, a fill light may be used to reduce the contrast of a scene and provide some illumination for the areas of the image that are in shadow...

 in the shadows and rim light
Backlighting (lighting design)
Backlighting refers to the process of illuminating the subject from the back. In other words, the lighting instrument and the viewer are facing towards each other, with the subject in between. This causes the edges of the subject to glow, while the other areas remain darker. The backlight can be a...

 on the edges of the buildings.

Themes

A son's relationship with his estranged father is a common theme in Spielberg's films, including E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Melissa Mathison and starring Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, and Peter Coyote...

and Hook
Hook (film)
Hook is a 1991 American fantasy film directed by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins, and features Maggie Smith, Caroline Goodall, Charlie Korsmo, Amber Scott, and Dante Basco. Hook acts as a sequel to Peter Pan's original adventures, focusing...

.

The Last Crusades exploration of fathers and sons coupled with its use of religious imagery is comparable to two other 1989 films, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is a 1989 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the fifth feature in the franchise and the penultimate to star the cast of the original Star Trek science fiction television series...

and Field of Dreams
Field of Dreams
Field of Dreams is a 1989 American fantasy-drama film directed by Phil Alden Robinson and is from the novel Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella...

. Writing for The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

, Caryn James felt the combination in these films reflected New Age
New Age
The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and then infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational...

 concerns, where the worship of God was equated to searching for fathers. James felt neither Indiana or his father are preoccupied with finding the Grail or defeating the evil Nazis, but finding a professional respect for one another on their boys' own
Boy's Own Paper
The Boy's Own Paper was a British story paper aimed at young and teenage boys, published from 1879 to 1967.-Publishing history:The idea for the publication was first raised in 1878 by the Religious Tract Society as a means to encourage younger children to read and also instil Christian morals...

 adventure. James contrasted the biblical destruction of the temple with the more effective and quiet conversation between the Joneses at the end of the film. James noted Indiana's mother is not in the prologue and stated to have died by the events of the film.

Cultural references

The 1912 prologue refers to events in the lives of Indiana's creators. When Indiana cracks the bullwhip to defend himself against a lion, he accidentally lashes and scars his chin. Ford gained this scar in a car accident as a young man. Indiana taking his nickname from his pet Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is a generally large breed of domestic dog originally bred for use as a utilitarian dog and later an Alaskan sled dog. They are sometimes mistaken for a Siberian Husky, but in fact are quite different in many ways...

 is a reference to the character being named after Lucas's dog. The train carriage Indiana enters is named "Doctor Fantasy's Magic Caboose", which was the name producer Frank Marshall used when performing magic tricks. Spielberg suggested the idea, Marshall came up with the false-bottomed box through which Indiana escapes, and production designer Elliott Scott suggested the trick be done in a single, uninterrupted shot. Spielberg intended the shot of Henry with his umbrella—after he causes the bird strike on the German plane—to evoke Ryan's Daughter
Ryan's Daughter
Ryan's Daughter is a 1970 film directed by David Lean. The film, set in 1916, tells the story of a married Irish woman who has an affair with a British officer during World War I, despite opposition from her nationalist neighbours...

.

There is also a special reference made to the Nazi book burnings
Nazi book burnings
The Nazi book burnings were a campaign conducted by the authorities of Nazi Germany to ceremonially burn all books in Germany which did not correspond with Nazi ideology.-The book-burning campaign:...

 when Indiana Jones Jr, along with Indiana Jones Sr, escape from the clutches of Mr. Donovan and attempt to recover the Grail Diary from Berlin. Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford is an American film actor and producer. He is famous for his performances as Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy and as the title character of the Indiana Jones film series. Ford is also known for his roles as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, John Book in Witness and Jack Ryan in...

 also makes an appealing statement when he recovers the book from Dr. Elsa Schneider, where he states, He would rather save books than "incinerate" them. His father offers an even stronger protest. When a Nazi officer does not understand Jones' Grail Diary clues, he asks, "What does the diary tell you that it doesn't tell us?" To which the elder Jones fires back, "It tells me...that goose-stepping morons like yourself should try READING books instead of BURNING them!"

Marketing

The teaser trailer
Teaser trailer
A teaser campaign is an advertising campaign which typically consists of a series of small, cryptic, challenging advertisements that anticipate a larger, full-blown campaign for a product launch or otherwise important event. These advertisements are called "teasers" or "teaser ads"...

 for The Last Crusade debuted in November 1988 with Scrooged
Scrooged
Scrooged is a 1988 American comedy film, a modernization of Charles Dickens' novella, A Christmas Carol. The film was produced and directed by Richard Donner, and the cinematography was by Michael Chapman. The screenplay was written by Mitch Glazer and Michael O'Donoghue...

and The Naked Gun. Rob MacGregor wrote the tie-in
Tie-in
A tie-in is an authorized product based on a media property a company is releasing, such as a movie or video/DVD, computer game, video game, television program/television series, board game, web site, role-playing game or literary property...

 novelization that was released in June 1989; it sold enough copies to be included on the New York Times Best Seller list
New York Times Best Seller list
The New York Times Best Seller list is widely considered the preeminent list of best-selling books in the United States. It is published weekly in The New York Times Book Review magazine, which is published in the Sunday edition of The New York Times and as a stand-alone publication...

. MacGregor went on to write the first six Indiana Jones prequel novels during the 1990s. Following the film's release, Ford donated Indiana's fedora and jacket to the Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines...

's National Museum of American History
National Museum of American History
The National Museum of American History: Kenneth E. Behring Center collects, preserves and displays the heritage of the United States in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. Among the items on display are the original Star-Spangled Banner and Archie Bunker's...

.

No toys were made to promote The Last Crusade; Indiana Jones "never happened on the toy level", said Larry Carlat, senior editor of the journal Children's Business. Rather, Lucasfilm promoted Indiana as a lifestyle symbol, selling tie-in fedoras, shirts, jackets and watches. Two video games
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (video game)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is the title of three different video games released for various video and computer home systems. The format of each particular video game is different, but they loosely follow the film's storyline.-The Action Game:...

 based on the film were released by LucasArts
LucasArts
LucasArts Entertainment Company, LLC is an American video game developer and publisher. The company was once famous for its innovative line of graphic adventure games, the critical and commercial success of which peaked in the mid 1990s...

 in 1989: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure is a graphical adventure game, originally released in 1989 , published by Lucasfilm Games . It was the third game to use the SCUMM engine.-Plot:The plot closely follows, and expands upon, the film of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade...

and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Action Game. A third game
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1991 video game)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a video game released in 1991 by Taito for the NES based in the film of the same name...

 was produced by Taito
Taito
Taito may mean:*Taito Corporation, a Japanese developer of video game software and arcade hardware*Taito, Tokyo, a special ward located in Tokyo, Japan*Taito, also known as matai, paramount chiefs according to Fa'a Samoa...

 and released in 1991 for the Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo Entertainment System
The Nintendo Entertainment System is an 8-bit video game console that was released by Nintendo in North America during 1985, in Europe during 1986 and Australia in 1987...

. Ryder Windham
Ryder Windham
Ryder Windham is an American science fiction author who has written over sixty Star Wars books, including novels, comics, and reference books. He has also written junior novelizations for Indiana Jones movies. Since 1993, he has been working on Star Wars projects either by himself or with other...

 wrote another novelization, released in April 2008 by Scholastic, to coincide with the release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008). Hasbro
Hasbro
Hasbro is a multinational toy and boardgame company from the United States of America. It is one of the largest toy makers in the world. The corporate headquarters is located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, United States...

 released toys based on The Last Crusade in July 2008.

Box office

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was released in North America on May 24, 1989 in 2,327 theaters, earning $29,355,021 in its opening weekend. This was the third-highest opening weekend of 1989, behind Ghostbusters II
Ghostbusters II
Ghostbusters II is a 1989 science fiction comedy film produced and directed by Ivan Reitman. It is the sequel to the 1984 film Ghostbusters and follows the further adventures of a group of parapsychologists and their organization which combats paranormal activities...

and Batman
Batman (1989 film)
Batman is a 1989 superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, directed by Tim Burton. The film stars Michael Keaton in the title role, as well as Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl and Jack Palance...

. Its opening day gross of $11,181,429 was the first time a film had made over $10 million on its first day. It broke the record for the best six-day performance, with almost $47 million, added another record with $77 million after twelve days, and $100 million in nineteen days. It grossed $195.7 million by the end of the year and $450 million worldwide by March 1990. In France, the film broke a record by selling a million admissions within two and a half weeks.

The film eventually grossed $197,171,806 in North America and $277 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $474,171,806. At the time of its release, The Last Crusade was the 11th highest-grossing film of all time. Despite competition from Batman, The Last Crusade became the highest-grossing film worldwide in 1989. In North America, Batman took top position. Behind Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Raiders, The Last Crusade is the third-highest grossing Indiana Jones
Indiana Jones
Colonel Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr., Ph.D. is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Indiana Jones franchise. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg created the character in homage to the action heroes of 1930s film serials...

 film in North America, though it is also behind Temple of Doom when adjusting for inflation.

Reviews

The Last Crusade opened to mixed reviews. It was panned by Andrew Sarris
Andrew Sarris
Andrew Sarris is an American film critic and a leading proponent of the auteur theory of criticism.-Career:Sarris is generally credited with popularizing the auteur theory in the U.S...

 in The New York Observer, David Denby
David Denby (film critic)
David Denby is an American journalist, best known as a film critic for The New Yorker magazine.-Background and education:Denby grew up in New York City. He received a B.A...

 in New York
New York (magazine)
New York is a weekly magazine principally concerned with the life, culture, politics, and style of New York City. Founded by Milton Glaser and Clay Felker in 1968 as a competitor to The New Yorker, it was brasher and less polite than that magazine, and established itself as a cradle of New...

magazine, Stanley Kauffmann
Stanley Kauffmann
Stanley Kauffmann is an American author, editor, and critic of film and theatre. He has written for The New Republic since 1958 and currently contributes film criticism to that magazine....

 in The New Republic
The New Republic
The magazine has also published two articles concerning income inequality, largely criticizing conservative economists for their attempts to deny the existence or negative effect increasing income inequality is having on the United States...

and Georgia Brown in The Village Voice
The Village Voice
The Village Voice is a free weekly newspaper and news and features website in New York City that features investigative articles, analysis of current affairs and culture, arts and music coverage, and events listings for New York City...

. Jonathan Rosenbaum
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Jonathan Rosenbaum is an American film critic. Rosenbaum was the head film critic for the Chicago Reader from 1987 until 2008, when he retired at the age of 65...

 of the Chicago Reader called the film "soulless". The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

reviewed the film twice; Hal Hinson's review on the day of the film's release was negative, describing it as "nearly all chases and dull exposition". Although he praised Ford and Connery, he felt the film's exploration of Indiana's character took away his mystery and that Spielberg should not have tried to mature his storytelling. Two days later, Desson Thomson
Desson Thomson
Desson Patrick Thomson is a speechwriter in the Obama Administration and a former movie critic for The Washington Post.-Biography:Thomson attended boarding schools in England from the age of 7 until 17. He went to the Abbey School in East Grinstead, Sussex, and the City of London Freemen's School...

 published a positive review praising the film's adventure and action, as well as the thematic depth of the father–son relationship. Joseph McBride of Variety
Variety (magazine)
Variety is an American weekly entertainment-trade magazine founded in New York City, New York, in 1905 by Sime Silverman. With the rise of the importance of the motion-picture industry, Daily Variety, a daily edition based in Los Angeles, California, was founded by Silverman in 1933. In 1998, the...

observed the "Cartoonlike Nazi villains of Raiders have been replaced by more genuinely frightening Nazis led by Julian Glover and Michael Byrne," and found the moment where Indiana meets Hitler "chilling". In his biography of Spielberg, McBride added the film was less "racist" than its predecessors.

Peter Travers
Peter Travers
Peter Travers is an American film critic, who has written for, in turn, People and Rolling Stone. Travers also hosts a celebrity interview show called Popcorn on ABC News Now and ABCNews.com.-Career:...

 of Rolling Stone said the film was "the wildest and wittiest Indy of them all". Richard Corliss
Richard Corliss
Richard Nelson Corliss is a writer for Time magazine who focuses on movies, with the occasional article on music or sports. Corliss is the former editor-in-chief of Film Comment...

 of Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

and David Ansen
David Ansen
David Ansen is a reviewer and senior editor for Newsweek, where he has been reviewing movies since 1977. He came to Newsweek after several years as the chief film critic at Boston's The Real Paper...

 of Newsweek
Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

praised it, as did Vincent Canby
Vincent Canby
Vincent Canby was an American film critic who became the chief film critic for The New York Times in 1969 and reviewed more than 1000 films during his tenure there.-Life and career:...

 of The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

. "Though it seems to have the manner of some magically reconstituted B-movie of an earlier era, The Last Crusade is an endearing original," Canby wrote, deeming the revelation Indiana had a father he was not proud of to be a "comic surprise". Canby believed that while the film did not match the previous two in its pacing, it still had "hilariously off-the-wall sequences" such as the circus train chase. He also said that Spielberg was maturing by focusing on the father–son relationship, a call echoed by McBride in Variety. Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Roger Joseph Ebert is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.Ebert is known for his film review column and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and Siskel and Ebert and The...

 praised the scene depicting Indiana as a Boy Scout
Boy Scout
A Scout is a boy or a girl, usually 11 to 18 years of age, participating in the worldwide Scouting movement. Because of the large age and development span, many Scouting associations have split this age group into a junior and a senior section...

 with the Cross of Coronado; he compared it to the "style of illustration that appeared in the boys' adventure magazines of the 1940s", saying that Spielberg "must have been paging through his old issues of Boys' Life
Boys' Life
Boys' Life is the monthly magazine of the Boy Scouts of America . Its targeted readership is young American males between the ages of 6 and 18.Boys' Life is published in two demographic editions...

magazine... the feeling that you can stumble over astounding adventures just by going on a hike with your Scout troop. Spielberg lights the scene in the strong, basic colors of old pulp magazines." The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter
Formerly a daily trade magazine, The Hollywood Reporter re-launched in late 2010 as a unique hybrid publication serving the entertainment industry and a consumer audience...

felt Connery and Ford deserved Academy Award nominations.

The film was evaluated positively after its release. Internet reviewer James Berardinelli
James Berardinelli
James Berardinelli is an American online film critic.-Personal life:Berardinelli was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey and spent his early childhood in Morristown, New Jersey. At the age of nine years, he relocated to the township of Cherry Hill, New Jersey...

 wrote that while the film did not reach the heights of Raiders of the Lost Ark, it "[avoided] the lows of The Temple of Doom. A fitting end to the original trilogy, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade captures some of the sense of fun that infused the first movie while using the addition of Sean Connery to up the comedic ante and provide a father/son dynamic." Neil Smith of the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 praised the action, but said the drama and comedy between the Joneses was more memorable. He noted, "The emphasis on the Jones boys means Julian Glover's venal villain and Alison Doody's treacherous beauty are sidelined, while the climax [becomes] one booby-trapped tomb too many." Based on 55 reviews listed by Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

, 89% of critics praised The Last Crusade, giving it an average
Weighted mean
The weighted mean is similar to an arithmetic mean , where instead of each of the data points contributing equally to the final average, some data points contribute more than others...

 score of 8/10. Metacritic
Metacritic
Metacritic.com is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows and DVDs. For each product, a numerical score from each review is obtained and the total is averaged. An excerpt of each review is provided along with a hyperlink to the source. Three colour codes of Green,...

calculated an average rating of 65/100, based on 14 reviews.

Impact

The film won the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing; it had also received nominations for Best Original Score and Best Sound (Ben Burtt
Ben Burtt
Benjamin "Ben" Burtt, Jr. is an American sound designer who has worked on various films including: the Star Wars and Indiana Jones film series, Invasion of the Body Snatchers , E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial , and WALL-E...

, Gary Summers, Shawn Murphy
Shawn Murphy (sound engineer)
Shawn Murphy is an American sound engineer. He has won an Academy Award for Best Sound and has been nominated for another two in the same category...

 and Tony Dawe
Tony Dawe
Tony Dawe is a British sound engineer. He has been nominated for four Academy Awards in the category Best Sound.-Selected filmography:* Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi * Empire of the Sun...

), but lost to The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid (1989 film)
The Little Mermaid is a 1989 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name. Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, the film was originally released to theaters on November 14, 1989 and is the twenty-eighth film in...

and Glory respectively. Sean Connery received a Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
The Golden Globe Award is an accolade bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign...

 nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Connery and the visual and sound effects teams were also nominated at the 43rd British Academy Film Awards
43rd British Academy Film Awards
The 43rd British Film Awards, given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 1990, honoured the best films of 1989.Peter Weir's Dead Poets Society won the award for Best Film.-Best Film: Dead Poets Society ...

. The Last Crusade won the 1990 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation
Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation
The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was once officially...

, and was nominated for Best Motion Picture Drama at the Young Artist Award
Young Artist Award
The Young Artist Award is an accolade bestowed by the Young Artist Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in 1978 to recognize and award excellence of youth performers, and to provide scholarships for young artists who may be physically and/or financially challenged.The Young Artist...

s. John Williams' score won a BMI
Broadcast Music Incorporated
Broadcast Music, Inc. is one of three United States performing rights organizations, along with ASCAP and SESAC. It collects license fees on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed...

 Award, and was nominated for a Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

.

The prologue depicting Indiana in his youth inspired Lucas to create The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles is an American television series that aired on ABC from March 4, 1992, to July 24, 1993. The series explores the childhood and youth of the fictional character Indiana Jones and primarily stars Sean Patrick Flanery and Corey Carrier as the title character, with...

television show, which featured Sean Patrick Flanery
Sean Patrick Flanery
Sean Patrick Flanery is an American actor known for such roles as Connor MacManus in The Boondock Saints, Greg Stillson in The Dead Zone and for portraying Indiana Jones in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, as well as Bobby Dagen in Saw 3D.He is currently known for his role as Sam Gibson on The...

 as the young adult Indiana and Corey Carrier
Corey Carrier
Corey Thomas Carrier is an American former child actor. He is also known as just "Core".Carrier was born in Middleborough, Massachusetts to Thomas and Carleen. He has a younger sister named Bethany. He attended an acting school at The Priscilla Beach Children's Theatre Workshop...

 as the 8–10 year-old Indiana. The 13-year-old incarnation played by Phoenix in the film was the focus of a Young Indiana Jones series of young adult novels that began in 1990; by the ninth novel, the series had become a tie-in to the television show. German author Wolfgang Hohlbein
Wolfgang Hohlbein
Wolfgang Hohlbein is a German writer of science fiction, fantasy and horror fiction who lives near Neuss, North Rhine-Westphalia. His wife, Heike, is also a writer and often works with her husband. She often comes up with the story ideas and therefore is generally credited as co-author...

 revisited the 1912 prologue in one of his novels, in which Indiana encounters the lead grave robber—whom Hohlbein christens Jake—in 1943. The film's ending begins the 1995 comic series Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny
Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny
Indiana Jones and The Spear of Destiny is a four-issue comic book mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics from April to July 1995. It was their seventh series about the adult Indiana Jones.-Canyon of the Crescent Moon, 1938:...

, which moves forward to depict Indiana and his father searching for the Holy Lance
Holy Lance
The Holy Lance is the name given to the lance that pierced Jesus' side as he hung on the cross in John's account of the Crucifixion.-Biblical references:The lance is mentioned only in the Gospel of John and not in any of the...

in Ireland in 1945. Spielberg intended to have Connery cameo as Henry in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), but Connery turned it down as he had retired.

External links

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