Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Written by Jeffrey Boam based on the story by George Lucas and Menno Meyjes
(number 315)

NB: What I like to do with movie trilogies in this list is post them together, but I actually can’t with this one. Because of my decision to post the top 100 films in descending order… and apparently the first Indiana Jones movie is number 2 greatest movie of all time and out of the three, this is the lowest ranked. (I actually far prefer this one…) But I did watch them in chronological order, so this review references the other movies, but I’ll post the reviews of them later. Make sense? No? Oh well. Read on anyway.

This is the Indiana Jones film I have the most love for. I remember seeing it at the movies when I won tickets to it at the tender age of eight years old. Very exciting, I don’t know if I’d ever particularly won anything before so it was very exciting.

My sister had a massive crush on River Phoenix, and well she might, he’s adorable in this. I really love the opening sequence with young Indy and the scout troupe, the dashing grave robber who Indy clearly obsessed about for years – still wearing his hat and dressing like him when he goes adventuring. Plus the very succinct and telling introduction to Henry Jones, Sr.

I find the script in this one much tighter all round. There’s less racism, less nasty shit happening than the previous two and I find the jokes more fun as well. Maybe I’m just more forgiving of this one since I remember it from my childhood where I don’t remember the other two.

I think probably the best moment is Indy actually managing to keep a handle on his shit when meeting Hitler and accidentally getting his autograph on the all important Grail journal.

Does it make me love the people? Much more than the previous movies. The youthful intro to Indy immediately gets me on side (as well as the conflict with his father) and of course it’s impossible not to love the senior Mr Jones when played so well by Connery. I actually have quite a lot of sympathy for Elsa too, she’s misguided but she’s interesting and passionate.

It’s nice to see Salah again and to see more of him than we’ve seen previously.

Bechdel test: Elsa Schneider is a great character, interesting, no nonsense, takes none of Indy’s shit, smart as a tack and vulnerable to temptation. Does she ever speak to another woman with a name? The answer is no.

Best line:

Indiana Jones: [steals a flower for Elsa] Fraulein, will you permit me?
Elsa: I usually don’t.
Indiana Jones: I usually don’t either.
Elsa: In that case I permit you.
Indiana Jones: It would make me very happy.
Elsa: But I am already sad, by tomorrow it will have faded.
Indiana Jones: Tomorrow I’ll steal you another one.

Henry Jones, Sr: First, is the path of God: Only the penitent man shall pass. Second, is the word of God: Only in the footsteps of God, shall he proceed. Last is the breath of God: Only in a leap from the lion’s head shall he prove his worth.

State of Mind: I do genuinely like this one more than the previous two Indiana Jones films. The script is tighter, there’s way less racism, the bad guys are Nazis who, generally, it’s easy to code as evil and there’s lots of great jokes and the relationship between the Joneses is believable and easy to invest in. It’s a pity that the only woman is again a love interest.

Watched movie count


2 thoughts on “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

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