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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade can be found here.
There are (currently) four movies in the series. In order, they are (1) Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), (2) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), (3) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and (4) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008).
1912 (young Indy prologue) and 1938 (the rest of the film).
The box was part of the "magic" car on a traveling railroad circus. It had a trap door in the bottom which dropped Indy onto the tracks below the train, where you see him running away. Another explanation is that it was truly magic, since Spielberg does use many supernatural elements in his movies or intentional moments in which the audience is supposed to suspend disbelief such as in the Goonies, Jurassic Park and Poltergeist for humor or plot reasons. However, this would seem to run contrary to Indy's assertion that he doesn't believe in magic, stated early in Raiders of the Lost Ark (though numerous events in the prequel film Temple of Doom also cause problems with this).
When Indy falls through one of the steps, you can see the floor from underneath. Some long, thin columns can be seen in the front, but contrary to what may be the initial thought, these do not support the correct tiles. Just compare: when Indy enters the room, freeze the frame. You can see the correct tile with the 'I' is actually bordering on the top-left side of the 'J' that Indy steps on. However, when he falls through, no column or support is seen anywhere close to him or underneath any tile within a 6 ft radius or so. Also, as Indy falls, he quickly grabs the ledges of the surrounding tiles. If only the correct tiles were supported, then many more tiles would have collapsed under the sudden force caused by his weight. Instead, watch closely when Indy steps on the 'O' and crushes the tile behind it; a metal pin can be seen inside the stone along the edge of the tile. The entire floor is probably reinforced with a metal framework, which keeps the floor together but allows individual parts of the floor to collapse. The correct tiles are made of solid material, and the 'wrong' ones are meant to break easily.
The bridge was painted or carved to perfectly match the cliff wall opposite and the blackness from the plummet below. This is revealed when the camera turns to the side to clearly show the solid structure, but when it turns back to Indy's point of view it blends right in with the wall. There is also the idea that because Indiana needed to have faith in order to cross, he "believed" the bridge into existence which you can see as the camera swings around.
In real life, no. The illusion works in the film because a camera has monocular vision. In real life, a human, having binocular vision, would have been able to easily perceive a difference in depth between the bridge and the far wall.
The likely explanation for this plot hole is that the filmmakers may have intentionally left anachronistic scenes with the ancient surviving Crusader knight speaking modern English because having subtitled scenes with Indiana Jones (who is fluent in Latin and perhaps Old or Middle English) and the knight communicating in the knight's tongue (said to be French) would be stylistically against the grain of the series, as well as a factor which could lessen the drama of the scene. It is perhaps for this purpose George Lucas and Steven Spielberg chose to focus on visual storytelling regardless of plot holes and inverted logic that force the audience to suspend disbelief, consciously or not. If the film were to adhere to the laws of logic, it would be impossible, so compromises had to be made to clarify the story without demanding too much of the audience's attention.
Most certainly yes. You can see Elsa becoming increasingly shocked and disturbed by Donovan's actions, particularly after the shoot-out with the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword and when Donovan shoots Henry Jones to ensure Indy's co-operation. Before Elsa chooses the cup on his behalf, she gives Donovan a quick smile, which looks very much forced, and is probably meant to give him a false sense of security that she will pick the correct Grail. Also, after she gives Donovan the cup, a gold chalice inlaid with jewels, she looks at Indy and subtly shakes her head. And when Donovan starts to feel sick from drinking from the wrong cup, her expression is not surprised at all, as if she thinks this is exactly what he deserves. When Indiana then starts to look for the genuine Grail, Elsa states (off-camera) that it would not be made out of gold, indicating that she had deliberately given Donovan the wrong cup.
At the heart-pounding hanging moment in the film where Indy is reaching for the grail, he stops because his father, for the first time in the entire movie, calls him "Indiana," instead of "Junior." Indy just got caught up in the moment of wanting the grail, which he didn't really seem to desire previously. Indy realized at the moment when his father called him "Indiana" that his own real search in the film was not for the holy grail, but for the relationship he'd always wanted with his father. It wouldn't have been worth it for Indy to have kept on striving for the grail just as the Nazis and Elsa had done and failed, risking his life and his father's; the grail just revealed each person's own greed.
No. The easiest way to think of the Holy Grail is not as the cup of immortality, but as the fountain of youth. One sip won't make you immortal; you have to keep drinking from it. That would explain why the knights who left the cave after drinking from the Grail eventually died of extreme old age. Nothing in the film states that one becomes immortal by drinking from the Grail one time, and if that were the case, it would be difficult to explain those knights' deaths. The grail knight does say that the grail itself cannot pass beyond the great seal, for that is the price of immortality. Therefore, they are not immortal. Additionally, we see in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull that Henry Jones, Sr. has indeed passed away in the time since the events of Last Crusade.
To make it harder for thieves to find. The "markers" the stone & the shield, were left as clues. Also, the locations of the markers were not revealed in the journal either; the knight probably thought that the right person or persons, who would do research to find the markers, would be on the side of righteousness. Henry Jones Sr is such a person who did 20 yrs of research & was able to draw his map to the temple.
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