Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Set in 1935, a professor, archaeologist, and legendary hero by the name of Indiana Jones is back in action in his newest adventure. But this time he teams up with a night club singer named Wilhelmina "Willie" Scott and a twelve-year-old boy named Short Round. They end up in an Indian small distressed village, where the people believe that evil spirits have taken all their children away after a sacred precious stone was stolen! They also discovered the great mysterious terror surrounding a booby-trapped temple known as the Temple of Doom! Thuggee is beginning to attempt to rise once more, believing that with the power of all five Sankara stones they can rule the world! Now, it's all up to Indiana to put an end to the Thuggee campaign, rescue the lost children, win the girl and conquer the Temple of Doom.

  • After being driven away from Honduras, as well as offending the King of Madagascar, Adventurer-Archaeologist Indiana Jones, in the company of Wilhelmina Scott and Short Round, barely manage to escape from Chinese gangsters on a plane. Unfortunately, its engines fail, the trio bail out and land in a Gujarati-speaking village of Pankot in British India. Once there they find out that the region is poverty-stricken, all children are untraceable due to missing stones that were once blessed by Bhagwan Shri Shankar. A trip to the local Maharaja's palace does not reveal the whereabouts of the children, but Indiana locates a hidden underground passage. The passage leads to the human sacrificial venue of Devi Maa Kali by a local thuggee priest, Mola Ram. They locate 2 of the 3 missing precious stones, Indiana keeps one, and must be on the run from Mola - who is determined to catch and kill them at any and all cost.

  • A year before the events of "Raiders of the Lost Ark". Jones is in China in trade discussions with Chinese gangsters for an artifact. However, the gangsters also tried to ambush Jones but he escapes. Things go from bad to worse when his plane crashes over the Himalayas stranding him in the wastelands of India. Jones, along with a lounge singer (Wilhelmina), and a kid called "Short Round", get to a village that is suffering a crisis - the children are missing along with their sacred stones. Jones, Wilhelmina, and Short Round offer their help and stumble upon a temple, where a vicious voodoo doctor kills and tortures his victims by tearing their hearts out. Jones has to defeat the doctor and save the children and recover the sacred stones.

  • Eminent archaeologist Indiana Jones is back in his second adventure, this time to tackle the great terror surrounding the mysterious Temple of Doom. After crash landing in India, Indiana Jones and companions Short Round and Willie Scott end up in a small distressed village where the residents claim a dark power has stolen their precious stone... and their children! Agreeing to assist the village, Indiana and friends make their way to a nearby palace and inquire further into the strange happenings. Assuring Indiana he has no idea what he's talking about, prime minister Chatter Lal offers them to spend the night in the palace. However, it is that evening that Indiana discovers a secret passage into a booby-trapped temple and stumbles onto something he thought was long extinct. It seems the age old cut of Thuggee cult is attempting to rise once more, believing that with the power of the five Sankara stones they can rule the world. Now, it's up to Indiana to put a stop to the Thuggee campaign, rescue the lost children, win the girl and conquer the Temple of Doom.

  • 1935. At a swanky nightclub in Hong Kong, Indiana Jones confronts Lao Che, a Chinese gangster, for a trade - a reward in exchange for the ashes of a Ming dynasty emperor. The gangster's sons, however, won't let Indy get out of the trade alive, and a violent struggle ensues that snares up the gangster's moll, torch singer Wilhelmina Scott. Indy and Willie escape with Indy's pre-teen sidekick, Short Round, and fly out of Hong Kong - unaware their plane belongs to Lao Che and the two pilots are ordered to bail out over India. Indy, Willie, and Shorty manage to escape and wind up being greeted by a village elder who shows them the ruins of his village - ruins caused by the theft of three stones of great magic power, taken to a gigantic mountaintop palace. The palace, however, belongs to a peaceful young Indian prince who assures that no such action occurred from his palace. Indy, however, is attacked in his bedroom and finds a vast underground system of caverns that lead to an ancient terrorist cult long thought dead, a cult that has kidnapped the children of the village and is using them to dig for the magic stones. When Indy and his friends are captured they are to be sacrificed to the pit of molten rock, but a violent showdown begins that erupts into a savage brawl, gunfire, a mad mine car pursuit, the collapse of an underground dam, and a showdown at a rope bridge that threatens to kill Indy, his friends, and the cult.

  • After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees, and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • 1935. At the Club Obi Wan in Shanghai, Indiana Jones and his pal Wu Han (masquerading as a waiter) encounter crime boss Lao Che, who is seeking the remains of Nurhachi, an ancient emperor from the Ming Dynasty. When the deal goes down, Che tries to poison Indy, but chaos ensues, leading to a running gun battle and pursuit by Lao Che and his henchmen, a chase that sweeps up local torch singer Wilhemina "Willie" Scott. The getaway car is driven by Indiana's ward and sidekick, Short Round, a 10 year old Chinese boy with a cocky personality. At the nearby Nang Tao airport, Indiana escapes from Shanghai aboard a cargo plane -- though he fails to see that the plane belongs to Lao Che himself.

    En route to India, their plane crashes in the mountains, when the pilot and co-pilot bail out after dumping the plane's fuel. After a dangerous ride down the Himalayan mountains and a raging river in an inflatable life raft, the trio eventually come to a desolate village in India. The poor villagers enlist their help in retrieving a sacred Shiva lingam stone from the evil forces of nearby Pankot Palace. When the stone was stolen, the village's crops burned and the people began to starve. The forces of Pankot also kidnapped all of the children in the village. At night, Indy finds a small boy, one of the missing children, who has wandered back to the village. In his hand is a piece of cloth with Sanskrit. The writing gives Indy a new clue about the missing Shankara stones. Indy hypothesizes that the stone may be one of the fabled Adi Shankara Stones. The village's elder believes Shiva sent Indiana to retrieve the object.

    At Pankot palace, the travelers are met by the maharajah's major domo, Chattar Lal and also meet the local British regiment leader, Captain Blumburtt. At a dinner of gruesome cuisine with the maharajah himself, Indy questions Lal about the villagers claims. Lal at first dismisses them, calling them superstition. Lal becomes angrier when Indy claims that the sacred stone was stolen from the village and points out several instances of Indy's own lack of discretion and moral judgement while seeking other treasures from different parts of the world.

    Later that night Indy is attacked in his room by a would-be assassin, which leads him, Willie and Short Round to discover an underground temple beneath Pankot. They find a Kl Thuggee religious cult, practicing and ancient ritual of black magic and human sacrifice. Thought they possess three of the ancient stones, one of which belongs to the village, they are still missing two and the Thuggee have enslaved the village children to dig for two last stones within the mines of the palace. Mola Ram, the cult's villainous high priest, hopes to use the power of five united stones to rule the world. The protagonists witness a ritual in which Mola Ram bare-handedly digs a man's heart out of his chest. The man survives, his heart beating in Mola Ram's hand, until he is lowered slowly into a lava pit, causing the beating heart to burst into flame.

    Indy, Willie, and Short Round are captured by the Thuggee and separated. Indy is forced to drink the "Blood of Kali", a mind-control potion which puts him into a trance called the "Black Sleep of Kali Ma," and begins to serve Mola Ram. Willie is kept as a human sacrifice, while Short Round is put in the mines alongside the village children as a slave laborer. Short Round frees himself and escapes back into the temple, where Willie is about to be sacrificed to Kali. He burns Indy with a torch, shocking him out of the trance. After returning to himself, Indiana is mortified at the thought of having nearly cost his friends their lives, asking forgiveness from Short Round. Although Mola Ram escapes through a trapdoor, Indy and Short Round manage to save Willie, take the three Sankara Stones, and free the village children. In the fight to escape the palace, the three jump into a mine cart and are closely pursued by two Thuggee-filled carts through the tunnels. They manage to throw off their pursuers. Back in the mine, Mola Ram has his men topple a large water tower, spilling it's contents into the tunnel. Indy and his group barely manage to escape the rush of water, emerging on the stone wall of a canyon.

    The climax leads to Indy, Willie and Short Round trying to cross a rope bridge across the canyon, but are hemmed in by Mola Ram and the Thuggee on both ends. Indy prepares his friends to brace themselves. He uses a machete to cut the bridge in half. Many of the Thuggee are sent plummeting into the crocodile-infested river where they are eaten, but Mola Ram holds on. In a final battle for the stones, the evil priest declares that they belong to him. Unafraid, Indiana invokes the name of Shiva, which causes the stones to glow red hot. They burn a hole in his satchel and two of them fall into the river. The final stone burns Mola Ram's hand as he grabs it. Indiana catches it and watches as Ram is eaten. Jones climbs up the bridge as Blumburtt and his Indian riflemen help defeat the Thuggee reinforcements. Indiana, Willie, and Short Round return to the village with their sacred stone and the missing children. Indiana tells the village elder he "understands its [the stone's] power now".

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