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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) Poster

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (3)  | Director Cameo (1)  | Director Trademark (3)  | Spoilers (12)
D.R. Nanayakkara, cast as the Indian village Shaman, did not speak a word of English. He delivered his lines phonetically by mimicking Steven Spielberg who was prompting him off-camera. The pauses in his dialogue were therefore not for dramatic effect, but rather waiting for his next line.
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For the bug chamber sequence, Kate Capshaw was really covered with over two thousand insects. She took sedatives prior to the scene to get over her initial fear, and claimed "they definitely worked".
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Kate Capshaw was very critical of her own character, saying that Willie was "not much more than a dumb screaming blonde".
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Amrish Puri shaved his head for the role of Mola Ram. This created such an impression that he kept this look and became one of India's most popular film villains.
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While filming the whipping scene, the crew played a practical joke on Harrison Ford. While he was chained to a large stone, Barbra Streisand appeared, dressed in a leather dominatrix outfit. She proceeded to whip him, saying "That's for Hanover Street (1979), the worst movie I ever saw." She continued whipping him for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), and making all of that money. Carrie Fisher then threw herself in front of Ford to protect him, and Irvin Kershner chided director Steven Spielberg. "Is this how you run your movies?" This entire sequence was filmed.
An unproduced script that became Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) had Indiana reveal what happened to Willie, saying, "Last I heard, she married a big-shot director." This is an in-joke, as Kate Capshaw married Steven Spielberg (though the joke did not make the final draft).
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The nightclub in the opening scene is called Club Obi-Wan, an homage to the Star Wars character.
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Ke Huy Quan's film debut. An open casting call was put out to all the elementary schools to find a young Asian actor to play Short Round. Quan arrived with his brother, not to audition, but merely to provide moral support. He caught the casting director's attention because he spent the entire time of his brother's audition telling him what to do and what not to do. Steven Spielberg liked his personality, so he and Harrison Ford improvised the scene where Short Round accuses Indy of cheating during a card game. Quan won the role over about 6,000 other auditions.
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There was a scene involving Kate Capshaw and a rather large snake which had to be cut, as Capshaw was having panic attacks at the very prospect of it. Steven Spielberg jokingly says that the only reason Kate married him later was because he allowed the scene to be cut.
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The sounds of the mine car running along the tracks during the chase scene were recorded on the rollercoasters at Disneyland, with the music and sound effects turned off.
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Harrison Ford suffered a herniated disc in his back in the scene where he is attacked in his bedroom by a Thuggee assassin, causing production to be shut down while Ford was flown to Los Angeles for spinal surgery. A large portion of Ford's work in the fights and chases in the "Temple of Doom" is actually performed by stuntman Vic Armstrong. Normally, special care needs to be taken to hide a stuntman's face from the camera, but this proved to be largely unnecessary since Armstrong bore an uncanny resemblance to Ford at the time, both in face and body dimensions.
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Kate Capshaw's dress in the Shanghai club was completely made of 1920's and 1930's original beads. This meant that there was only enough to make one dress. The opening dance number was actually the last scene to be shot, but the dress did feature in some earlier location shots in Sri Lanka, in particular, a nighttime one with Harrison Ford and Kate Capshaw sitting by a campfire, with the dress drying on a nearby tree. Unfortunately, an elephant had started to eat the entire back of the dress, which was saved just in time. Consequently, some emergency repair work had to be done with what remained of the original beads, and it was costume designer Anthony Powell who had to fill out the insurance forms. As to the reason for damage, he had no option but to put "dress eaten by elephant".
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The python that Willie Scott mistakes for an elephant's trunk was brought to Sri Lanka for shooting by animal handler Michael Culling, but since the snake and its companion weren't very welcome in the country, he had to book them their hotel rooms under fake names: Mr. and Mrs. Longfellow.
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Kate Capshaw received a black eye in the runaway mine cart sequence. The next day when she reported to work, everybody else on the set was wearing a black smudge under their eye.
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George Lucas made the film a prequel, as he did not want the Nazis to be the villains once more.
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Mola Ram's chantings of "Maaro maaro sooar ko, chamdi nocho pee lo khoon" literally translated from Hindi is "Kill, Kill the pig, flay his skin, drink his blood". This is similar to the chant from William Golding's "Lord of the Flies".
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In the original draft, there was supposed to be a motorcycle chase scene across the Great Wall of China. However, the Chinese government refused to grant the permission of filming.
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In 1984 Kate Capshaw appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to promote "Temple of Doom". Right after she promoted the movie and did her interview with Johnny, Siskel and Ebert came on and did their round up of recent movies playing. They both slammed Kate Capshaw's performance in Temple of Doom, calling it "wimpy and Whiny". Capshaw replied, "Please don't talk about me like I'm not here. I am here."
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Steven Spielberg's first sequel, though technically a prequel, as this movie takes place in 1935, before Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) taking place in 1936, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) in 1938, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) in 1957.
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Steven Spielberg said that he did not enjoy this film as much as the rest of the Indiana Jones films, but said that it was a great experience for him, because he met his future wife, Kate Capshaw, during the production of this movie.
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The "chilled monkey brains" were made from custard and raspberry sauce.
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Scenes involving the long rope bridge were filmed on three different continents. The entire bridge itself was built on location in Sri Lanka, and the scenes where Indy cuts the bridge were filmed there also. The scenes where the bridge is hanging along the side of the cliff, with everyone hanging on, were filmed at Elstree Studios in London. Finally, the alligators at the end were shot by Frank Marshall in Florida.
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Filmmakers were unable to get permission to shoot scenes in India. The Indian government requested a copy of the script, and demanded that the word "Maharajah" be removed, fearing that the content did not reflect their culture. As a result, production was moved to Sri Lanka, where some locations were also used for The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).
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During production, the movie was starting to go over budget, and Spielberg went to writers Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz and asked them to make changes to the script in order to save money. They removed one page from the script and saved $1 million. It was a planned air chase scene using vintage biplanes. The scene was removed from the movie and was later incorporated into Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).
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The three main characters are named after dogs. Short Round was named after screenwriter Willard Huyck's dog, which was named after the orphan in The Steel Helmet (1951). Willie was named after Steven Spielberg's dog and Indiana was named after George Lucas' dog.
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In the "making of" documentary for this movie, George Lucas said that although he originally intended for Temple of Doom to have a darker tone compared to Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) (much like Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) was darker than Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)), he admitted that he made it much darker than he intended, part of the reason being that both he and Steven Spielberg were going through a break-up at the time, and he was "not in a good mood". Spielberg also admitted that although he agreed with Lucas' idea for a darker-toned film, he felt uncomfortable with certain scenes while filming them, and would attempt to inject some humorous elements into those scenes trying to lighten them up. The scene where Indy is fighting the Thuggee chief guard with a hammer, and the guard takes the hammer away and tosses it aside, only to have it land on a bystander's head, knocking him out with a comical thud, is a prime example of this scene "lightening up".
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As he knew that he would spend a large portion of film shirtless, Harrison Ford underwent a strict weightlifting regimen to prepare for the film. In an interview on the DVD release, he credits being in such good shape for his quick recovery from a back injury while filming.
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Kate Capshaw had to be taught how to scream.
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The film's original title was "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Death", which was changed because it sounded too foreboding. It was retained as the film's German title ("Indiana Jones und der Tempel des Todes").
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Steven Spielberg said in 1989, "I wasn't happy with Temple of Doom at all. It was too dark, too subterranean, and much too horrific. I thought it out-poltered Poltergeist (1982). There's not an ounce of my own personal feeling in Temple of Doom." He later added during the Making of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom documentary, "Temple of Doom is my least favorite of the trilogy. I look back and I say, 'Well the greatest thing that I got out of that was I met Kate Capshaw. We married years later, and that to me was the reason I was fated to make Temple of Doom."
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George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck were concerned how to keep the audience interested during the exposition on the Thugee cult. Huyck and Katz proposed a tiger hunt, but Spielberg said "There's no way I'm going to stay in India long enough to shoot a tiger hunt." They eventually decided on a dinner scene involving eating bugs, monkey brains, and the like. "Steve and George both still react like children, so their idea was to make it as gross as possible," says Katz.
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The production was fortunate in their main location in the town of Kandy, Sri Lanka, as nearby, a British engineering company was building a dam. When it came time for the film crew to shoot on a suspension bridge over a gorge, the British engineers were able to design and build one for them very quickly.
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Kate Capshaw was thrilled at the opportunity of singing and dancing in the opening musical number, but her dress was so tight there was very little movement she could attempt without ripping it.
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The huge mineshaft was a circular construction around the largest soundstage. To make it look different, they just altered the lighting every time the carts completed a loop.
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Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) screams a grand total of 71 times throughout the movie.
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When the two swordsmen attack Indiana on the cliff, and he attempts to reprise his response from the "basket scene" from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) by reaching for his gun, a bit of music from the basket scene is heard.
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In the U.S., this film and Gremlins (1984) led to the creation of the PG-13 rating. Many people felt both movies were too violent for a PG rating, but not violent enough for an R rating. Some believed that both films would have been rated R if Steven Spielberg's name hadn't been attached. The Flamingo Kid (1984) was the first film to receive a PG-13 rating, but it sat on the shelves for five months before being released. Red Dawn (1984) was the first film released with a PG-13 rating.
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In Club Obi-Wan, the artifact Indiana Jones is told to hand over is the remains of Nurhaci, emperor of China from 1616-1626. Nurhaci founded the Manchu Qing dynasty, China's last imperial dynasty (1616-1911).
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Part of the sound effect heard as the engines run out of fuel on the plane (at 0:16:54 and 0:16:57) is the same failing-engine sound effect used when Han Solo's Millennium Falcon fails to crank up in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980). The sound was also used in Raiders of the Lost Ark for the engines on Jock Lindsey's WAC UBF-2 Seaplane.
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Over 240 70mm prints of the film were made, the largest number ever for a single release.
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Steven Spielberg said the scene where Willie stirs up the soup and eyeballs rise to the surface was notoriously difficult to shoot, and it took many takes to get the result seen in the final film. The eyeballs were attached to the bottom of the soup bowl with stick-ups, and Kate Capshaw was supposed to give the soup a good stir in order to release the eyes so they could rise to the surface, but the stick-ups held pretty tight, and for many takes only one or two of the eyes would release and rise to the surface.
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An early draft of the script for Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) had Indiana Jones traveling to Shanghai to recover a piece of the Staff of Ra. During his escape from the museum where it was housed, he sheltered from machine gun fire behind a giant rolling gong. The same script also featured Indiana and Marion fleeing destruction in a minecart chase. Both of these scenes were cut from that script, but resurface in this movie.
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The "giant vampire bats" that are shown in the movie were actually fruit bats. Vampire bats are a lot smaller.
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The giant Thuggee Chief is played by Pat Roach, who also played the German mechanic fighting with Indy near the plane in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). It was meant to be something of a running joke in the series to have Roach's character fight with Indy and always losing, but his role in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) was largely cut, and he died before Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) was made.
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Ernie Fosselius, director of Hardware Wars (1978), provided the voices of the two Chinese pilots for the biplane scene. Sound designer Ben Burtt had Fosselius record a gag line as a prank on Steven Spielberg. During a screening which Fosselius attended, Spielberg was surprised and bemused when, at the ending, Indiana Jones delivers the stone to the Shaman who then exclaimed "Wait a minute! You brought back the wrong stone!" Spielberg leapt to his feet and demanded an explanation, which made Fosselius very fearful until it was explained to be a joke. Spielberg began to laugh and the incident ended happily.
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In the scene where Willie is about to be sacrificed, Darth Vader's lightsaber power-up sound effect can be heard when the doors to the lava pit are opened, referencing George Lucas, who directed four of the Star Wars movies, and who was also one of the executive producers of this movie.
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Most of the cavernous mine where the minecart chase takes place is miniature, with the walls made of painted aluminium foil.
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The only Indiana Jones movie that does not show or make any references to the Ark of the Covenant. This is because the movie takes place one year before Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), so Indiana has yet to become interested in the Ark.
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During the sacrifice, Mola Ram chants in Hindi, imploring "Kali Ma Shakti de," asking for the "Spiritual power of Mother Kali."
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George Lucas' initial idea for Indiana's sidekick was a virginal young princess, but Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz, and Steven Spielberg disliked the idea.
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The village shaman refers to the Sankara stone as "Shiva linga". In traditional Hinduism, the linga is a tall, cylindrical stone representative of a phallus, often set inside a circle representing the yoni, or female organ. Together, the two symbols stand for the dualistic sexual energy of the god Shiva.
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The only Indiana Jones movie to display its title on-screen using the famous Indiana Jones typeface, and perhaps the only movie to ever show its title partially obscured by an object (in this case, Kate Capshaw) in the foreground.
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Lawrence Kasdan (Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)'s screenwriter) was asked to write the script. "I didn't want to be associated with Temple of Doom", he reflected. "I just thought it was horrible. It's so mean. There's nothing pleasant about it. I think Temple of Doom represents a chaotic period in both their (Lucas and Spielberg) lives, and the movie is very ugly, and mean-spirited."
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The only installment of the Indiana Jones franchise in which Indy does not make physical contact with a snake. There is, however, a nod to his fear of them, and to a scene from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). After he retrieves the Sankara stones from the Kali shrine, he looks up at a statue of a cobra poised to strike (like the one he famously faced in the Well of Souls scene in "Raiders") and straightens his hat. In the campfire scene, Willie mistakes a snake for an elephant trunk. While she grabs it and tosses it aside in annoyance, Indy is visibly disturbed by the snake's presence.
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Harrison Ford underwent a strict workout routine with trainer Jake Steinfield consisting of weightlifting and calisthenics such as push ups, sit ups, pull ups and squats to prepare for the role. Spielberg also undertook the same routine to encourage Ford. He quit after a few weeks.
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Short Round's car is a 1936 Auburn Boat-tail Speedster, a highly popular car in the 1930s.
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This is the only Indiana Jones movie not to have any scenes that take place in North America, nor have even a passing mention of the Marcus Brody character.
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Steven Spielberg wanted Willie to be a complete contrast to Marion Ravenwood from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), so Kate Capshaw dyed her brown hair blonde for the part. Costume designer Anthony Powell wanted the character to have red hair.
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The first film to use THX's Theatre Alignment Program, which ensures that cinemas showing the film meet stringent technical and presentation standards.
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Although it's never mentioned in the film, according to the novelization, Willie's full first name is Wilhelmina, and Short Round's real name is Wan Li.
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One of George Lucas' early ideas had Indiana discover a "Lost World pastiche with a hidden valley inhabited by dinosaurs".
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All of the people in the Indian village speak Sinhala/Sinhalese, one of the languages of Sri Lanka, as opposed to Hindi, the Indian language. The villagers are all Sri Lankans.
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George Lucas, Willard Huyck, and Gloria Katz had been developing Radioland Murders (1994) since the early 1970s. The opening music was taken from that script and applied to Temple of Doom. Steven Spielberg reflected, "George's idea was to start the movie with a musical number. He wanted to do a Busby Berkeley dance number. At all of our story meetings, he would say, 'Hey, Steven, you always said you wanted to shoot musicals.' I thought, 'Yeah, that could be fun.'"
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Sharon Stone was one of the top choices for the role of Willie Scott before Kate Capshaw auditioned. Stone later starred in King Solomon's Mines (1985) and its sequel, Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1986), two films that attempted to duplicate the success of the "Indiana Jones" franchise. Also, Markie Post of Night Court (1984) fame was heavily considered for the role of Willie Scott.
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Chris Columbus wrote a script for this movie in which Indiana traveled to Africa and dueled a Monkey prince. It was rejected because of too many negative African stereotypes, but a tank chase sequence in the the script was later used in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).
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In the scene where Indy, Willie, and Short Round are falling out of the sky in the inflatable raft, they slide down a mountain and into a canyon. The canyon the production crew used was the Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls, Idaho. The same canyon Evel Knievel attempted to jump over.
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Several scenes, including the one in which Indy first spots the shaman from the raft and the one where Willie attempts to perfume her elephant were shot at a location nicknamed "Bo Derek's lake" in Sri Lanka, where various memorable sequences from Tarzan the Ape Man (1981) had been shot previously.
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To save money, some of the interiors of Pankot palace were just redresses of the sets used for Kamal Khan's palace in the James Bond film 'Octopussy' (1983), which was filmed the previous year at nearby Pinewood studios.
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Originally, the Amber Palace in Jaipur was going to be used for all the exterior shots of Pankot Palace, when the movie was originally going to be filmed in India, but after negotiations between producer Robert Watts and the Indian government for permission to film in India broke down and filming was moved to Sri Lanka, matte paintings were used for the exterior shots of the palace, with the interior shots filmed at Elstree Studios in London.
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During the Season 3 episode of "Mythbusters" in 2005 ("Escape Slide Parachute"), the team tested the plausibility of surviving a fall from an airplane in a life raft, as depicted in movie. After 3 drops with their test dummy in a raft, they determined that it was not possible to survive as shown in the film.
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According to some sources, Harrison Ford was not entirely comfortable with the film's story and not entirely happy with how the film turned out.
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As of 2019, this is the Indiana Jones movie with the least amount of travel shown in a "red line" sequence. The only red line travel sequence shown in the film is when Indiana and his party travel from Shanghai to the Himalaya Mountains. A mistake in geography is made here with the plane flying over the Great Wall, too far north of the direct path shown from Shanghai to India (which is in reference to the Chinese government's refusal to allow the filming of a motorcycle chase on the Wall).
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The diamond that Indy is looking to acquire in his meeting with Lao Che, in Club Obi-wan, is the Peacock's Eye, the diamond that young Indy and his friend Remy Baudouin go hunting for after WWI ends, in Chapter 18 of "The Young Indiana Jones Adventures" prequel series.
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The filmmakers were denied permission to film in North India and Amer Fort, due to the government finding the script racist and offensive. The government demanded many script changes, re-writings, and final cut privilege. As a result, location work went to Kandy, Sri Lanka, with matte paintings and scale models applied for the village, temple, and Pankot Palace.
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The plane belonging to "Lao Che Air Freight" that Indy, Short Round and Willie use to escape from Shanghai is a Ford Trimotor 5-AT-B, first built in 1929. The Trimotor was Ford's only attempt at making airliners. Since the first mass-produced Ford car (the Model T) was known as the "Tin Lizzie," many pilots affectionately nicknamed the Trimotor the "Tin Goose."
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This movie is widely known as having been the impetus for the MPAA to create its PG-13 movie rating. Spielberg has also been quoted as saying that he is proud to have contributed to the creation of the PG-13 rating as a result of the rating controversy this movie created. Ultimately, the movie was released just prior to the official creation of PG-13 and was therefore issued a PG rating.
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The insect on Willie's hand in the bug tunnel scene is a Spiny Leaf Insect (Extatosoma tiaratum).
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The film came under fire when it was released for being racist and far too violent for an Indiana Jones film.
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This was Kate Capshaw's second theatrical film.
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The name of villain Lao Che in the film's prologue is a nod to Lio Sha, leader of the evil title organization in Fritz Lang's silent-era films The Spiders - Episode 1: The Golden Sea (1919) and The Spiders - Episode 2: The Diamond Ship (1920), which inspired the Indiana Jones series to an extent.
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Lawrence Kasdan was unavailable, as he was working on The Big Chill (1983), so George Lucas drafted in Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, who had previously penned American Graffiti (1973) for him. Lucas deliberately wanted to go with something with a darker tone, as this had served him well with Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980).
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The kid in cage with Short Round and Indiana Jones who says "I pray to Shiva, let me die" is voice by an uncredited Tress MacNeille.
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During the human sacrifice sequence, the sacrificial victim repeatedly and rapidly chants the Shiva Mantra: "Om Namah Shivaya."
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In the United Kingdom, the film was almost given the 18 certificate due to the sacrificial sequence in the movie. To prevent the film from given the 15 certificate instead, the BBFC heavily cut the sequence to give it the final PG certificate: Among the cuts made were a sacrificial victim's heart being ripped from his body and being lowered into the pit. A whipping sequence and the removal of a man hitting his head on the side of a cliff. In 2012, the cuts were reinstated for the 2012 Blu-ray release which the film was given the 12 certificate.
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The Ford Trimotor belonging to "Lao Che Air Freight" was used many decades before in the 1930 Trans World Airlines promotional film "Coast to Coast in 48 Hours", appearing on-screen with Amelia Earhart.
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In military parlance a "short round" is an artillery shell that falls short of the target.
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To prepare for the role of Willie Scott, Kate Capshaw watched The African Queen (1951) and A Guy Named Joe (1943).
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George Lucas wrote a film treatment that included a haunted castle in Scotland, but Steven Spielberg felt it was too similar to Poltergeist (1982).
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The lazy Susan (rotating tabletop) used to exchange items in the opening Club Obi-Wan sequence is still common in Shanghai restaurants. It's normally used for easy access to the multiple dishes served at meals.
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The main villain, Mola Ram, doesn't make his first appearance until after an hour into the movie.
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Story writer George Lucas explained in a later interview that one of the reasons this movie is darker and more violent than Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) had to do with his personal life:"I was going through a divorce and I was in a really bad mood. So I really wanted to do dark. And Steve (director Steven Spielberg ) then broke up with his girlfriend, and so he was sort of into it, too. That's where we were at that point in time."
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For the DVD release, over 970,000 frames were cleaned up by Lowry Digital Images, the same company that cleaned up Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), North by Northwest (1959) and Sunset Blvd. (1950) for DVD.
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During the minecart chase, Short Round is heard telling Indy to take "the left tunnel" however Indiana takes the right. The left (safe) tunnel's color is blue and the right (unsafe) tunnel's color is red; mimicking the blue (good) and red (evil) lightsaber colors seen in the Star Wars films. George Lucas was involved in both sets of films and Indiana Jones films are replete with Star Wars in-jokes.
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Mola Ram's helmet appears to be made from some modified parts of a cow skull. In India, Hinduism is a very common religion, and cows are sacred in Hinduism, so his helmet isn't only intimidating it's sacrilegious too.
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This film is banned in India and never shown on TV channels in India.
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The only Indiana Jones movie where he isn't on an assignment intentionally. The plane crashed rather than flying to the destination.
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Lawrence Kasdan, the screenwriter of the original, walked away from the project because he thought it was too dark; too "mean-spirited" he actually said. Both Spielberg and Lucas wound up agreeing with him after the movie was released.
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The remains of Nurhaci (traded in the opening scene for a diamond) were never actually lost and are generally believed to be inside the Fuling Mausoleum in the city of Shenyang, China.
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When Indiana Jones introduces Short Round to Chatter Lal, Indy says "this Mr. Round" and Shorty says "Short Round" in a very business like manner. This a reference to "Bond, James Bond".
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In the early minutes of the film Indiana Jones mentions that he only speaks Mandarin on "special occasions". This is actually a clever bit of foreshadowing as towards the end of the film Indy has to warn Short Round to hold onto the rope bridge as he is about to cut it. If he had warned Short Round in English then it would have tipped off the Thuggees what he was doing. This apparently constitutes a "special occasion"
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The minecart chase scene was partially filmed by the special visual effects team using a miniature set and some stop motion photography, along with clever lighting techniques to disguise this. The end result was so well done it is very difficult to distinguish the live action scenes from the stop motion ones.
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This was the first of two films that were released in the 1980's featuring actress Kate Capshaw as an American expatriate involved with the Asian criminal underworld. First she appeared as the night club singer, Willie Scott, in the opening of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), set in Shanghai, China. Second, she played Joyce, the hostess of a night club in Osaka, Japan, in Ridley Scott's Black Rain (1989).
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As the village elder tells Indy their story, Indy folds his hands. Short Round then emulates him by folding his own hands. This is similar to a scene between Chief Brody and his son in Jaws, another Spielberg feature.
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Philip Stone was best known for his films with Stanley Kubrick, having appeared in A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, and The Shining. Barry Lyndon also featured Wolf Kahler, who played Deitrich in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Spielberg later made reference to The Shining with the raptors-in-the-kitchen scene in Jurassic Park.
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Over one hundred twenty actresses auditioned for the role of Willie Scott.
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Norman Reynolds could not return as production designer because of his commitment to Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983).
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George Lucas hired Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz to write the script because of their knowledge of Indian culture.
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The only film in the Indiana Jones franchise where the female lead is reluctant to go on the adventure with Indy.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 2001 list of 400 movies nominated for the top 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies.
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Victor Banerjee and Art Malik both turned down roles in this project. They were both busy filming A Passage to India (1984) with director David Lean.
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Amrish Puri and Roshan Seth had previously appeared together in Gandhi, marking the first time Spielberg would use the cast of that film. He later went on to work with Ben Kingsley, Nigel Hawthorne, Martin Sheen, Daniel Day-Lewis, and director Richard Attenborough.
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The mine shaft flooding was done in miniature. To help miniaturize the flooding water (scaling water is notoriously difficult) they agitated the water with several off-screen air-jets. The effect of these air jets is seen on elements in the miniature set, like embedded branches and cords billowing and shaking, which could just as well seem to be caused by the force and rumble of the flooding water.
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Short Round is also the character name of the Korean boy in The Steel Helmet (1951).
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Steven Spielberg would revisit evil cults in Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), but that was Egyptian. There's a scene where Holmes, Watson and Elizabeth watch the cult from a secret hiding place, very much like Indy, Willie and Short Round witness the ritual of the Thuggee cult in hiding -- except they get caught, while Holmes announces their presence to rescue a victim. Also, Waxflatter's journals mention grave robbing, something of which Indy is accused. Delhi is mentioned in both films too.
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Years after completion of the film, director Steven Spielberg said about Amrish Puri: "Amrish is my favorite villain. The best the world has ever produced and ever will."
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Mola Ram who was played by Amrish Puri bore a striking resemblance to Dhalsim from the Street Fighter video game franchise. Oddly enough, Roshan Seth who played Chatar Lal played Dhalsim in Street Fighter (1994).
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As of 2019, this is the second shortest Indiana Jones movie.
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Philip Stone appears in this film with Amrish Puri and Roshan Seth, who previously appeared in Gandhi (1982) with Bernard Hill. Stone had previously appeared in The Lord of the Rings (1978) as Theoden, a role later played by Hill in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).
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Philip Stone previously appeared in The Shining. Club Obi-Wan refers to the Star Wars character, played in the prequels by Ewan McGregor. McGregor also appeared in Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining.
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Early in the movie Indiana tries to substitute a bag of sand for a piece of gold. Gold is denser than sand but the bag of sand is smaller thus way lighter than the gold. You would think an archaeologist would know of the density\weight of gold vs sand\stone.
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Cameo 

Dan Aykroyd: as Weber, the British-accented man who escorts Indy, Short Round and Willie onto the cargo plane. Aykroyd had previously worked with Steven Spielberg on the film 1941 (1979).
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George Lucas: A missionary in the background in the airport scene at the beginning.
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Frank Marshall: A tourist in the background in the airport scene at the beginning.
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Director Cameo 

Steven Spielberg: A missionary in the background in the airport scene at the beginning.
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Director Trademark 

Steven Spielberg: [hat] Grabbing a fallen hat under a descending door at the last minute.
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Steven Spielberg: [fathers] Short Round looks on Indiana Jones as a father-figure. Indiana seems reluctant at times to return the feeling.
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Steven Spielberg: [shooting star] When Indiana is talking to Short Round on the hill above the village at 0:28:19.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The rope bridge used during the final fight scene was actually suspended a couple of hundred feet across a gorge on location in Sri Lanka. Acrophobic Steven Spielberg would never walk over it, and had to drive a mile and a half to reach the other side. Harrison Ford, on the other hand, had no such fear, and would run across it at full speed.
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The scene with the broken bridge proved a challenge, since they couldn't use stuntmen for the dangerously long drop. This was solved by making fourteen dummies to stand in for the Thugee guards. They contained a mechanism and batteries inside them which could operate their leg and arm movements. The dummies were fastened to the bridge, with the mechanism rigged to start working as soon as they were released from the bridge ropes. This made the dummies look like they are really kicking and flailing as soon as the bridge is cut.
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Steven Spielberg wanted Karen Allen to reprise her role as Marion Ravenwood, but he and George Lucas had already decided that every movie should include a different woman for Indiana. This would change, however, when she eventually returned in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008). Spielberg and Lucas felt that enough time had passed that an old flame was more appropriate for the fourth film.
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The rope bridge was coated in sand to make it briefly leave an afterimage of itself in mid-air when it collapsed.
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For the human sacrifice scene, an animatronic dummy of the victim was programmed to realistically writhe in agony upon catching fire. Steven Spielberg deemed the writhing "too gruesome", and added a sheet of flame in post-production to obscure the dummy's movements the moment it caught fire.
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The final scene of the movie, in which Indy, Willie and Shorty return to the Mayapore village was filmed on the first day of principal photography: Monday, April 18. 1983. The village was constructed on the grounds of the Hantane Tea Eastate, a popular tourist attraction. The village scenes were shot in reverse since it was easier to defoliate the set rather than make it appear progressively more beautiful.
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Body Count: 43 (20 by Indiana Jones.)
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WILHELM SCREAM: 1. When a food cart in Club Obi-Wan crashes into the orchestra stand. 2. When the man with a tommy gun is shot by Indiana during the car chase at Shanghai. 3. When Mola Ram is eaten by the alligators at the movie's finale.
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Young Maharaja's name is Zalim Singh, as mentioned by Chattar Lal. The word "Zalim" means "cruel" in subcontinental languages.
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Many fans have expresses thoughts regarding Jones and friends' choice to go back into the mines instead of leaving through Pankot Palace with the rest of the escaped captives. An explanatory scene was shot showing Indy and Willie helping the freed children cross the lava pit over a makeshift bridge. When the time comes for Short Round to cross the pit, the bridge has caught fire under the intense heat, and Indy and Willie manage to save him in the nick of time from falling in the lava pit. With the bridge crumbled, the trio has to find another way out, and that is through the mines. The most logical explanation for this cut seems to be the pace, and not the film's running time, since it ended up at one hour and fifty-three minutes. Even the addition of all of the scenes mentioned in this writing would not push the film over the two hour barrier.
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One of the biggest mysteries in the Indiana Jones franchise is how the first human sacrifice victim manages to survive after having his heart ripped out of his chest. This is likely due to the magical nature of the stones.
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In the 1988 Bollywood film "Ganga Jamuna Saraswathi", Amrish Puri's character would again get devoured by crocodile.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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