Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Continuity mistake: When the three are leaning on the mountain with the jet of water, Short's arms are spread apart in the wide angle, but close to his body in the immediate close-up, a frame later.


Continuity mistake: In the village, the three are surrounded by a huge crowd, yet when Short goes for a walk, half a second later, there's barely a dozen people in front of Indy and Willie. Then it cuts back to the previous wide angle and the huge crowd reappears.


Continuity mistake: While eating in the Indian village, Short's hat swaps back and forth from tucked down to his eyebrows or raised up, with his fringe visible.


Continuity mistake: When Indy uses his whip to swing into the mine cart that Willie and Shorty are in, the way that he is holding the whip changes from shot to shot. Frontal shots show Indy holding the whip with his hands above his head. In shots from behind, Indy is holding the whip with his hands at his chest.

Continuity mistake: The dancers pick up some red handkerchiefs creating a narrow tunnel for Willie to walk through. A frame later they are spread 15 meters apart and just two dancers are parallel to each other holding the fabric.


Visible crew/equipment: When Indy is on the rope bridge at the end, his sword keeps reflecting the white lights being used to illuminate the scene. The sun wouldn't be at the angle he's reflecting as it would be up in the sky, not behind the camera where this light source is.

Other mistake: When the airplane Indy and company are flying in runs out of gas, there is a close up of the instrument panel. The hands of the altimeter start spinning as the plane descends. However, so does the altimeter setting at the side. The altimeter setting is changed by the knob at the bottom. It does not change with altitude.

Revealing mistake: When the water floods the mine, some shots of the 3 heroes are an obvious composite of their blue screened image over a set. Problem is, when Indy tells the two to run towards a tunnel on the right with a log blocking the way, Indy and Shorty run through the log as if they were ghosts.


Factual error: They escape from the plane using a life raft and fall a considerable distance (looks like hundreds of feet) before landing on a snowfield. They then slide down the snow and off a cliff before landing in a fast flowing river, again falling a considerable height. There is no way they would be able to fall that distance and land on snow covered ground or a river without being killed or seriously injured, but they are completely unscathed.

Factual error: The self inflating boat on the "South China Air" plane is the typical modern colour yellow and modern shape, which didn't exist at that time.


Continuity mistake: Before the water tank falls, there's a shot on Mola Ram and his people next to it. Then there's a wide shot of the tank about to burst and the people running away from the area. Then the previous shot of Mola Ram standing calmly with his men by the tank is repeated, which makes no sense.


Continuity mistake: During the mine cart scene, Indy is sometimes seated on the back, others on the front, with no logic whatsoever, and sometimes between one frame and another.


Continuity mistake: When the rickshaw crashes, the sailor jumps out. One second later, from a different angle, he is inside the rickshaw jumping out again.


Continuity mistake: While hanging off the bridge, Indy's shirt keeps changing from light to dark, and from very dirty to slightly dirty all the time.


Continuity mistake: The raft arrives in a big place with no snow, yet from the opposite front angle there's snow all around.


Continuity mistake: When Willie falls from the elephant into the puddle of water, her hair varies from very wet at the bottom to mostly dry from each different camera angle.

More quotes from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Trivia: Just like Indiana was named after George Lucas' dog, Willie was named after Steven Spielberg's dog and Short Round was named after screenwriters Bill Hyuck and Gloria Hatz's dog.

More trivia for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Question: Why did Spielberg make Temple of Doom a prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark? I read somewhere that he didn't want to make the Nazis the villains again, but that wouldn't be a problem since the Nazis never went to India or China.


Answer: This is conjecture, but it seems the general function of setting Temple of Doom before Raiders of the Lost Ark is that it helps set audience expectations that the two movies are self-contained episodes. For instance, Karen Allen has said she wasn't disappointed about not being asked to return because she'd already been told that the next installment was being set in the past before her character is reunited with Indy. Conversely, since we're already aware Raiders makes no mention of the events of Temple of Doom, we know we shouldn't necessarily expect any further installments to continue directly from prior movies' storylines regardless if they are set forward in time.


Chosen answer: It was actually George Lucas who wrote the story, made it a prequel, and has stated it was because he didn't want the Nazis to be the villains again. The idea most likely seems if it wasn't a prequel, the Nazis could still be after Jones, even in China or India. But alas, there is really no other insight as to Lucas' prequel decision.


More questions & answers from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.