Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

Question: When the tank was coming towards the cliff, why didn't Indy simply jump off the tank? If he jumped to the right or left his father and others wouldn't think that he died.

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Answer: There's no way to really answer this because this is an intentionally crafted plot, designed to have characters act and react in a specific way. The movie is going for dramatic effect, making it appear the others think Indy is dead. When he reappears safe and sound, his father has an emotional reaction, showing how much he cares for his son.

raywest Premium member

Question: Are Indiana Jones and his father immortal at the end of the movie or does the grail's power become null and void when it crosses the seal? The knight said something like "The grail cannot cross the seal, that is the price of immortality." That makes it sound like they are not immortal at the end but I still want to check.

Blibbetyblip
3

Chosen answer: They're not, no. An individual doesn't become immortal after one drink - it requires them to drink regularly in order to remain alive. So neither Jones has been rendered immortal, merely healed of any wounds that they might have. But your surmise is basically correct - as the Grail cannot leave the shrine, any individual wishing to use it to prolong their life must stay there if they wish to enjoy its effects.

Tailkinker Premium member
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Also, in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull, Henry Jones, Sr has passed away before the start of the story and therefore was not immortal.

raywest Premium member

Question: They didn't make it out of the cave with the grail because they dawdled... I wonder, would someone be able to make it out running at a dead sprint once they crossed the seal? And if so, does that mean that they're home free? Or would disaster follow them outside of the cave?

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Answer: The implication is that disaster would follow them outside of the cave as well. It wouldn't make much sense if you could simply outrun the disaster.

BaconIsMyBFF
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"Followed by disaster" is a kind of curse, a thing not common in Christianity. It doesn't make much sense anyhow. A seal is just a dot - OK, so let's at least grant that the seal represents a circle that the grail has to stay in. Who decided where those borders are? The grail was taken there during the first crusade. That was closer to 1938 than it was to 33 AD. The three knights could move the grail about then. Why not afterwards? The knights could have built the traps. But the borders could only have been set by god, in an unusually late and completely atypical miracle.

Spiny Norman

There are several examples of curses in the Christian Bible: Lot's wife is turned into a pillar of salt for looking back at Sodom, the plagues visited upon Egypt, Adam and Eve are cursed for eating fruit from the tree of knowledge, etc. The knights did not move the grail around after finding it, they stayed in the temple for 150 years and then two left leaving the third behind. The great seal and it's restriction was already in place when the knights got there.

BaconIsMyBFF

Question: When Indy gets to where the Grail is and meets the Knight, the Knight says that he is one of many brothers chosen to protect the grail, but if being in that cave with the Grail grants him immortality, what happened to his previous brothers?

Heather Benton Premium member
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Chosen answer: The other two brothers are the ones who left the tomb and traveled back to Europe. One of them is the knight Indy and Elsa find in the catacombs under Venice with the shield that has the second marker. The one left behind is the one the brothers determined to be the most worthy to guard the Grail.

Guy
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Question: Just curious, but how does Indy's dad know what the trials to get to the Grail are if he's never done it and anyone who has hasn't survived past the first task?

Heather Benton Premium member
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Chosen answer: He states quite specifically in the movie that he found the details of the trials in the Chronicles of St Anselm. How the details got in there is anybody's guess - given what's seen to occur in the movies, divine inspiration is an entirely reasonable explanation.

Tailkinker Premium member
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Of course, that begs the question... If the grail was not meant to be discovered, then why inspire Henry with the clues to get to it?

The Grail is meant to be discovered, but only by those who are worthy of locating it. In a Grail Quest, the hero has to overcome various challenges and seek out clues to be considered worthy of finding and wielding the Grail. You can't get the Grail if you're unworthy. The 3 Challenges in the temple specifically require traits like faith, wisdom, and bravery to pass. Only someone who understands what the Grail represents would be able to succeed. When divine inspiration is used in storytelling, the goal is to spur people on to want to make themselves better, or to fix something. There may be some divine inspiration that gave Henry the nudge to want to find the Grail, but he still has to put in the work and make himself worthy of it.

Question: What did Sean Connery mean by "Elsa never really believed in the Grail. She thought she found a prize"?

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Answer: He means she only saw it as a valuable archeological object to be found and exploited. She did not truly understand its religious significance and magical power.

raywest Premium member
3

Specifically, he meant that Elsa considered the Grail a prize for The Fatherland (the German Third Reich), just as the Nazis considered the Ark of the Covenant a "prize" in the first movie.

Charles Austin Miller

Not quite. Elsa wasn't in it for the Nazis...it was made clear at several points that she didn't believe in Hitler's cause, but she was complicit. The first explanation is more accurate.

Question: In the last shot of the knight waving goodbye to the Joneses, is it just me or has the actor been swapped out with a dummy?

Phaneron Premium member
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Answer: It is the real actor and not a robotic dummy. He moves a bit slowly and deliberately, apparently for effect, but it's a real person.

raywest Premium member
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Just to be clear, I'm not referring to when we see the knight raise his hand to wave goodbye to them, but rather right after Indy says "Please Dad," and he and Henry begin to flee the collapsing temple, you can see the knight in the background with his arm raised and he looks rather stiff. You can see it at around 2:22 of this clip: https://youtu.be/PAfZ7V2VyD8.

Phaneron Premium member
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I took a closer look. There is the shot where the knight raises his hand and you can see him moving. It then cuts to Indy and Henry, then a cut back to the knight where it briefly looks like it could be a mannequin, then there is another cut and back to the knight again and this time it's definitely the live actor. So yes, for that brief long shot, I think it could be a dummy. This may have been for the purpose of efficiency in the filming, it being easier to use a stationary prop for doing multiple takes, rather than the live actor just standing there. Sometimes they do what is called "pick up" shots, where, post-production, a part of a scene or close-ups are re-shot or added weeks or months later, and it would just be easier to use mannequin rather than recall the actor.

raywest Premium member
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But he does move, so most likely a real person.

lionhead

Question: Is the Canyon of the Crescent Moon a real place, or was the shot of the canyon as seen from Donovan's binoculars just a place created for the film?

Phaneron Premium member
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Chosen answer: The Canyon of the Crescent Moon is fictional, but based on the real entrance to the Treasury (Al Khazna). The Bab as-Sīq is the wide valley leading to the Sīq, the narrow gorge entry.

Bishop73
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Question: When the Joneses crash land the plane they stole from the zeppelin and steal that guy's car, where are they? Turkey? Hatay?

Brian Katcher
1

Answer: It's never stated, but they must be somewhere close to, or in, Hatay, since in the next scene they are with Sallah and are going after the Nazis, who are already en route to the Holy Grail. Pretty lucky, considering Indy just booked them on "the first available flight out of Germany."

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Question: In the desert the tank first shot towards the Joneses. Then one of the bad guys implied that they hit their vehicle, by saying they couldn't get out of the desert on foot. How did they know? The vehicle wasn't visible from their location.

1

Answer: He didn't know. He was just making an assumption and probably boasting, assuming that he had not missed the target.

raywest Premium member
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Question: Why did the zeppelin turn around, and how did the approaching airplane fighters know it was them in the zeppelin's airplane?

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Answer: The zeppelin is turning around because Indy sabotaged the radio. They are presumably going back to get it repaired, lest they end up getting into danger on a long journey with no way to reach out for help. The approaching planes likely deduced it was the Joneses absconding with the plane, as it would be unlikely for anyone else to be taking it when the zeppelin was simply returning to its point of origin.

Phaneron Premium member
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Question: When this film was being released, I read a rumour somewhere that Lucas originally wanted actor John Houseman to play Indy's father. Given that at the time Houseman was in his mid-80s and in poor health (He passed away when the film was in production), was there any truth to this story?

Gavin Jackson
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Chosen answer: Not at least according to the "making of" DVD included in the trilogy box set. According to Spielberg, he always wanted to direct a James Bond film. In Spielberg's thinking, a 1930s action hero could only have one father - James Bond, and also according to Spielberg, he thought only of Connery.

1

Question: What happened to the Grail Knight after the events of the movie? Did he become mortal again (due to not having the grail to drink from) and die or did he manage to retrieve the grail?

1

Answer: It's not revealed.

Tailkinker Premium member

Answer: Since magic caused the earth to open up and swallow the grail, I bet magic returns it to that room with the knight. The knight technically didn't get someone to take his place, so I bet he returns to being its keeper.

Question: In the first half of the movie, the problem that needs to be solved is where the known route starts. Indy finds out when he finds the second, complete shield in Venice and deciphers it later. When exactly do the Nazis find out? He has told Marcus Brody, but not Elsa, because he does not fully trust her. The nazis find the diary, but not the rubbing. They don't "extract" the information from the Joneses when they are captured in Austria, at which time Indy confidently states that Marcus has a two day head start (unless the nazis know something that Indy doesn't). But they are already waiting for him in Iskenderun when he arrives. (No indication is ever given that Marcus is being followed in Venice; at any rate, no-one pays much attention to him, because all eyes are on Indy.) When and how do the nazis discover where to go?

Spiny Norman
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Answer: They don't know Alexandretta is the city when they set out to capture Brody; he travels to Iskenderun (modern Alexandretta) himself, and the Nazis capture him there. They probably sent his description, and orders to capture him, to all their agents in Hatay (whose leader is sympathetic); as we see, Brody is very easy to spot, and naïve enough to be captured with relative ease (he also contacts Sallah in advance of going there, leaving a further trail). At that point, it's not difficult for them to deduce that the starting point on the map is the city that Brody has traveled to.

No, I'm sorry, but that second reply makes very little sense. Sure we can speculate that his phone call to Sallah was tapped. But speculation is not good enough. And there's no indication at all that Brody was being followed. In fact he's all but ignored. The idea that at every train station there would be nazi agents waiting is a bit impractical. Hatay is perhaps small enough to do that, but then we're just renaming the problem: how did the nazis know to go there, and not Syria, or Palestine, or Istanbul, or any other place once visited by crusaders? They can't watch out for every scholarly type in every train station in the entire Middle East.

Spiny Norman

Answer: They capture Max Brody with the map shortly after they capture the Jones'. They learned through him.

lionhead

And WHERE do they capture him...? Right. So that's not it.

Spiny Norman

When wandering around Egypt alone with the map, Brody meets up with Sallah who tries to prevent him from being captured. He fails by accidentally leading him into a nazi controlled truck that takes him away and into the hands of Donovan. They have the map then.

lionhead

Brody is not "wondering around Egypt." We explicitly hear Indy instruct Salah and him to meet in Iskenderun before he left for Austria and that is where Brody descends from the train station. Or am I to believe, again, that the nazis have camouflaged truck traps in every town in the entire Middle East, just in case? No, they intercept Brody because they know where he's going to be. (Iskenderun, by the way, is nowhere near Egypt, it's not even on the same continent. I suggest you re-watch the relevant bit of the movie first).

Spiny Norman

Question: What style hat does Indiana Jones wear?

Answer: The original Indiana Jones hat was custom-crafted by world-renowned hat maker Herbert Johnson of London, England. It was based on a style of wide-brimmed beaver hat called a "Poet" (this style had already been in production since the 1890s). Using Harrison Ford to model the hat as it was customized, Herbert Johnson deliberately made the crown much taller and more square than a conventional fedora, and they deliberately made the brim an oval shape, narrower on the sides, to accommodate the lighting in profile camera shots. Herbert Johnson made 45 identical customized Poet hats for the original Indiana Jones films, including hats for Harrison Ford's stand-ins and stunt-men. The Jones-style Poet hats became so popular that Swaine Adeney Brigg continues making them to order to this day. Http://www.swaineadeneybrigg.com/store/herbert-johnson/poet-hat/poet-hat.

Tailkinker Premium member
1

Question: When the bell rings for the end of Indy's college class, what exactly is he pointing at?

Answer: He's not pointing at anything. When the bell rings, he makes a hand gesture that I interpret at "wait, class, one more thing before you go" (something I've done myself). From there, he's just moving his hands around as he speaks, which is a common thing for people to do.

Bishop73
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Question: This applies to all three movies and also Zorro and Batman. When Indy uses his whip to swing from one place to another, how does he free the whip from whatever it was attached to? A flick of the wrist wouldn't do it, it seems like he'd have to climb to the end of the whip and separate it from the object by hand.

Answer: There are two answers - a short one and a longer one. The short one -- it's a movie and the director can pretty much do what he wants. The longer one -- assuming that the ends of the whip loop around the log, etc., the parts of the whip further back from the end can cover the end. Then, as long as there is weight applied to the whip (i.e., a person swinging), the whip could stay attached to the log, etc. As soon as the weight is release, there is no pressure on the ends of the whip and it shouldn't be too hard to flick the handle and have the whip release.

Zwn Annwn
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Question: I have wondered about this for some time. Did Elsa deliberately choose the wrong grail for Donovan (resulting in his death) cause she knew that Indy would know which one it was and they would both get it without Donovan getting in the way? The smirking expression on her face during the whole scene would definitely imply this but I was wondering if anyone knew for sure?

Gavin Jackson

Chosen answer: Yes, this was a deliberate action on Elsa's part.

Steph_Jared
4

Question: Regarding the flipped shot early in the film when Indy has a bloody face, is there any practical reason for this (or for any movie that flips shots for that matter)? This isn't like some ordinary continuity error that the director, script supervisor and editors overlook. This is something that has to be done deliberately in the editing process.

Phaneron Premium member

Answer: Usually it is an issue of continuity. If two people are talking to each other, one should be on left side of the screen looking screen right and the other person on the right side looking screen left. Otherwise the cuts will be confusing. Sometimes a mistake is made when setting up a shot. Sometimes something was cut from the scene and there is no acceptable shot to cover it, so they have to modify a shot that is close.

3

Question: In "Last Crusade," there is meant to be this guy called Gestapo. I was wondering, who is Gestapo? I am interested as he is played by Pat Roach who played henchmen in the other films.

Answer: It is not a person's name, but an identification of what the character is. The Gestapo were Adolf Hitler's secret police in Nazi Germany. Pat Roach plays an un-named Gestapo officer.

raywest Premium member
2
Video

Continuity mistake: In the library scene Indy discovers the "X" high up on the balcony. The X is green with a grey background. When he breaks the tile to find the tomb the X has become a faint outline on the floor. (00:27:40 - 00:28:45)

Allanmceneaney
Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: You still can see one "leg" of the X on the floor, it's only darker than viewed from above because the camera angle and illumination set used.

I think it is meant to be an optical illusion.

The "X" is first shown as a dark green "X" on a beige background. Next, we are shown the same dark green "X" that is barely visible over a green background. I think we are meant to understand that the beige square tiles were lifted away in a cut scene.

I see no reason why they would replace the floor just for the higher shot, it's the same floor throughout the scene. When they enter it's the same floor we see later as they are going into the hole. It's probably not a real marble floor, so they can use a styrofoam or plywood tile that Harrison can lift, one that matches the surrounding tiles. They don't shine as much as the rest of the floor. In the shot up high there is different lighting, so that could explain it. It just appears to be different. Of course, sudden different light can be seen as a revealing mistake.

lionhead
More mistakes in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

[Henry has activated a secret lever which rotates him and Indiana from a room on fire to a room full of German soldiers.]
Henry Jones: Our situation has not improved.

More quotes from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

Trivia: When Indy asks his father how he knew Elsa was a Nazi, Henry replies, "She talks in her sleep". Sean Connery ad-libbed this line.

More trivia for Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

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