Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

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

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

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.

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

Question: What was the point of the tank in the desert chase sequence having a turret? It's a British 'Mark' series from WWI. Was it a mistake?

Answer: It was one of the tanks the Sultan gave them in exchange for the Rolls-Royce. He didn't specify that they'd be new or German.

Captain Defenestrator

Question: How did Elsa and Donovan get across the second challenge to where the grail was? Indy knew that one had to step on the tiles which spelt Iehovah, but they didn't. I was gonna submit this as a goof, but I am sure there is some logical explanation.

Gavin Jackson

Chosen answer: Dr. Jones senior (Sean Connery) is talking to himself while Indy is going through the traps. He would know what the trials consisted of, and mutters the solutions out loud as he goes over them in his mind. He even makes a statement that "But in ancient Latin, Jehovah begins with an 'I'" just before Indy takes his first step onto the wrong tile.

Twotall

Question: Did Sean Connery wear makeup to make him look older for this movie? Because he made his last James Bond movie only a couple of years before The Last Crusade so it doesn't seem like he should look that old.

Answer: Actually he wore makeup and a wig to make him look younger in the James Bond film, not the other way around.

David Mercier

Question: Why does Indiana Jones wear glasses? We always see him wearing round-rimmed glasses in academic settings, which implies that he wears reading glasses. In the midst of high adventure, however, he never wears glasses; nonetheless, he's able to read cryptic inscriptions and even his father's diary in the worst possible lighting conditions. Are his reading glasses some sort of passive disguise, like Clark Kent's?

Answer: According to the book, he is far-sighted. In his office, he had to hold the package that contained the diary at arms length. He cannot read anything up close.

Answer: Indy does not attempt to disguise himself. Most likely this is done to show his character's two personas. He dresses like a mild-mannered, nerdy professor when in an academic setting and transforms into a masculine, rugged man when he is on an adventure.

raywest Premium member

Question: It's been stated that Elsa and Donovan knew how to get through the path to the Grail because Henry was talking about the way as he lay dying. But I'm still confused about when they get across the cliff. Indy threw some sand and stones across the path he 'believed' was there, but would they still be sitting there, basically in mid air for the bad guys to get across? Did they truly believe in the Grail as much as Indy and Henry did and so could walk across the non-existant path?

jenn_s_h85

Chosen answer: The way I see it, the bridge is there, but is invisible. The true test is to step out into mid-air when you don't know there's a bridge there, trusting in God to rescue you. Indy passed this test, then threw the stones to see whether it really was a bridge there all along, or if it was a matter of faith in the moment you step out (or just to mark his way back). The pebbles stayed, proving the bridge was physical and real, only invisible. When Ilsa and Donovan came along, they could see the pebbles in mid-air, and figured out this as well. Originally, you would have to believe and trust in God to step on to the bridge, but Indy effectively "disarms" this trap by proving that there is a way to cross safely for anyone.

Twotall

As stated previously, the bridge is not invisible. It is simply camouflaged so that it's not visible from the position Indy had to stand. This is demonstrated in the film when the camera angle changes and shows that the reason Indy can't see it is the marbling of the stone lines up perfectly from one angle. He throws the pebbles onto it once he's across to make it easier for him to see when he returns.

But the camouflage is only going to work from one direction (the approach). Going in the opposite direction (the retreat), the bridge would stand out like a sore thumb, pebbles or not.

Charles Austin Miller

However, in the film, Indy turns around and throws the pebbles on the bridge, which is not visible until the pebbles are there.

Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps the original builders altered the vertical stone walls in the "coming back" direction so that the bridge blended from this reverse perspective as well.

Okay, he didn't actually mean invisible, more like "invisible from a certain perspective"

Answer: The bridge was actually camouflaged into rock looking as if it was invisible (you can see this in movie).

Of course, any "camouflage" would only work from one perspective (from the doorway at one end of the bridge). As soon as Indy took a step out onto the bridge, the "camouflage" would be revealed, as it would no longer be aligned to the background from his new perspective. Viewed from the opposite end of the bridge, the "camouflage" wouldn't work at all and the bridge would be perfectly visible.

Charles Austin Miller

Not necessarily. They could have fashioned the stonework so it rendered the bridge invisible from both directions.

The sand and pebbles broke the camouflage of the bridge so when Donovan and Elsa came they would see through the illusion and just see a bridge.

lionhead

Question: Is there anything to suggest that someone couldn't leave the grail in the cave and come back every 50 years or so to "top off" their immortality?

Answer: It doesn't appear to work that way. The power of the grail heals Henry's gunshot wound instantly and it keeps the knight looking about 80 years old. However, there is nothing in the film to suggest that simply drinking from the grail and leaving the cave actually extends your life. In fact, Henry drank from the grail and died a natural death a relatively short time later in between this film and the next.

BaconIsMyBFF

Actually it is stated that Henry Jones Sr. died either in 1951 or 1956. So either at the age of 79 or 85 and at least 13 years after the events of the Last Crusade movie. Whilst this is not an extremely old age, there is no reason to think his life wasn't extended by the grail. Indiana himself got to a high age himself, having drunk from the grail.

lionhead

I don't think the series is implying that either Jones man lived a long life due to the grail. In fact it would seem to go against the irony of the grail as presented: that it does give you eternal life but you are confined to that cave to enjoy the benefits. Maybe if they had said Henry Jones died at the age of 120 or something out of the ordinary, but they specifically state he dies at a perfectly normal, non magical age.

BaconIsMyBFF

Well it's never stated that it gives eternal life only to the person staying in the cave either. That's what the question is about. If the healing properties of the grail work on someone who leaves the cave, there is no reason to think their life isn't extended (technically it already was in the case of Henry Jones Sr.) as well. It is possible though, since the knight looked pretty old, that the grail only heals, and that healing extends life but one has to drink from the cup frequently (like every day) in order to stay alive, whilst still getting older.

lionhead

The knight does say that the grail cannot leave the seal, which is the price of immortality. He is implying that in order to reap the benefits of eternal life you must stay in the cave. The way it seems to work is that in order to extend your life in any meaningful way, you must drink from the grail often. Just leaving and coming back whenever you need a jolt would effectively make the rule about not taking the grail out of the cave meaningless. How often you need to drink is of course not specified. In order for the film's ironic message about the grail to make any kind of sense, you would need to drink from the grail so often you would effectively be stuck in the cave. Possibly drinking from it every day. In which case, like the knight you would just live at the cave and never leave. The knight's brothers both left 150 years after finding the grail, but one of them died shortly after leaving, never making it out of the desert. So with regards to the original question: "can you just come back every 50 years or so?"; it would make the most sense based on what we see in the movie, what we know about how long Henry Jones Sr. Lived, what we know about the knights and how long they lived, and the message the movie is saying about the irony of the grail that the answer to that particular question is "No."

BaconIsMyBFF

I wonder if someone were to bring a large storage vessel to the cave, and fill it using the Grail, if they could then take that water with them and drink it later... Man, the scientist in me really wants to resolve this.

Drinking from the grail is not the same as pouring water out of it into another vessel. Drinking from the grail is symbolic and there is no real power that it bestows upon the water in it. However, if the grail was able to pass the properties to another vessel, one would have to assume the temple would collapse on itself when attempting to take the secondary vessel out.

Bishop73

Answer: It's stated by the ancient knight that the Grail's powers do not extend into the outside world. He himself was immortal only because he remained at the site, drinking the water, for hundreds of years. Henry Senior was instantly healed on-site, but he and Indy continued to age normally once they left the site.

Charles Austin Miller

Then why didn't Henry's wound return when he left? Their healing extended their lives. It got rid of any bad cells, to go scientific.

lionhead

Because cell deterioration due to aging happens spontaneously, i.e. you've got to keep removing the bad cells. Bullet wounds are not spontaneous...once it's gone, it's gone.

Why would his wound return? He was instantly healed. From that point forward he was in normal health, even after crossing the seal. Indy actually drank from the Grail, which meant he was immortal for a few minutes, but his immortality did not follow him beyond the seal.

Charles Austin Miller

It's the difference between believing the power of immortality comes from the cup or staying in the cave. The knight was immortal because he kept drinking from the cup, not because he stayed in the cave. The cup has healing powers, and simply growing old is not the reason for death, regenerating cells will keep you alive, so if the cup regenerates cells, you are immortal from drinking from it, as long as you do it regularly. That's how the knight has done it and why he looks old and is frail. Going outside doesn't negate the powers of the cup, or Henry's wound would have returned. Therefor, going back often to drink from the cup will extend your life. It will cure you from any ailments that accompany old age like heart disease, cancer and brain degeneration.

lionhead

The Grail Knight plainly says: "You have chosen...wisely. But, beware: the Grail cannot pass beyond the Great Seal, for that is the boundary, and the price, of immortality." Therefore, you remain immortal as long as you don't cross the seal. If you are healed instantly inside the boundary of the Great Seal, then you are healed. Period. It's not just a magic bandaid that disappears if you cross the seal.

Charles Austin Miller

Question: Is the correct grail made of wood or metal? Was the comment "the cup of a carpenter" referring to the grail looking simple or the substance it was made of? It looks like gilded wood but makes a sound when picked up like it was metal.

Answer: It seems to have had a layer of metal foil applied to wood or clay.

dizzyd

Answer: It is made of wood, possibly with a metal base. The line about it being the "cup of a carpenter" is primarily referring to the fact that it's simple and unadorned, but could also be interpreted to include the material.

Twotall

It was actually made of clay.

Answer: No, at the time Ford was the highest paid star in Hollywood (and he's still near the top of the list). He is also the star of the film (Connery is in a supporting role) and one of the most recognisable faces in the film world. Connery was paid well, but certainly not more than Ford.

David Mercier

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

Suggested correction: Not a mistake, just a different viewing angle.

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Trivia: Hitler was played by the actor Michael Sheard, this was the third time he had played Hitler for film and TV. Ironically, Sheard's wife was half-Jewish.

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