Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones: Marion, don't look at it. Shut your eyes. Don't look at it, no matter what happens!

In the summer of 1977 George Lucas was holidaying in Hawaii with his friend Steven Spielberg. Lucas asked him what film he wanted to do next, Spielberg replied that he always wanted to direct a James Bond film, Lucas said he had something better and told him his idea about an adventurer named Indiana Smith who travelled the world searching for ancient artifacts and getting into all sorts of trouble. Spielberg loved the idea but didn’t think the name 'Smith' was right, Lucas changed it to Jones.

Spielberg and Lucas wanted Tom Selleck to play Indiana Jones, but he had signed up for the TV series Magnum P.I. (1980-1988) and couldn’t do the film. Other actors considered for the role include – Nick Nolte, Jeff Bridges, Tim Matheson, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray. Finally Lucas went with an actor he'd worked with before, Harrison Ford.


Poster Art by Richard Amsel










Poster art by Richard Amsel

Japanese poster


Steven Spielberg with Harrison Ford


Paul Freeman

John Rhys-Davies

Denholm Elliott

Karen Allen

Harrison Ford

Sallah: Indy, why does the floor move?
Indiana: Give me your torch.
Indiana: Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?
Sallah: Asps... very dangerous. You go first.  

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Directed by Steven Spielberg. 115mins.

Harrison Ford    -     Indiana Jones
Karen Allen    -     Marion Ravenwood
Paul Freeman    -     Dr. RenĂ© Belloq
Ronald Lacey    -     Major Arnold Toht
John Rhys-Davies    -     Sallah
Denholm Elliott    -     Dr. Marcus Brody
Alfred Molina    -     Satipo

Music by John Williams

Hundreds of snakes were used for the Well of Souls sequence filmed at Elstree Studios in England. Snakes of every breed, it wasn't long before the big snakes were eating the small snakes. Unlike his character Harrison Ford has no fear of snakes at all.

Apparently screaming melting faces were perfectly acceptable in a PG action adventure but an exploding head meant an R rating. Steven Spielberg got round this by superimposing flames over Belloq’s exploding head during the “Wrath of God” finale, and got his PG rating.

Raiders of the Lost Ark cost $18m to make and was a major box office success, the top grossing film of 1981, earning $390m worldwide.

The film was nominated for eight Oscars – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Music, Best Cinematography and winning for Best Art Direction, Best Editing, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Visual Effects.


Poster Art by Bruce Wolfe

UK poster

Japanese poster

Poster Art by Drew Struzan












Kate Capshaw, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Harrison Ford

Indiana Jones: Mola Ram! Prepare to meet Kali... in Hell! 

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) Directed by Steven Spielberg. 118mins.

Harrison Ford    -     Indiana Jones
Kate Capshaw    -     Willie Scott
Jonathan Ke Quan    -     Short Round
Amrish Puri    -     Mola Ram
Roshan Seth    -     Chattar Lal
Philip Stone    -     Captain Blumburtt

Music by John Williams

Sharon Stone was considered for the role of Willie Scott. Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg were married in 1991, they have 5 children.

The series takes a darker, nastier tone with Temple of Doom which takes place in 1935, one year before the events of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The outlandish action sequences are probably the best of the series.

Won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, nominated for Best Music.

The biggest film of 1984 costing $18m to produce and grossing $333m worldwide.



Poster Art by Drew Struzan


River Phoenix as Young Indy







Henry Jones and son

Indiana Jones: Nazis. I hate these guys. 

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) Directed by Steven Spielberg. 127mins.

Harrison Ford    -     Indiana Jones
Sean Connery    -     Henry Jones
Denholm Elliott    -     Marcus Brody
Alison Doody    -     Elsa Schneider
John Rhys-Davies    -     Sallah
Julian Glover    -     Walter Donovan
Michael Byrne    -     Ernst Vogel
River Phoenix    -     Young Indy

Music by John Williams

Harrison Ford suggested River Phoenix for Young Indy, they had worked together before on The Mosquito Coast (1986).

Oscar nominated for Best Music and Best Sound, winning for Best Sound Effects Editing.

The Last Crusade was the number one film of the year worldwide with a gross of  $474.1m and second to Tim Burton's Batman (1989) in the U.S.


Corey Carrier
Sean Patrick Flanery
Harrison Ford
George Hall

The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992-1996)

TV Series - Three Seasons - 44 Episodes

Corey Carrier as Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. (age 8–10)
Sean Patrick Flanery as Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. (age 16–21)
Harrison Ford as Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. (age 50)
George Hall as Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. (age 93)

Harrison Ford appeared in one episode - Young Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Blues (1993)

Golden Globe Nomination for Best TV Series - Drama


Poster Art by Drew Struzan
Poster Art by Drew Struzan







Harrison Ford
Karen Allen
Shia LaBeouf
Cate Blanchett
Karen Allen with Harrison Ford at the premiere.

Mutt Williams: You're a teacher?
Indiana Jones: Part-time.  

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) Directed by Steven Spielberg. 122mins.

Harrison Ford    ...     Indiana Jones
Cate Blanchett    ...     Irina Spalko
Karen Allen    ...     Marion Ravenwood
Shia LaBeouf    ...     Mutt Williams
Ray Winstone    ...     George 'Mac' McHale
John Hurt    ...     Professor Harold Oxley
Jim Broadbent    ...     Dean Charles Stanforth

Music by John Williams

Spielberg wanted Sean Connery to cameo as Indy's father but the actor had retired from acting and declined the offer.

The fourth Indiana Jones film was critically mauled and fans of the series turned their noses up at it but it still managed to gross nearly $800m. The opening sequence shows Indiana Jones surviving a nuclear blast by hiding in a refrigerator, the scene was so absurd it gave birth to the internet phrase 'Nuke the Fridge'.

British Academy Award Nomination for Best Visual Effects.

Razzie Award winner for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel.

Cost $185m - Box Office $786.6m