Saturday, April 25, 2009

As Indy week marches on, we are proud to bring you the ten best scenes from the
Indiana Jones trilogy. It will be interesting to see if Crystal Skull
can bring any scenes powerful enough to stand with these heavies. Our
thanks to Andy who briefly tackled the best (he was right on most of
them). In case you are wondering, Raiders fittingly is represented more
than the other two movies. First off, some honorable mentions.

Mine Car Chase - TOD - best chase of the three movies

Indy and Henry tied up in castle/their escape - LC - funny and entertaining

Heart ripped out of chest - TOD - shocking and gruesome and awesome

Fist fight with head oaf - RotLA/TOD - gross endings (propeller/rock crusher) rule

Indy and his digging crew off in the distance - RotLA - filmed in a cool way

10. "Let it Go" - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
ending of Last Crusade is an interesting one. Bear in mind we have just
seen Indy rescue his father from the tank and cure his bullet wound
with the Grail. They both are finally showing love and pride and
everyone is winning until moron Elsa crosses the seal. For someone who
is supposedly a very intelligent and resourceful scientist, she
blunders by choosing the wrong Grail (I think she did it on purpose,
but it's not 100% clear) and then by marching over the seal/kicking the
cup into the crevice. After her death, Indy nearly makes the same
mistake, but what makes this scene a gem is not just that Henry calls
him "Indiana" for the first time (although that's the best part), it's
because Henry is 10 feet away from his life's pursuit and must choose
between something that he has obsessed about or his own boy. To his
credit, Henry makes the choice in an instant to save his boy rather
than risk getting the Grail. He's not just telling Indy to let go of
the Grail, he has already made that choice himself, and Sean Connery
pulls it off perfectly.
9. Sword vs. Gun - Raiders of the Lost Ark
scene perfectly sums up the character of Indiana Jones. It all starts
when Indy and Marion are out for a stroll at the market when bad guys
attack them. The main attraction is when he squares off against the
intimidating swordsman. Rather than take the sword out of his hand with
the whip, he just uses a gun. Indy is not above fighting dirty (later
against the big bald guy, he points down at the ground before
delivering a sucker punch) and that's what we like about him. It's like
using a cheat code. But the basket chase scene in general is a well
thought out chase sequence that has Indy running around knocking over
all these baskets looking for Marion, whose been captured by the bad
guys, and ends with her supposedly blowing up. The scene below has no
sound effects, but not much is spoken anyway, you just miss out on
punch noises and Marion shouting "INNNNNNNNDYYYYY!"
NOTE: Temple of Doom touches back on this when Indy escapes the mine
and squares off against TWO swordsman (it is a sequel after all). He
grins and reaches for his gun only to find that it is not there, so
uses his whip. He should've done this in Raiders but the rumor is
Harrison Ford has dysentery and suggested a simpler solution.

8.The Three Challenges- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
I said earlier in my review, that last segment of Last Crusade is one
big emotional climax, and this is the middle part of that climax. As
opposed to Temple of Doom, where the final conflict was the fisticuffs
between Indy and Mola Ram, this final conflict is more of an Indy vs.
his own faith type of thing. With his dad dying he must decipher the
notes in Henry's journal to get through the Breath of God, the Word of
God, and whatever the forced perspective challenge is called. Each
challenge makes great use of editing between Indy and his father, and
this segment probably has the best score of music in the whole film.
You can tune out after the first 5 minutes. Penitent, penitent...

7. Bugs - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
of all the creepy-crawlies designed to make the audience squirm, the
bugs, by far, are the creepiest. The snakes don't really do anything in
Raiders, and you feel bad for the rats in Crusade because they get
incinerated, but here, they crawl on your hands and up your neck and
legs. It's terrible, but in a good way. Combined with the genius bugs
is the trap room of impending doom!!!! Firstly, it showcases how bad it
is to have an inept child sidekick (are you listening, Mutt?). Short
Round springs the closing doors, fails to run over and escape with
Indy, and triggers the spikes and roof. This scene also does a good job
of showing how annoying Willie is, but also how funny it is to hear
Indy yell at her. "WE are GOING to DIIIIEE!" is a hilarious line. Plus
at the end, we get the iconic sliding under the falling door, then
reaching back to get your hat. If nothing else, Temple of Doom was
nonstop action, and the trap room is just another in a long line of
good messes that Indy gets himself into.

6. the Bridge - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
finale of Temple of Doom, I just enjoy the simplicity of it. No big set
pieces, no CGI, just a bridge, and all the suspense that comes with it.
The highlight of this scene is the cutting of the bridge by Indy and
when Indy says "Oh, shit' (it's things like this and the ripping out of
hearts that earned Temple of Doom the PG-13 rating). The big let down
of this scene and the movie in general is the Sankara stones. In the
Raiders finale, the Ark kills everyone in a big display of God's wrath
(more on that later). In Last Crusade, the Grail heals Indy's father
and brings about the demise of Donovan and Elsa. But here, what do the
Sankara stones do? It's the finale, and, oooooo, they turn red-hot and
burn through the bag. Okay, it causes Mola Ram to fall, but seriously,
what a let down. Then again, this scene is on here because of the
Bridge, not because of the stones.
5. "Snakes, why'd it have to be snakes?" - Raiders of the Lost Ark
sucks about this is that there are absolutely NO videos of this on the
internet anywhere. Are you kidding? One of the most memorable scenes
(and the 5th best) and yet it's nowhere to be found. To briefly recap,
the scene goes down like this.
Sallah: Indy, why does the floor move?
*Indy throws down torch, we see lots of snakes on the ground*
*Indy rolls on his side and looks up in a big moment of self-doubt*
Indy: Snakes....why'd it have to be snakes?
Sallah: Asps, very dangerous. *pats Indy* You go first.
*Indy is lowered down into the Well of Souls, there is a ring of torches that keeps the snakes away*
rope breaks and Indy falls to the floor and comes face to face with a
cobra (for reference, look at the picture after the TV section)*
this, Indy and Sallah get the Ark (first time we see it) and raise it
up, but the baddies show up and seal Indy down there with Marion. A
wonderful scene if for no other reason than Indy facing his fear to get
to the Ark.
NOTE: Since Spielberg and Lucas are big nerds, they included etches of
C-3P0 and R2-D2 among the hieroglyphics in the Well of Souls.

4. the Boulder- Raiders of the Lost Ark
there is one scene more memorable than the snakes, it has to be the
boulder. It sets the tone for the entire series. Every outrageous stunt
and narrow escape in all adventure films after Raiders, and not just
Indy movies (think the Mummy, Tomb Raider, etc.) can thank the boulder
scene for its inspiration because it allows filmmakers to dream up
really big and crazy traps. Other than that, the boulder scene sets the
stage for how Indy will handle all of his other problems. He thinks
he's got it all figured out, but the bag of sand isn't right, which
causes the roof to collapse, so he flees, only to face the arrows from
the wall. He has to surrender the treasure but is forced to jump across
the gap and thinks he can pull himself up, only the root gives a bit.
And once he narrowly gets under the door, he's got the boulder to deal
with. And after escaping all of that, he loses to Belloq. After the
scene, he is forced to run even more to avoid the natives. No matter
what Indy does, he can't help but go from one mess to another mess, but
of course we can always count on him to escape. Because it hooks you
from the start, this scene gets number four.

3. Donovan shoots Henry - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

This one may
be a scene that some will question. To make matters worse, no clip
exists of this either, so it's hard for me to prove my point. But this
is one of the most powerful scenes in the trilogy even though we
probably know that Henry will survive. Still, think about Indy's other
tagalongs for a moment. This was the first time the villain went to
this kind of extreme with Indy. Marion was just held hostage. Short
Round's a kid, and you cannot kill kids. Willie was lowered into lava,
but it was slow and drawn out and we knew Indy would save her. But in
Last Crusade, it happens of all of sudden. "You know what, Dr. Jones,
you're absolutely right." BANG! Sean Connery again nails a pivotal
moment, and so does Ford. This is the first part of that big emotional
climax that makes last Crusade so good. But again, it's not some big
loud fight, even though Indy wants to tear Donovan's head off. It's
something that Indy has to do on his own. "'s time to ask yourself
what you believe." The second best ending from the second best of the

2. Map Room at Dawn - Raiders of the Lost Ark
is another tough one. I guess it's vital to the story and it serves a
purpose. But there's no grand significance to it. I just enjoy the
music and the fact that his stick works is really cool. A very powerful
scene, and one that I enjoy very much.

1. The Opening of the Ark - Raiders of the Lost Ark

best scene in the whole trilogy. First off, it's the big finale where
we finally get to see what is inside the ark. Remember, this is the
first of the three and we don't know if the artifact will actually live
up to the legend. Indy knows how stupid and dangerous it is to believe
in the mythology behind the objects. It really could just be nothing,
or dust that does nothing. Hats off to the genius Spielberg for
actually teasing the audience with sand before we actually get the big
payoff, and what a payoff it is. We first get a beautiful little show
of light and music and spirits (thanks Lucas) but when things turn
terrible, the effects almost hold up, and this is after 30 years! The
dispatching of the three head villains is incredible, yet laughable,
and completely memorable. Belloq's scream is awesome, the music is
still awesome, and the pull away where we see the whole island and just
the beam is light is well done. My only gripe? That if you shut your
eyes, you'll be safe. I guess it's cause us mortals aren't worthy
enough to look upon the Ark, but whatever. It's just something Indy
says and you nod along, saying "yeah, just don't look!" And the fact
that after this they just end up stowing it away at Area 51 is the
perfect ending to my number 2 movie of all time.

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