Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 American action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the second installment in the Indiana Jones franchise, and a prequel to the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, featuring Harrison Ford who reprises his role as the title character. Kate Capshaw, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone and Ke Huy Quan, in his film debut, star in supporting roles. In the film, after arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by desperate villagers to find a mystical stone and rescue their children from a Thuggee cult practicing child slavery, black magic, and ritual human sacrifice in honor of the goddess Kali.

Not wishing to feature the Nazis as the villains again, executive producer and story writer George Lucas decided to regard this film as a prequel. Three plot devices were rejected before Lucas wrote a film treatment that resembled the final storyline. As Lawrence Kasdan, Lucas's collaborator on Raiders of the Lost Ark, turned down the offer to write the script, Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, who had previously worked with Lucas on American Graffiti (1973), were hired as his replacements.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was released on May 23, 1984, to financial success but initial reviews were mixed, criticizing its darker elements, strong violence and gore, as well as Capshaw's performance as Willie Scott; however, critical opinion has improved since 1984, citing the film's intensity and imagination. In response to some of the more violent sequences in the film, and with similar complaints about Gremlins, Spielberg suggested that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) alter its rating system, which it did within two months of the film's release, creating a new PG-13 rating. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score and won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. A sequel, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, followed in 1989.

Plot - In 1935, American archeologist Indiana Jones survives an assassination attempt from Shanghai crime boss Lao Che, who hired him to retrieve the remains of Nurhaci. Jones flees from the city in the company of the young orphan Short Round and nightclub singer Willie Scott, unaware that the plane he is traveling on is owned by Che. The plane's pilots dump the fuel and parachute away, but Jones, Scott and Short Round escape using an inflatable raft.

The trio ride down the slopes of the Himalayas and fall into a river before arriving at the village of Mayapore in India. There, the villagers plead for Jones' aid in retrieving a sacred lingam stone stolen along with the village's children by evil forces from the nearby Pankot Palace. Jones agrees to do so, hypothesizing that the stone is one of the five Sankara stones given by the Hindu gods to help humanity fight evil. Traveling to the palace, the trio are warmly welcomed and allowed to stay for the night as guests, attending a banquet hosted by the palace's young maharaja.

Later that night, Jones is attacked by an assassin, but manages to kill him. He discovers a series of tunnels underneath the palace and explores them with Scott and Short Round. There, they discover Thuggee cultists conducting a human sacrifice. The cult, which possesses three Sankara stones, are revealed to have abducted the children of Mayapore, using them to find the remaining stones. During an attempt to retrieve the stones, Jones is captured alongside Scott and Short Round. Thuggee high priest Mola Ram forces Jones to drink a potion that places him into a trance-like state which makes him prepare Scott for sacrifice. Short Round is put to the work in the tunnels, but escapes and interrupts the sacrifice by freeing Jones from his trance, who rescues Scott in turn. The trio defeat the Thuggee, collect the Sankara stones and free the children, escaping an attempt by Ram to drown them.

As they cross a rope bridge, Ram ambushes them again, leading Jones to cut the bridge in two. As all four struggle to climb up the broken bridge, Jones invokes the name of Shiva, causing the stones to burn through his satchel; Ram tries to grab one and falls into the river. Soldiers arrive and defeat the remaining cultists, and Jones, Scott and Short Round return to Mayapore and hand over their last remaining stone. As the villagers are reunited with their children, Jones and Scott embrace.


  • Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones: An archaeologist adventurer who is asked by a desperate Indian village to retrieve a mysterious stone and rescue the missing village children. Ford undertook a strict physical exercise regimen headed by Jake Steinfeld to gain a more muscular tone for the part.
  • Kate Capshaw as Willie Scott: An American nightclub singer working in Shanghai. In a nod to the Star Wars franchise, the nightclub is called Club Obi Wan. Willie is unprepared for her adventure with Indy and Short Round, and appears to be a damsel in distress. She also forms a romantic relationship with Indy. Over 120 actresses auditioned for the role, including Sharon Stone. To prepare for the role, Capshaw watched The African Queen and A Guy Named Joe. Spielberg wanted Willie to be a complete contrast to Marion Ravenwood from Raiders of the Lost Ark, so Capshaw dyed her brown hair blonde for the part. Costume designer Anthony Powell wanted the character to have red hair.
  • Ke Huy Quan as Short Round: Indy's 11-year-old Chinese sidekick, who drives the 1936 Auburn Boat Tail Speedster that allows Indy to escape during the opening sequence. Quan was chosen as part of a casting call in Los Angeles. Around 6,000 actors auditioned worldwide for the part, including Peter Shinkoda; Quan was cast after his brother auditioned for the role. Spielberg liked his personality, so he and Ford improvized the scene where Short Round accuses Indy of cheating during a card game.
  • Amrish Puri as Mola Ram: A Thuggee priest who performs rites of human sacrifices. The character is named after an 18th-century Indian painter. Lucas wanted Mola Ram to be terrifying, so the screenwriters added elements of Aztec and Hawaiian human sacrificers and European devil worship to the character. To create his headdress, make-up artist Tom Smith based the skull on a cow (as this would be sacrilegious), and used a latex shrunken head.
  • Roshan Seth as Chattar Lal: The Prime Minister of the Maharaja of Pankot. Chattar, also a Thuggee worshipper, is enchanted by Indy, Willie and Short Round's arrival, but is offended by Indy's questioning of the palace's history and the archaeologist's own dubious past.
  • Philip Stone as Captain Philip Blumburtt: A British Indian Army officer on a routine inspection tour of Pankot Palace and the surrounding area. He assists Indiana by fighting off Thuggee cultists at the bridge with his regiment, the 11th Poona Rifles.
  • Additionally, Roy Chiao portrays Lao Che, a Shanghai crime boss who, with his sons Chen (Chua Kah Joo) and Kao Kan (Ric Young), hires Indy to recover the cremated ashes of one of his ancestors; Ron Taylor dubbed Chiao's voice. David Yip portrays Wu Han, a friend of Indy, who is killed in Club Obi Wan. Raj Singh (dubbed by Katie Leigh) portrays Zalim Singh, the adolescent Maharajá of Pankot, and D. R. Nanayakkara portrays Shaman, the leader of a small village that recruits Indy to retrieve their stolen sacred Shiva lingam stone. An uncredited Dan Aykroyd appears briefly and with a British accent as Weber, who escorts Jones, Short Round and Willie from their car to the plane.
  • Actor Pat Roach plays the Thuggee overseer in the mines, with painted brown skin; Roach had previously appeared as a German mechanic and the Giant Sherpa in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Spielberg, Lucas, Marshall, and Kennedy have cameos at the airport. Tress MacNeille dubbed the voice of the first slave child in the prison scene.