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MOVIE DADDY: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Throughout his career, Steven Spielberg has created some of the most popular films of all time, garnering him an enormous amount of respect on both a critical and financial scale. He is considered by many to be the most famous director of all time, given his track record as both director and producer of some of the most recognizable films of the past 50 years. “Movie Daddy” is a series by Story Screen Editor-in-Chief, Mike Burdge, that aims to cover the Beard's directorial filmography in an attempt to present just why Steven Spielberg is very much that hot fire when it comes to being an American filmmaker. In this installment, the man in the cap returns to the adventures of the man in the hat with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

When George and I were in Hawaii, and I agreed to direct “Raiders,” George said that if I did wind up directing the first one, that I would need to direct three of them. He said he had three stories in mind. It turned out George did not have three stories in mind. We had to make up all the subsequent stories. So it was like two weeks after “Raiders” opened that we knew we were going to have to sit down in a room and figure out what “Raiders 2” was going to be.

-Steven Spielberg

Movies like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom were meant to be seen by eight-year-olds hiding under their blankets late at night, with the volume on super-low, wary and ready to turn off the TV set and pretend to be asleep should they hear the faintest sound from their parents’ room up the hall. It’s a horror movie to a degree and a cruel one at that, like “Indiana Jones vs. Hell,” or essentially “Indiana Jones in a haunted house,” which was an idea that George Lucas had early on in the treatments. There’s an edginess to this thing that really doesn’t come up in any other Spielberg movies of the time, at least not in such a wholly entertaining and all-consuming way. It’s so different from the first Indie movie and all the subsequent films, making it a pretty unique oddity. Typically mocked as “the bad one,” before Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came along and shut that shit down hard, Temple of Doom is kind of inarguably the best-looking Indie movie in terms of set design, lighting and atmosphere. There are set pieces and moments throughout the movie that absolutely sing, and even though there are moments that are weird and seem a little odd for this type of film, it still very much works overall as an adventure story with more spooky elements tossed on top.

Temple of Doom is often regarded as Spielberg’s first sequel, even though it’s technically a prequel, (it takes place one year prior to the events of Raiders as relayed to us through the opening titles: “South America, 1936 / Shanghai, 1935”). While that argument is a semantic one, this opens up a very fun read when considering Indie’s character development throughout this film, and how he doesn’t fit “just right” with the motivations and methods in Raiders. In his review at the time of its release, Gene Siskel pointed out that all the things that have made previous Spielberg films click were on full display in Temple of Doom, reiterating that, “The magic of Spielberg is a collaborative effort.” Also of note in that same review, is Siskel’s phrasing of “starving kids workin’ the miiiiines,” which simply must be heard to be believed. In this video at 0:12 Siskel goes on to compliment Spielberg’s classical abilities calling him, “a film scholar because he’s studied classic movies. He knows his classic movies,” to which his very attractive counterpart, Roger Ebert, retorts: “He studied classic movies, and he’s making classic movies.”

Hear, hear, gentlemen.

Heavily criticized upon release for its level of violence and stereotyping, this movie has its fair share of issues that have really only become harder to swallow as the years have gone on. We’ll get more into that in a bit (unfortunately), but it’s good to note this up top because none of these more polarizing issues stopped the film from being pretty much as commercially successful as Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Where Raiders was inspired by old adventure serials, Temple of Doom uses that same spark-premise with a 1920s/1930s horror aesthetic, like Haxan, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and most notably, the 1939 film Gunga Din. Loosely based on a poem and separate short story by Rudyard Kipling, Gunga Din follows three British officers into the throes of a Thuggee-esque cult in colonial British India. It’s very easy to make the connections with that one, and it’s also a damn great movie that clocks in at Cringe-o’clock.

Temple of Doom was my favorite when I was a kid, much like Back to the Future Part II was my favorite of that series; I just loved the tenacity that comes with the aggressive “go for it” attitude this early sequel era was producing. A big plus as well: Doom was way darker than a lot of the stuff I was ALLOWED to watch back then, so I felt like I was getting away with something. This reasoning is also, most likely, why my favorite movie is Who Framed Roger Rabbit. That is a movie parents just let children watch. They let it happen over and over again.

In his attempt to crack what the follow-up to the ravenously successful Raiders would even be about, Lucas wanted to match the dark tone of The Empire Strikes Back, which is understandable. Empire was a thrill to develop and make; it took chances and risks that history now shows us have paid off, but at the time, it was a precarious roll of the dice with the biggest movie franchise of all time. But what really gave Empire its endearing nature and made it such a massive success, was its team of writers, and director Irvin Kirschner, who all helped smooth out Lucas’ more intensely disconnected ideas and tones. With Temple, dark magic and fiery caves started to spring into Lucas’ mind. He said of the change: “Part of it was I was going through a divorce… and part of it was we wanted to try something a little bit more edgy.” And suddenly, Gunga Din became a huge inspiration. After initially being pretty uninterested in Lucas’ vision of a haunted house-esque ghost story, Spielberg was intrigued by the switch to black cults and dark necromancy. “What came to mind immediately,” Spielberg said, “was torchlight, long shadows, and red lava light. I wanted to paint a dark picture of an inner sanctum.” This worked out as well for many of the intended set pieces. Many of the sets were actually left over from Raiders. When they couldn’t be worked into the plot, they were repurposed and utilized for Temple. These included: the phenomenal “Shanghai Club Fight,” the “Raft Drop and Rapids Escape,” and, most serendipitously, the “Minecart Chase sequence,” which takes place in a set of underground mines that Roger Ebert referred to as “a vision of hell.” And that mine cart sequence, ultimately developed by ILM, did the best thing you can ever do, which combines miniature effects with live-action footage to create a wildly entertaining sequence. It’s the stuff that keeps movies like Jurassic Park still dropping jaws to this day. The effects are grounding, immersive, and take you away. These bastards had everything ready to go to start punching out a script. Lucas turned to his buddy, the writer of Raiders of the Lost Ark, who had made Empire’s screenplay such a success: Lawrence Kasdan. (Side Note: This is Lucas’s opinion. Not mine, nor fact. Everyone knows the reason Empire’s script slapped as hard as it did was all because of Leigh Brackett. Hear, hear!)

But, whoopsie daisy, Kasdan refused to be involved with Temple, citing that he thought the movie was moving in the wrong direction and generally thought it was a “mean-spirited story.” So Lucas hired Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, who had previously worked on his earlier film, American Graffiti, to take on the script. They were avid visitors of India, and collectors of its artifacts, so... Umm…. I guess they were perfect to write the movie?? The government of India is very involved with anything produced by foreigners in their country that might reflect poorly on their culture. Unsurprisingly to anyone who has seen this movie, they demanded that changes be made to its initial script. These changes were ultimately not made, and so India wouldn’t allow the film to be shot in their country. Instead, the crew shot in Sri Lanka, as well as London, and the movie was eventually banned in India upon its release.

Production was off to a bad start, so let’s take a step to the side to examine what actually works well in the movie: its comedy. Now, yes, there are things in there played for laughs that are insulting and bluntly insensitive (more soon, I swear), but I’m talking more about the materialistic comedy that makes up the adventure genre. Pauline Kael praised Temple of Doom as, “One of the most sheerly pleasurable physical comedies ever made.” And the “pleasurable” point of that statement is the most profound because while the movie is entertaining and exciting for sure, it is also very obvious that a lot of fun was had while constructing some of the simpler aspects of the movie as a whole. “An example?” you may ask? Gladly. This movie opens with two very distinct things happening simultaneously: a musical number and a James Bond-esque opening sequence. Noted owner of many sandals and India Scholar Extraordinaire, screenwriter Willard Huyck, says, “The conceit was that Bond movies often start with an action sequence from another story. George wanted to open like that and then go into a second story.” And they do. Indiana Jones was very much pitched as a more adventurous (in genre) take on James Bond, and this was a slick way to pay homage to that trivia fact while also having a lot of fun with the concept. The opening number for the titles is indicative of Speilberg’s long known desire to do a musical, something we’ll finally get in 2021’s West Side Story. And, just for fun, this all takes place at a bar called “Club Obi-Wan.” C’mon, now.

For a movie with a reputation for being very dark, it’s also extremely funny and adventurously paced, making it everything an exciting blockbuster should be. It is the darkest of the bunch for sure, but I’d argue it’s also the funniest, or at least, it’s the one that has its eye on being funny most often. Levity is definitely kept in mind, but once again, no amount of levity could help some of the moments in this thing (it’s coming, I swear!) The specific pulp of the serials being honored here has two distinct flavors: the thrilling, and the forbidden, both equally entertaining and captivating. Raiders leans more towards the thrills, as does Last Crusade eventually, but Temple of Doom very much prides itself on showing and exploring “the forbidden.” Both Lucas and Speilberg had all these movies - from the classics to the cult - in their blood. They took this shot to capture the spirit of all of these weird movies. This is a mean, mean, self-aware movie, arguably more experimental than blockbuster. At least up front, they got away with a lot.

This Indy is not like the Indy we meet in Raiders of the Lost Ark; he hasn’t matured yet, both as a person and in his reputation. He’s called a “graverobber” at the dinner table, and he doesn’t flinch or attempt to defend himself. He’s almost proud of that label, something he fights back against in morals and actions in both Raiders and The Last Crusade. As a prequel, Temple shows us that Indy has not yet learned to respect the power and sanctity of the pieces he unearths. He’s all about “fame and glory.” He’s kind of a lot like Belloq - the villain from Raiders - at the beginning of Temple, which is interesting, given that there was already a sort of yin and yang relationship happening between them in that first adventure. Throughout Temple of Doom, Indy learns to appreciate his place in all of this artifact hunting and adventuring, and he comes to understand the respect that these totems deserve, (which is exactly how he acts towards the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail in his future adventures). While each film in the franchise offers a different arc for our hat-wearing hero, this second installment is the one that offers the largest in sense of character development.

That character development comes in part from his interactions and experiences with his two co-stars: Kate Capshaw as Willie Scott and Ke Huy Quan as Short Round. Look, I’m gonna say it: I’ve never been annoyed by Kate Capshaw in this film, (as seems to be the heavily agreed-upon opinion). And, yeah, I guess I get it. Personally, I’ve never liked the character all that much because there’s just not, well, a real character there, at least not in the way I’d define character. And sure, that’s the thing that gets under people’s skin: she’s an archetype and a bad one at that. In Raiders, Marianne was a foil to Indy with an identity and agency of her own. In Temple, Willie’s lack of agency is kind of the whole point to her character and what she’s doing, (but that doesn’t mean anybody, or I, have to like it). I do think Capshaw’s performance is pretty funny. Willie’s relationship with Indy is a purely sexual one with zero of the romance we see sparking between him and Marianne in Raiders. While some (most) look at that as a downside, I kind of like the change in pace. If we’re gonna do this Bond-esque trope of a different bad guy, a different location, and a different girl in each installment, then I kind of like that they went the full opposite of Marianne in the sequel (prequel), even if it is another example of some wildly infuriating stereotyping. She’s funny! And, you know what? I’m going there, too: I don’t find Short Round annoying, and while, again, I get the annoyance of the Willie “archetype,” I don’t understand the hatred of Short Round. Is it the “adding a kid to the sequel for whatever reason” sort of line of thinking? He’s fuckin’ cool! Sure, he’s there as the kid character, with all the trappings that come along with that, including appealing to a younger audience, but c’mon! That kid is COOL! He’s cool!! Look at him!

You know what? I’m only a few lines away from digging into some of the nasty stuff in this movie, and that last paragraph got my blood flowing, so I’m gonna spitball some goofy stuff about this movie that I love. First off, it’s kind of weird that the sword vs. gun callback exists in a prequel. We the audience get it, but Indy’s reaction to that seems like he’s done that move before. I guess he most likely has? And the brief “Evil Indy” we get is so scary and so cool. Having our hero go dark-mode for even just a few scenes is a masterstroke of an engaging idea for a follow-up. The bug bit death-trap? An insanely well-executed moment of cinema. So suspenseful, so funny, so flat-out good. The one-two of “We. Are going. To die.” into an all-timer frown from Harrison Ford is the Academy Award Winner we all deserve.

And man, you just can’t beat that bridge scene finale: the setting of the scene, the building of tension, its overall effect and the payoff within the story. The last thirty minutes of this thing are INSANE! Blasting out into the sunlight after nearly a full hour underground is invigorating for a viewer. Hell, the entire final act is like gasoline being tossed onto an already raging fire. Just masterful, “Holy Mackerel” stuff. And speaking of Ford, he had his usual, laid back, dad-vibe opinion on the movie to throw at interviewers whenever they asked him about it: “I was fairly well-pleased with the final result. It certainly was a darker kind of story. But well worth it, I think, for the originality of that film, compared to what I think expectations were for it. I think it was a little bit more challenging than what people were anticipating.”

So, flat out and upfront as we dive into some of this stuff, one thing should be made very clear: the way that Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom handles its portrayal of South Asian culture and its people, (however removed from time and reality to serve the fantasy they may be) is inexcusable. This is so much so that Spielberg and Lucas, as well as many others involved in the film's creation, have apologized for their careless handling of something that was, quite frankly, already not being handled all that well within the cinematic landscape of the 80s and well before. When talking about these fatalistic qualities, I’m very much of the mind to find out how these things happened, and why. While there are surely reasons, (which I’ll touch on), there are no true excuses, hence the term: “inexcusable.”

Famed South Asian actor, and all-around heartthrob, Amrish Puri, who played the film’s villain, Mola Ram, referred to Speilberg as, “very boyish, an unassuming kind of person.” Puri notes that after appearing in the film, he and fellow South Asian actor, Roshan Seth (who portrayed the murder-mystery butler-esque Chattar Lal), were criticized as being “anti-national” by the local Indian press. Puri says: “It was a chance of a lifetime working with Spielberg, and I don’t regret it even for a moment… I don’t think I did anything anti-national; it’s really foolish to take it so seriously and get worked up over it.” Spielberg himself apparently even gave Puri a hand-written note at the end of production, which affirmed to Puri that he was “my best villain” in Spielberg’s eyes. From these tiny fractions from interviews and hearsay, we can assume the relationship on set between Spielberg and Puri was a respectful one. However, this obviously does not mean that the film was not without its blatant disregard for how certain scenes would be interpreted within the grand scheme of cinematic eternity. The “white savior” narrative in Temple of Doom is an atrociously overused one, and while we’re on the subject, it’s also very dull and lazy. Were this the only major grievance to point out, Temple of Doom would fall by the wayside like so many others in this category have before it, but luckily for no one, this is not the case. Temple contains within its runtime arguably the worst dinner scene in movie history and simultaneously, one of the greatest executions of exposition in movie history.

The said dinner scene takes place within the palace of the Maharaja, containing a remarkable amount of exposition, which goes down easy when mixed with the comical reactions of Willie and Short Round to the different types of “food,” being presented, as well as Indy’s stern grasp on questioning his hosts about what exactly is going on. But this sensationally scripted and expertly toned scene has one gigantic fault: it’s ultimately using South Asian culture as a punchline. A LOT. Like, every thirty seconds. And it’s a LONG scene. As a film critic, I can tell you that the scene does have a phenomenal sense of humor, utilizing gross-out comedy techniques to wildly effective results. This is mainly due to the film’s performances and top-notch editing. As a human being with a fairly decent moral compass, however, I can assure you that this shit, in fact, ain’t right, dude. While, yes, the location our main characters find themselves in is fictional, that doesn’t change the fact that they are still in India, surrounded by Indian people. Capitalizing on the existing misconceptions of this country is not only disrespectful and stupid, it’s insanely dangerous. These moments in the film take these misconceptions and blatant racisms and give these ideologies ammunition. It’s what’s called the “Prejudice Western Eye.” There is a line when depicting cultures of a sensitive nature (and this nature is, unfortunately, in this case, defined by the American status quo), and Temple of Doom blows across that line during this scene. Was this all intentional? I truly believe it wasn’t. Does that matter? Not at all.

The argument of ignorance vs. racism is a very important one, but the ship has sailed on Temple of Doom. I think we can earnestly talk about what’s great about the film, while also seriously contemplating the negative ramifications it had on South Asians and South Asian-Americans. Bollywood stereotypes Americans in their own films to some staggeringly cringy degree, but we SO deserve it, and honestly, it’s extremely funny to someone like me (an American white man) when they do. That might have something to do with the fact that we have no natural obstacles to tackle in society based on the biases of others, or I might just have a really good sense of humor. Total shrug, my guys, haha! (The world is terrible.) Of course, yes, there is a behind-the-scenes explanation of why some of Temple’s dinner scene might have been “taken the wrong way,” all very finely tied up within the prospect of a deleted line, (where Indy comments at the infamous dinner scene that a devout Hindu would not eat meat) which seemingly would explain away why all of these characters are eating crazy things. Do I believe this? Yes, I very much do. It sounds very Spielberg/Lucas. It would make sense in what we see throughout the scene (Indy is constantly looking at what everybody is eating during the scene, but he never comments outright), and it would be a good pin drop for the reveal coming up. Does it make any of this over-the-top and offensive material “better”? Ahem, louder for the people in the back: Nope.

The ignorance and stereotypes don't stop at the dinner scene. The film is loaded with moments that characterize its Indian populace with childish behavior, treating certain aspects of Indian culture as grandiose proclamations as a whole. Maybe most nefariously, the thing to consider about the cultural effects of this movie are the effects it has on children. The bullying towards young children of South Asian descent after this movie was released was massive. This was a movie that was arguably targeted towards children. Kids saw this, and as a result, dipshit kids used the specifics of this movie to torment children that were similar to the characters they saw on the screen. Dumb kids don’t know any better. (Hey there parents, be good at your job). The effects of such ignorance were the ultimate irresponsibility of director Spielberg’s actions and choices within the film. He should have known better. It’s a touchy situation to throw your art form into, especially when you’re already trying to do something that pushes against standards and breaks expectations. To quote a great friend, who also happens to be a fabulously successful musician: “White people just be crazy.” There is a responsibility when depicting characters meant to inform the populace about other cultures in mainstream cinema, and in this regard, Temple of Doom has zero excuses for what we share with each other today.

And just like that, let’s talk about Gremlins (also produced by Spielberg) which was released the same year as Temple of Doom. Gremlins is a great movie, and it does not feature any notable racist caricatures of South Asians, as far as I recall. It might though, who can really say? Good transition? Hell yeah, I’m great at this writing stuff. Moving on! As you may have heard, Temple of Doom sparked the creation of the PG-13 rating within the MPAA. A PG rating was originally given to both Temple and Gremlins, later being seen as, err, not quite right for some of the more intense moments they each featured. It was actually under Spielberg’s suggestion that the PG-13 rating was created. That’s right, Steven Spielberg, ya boi, helped form the modern American movie rating system that we all know today. It came into effect only a few months after his suggestions. Red Dawn was the first film to be officially released with a rating of PG-13. That makes sense, because Temple is wildly violent, almost as if pushing the limit was the point, so much so that Spielberg and Lucas may have lost sight of actually how far over the limit they had reached at certain points. This is most likely due to both of them being in the throes of some pretty bitter breakups, but maybe they also wanted to see what they could get away with. I mean, these two dudes have done some pretty dark stuff in their past movies: from killing children in first acts to messing up children forever (who would grow into adults one day), by showing a man getting his heart ripped out on screen while screaming for his life, which was in the same franchise, mind you.

People did not like how dark Temple of Doom decided to go and came after it harder than an idiot that spilled coffee on their lap. But perhaps it’s not the darkness of the movie that affected audiences of the time so negatively, as much as the meanness of several specific moments, and how they are doled out in such a fanciful and almost delightful way. There are moments in Temple that seem to luxuriate in how crass and demonic they are that you can start to feel bad for finding something so grotesque both interesting and captivating. The guilt of cinematic thrills, both in production and final product, can be very real, and George Lucas was kind of aware of this as it was happening:

I think we went darker than any of us wanted to go. But you’re in the middle of it and you’re doing things and it’s a matter of what you do in every moment. And you don’t realize what has happened until you put it all together and you see it as one piece. If you do a little dark thing here and you do a light thing, and do another little dark thing and then another little dark thing, and then pretty soon you put it all together and you go, “Uh oh… It’s darker than it is light!” And this stuff is stronger than we thought of it as. But I don’t mind the film. We definitely wanted to make a different movie from Raiders. We didn’t want to just do the same movie over again.

When it comes to the darker tones in Temple of Doom, (something it is weirdly much more maligned for) Spielberg is similarly (as to racist content) apologetic and candid, expressing an unenthusiastic view on the film in many hindsight interviews, and probably, responsibly so. However, I think the end result is something extremely unique and special, if not quite problematic in some of its depictions. There’s an experimental nature to the film, something that distinguishes it from so many other quick-turn-around sequels of the era, or even today. They could’ve played it safe, and copied all of the good stuff from Raiders in the aforementioned Bond-esque way, but they went full bold af. Hear, hear. But Spielberg, to this day, remains hesitant to claim Temple of Doom as any sort of achievement, always seeming to revert to his discomfort with the levels of darkness Lucas’ story went to:

You know, of all the Raider Indy films, Temple of Doom is my least favorite. I look back on Temple of Doom and I say, well, the greatest thing that I got out of that movie was I met Kate Capshaw. And we were married years later and that to me was the reason, I think, it was fated that I make Temple of Doom. And so even though Indiana Jones winds up getting the girl, I really did.

He’s of course talking here about his eventual marriage to Kate Capshaw, who played Willie, and as delightful a story as that is (which it very much is) it shouldn’t detract from the bigger, general statement in that quote: Spielberg wasn’t happy with how Temple of Doom turned out.

I wasn’t happy with Temple of Doom at all. It was too dark, too subterranean, and much too horrific. I thought it out-poltered Poltergeist. I didn’t do as many storyboards on Temple of Doom as I did on Raiders. Part of that was because I was not exactly secure with the story. I always had some problems with the darkness and I thought that I needed to be more spontaneous and try to put more humor in where it needed more humor. I think Temple of Doom was ahead of its time for my own sensibilities and exactly right on schedule for George’s. George was going through a dark period.

-Steven Spielberg

In George Lucas’ defense, many of the greatest moments in Temple of Doom can be directly attributed to a break-up: hearts get ripped out, people are forced into a state of powerlessness, and the paternal relationship between Indy and Short Round is threatened by Indy being “poisoned.” It makes sense. Lucas also has a very sobering take on his approach to making a sequel to one of the biggest blockbusters in the early 80s:

The danger in making a sequel is that you can never satisfy everyone. If you give people the same movie with different scenes, they say, “Why weren’t you more original?” But, if you give them the same character in another fantastic adventure, but with a different tone, you risk disappointing the other half of the audience who just wanted a carbon copy of the first film with a different girl and a different bad guy. So you win and you lose both ways.

Hey man, I think they made the more interesting choice! I’d much rather have had an Indy sequel that went crazy than one that played by the rules. As for the stereotypes and obligatory racist fixtures? I could definitely do with less of that. But come on, that bug bit in the death-trap room? I freak out for nine different reasons every time I watch it! And I’m not the only one, as Spielberg himself has put it down on record: “That whole sequence, I think for me, as a director, is the most successful of all the set pieces in the movie. That, to me, is my favorite scene.”

Made on a budget of $28 million, Temple grossed $338 million worldwide. It’s no surprise that this follow-up to the beloved Raiders, with a ridiculous cameo by Dan Akrowd in the first act, was proof in the pudding that Indiana Jones had legs as a series. We’ll get to the future installments soon enough, trust me, but for now, let’s bask in some of the little things that really made this thing sing. For starters, John Williams' score is so different and valorous compared to his other works, even his other Indy movies, that it once again shows this dude can mess around with his own toy box. Temple of Doom won an Oscar for visual effects because of course, it did. The miniature effects utilized in the mine cart scenes are ridiculous, and again, the ending showdown on the bridge is the stuff of pure imagination. A fun fact that you may not be very interested in, but which I find orgasmic: Willie’s dress in the opening scene was created out of original beads and sequins from the 1920s and 1930s, meaning they could only make one dress. One dress. And, of course, the opening scene where Willie wears said dress was actually the last scene shot for the film. The dress, while appearing in the background of a later scene in the film, was half-eaten by an elephant! The dress had to be fixed with what little leftover 20s-era beads remained. This is the type of shit we long to hear when watching 2+ hours of behind-the-scenes footage on blu ray extras. This is that life and these are the spoils.

Also fun: Indiana was named after George Lucas’ dog. Willie was named after Spielberg’s dog. Short Round was named after Bill and Gloria’s dog. (Bill and Gloria are the ones that travel to India a lot and wrote the movie, in case you forgot). And holy shit, the fly landing on Willie’s food in the early village scene is a miracle take, fundamentally adding to both the realism of the situation and Capshaw’s performance. Two for two on awesome, improvised fly moments in the Indy films. Fingers crossed. Lastly, but certainly not least, the most interesting, ridiculous tidbit about Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: the arcade game made by Atari, based on the movie, was the first video game to incorporate digitized speech, using voice clips from Harrison Ford, as well as a must-hear version of John Williams’ theme. There is no better way to end this article than to share with you this deeply sacred treasure. Enjoy.

On the next Movie Daddy, we’ll be venturing into one of Spielberg’s more maligned projects, but one that is very much worth inspection: A.I. Artificial Intelligence.


Mike Burdge


Founder of and programmer for Story Screen. Lover of stories and pizza in the dark. When he isn't watching movies, you can find him reading things about people watching movies. He currently resides in Poughkeepsie, NY, and most assuredly is going through a French Connection phase. You can find him on Letterboxd.




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