Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) Poster


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  • Because despite being aligned with the Nazis, she was first and foremost a scholar, and seeing books being burned hurt her deeply. She even makes mention of this directly after when she asks why Indy came back for the book, and he replies that he doesn't want it incinerated - "Is that what you think of me? I believe in the Grail, not the Swastika." Edit

  • The movie offers no explanation for this; but they may have travelled in disguise. Edit

  • When archeology professor Dr Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr (Harrison Ford) learns that his father, Professor Henry Jones Sr (Sean Connery) has disappeared and Indy subsequently obtains his diary that holds clues and a map to find the Holy Grail, Indy and museum curator Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) travel to Venice, Italy in search of him. Aided by clues from a stone tablet found by private collector Walter Donovan (Julian Glover) and by Dr Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody), their search takes them to Berlin, where they become pitted against the Nazis in a race to find the Holy Grail. Edit

  • The Last Crusade is the third movie in the Indian Jones series, preceded by Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) (1981) and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) (1984) and followed by Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) (2008). The Last Crusade is based on a story conceived by American film maker George Lucas and Dutch-born screenwriter Menno Meyjes. The screenplay for The Last Crusade was written by American screenwriter Jeffrey Boam The Last Crusade was novelized in 1989 by Rob MacGregor and republished in 2008. A fifth movie, Untitled Indiana Jones Project (2022) (2020), has been announced. Edit

  • 1912 (young Indy prologue) and 1938 (the rest of the film). Edit

  • The box was part of the "magic" car on a traveling railroad circus. It had a trap door in the bottom which dropped Indy onto the tracks below the train, where you see him running away. Another explanation is that it was truly magic, since Spielberg does use many supernatural elements in his movies or intentional moments in which the audience is supposed to suspend disbelief. However, this would seem to run contrary to Indy's assertion that he doesn't believe in magic, stated early in Raiders of the Lost Ark (though numerous events in the prequel film Temple of Doom also cause problems with this theme). Edit

  • To make it harder for thieves to find. The markers, the stone and the shield, were left as clues. Also, the locations of the markers were not revealed in the journal either; the knight probably thought that the right person or persons who would do research to find the markers, would be on the side of righteousness. Henry Jones Sr is such a person who did 20 years of research and was able to draw his map to the temple. Edit

  • Indy, Henry, Marcus, and Sallah (John Rhys-Davies) successfully find the cliffside temple where the Grail is kept but are quickly captured by Donovan's group, who have not been successful at getting their "volunteers" through the three booby traps. To assure Indy's cooperation, Donovan shoots Henry, forcing Indy to negotiate the traps in order to retrieve the Grail and save his father. Reading the clues from Henry's diary, Indy realizes that the "penitant man" referred to in the first clue means that he must prostrate himself, which he does so just in time to duck two large saw blades. He almost falters at the second trap when he realizes that he must step only on the stones that spell out God's name (Jehovah) until he remembers that the first letter in Latin is actually "I" (not "J"). On the third trap, in which he must cross a deep chasm, he is forced to step down onto a bridge that was disquised to be invisible. At the end of the path, he encounters a table covered in numerous chalices and the Knight who has been guarding them for 700 years. By following Indy, Donovan and Elsa catch up, but Donovan is perplexed by all the chalices and allows Elsa to pick the proper one for him. She chooses an ornate gold one, he drinks from it, and promptly dies. "He chose poorly," comments the Knight. Indy chooses a plain wooden cup, as would be made by a carpenter, and drinks from it. "You have chosen wisely," says the Knight, so Indy fills it with water and lets Henry drink from it. Henry is immediately cured, but Elsa grabs the cup for herself and tries to leave the temple, setting off a massive earthquake. Elsa and the cup fall into a fissure. When Indy tries to pull her out, she tries to grab for the fallen cup, but her glove slips off her hand and she falls into the precipice. In the final scene, Indy, Henry, Marcus, and Sallah leave the temple, mount their horses, and ride away ...but not before Henry reveals that, although Henry is his junior, he got the named "Indiana" after the family dog. Edit

  • When Indy falls through one of the steps, you can see the floor from underneath. Some long, thin columns can be seen in the front, but contrary to what may be the initial thought, these do not support the correct tiles. Just compare: when Indy enters the room, freeze the frame. You can see the correct tile with the "I" is actually bordering on the top-left side of the "J" that Indy steps on. However, when he falls through, no column or support is seen anywhere close to him or underneath any tile within a 6-foot (1.8-meter) radius or so. Also, as Indy falls, he quickly grabs the ledges of the surrounding tiles. If only the correct tiles were supported, then many more tiles would have collapsed under the sudden force caused by his weight. Instead, watch closely when Indy steps on the "O" and crushes the tile behind it; a metal pin can be seen inside the stone along the edge of the tile. The entire floor is probably reinforced with a metal framework, which keeps the floor together but allows individual parts of the floor to collapse. The correct tiles are made of solid material, and the "wrong" ones are meant to break easily. Edit

  • The bridge was painted or carved to perfectly match the cliff wall opposite and the blackness from the plummet below. This is revealed when the camera turns to the side to clearly show the solid structure, but when it turns back to Indy's point of view it blends right in with the wall. There is also the idea that because Indiana needed to have faith in order to cross, he "believed" the bridge into existence which you can see as the camera swings around. It's also possible it was some sort of magically invisible bridge that was solid underneath, but invisible when looking at it from the top. Hence why Indy threw some sand over it, to show there was solid ground to walk on. Edit

  • In real life, no. The illusion works in the film because a camera has monocular vision. In real life, a human, having binocular vision, would have been able to easily perceive a difference in depth between the bridge and the far wall. Edit

  • This is likely an instance of artistic licence. The filmmakers could have rendered the scene in Latin with English subtitles (Indiana Jones is shown to be able to read and translate Latin earlier in the film). But the Indiana Jones series is largely an homage to old film serials and B-movies from the 1930s-50s where English is the lingua franca of the universe, spoken by everyone from aliens to ancient Egyptians. Sacrificing drama for the sake of realism would be stylistically against the grain of the series. It is also possible that they are in fact speaking Latin, but rather than using subtitles, the film translates it directly so that the audience hears it as English. Edit

  • Yes. You can see Elsa becoming increasingly disturbed by Donovan's actions, before she chooses the cup on his behalf, particularly after the shoot-out with the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword. The final straw was most likely when Donovan shot Henry Jones to ensure Indy's cooperation.

    When Elsa chooses the cup, she gives Donovan a quick smile, which looks very much forced, and is probably meant to give him a false sense of security that she will pick the correct Grail. Also, after she gives Donovan the cup, a gold chalice inlaid with jewels, she looks at Indy and subtly shakes her head. And when Donovan starts to feel sick from drinking from the wrong cup, her expression is not surprised at all, as if she thinks this is exactly what he deserves. When Indiana then starts to look for the genuine Grail, Elsa states that it would not be made out of gold, indicating that she had deliberately given Donovan the wrong cup. Edit

  • At the heart-pounding hanging moment in the film where Indy is reaching for the grail, he stops because his father, for the first time in the entire movie, calls him "Indiana," instead of "Junior." Indy just got caught up in the moment of wanting the grail, which he didn't really seem to desire previously. Indy realized at the moment when his father called him "Indiana" that his own real search in the film was not for the holy grail, but for the relationship he'd always wanted with his father. It wouldn't have been worth it for Indy to have kept on striving for the grail just as the Nazis and Elsa had done and failed, risking his life and his father's; the grail just revealed each person's own greed. Edit

  • For Dr Jones Sr, the quest itself and the knowledge that the Grail actually existed was satisfying enough. He clearly enjoys the adventure his son takes him on, with the exception of a few bumps along the way, and he was able to reconnect with Indy after such a long period of non-communication with him. Edit

  • No. The easiest way to think of the Holy Grail is not as the cup of immortality, but as the fountain of youth. One sip won't make you immortal; you have to keep drinking from it. That would explain why the knights who left the cave after drinking from the Grail eventually died of extreme old age. Nothing in the film states that one becomes immortal by drinking from the Grail one time, and if that were the case, it would be difficult to explain those knights' deaths. The grail knight does say that the grail itself cannot pass beyond the great seal, for that is the price of immortality. The meaning is that, if you wish to be immortal, you have to stay in that cave for eternity with the grail. Therefore, they are not immortal. Additionally, we see in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull that Henry Jones, Sr. has indeed passed away in the time since the events of Last Crusade. Edit

  • The Nazis often held public rallies as a way of garnering support for their cause. The most famous rallies are probably the 1934 events that took place in Nuremberg, which are documented in Leni Riefenstahl's movie, Triumph des Willens (1935). At this particular rally, we see Hitler supporters throwing handfuls of books at a large bonfire. The Nazis were notorious for publicly burning books that they felt undermined or openly criticized the policies of Hitler and the Third Reich. Edit

  • No, since the quote is out of context. As he is about to leave the castle, Donovan receives two urgent telegrams from Germany that he reads: "We have Marcus Brody, more important we have the map" and "By the personal command of the Führer, secrecy essential to success, eliminate the American conspirators". After he reads both; as a purely personal comment to Vogel, he adds, "Germany has declared war on the Jones boys", as a way to joke about the order to execute them and not as a reference to any war literally being declared. Edit

  • When Indy first pulls himself up out of the hole in the floor after falling through, Donovan and Elsa are shown in the background behind him near the blades. They watch his movements and Indy shouts out every letter he needs to step on, giving them the knowledge to pass as well. Edit



The FAQ items below may give away important plot points.

  • After receiving numerous parental complaints that Temple of Doom was too dark and violent for children (even after the example of 'Raiders') Spielberg decided in favor of a family friendly, childish comedy, and chose Marcus (and, to a lesser extent, Dr. Jones Sr.) to represent the comic rôle. This also plays on the idea, implicit even in 'Raiders', of Marcus as an armchair scholar, in contrast with Indiana's treasure-hunting lifestyle. Edit

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