Also, the opening sequence has Indy getting Harrison Ford's scar (which originated in an auto accident) when using a whip for the first time as a teen.
Donovan dies in the same manner as his character Scaroth killed Professor Kerensky in an episode of Doctor Who.
Actor-Shared Background: In the opening sequence, Indy is a Life Scout. Harrison Ford was a Boy Scout in his youth, and attained the level of Life Scout.
On a side-note, Life Scout is the second highest rank in the Boy Scouts, just below Eagle Scout. A bit of minor black humor in Scouting is that it's called "Life Scout" because not making Eagle is what you'll regret for the rest of your life.
Indy tells his class "If it's truth you're interested in, Dr. Tyree's office is right down the hall." When he was in college, Harrison Ford took a philosophy course taught by Dr. William Tyree.
Dawson Casting: An inverted example. Allison Doody was 22 years old when Last Crusade was filmed, but she plays Elsa Schneider, who can be assumed to be at least around 30 years old considering that she's got a doctorate and she's a highly-respected art professor.
Fake Nationality: Welsh John Rhys-Davies plays Egyptian Sallah, Irish Alison Doody plays Austrian Elsa Schneider, English Alexei Sayle as the Sultan of Hatay and English Julian Glover plays American Walter Donovan with an impeccable accent.
Playing Against Type: Sean Connery, the original James Bond who spent most of his career playing tough, cunning heroes, here plays a squeamish "bookworm" who is not prepared for his son's rougher, tougher adventures - and he's absolutely hilarious in the part.
And he still sleeps with Ilsa - though Ilsa might have taken advantage of him.
Real-Life Relative: Mrs. Donovan is played by Isla Blair, Julian Glover's wife in real life.
Reality Subtext: Sallah is quite surprised at Indy's true name and the origin of his nickname, "Dog? You are named after the dog!?". George Lucas indeed named Indy after his pet dog, who was also the inspiration behind Chewbacca.
Throw It In: "She talks in her sleep", was an ad-lib by Connery.
In an early draft, the character of "Fedora" was going to be Abner Ravenwood, father of Marion Ravenwood, who was mentioned in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
It would appear that Sean Connery originally had a very different characterization in mind for Henry Sr., stating in a promo interview for the film that as Indy's father whatever Indy does "I did it first and I did it better." This initial characterization Connery pitched in the interview does not match up with the characterization in the film, where Henry Sr. is more of an Absent-Minded Professor and all around professional "bookworm", and while he does have his Genre Savvy moments, he spends much of the film fumbling and bumbling his way through the adventure.