Trivia / Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom


  • At the end, when the British Indian Army Riflemen fire at the Thuggees, because they are using blanks, which have no recoil, one rifleman is short-stroking his rifle. He is only drawing back the bolt 3/4 of the way before the brass breaks loose from the extractor claw, then tries to load a fresh round before he has expended the spent brass. This causes both rounds to jam in the chamber, and takes him several seconds to clear it by pulling back hard on the bolt.
  • This, along with Gremlins, is partially responsible for the making of the PG-13 rating because of its dark content.

Specific Tropes:

  • Actor Allusion: Indy chases after a small group of mooks, only to encounter a larger group of mooks and run away from them screaming.
  • Banned in China:
    • Temporarily banned in India due to its offensive representation of their culture. The writers claimed any inaccuracies were supposed to be deliberate clues that Mola Ram was evil.
    • Not a ban, per se, but the uncut version of the film wasn't released in the UK until the 2012 Blu-ray. Previously, about one minute of violence and gore was cut in order to secure a PG rating as the 12 rating didn't exist at the time. (As noted above, there was also some drama about the rating in the US.)
  • Content Warning: One American poster featured the phrase "This film may be too intense for younger children" at the bottom corner (The poster for Jaws also had that same inscription). Judging by the subsequent controversy, it's obvious that parents did not heed that warning.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Spielberg has stated in his interviews that Temple of Doom was his least favorite of the Indiana Jones films, and the best thing about it is that he met Kate Capshaw while making it.
    • In the 2003 documentary about the film, Capshaw was very critical of Willie's character, saying that all she does is scream.
    • According to some sources star Harrison Ford himself was not entirely comfortable with the film's story and, again, according to some sources, he was not entirely happy with how the film turned out either.
    • The predictable reaction to the racist characterizations in this movie (more pronounced in this film than the others) stands as a hard lesson learned by Spielberg; a lesson he took to heart in 2011 when he adapted Tintin, which itself has similarly come under fire for racist depictions.
  • Creator Breakdown: The film was produced while Lucas was going through a divorce, and Steven Spielberg's was going through a breakup as well, hence the scene where a sacrificial victim gets his heart ripped out and set ablaze. Lucas has admitted that this may be why the film was made so much Darker and Edgier than its predecessor. It may also explain why Willie is an annoying collection of sexist stereotypes as opposed to the somewhat better female characters in the other films.
    • It probably could be one explanation for the "Shiva is good, Kali is evil" dynamic of Mola Ram's cult. Shiva & Kali are a couple and the masculine & feminine halves of Deity. It's like Shiva & Kali got a divorce. However, this is clearly a heresy on Mola Ram's part rather than Spielberg & Luca's beliefs or the beliefs of Hinduism.
  • Dyeing for Your Art / Dye Hard: Prior to Temple of Doom, Amrish Puri had quite the full head of hair. His role as Mola Ram was so iconic, he kept his head shaved from then on.
  • Fake Nationality: The Chinese boy Short Round is played by Vietnamese-American Jonathan Ke Quan. Also, because the movie couldn't be filmed in India, it features many Sri Lankans playing Indians, the result being that most of the "Indians" speak the wrong language.
  • Fake Shemp: As Harrison Ford injured his back while filming the scene where Indy is being strangled in his room, stuntman Vic Armstrong did as many scenes as possible while Ford recovered, even the simpler stunts Ford himself could have done easily.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: The late Amrish Puri, the Indian professional wrestler turned-actor, who played the heart-ripping Mola Ram in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and went on to play several Bollywood villains, is said by both Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg to have been a sweet and lovely man.
  • Romance on the Set: After the film was complete, in 1991, Kate Capshaw married Steven Spielberg. He declares it's the only good thing to come out of the movie.
  • Tribute to Fido: Indy was already named after Lucas' dog, and this film took things further with Willie named after Spielberg's dog, and Short Round after another one.
  • What Could Have Been: David Niven was going to play Captain Blumburtt, but he died before the start of filming.