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Anachronism Stew / Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is set in 1935.

  • The British Indian Army Riflemen use Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk. Is. The No. 4 Mk. I was first issued in 1939, and formally adopted in 1941. They should instead be using the older SMLE No. 1 Mk. III.

    Of note is 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.
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  • When Indy and Short Round walk over the floor of bugs, Short Round describes the crunching as "feel like step on fortune cookies". Prior to WWII, fortune cookies were called fortune tea cakes, and largely only served in America.
  • The Ford Tri-Motor 4AT's instrument panel has an RMI, or radio-magnetic indicator, and a VOR OBI, or omni bearing indicator. Both use radio beacons that were not invented until the '50s.
  • Indy manages to get the Sankara Stones to turn red hot by uttering the incantation, "Tum Shiva ke vishwaas-ghati ho!", which is Hindi for, "You are a betrayer of Shiva." Considering that the stones are supposed to be ancient, any incantation that would make them do anything should be in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, not Hindi, a language that reached its modern form in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
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  • The revolver Wu Han uses is a S&W Model 10, While the Model 10 certainly existed in 1935 (then-called the Military and Police, introduced 1898), the ramp sight and three inch straight "bull" barrel appears of the type introduced on the 10-1 in 1959, replacing the iconic half-moon sight (though the five inch tapered barrel was still available, now with a large fixed Baughman ramp). It also appears to have had the standard grips replaced with older Victory model smooth grips to give a more "vintage" look. It is probably a police-issue 10-5 or 10-6 from 1960s.
  • The Thuggees are stated to have been put down a century earlier. The British Raj officially declared the Thuggees dealt with in 1882, just over fifty years before the film's setting.
  • In the iconic bridge scene, several Thuggees including Mola Ram can be seen carrying a katar, a form of northern Indian dagger- perfectly feasible for them to be using. What's off is that they are carrying them with their hand wrapped around the side-bars, as if it was a traditional dagger or fighting-knife.


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