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Trivia / Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

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  • Actor-Shared Background:
    • In the opening sequence, Indy is a Life Scout, the rank right below Eagle. Harrison Ford was a Boy Scout in his youth, and attained the level of Life Scout.
    • Indy tells his class "If it's truth you're interested in, Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is right down the hall." When he was in college, Harrison Ford took a philosophy course taught by Dr. William Tyree.
  • California Doubling:
    • Most of the movie was filmed in England and Spain, where precisely none of it takes place. The biggest exception is Venice and even then most of the Venice boat chase was filmed in England. Also, Petra in Jordan is apparently where the Grail resides.
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    • The motorcycle chase was filmed in California, whereas the scenes before and after it were actually filmed in Europe. The reason for this is that the sequence was conceived after principal photography, because Speilberg felt there wasn't enough action in that part of the movie.
  • Cast the Runner-Up:
    • Julian Glover was originally cast as Col. Vogel before being cast as Walter Donovan.
    • Kevork Malikyan (Kazim) was originally set to play Sallah in Raiders of the Lost Ark, but lost the part to John Rhys-Davies when his car broke down on the way to the audition. Steven Spielberg remembered him and wrote the part of Kazim specifically for him.
  • Creator-Chosen Casting:
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  • Creator's Favorite Episode: This is Steven Spielberg's favorite Indiana Jones film.
  • Creator's Favorite: Julian Glover named Walter Donovan as the favorite villain of his career, finding him a "well developed and funny" character.
  • Dawson Casting: Retroactively at least, given that The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles would later establish that Indy was born in 1899:
    • 18-year-old River Phoenix plays 13-year-old Indy in the prologue.
    • Less noticeable with Harrison Ford who turned 46 during production though Indy would be 38 or 39 in the film's setting.
  • Deleted Scene: See here.
  • Fake American: English Julian Glover plays Walter Donovan with an impeccable accent (but listen closely to when he talks about Hitler and the Nazis wanting "write themselves into the Grail legend. Take on the world" and you'll hear his accent slip a little).
  • Fake Nationality: Welsh John Rhys-Davies plays Egyptian Sallah, Irish Alison Doody plays Austrian Elsa Schneider, and English Alexei Sayle as the Sultan of Hatay.
  • Irony as She Is Cast:
    • Sean Connery. Not only was he the first to play James Bond on film, he continued playing action-heavy badass roles well into his seventies. In this movie, he's an out-of-his-depth bookworm who more or less never throws a punch.
    • Denholm Elliott was a skilled horse rider and was required to act foolishly as Marcus gallops off.
  • Life Imitates Art: This 2013 discovery is very interesting on its own and more unusual considering in this film, Indy, Elsa and Marcus were looking for the "Tomb of Sir Richard".
  • Looping Lines: Though Alex Hyde-White portrays Henry's younger self in the prologue, his lines were looped in post-production by Sean Connery.
  • Never Work with Children or Animals: Steven Spielberg used doves for the seagulls that Henry scares into striking the German plane, because the real gulls used in the first take did not fly.
  • 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.
  • Playing Gertrude: Sean Connery plays Dr. Henry Jones, Sr., father of Henry Jones, Jr., or Indiana Jones, who is played by Harrison Ford. However, Connery was only 12 years older than Ford (Connery was born in 1930, Ford in 1942).
  • 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.
  • Role Reprise: Returning from the previous films are Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, Denholm Elliott as Marcus Brody and John Rhys-Davies as Sallah.
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: Harrison Ford personally chose River Phoenix to play his younger self, having played his son in The Mosquito Coast. He felt that of all the young actors around, Phoenix was the one who bore the closest resemblance to him.
  • Spared by the Cut: In a deleted scene, Pat Roach's agent boards the second biplane on the Zeppelin with a World War I flying ace (played by Frederick Jaeger), only for the pair to fall to their deaths after the flying ace makes an error.
  • Throw It In: "She talks in her sleep", was an ad-lib by Sean Connery. The take that was used in the film is not the first, they had to reshoot it after Connery came up with the line on the spot and the entire crew busted out laughing.
  • Uncredited Role: Tom Stoppard was an uncredited script doctor on the screenplay.
  • Underage Casting: Alison Doody was 22 when she was cast as Dr. Elsa Schneider, and although her age wasn't stated onscreen, she would have to be at least 30 to have her credentials as an experienced archaeologist.
  • Wag the Director: Rhys-Davies wanted Sallah to have become richer in the time between Raiders and Crusade, hence why he wears nicer clothes.
  • What Could Have Been: Has its own part on a page.
  • Written-In Infirmity: Harrison Ford's chin scar, originating from an auto accident, is explained as coming from Indy's first experience using a whip, slashing his chin accidentally.
  • You Look Familiar: Ronald Lacey, who played Toht in Raiders of the Lost Ark, appears uncredited as Heinrich Himmler at the book burning. Incidentally, Michael Sheard, who plays Hitler, appeared as Oskar Schomburg (the U-boat captain) in Raiders, and was the runner-up to play Toht. Pat Roach, who played the heavy in the previous two films, has a short cameo as the Nazi who accompanies Vogel to the Zeppelin.