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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.
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: This is Steven Spielberg's favourite 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.
  • 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:
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    • 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.
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • 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).
    • 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.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The initial plan for the third Indy film was a completely different movie, Indiana Jones and the Monkey King. Written by Chris Columbus in 1985, this story saw Jones traveling to the jungles of Africa in search of the titular Monkey King, Sun Wukong himself, with a cast of allies that included a female archeologist inspired by Katharine Hepburn, a smitten female student of Jones', and an African pigmy who is over 200 years old. This film's many fanciful features would have included an opening sequence set in a haunted Scottish castle, an army of intelligent gorillas, Indy riding on the back of a rhinoceros, a river boat chase, a Nazi villain with a mechanical arm, and a finale where Indiana is actually killed in battle, only being resurrected through the magic of the Monkey King's golden peaches. Although pre-production went fairly far along, with the script going through multiple drafts and location scouting commencing, the project was ultimately scrapped, for a number of reasons: Spielberg considered the story overly juvenile, a production in an African wilderness with so many animals, extras, and elaborate special effects would have been extremely expensive and difficult, and the script repeated many of the mistakes which Temple of Doom had been criticized for (such as an annoying female lead, stereotypical portrayals of indigenous people, few returning characters aside from Indy, and a lack of character development). Although Last Crusade mostly started fresh, the boat chase and tank attack scenes originated from this script, as did the concept of a MacGuffin which granted eternal life.
    • Jon Pertwee, Gregory Peck, and Christopher Plummer were considered for the role of Henry Sr. before the casting of Sean Connery.
    • Laurence Olivier was considered for the part of the Grail Knight, but was too ill to commit to the project and subsequently passed away a year after production.
    • 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.
    • 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 savvy moments, he spends much of the film fumbling and bumbling his way through the adventure.
    • George Lucas initially suggested making the film "a haunted mansion movie", for which Romancing the Stone writer Diane Thomas wrote a script. Spielberg rejected the idea because of the similarity to Poltergeist, which he had co-written and produced.
    • Jeffrey Boam wrote a draft set in 1939. The prologue has adult Indiana retrieving an Aztec relic for a museum curator in Mexico and features the circus train. Henry and Elsa (who is described as having dark hair) were searching for the Grail on behalf of the Chandler Foundation, before Henry went missing. The character of Kazim is here named Kemal, and is an agent of the Republic of Hatay, which seeks the grail for its own. Kemal shoots Henry and dies drinking from the wrong chalice. The Grail Knight battles Indiana on horseback, while Vogel is crushed by a boulder when stealing the Grail. In his second draft, Indiana's mother, named Margaret in this version, dismisses Indiana when he returns home with the Cross of Coronado, while his father is on a long distance call. Walter Chandler of the Chandler Foundation features, but is not the main villain; he plunges to his death in the tank. Elsa introduces Indiana and Brody to a large Venetian family that knows Henry. Leni Riefenstahl appears at the Nazi rally in Berlin. Vogel is beheaded by the traps guarding the Grail. Kemal tries to blow up the Grail Temple during a comic fight in which gunpowder is repeatedly lit and extinguished. Elsa shoots Henry, then dies drinking from the wrong Grail, and Indiana rescues his father from falling into the chasm while grasping for the Grail.
    • Menno Meyjes submitted a script that depicted Indiana searching for his father in Montségur, where he meets a nun named Chantal. Indiana travels to Venice, takes the Orient Express to Istanbul, and continues by train to Petra, where he meets Sallah and reunites with his father. Together they find the grail. At the climax, a Nazi villain touches the Grail and explodes; when Henry touches it, he ascends a stairway to Heaven. Chantal chooses to stay on Earth because of her love for Indiana. In a revised draft dated two months later, Indiana finds his father in Krak des Chevaliers, the Nazi leader is a woman named Greta von Grimm, and Indiana battles a demon at the Grail site, which he defeats with a dagger inscribed with "God is King". The prologue in both drafts has Indiana in Mexico battling for possession of Montezuma's death mask with a man who owns gorillas as pets.
  • 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.

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