We start the Top 7. You finish the Top 10. The latest installment of the Indiana Jones series was released earlier this year, nearly twenty years after the previous film. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull received mixed reviews but grossed over $126M opening weekend. It was still an Indiana Jones film and still brought some of the same magic we saw in the first three in the series.
I consider myself a die-hard ... oh wait, wrong franchise ... a huge Indiana Jones fan. With the Crystal Skull DVD due to be released October 14th I wanted to recall some of the best moments in the series.
There are so many great scenes. Narrowing it down was tougher than I expected.
7. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Julienned German Recap: Indy (Harrison Ford) is trying to stop the Ark from being flown to Germany. A German soldier nearly twice his size gets his attention before he takes out the pilot. Indy is clearly overpowered as they fight around the plane and he's knocked to the ground. Just as Indy is about to get up he notices the spinning propeller approaching behind the German. Indy covers his face and the soldier's blood splatters the plane. Reason: Indy gets really lucky this time with gruesome results for his foe. This one sticks in my mind like the blood sticks to the cockpit window.
6. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) - Campus Chase Recap: Shortly after Indy meets Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf) the Russians are on their tail. Mutt and Indy hop on Mutt's motorcycle and lead the Russians on a chase through the college campus. They ride down stairs, though the quad and into the library to escape. Reason: There are a few great chase scenes in the series but this is one of my favorites. We get to see what Mutt is made of in this chase and like Indy, he's a clever risk-taker. A chip off the old block.
5. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) - Mine Cart Roller Coaster Recap: Indy, Willie (Kate Capshaw) and Short Round (Ke Huy Quan) jump in a mine cart to escape the Thuggee cult. They take a wrong turn and have to race over lava pits to out run the pursuing carts. Just when they think they are safe a wall of water quickly approaches and now they're back on the run. Reason: This roller coaster keeps you on the edge of your seat. The cart rides on one rail, jumps a broken track and Short Round nearly gets torn in half.
4. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) - Hitler's Autograph Recap: Indy returns to Berlin to retrieve his father's Grail diary. He borrows a quick disguise from a German officer to approach Elsa Schneider (Allison Doody) at a Nazi rally. Before he can escape with the diary, Indy is swept up in the crowd. He comes face to face with Adolph Hitler (Michael Sheard) with the book in hand. Hitler grabs the diary and gives Indy his autograph. Reason: Indy is hiding in plain sight and locks eyes with the very evil he's up against. The first time I saw it I held my breath for a second. Just when you think Indy's luck is out, he squeaks by with another close call.
3. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) - “He no nuts, he's crazy!” Recap: After narrowly escaping the catacombs Indy finds himself on a footbridge suspended above a deep gorge. He's trapped between Mola Rum (Amrush Puri) on one side and the Thuggee cult on the other. With few options he decides to hang on and cut the bridge cables. Reason: Indy does some gutsy things in the series but this takes the cake. The only way to get out alive is to risk his life and those of his friends, even if it was a little crazy.
2. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) - Indy's Roots Recap: Young Indy (River Phoenix) confronts looters who have an artifact that “belongs in a museum.” He is chased by five or six of the guys on and through a moving circus train before he escapes to find the sheriff. Reason: We finally find out why Indy uses a whip, why he hates snakes and where he gets that iconic Fedora. They even explain Indy's chin scar that Harrison Ford has in real life. Brilliant.
1. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Indy Brings a Gun to a Sword Fight Recap: Cairo locals hired by the Germans attack Indy and Marion (Karen Allen) in the street market and the two are soon split up in the confusion. Indy over powers a few of the assassins. The street crowd parts to reveal a skilled swordsman showing off with his huge blade. Indy, exhausted, wipes his brow as if preparing for another fight. He calmly takes his revolver from the holster and shoots the swordsman. The street crowd cheers. Reason: I still laugh every time watch this scene. Indy is so nonchalant when he pulls his gun. Instantly classic, plus the rumor is that Ford was exhausted with the flu this day of shooting, and instead of the big fight scene planned, he suggested a quick shot instead.
There’s the Top 7, now what should be in the Top 10?