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Behind The Scenes Of Wrapping Up The Indiana Jones Trilogy

Good things come in threes, so they say. And the truth behind that adage was definitely borne out in the third, and final, installment of the original Indiana Jones trilogy.

After the smashing success that was the first movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, it was only natural for audiences to follow their favorite archaeologist on another adventure. Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, directed by Steven Spielberg, provided fans with a film that became an instant classic. But the best often doesn’t come easy, as the making of the move illustrates.


A Wealth Of Opinions…Write From The Start

When multiple screenwriters are involved in a movie, the result can be disastrous and result in numerous delays. There were writers aplenty chiming in about plotlines for Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, including Menno Meyjes, Chris Columbus, and Jeffrey Boam.  At the request of actor Sean Connery, playwright Tom Stoppard even weighed in, adding his two cents on how to beef up the father-son dynamic of the Jones characters.

Constructive criticism abounded on the set, and fortunately yielded gratifying results for the audience and the actors. As star Harrison Ford explained, Connery had reservations about the film early on. “Well, Sean, at first, he resisted the idea of playing my father – he’s only 12 years older than I – and also felt that the character was too thinly drawn and he’s a student of history, Sean is. So, I think he brought a lot of ideas to George and Steven that were incorporated into his character. He is less Yoda-like than originally thought of and quite the match for his son in many ways, including the fact that the central heroine has had a physical relationship with him before she ever meets me.”


Chemistry, Camaraderie, And Clothing-Optional Scenes

Ultimately, the undeniable chemistry between Ford and Connery elevated the movie, as well as the interplay between the two characters, to a whole new level:  The fact that neither actor was wearing pants in a few of the film’s scenes most definitely added to their camaraderie and mutually-shared trust.

Ford and Connery didn’t part with their pants to conduct a prank; in fact, they were simply trying to cool off while conducting a scene in brutal heat. As they filmed on a blimp as part of an attempted escape from Nazis, the summer heat reached a nearly unbearable temperature. According to Connery, Ford followed his counterpart’s lead, “We played one of the scenes in the zeppelin. The passengers were wearing fur coats and hats. It was supposed to be in the wintertime and I played it without my trousers. Harrison said, ‘You’re not gonna play the scene [with] your trousers?’ I said, ‘Well, if I don’t, I’ll be stopping all the time because I sweat enormously. I sweat very easily.’ Well, he did the same.”

Despite the multiple screenwriters, the heat, and the physical rigors of the move, Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade ultimately grossed over $197 million at the box office. Seeing that the original budget topped out at $48 million, it’s clear that the Crusade cruised to a tidy profit.