definition of Wikipedia
|Indiana Jones and
the Temple of Doom
Theatrical poster by Drew Struzan
|Directed by||Steven Spielberg|
|Produced by||George Lucas
|Screenplay by||Willard Huyck
|Story by||George Lucas|
|Music by||John Williams|
|Editing by||Michael Kahn|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||118 minutes|
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the second (chronologically the first) film in the Indiana Jones franchise and prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees, stumbling upon a Kali-worshipping thuggee cult practicing child slavery, black magic, and ritual human sacrifice.
Producer and co-writer George Lucas decided to make the film a prequel as he did not want the Nazis to be the villains again. The original idea was to set the film in China, with a hidden valley inhabited by dinosaurs. Other rejected plot devices included the Monkey King and a haunted castle in Scotland. Lucas then wrote a film treatment that resembled the final storyline of the film. Lawrence Kasdan, Lucas's collaborator on Raiders of the Lost Ark, turned down the offer to write the script, and Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz were hired as his replacement.
The film was released to financial success but mixed reviews, which criticized the on-screen violence, later contributing to the creation of the PG-13 rating. However, critical opinion has improved since 1984, citing the film's intensity and imagination. Some of the film's cast and crew, including Spielberg, retrospectively view the film in an unfavorable light. The film has also been the subject of controversy due to its portrayal of India and Hinduism.
In 1935, Indiana Jones narrowly escapes the clutches of Lao Che, a crime boss in Shanghai. With his eleven-year old Chinese sidekick Short Round and the gold-digging nightclub singer Willie Scott in tow, Indiana flees Shanghai on a plane that, unknown to them, is owned by Lao. The pilots leave the plane to crash over the Himalayas, though the trio narrowly manage to escape on an inflatable boat and ride down the slopes into a raging river. They come to Mayapore, a desolate village in northern India, where the poor villagers believe them to have been sent by the Hindu god Shiva and enlist their help to retrieve the sacred Sivalinga stone stolen from their shrine, as well as the community's children, from evil forces in the nearby Pankot Palace. During the journey to Pankot, Indiana hypothesizes that the stone may be one of the five fabled Sankara stones which promise fortune and glory.
The trio receive a warm welcome from the residents of Pankot Palace (which includes the young Maharajah Zalim Singh and his representative, Pankot Palace Prime Minister Chattar Lal) and are allowed to stay the night as their guests, during which they attend a lavish banquet attended by the Maharajah. During the banquet, they are presented with odd culinary delicacies such as baby snakes, large beetles, eyeball soup, and chilled monkey brains. The palace rebuffs Indiana's questions about the villagers' claims and his theory that the ancient Thuggee cult is responsible for their troubles. Later that night, however, Indiana is attacked by an assassin, leading Indy, Willie, and Short Round to believe that something is amiss. They discover a series of tunnels hidden behind a statue in Willie's room and set out to explore them, facing many booby-trapped rooms and a room filled with insects along the way.
From the tunnels of the palace, they travel through an underground temple where the Thuggee worship the Hindu goddess Kali with human sacrifice. The trio discover that the Thuggee, led by their evil, villainous high priest Mola Ram, are in possession of three of the five Sankara stones, and have enslaved the children (as well as the Maharajah) to mine for the final two stones, which they hope will allow them to rule the world. As Indiana tries to retrieve the stones, he, Willie and Short Round are captured and separated. Indiana is whipped and forced to drink a potion called the "Blood of Kali", which places him in a trance-like state called the "Black Sleep of Kali Ma". As a result, he begins to mindlessly serve Mola Ram. Willie, meanwhile, is kept as a human sacrifice, while Short Round is put in the mines to labour alongside the enslaved children. Short Round breaks free and escapes back into the temple where he burns Indiana with a torch, shocking him out of the trance. The Maharajah, who was also forcibly entranced by the "Blood of Kali", attempts to sabotage Indiana with a voodoo doll. Short Round spars with the Maharajah, ultimately burning him to snap him out of the trance. The Maharajah then tells Short Round how to get out of the mines. While Mola Ram escapes, Indiana and Short Round rescue Willie, retrieve the three Sankara stones, and free the village children.
After a mine cart chase to escape the temple, the trio emerge above ground and are again cornered by Mola Ram and his henchmen on a rope bridge on both ends over a gorge with crocodile-infested river flowing within. Using a sword stolen from one of the Thuggee warriors, Indiana cuts the rope bridge in half, leaving everyone to hang on for their lives. In one final struggle against Mola Ram for the Sankara stones, Indiana invokes an incantation to Shiva, causing the stones to glow red hot. Two of the stones fall into the river, while the last falls into and burns Mola Ram's hand. Indiana catches the now-cool stone, while Mola Ram falls into the river below, where he is devoured by crocodiles. The Thuggee across then attempt to shoot Indiana with arrows, until a company of British Indian Army riflemen from Pankot arrive, having been summoned by the palace maharajah. In the ensuing firefight, over half of the Thuggee archers are killed and the remainder are surrounded and captured. Indiana, Willie and Short Round return victoriously to the village with the missing Sivalinga stone and the children.
When George Lucas first approached Steven Spielberg for Raiders of the Lost Ark, Spielberg recalled, "George said if I directed the first one then I would have to direct a trilogy. He had three stories in mind. It turned out George did not have three stories in mind and we had to make up subsequent stories." Spielberg and Lucas attributed the film's tone, which was darker than Raiders of the Lost Ark, to their personal moods following the breakups of their relationships (Spielberg with Amy Irving, Lucas with Marcia). In addition Lucas felt "it had to have been a dark film. The way Empire Strikes Back was the dark second act of the Star Wars trilogy."
Lucas made the film a prequel as he did not want the Nazis to be the villains once more. Spielberg originally wanted to bring Marion Ravenwood back, with Abner Ravenwood being considered as a possible character. Lucas created an opening chase scene that had Indiana Jones on a motorcycle on the Great Wall of China. In addition Indiana discovered a "Lost World pastiche with a hidden valley inhabited by dinosaurs". Chinese authorities refused to allow filming, and Lucas considered the Monkey King as the plot device. Lucas wrote a film treatment that included a haunted castle in Scotland, but Spielberg felt it was too similar to Poltergeist. The haunted castle in Scotland slowly transformed into a demonic temple in India.
Lucas came up with ideas that involved a religious cult devoted to child slavery, black magic and ritual human sacrifice. Lawrence Kasdan of Raiders of the Lost Ark was asked to write the script. "I didn't want to be associated with Temple of Doom," he reflected. "I just thought it was horrible. It's so mean. There's nothing pleasant about it. I think Temple of Doom represents a chaotic period in both their [Lucas and Spielberg] lives, and the movie is very ugly and mean-spirited." Lucas hired Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz to write the script because of their knowledge of Indian culture. Gunga Din served as an influence for the film.
Huyck and Katz spent four days at Skywalker Ranch for story discussions with Lucas and Spielberg in early-1982. Lucas's initial idea for Indiana's sidekick was a virginal young princess, but Huyck, Katz and Spielberg disliked the idea. Just as Indiana Jones was named after Lucas's Alaskan Malamute, Willie was named after Spielberg's Cocker Spaniel, and Short Round was named after Huyck's dog, whose name was derived from The Steel Helmet. Lucas handed Huyck and Katz a 20-page treatment in May 1982 titled Indiana Jones and the Temple of Death to adapt into a screenplay. Scenes such as the fight scene in Shanghai, escape from the airplane and the mine cart chase came from original scripts of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Lucas, Huyck and Katz had been developing Radioland Murders (1994) since the early 1970s. The opening music number was taken from that script and applied to Temple of Doom. Spielberg reflected, "George's idea was to start the movie with a musical number. He wanted to do a Busby Berkeley dance number. At all our story meetings he would say, 'Hey, Steven, you always said you wanted to shoot musicals.' I thought, 'Yeah, that could be fun.'" The first draft was delivered in early-August 1982 with a second draft in September. Captain Blumburtt, Chattar Lal and the boy Maharaja originally had more crucial roles. A dogfight was deleted, while those who drank the Kali blood turned into zombies with physical superhuman abilities. During pre-production the Temple of Death title was replaced with Temple of Doom. From March—April 1983 Huyck and Katz simultaneously performed rewrites for a final shooting script.
The filmmakers were denied permission to film in North India and Amer Fort due to the government finding the script racist and offensive. The government demanded many script changes, rewritings and final cut privilege. As a result, location work went to Kandy, Sri Lanka, with matte paintings and scale models applied for the village, temple, and Pankot Palace. Budgetary inflation also caused Temple of Doom to cost $28.17 million, $8 million more than Raiders of the Lost Ark. Filming began on April 18, 1983 in Kandy, and moved to Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, England on May 5. Producer Frank Marshall recalled, "when filming the bug scenes, crew members would go home and find bugs in their hair, clothes and shoes." Eight out of the nine sound stages at Elstree housed the filming of Temple of Doom. Lucas biographer Marcus Hearn observed, "Douglas Slocombe's skillful lighting helped disguise the fact that about 80 percent of the film was shot with sound stages."
Danny Daniels choreographed the opening music number "Anything Goes". Capshaw learned to sing in Mandarin and took tap dance lessons. However, when wearing her dress, which was too tight, Capshaw was not able to tap dance. One of her red dresses was eaten by an elephant during filming; a second was made by costume designer Anthony Powell. Production designer Norman Reynolds could not return for Temple of Doom because of his commitment to Return of the Jedi. Elliot Scott (Labyrinth, Who Framed Roger Rabbit), Reynolds' mentor, was hired. To build the rope bridge the filmmakers found a group of British engineers working on the nearby Balfour Beatty dam. Harrison Ford suffered a severe spinal disc herniation while riding elephants. A hospital bed was brought on set for Ford to rest between takes. Lucas stated, "He could barely stand up, yet he was there every day so shooting would not stop. He was in incomprehensible pain, but he was still trying to make it happen." With no alternatives, Lucas shut down production while Ford was flown to Centinela Hospital on June 21 for recovery. Stunt double Vic Armstrong spent five weeks as a stand-in for various shots. Wendy Leach, Armstrong's wife, served as Capshaw's stunt double.
Macau was substituted for Shanghai, while cinematographer Douglas Slocombe caught fever from June 24 to July 7 and could not work. Ford returned on August 8. Despite the problems during filming, Spielberg was able to complete Temple of Doom on schedule and on budget, finishing on principal photography on August 26. Various pick-ups took place afterwards. This included Snake River Canyon in Idaho, Mammoth Mountain, Tuolumne and American River, Yosemite National Park, San Joaquin Valley, Hamilton Air Force Base and Arizona. Producer Frank Marshall directed a second unit in Florida in January 1984, using alligators to double as crocodiles. The mine chase was a combination of a roller coaster and scale models with dolls doubling for the actors. Minor stop motion was also used for the sequence. Visual effects supervisors Dennis Muren, Joe Johnston and a crew at Industrial Light & Magic provided the visual effects work, while Skywalker Sound, headed by Ben Burtt, commissioned the sound design. Burtt recorded roller coasters at Disneyland Park in Anaheim for the mine cart scene.
"After I showed the film to George [Lucas], at an hour and 55 minutes, we looked at each other," Spielberg remembered. "The first thing that we said was, 'Too fast'. We needed to decelerate the action. I did a few more matte shots to slow it down. We made it a little bit slower, by putting breathing room back in so there'd be a two-hour oxygen supply for the audience."
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was released on May 23, 1984 in America, accumulating a record-breaking $US45.7 million in its first week. The film went on to gross $333.11 million worldwide, with $180 million in North America and the equivalent of $153.11 million in other markets. Temple of Doom had the highest opening weekend of 1984, and was the third highest grossing film in North America of that year, behind Beverly Hills Cop and Ghostbusters. It was also the tenth highest grossing film of all time during its release.
The film received mixed reviews upon its release, but has continued to receive critical praise over the years. American Movie Classics considers Temple of Doom to be one of the best films of 1984. Based on 59 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, 85% wrote positive reviews of the film, with an average score of 7.2/10. Roger Ebert called Temple of Doom "the most cheerfully exciting, bizarre, goofy, romantic adventure movie since Raiders, and it is high praise to say that it's not so much a sequel as an equal. It's quite an experience." Vincent Canby felt the film was "too shapeless to be the fun that Raiders is, but shape may be beside the point. Old-time, 15-part movie serials didn't have shape. They just went on and on and on, which is what Temple of Doom does with humor and technical invention." Colin Covert of the Star Tribune called the film "sillier, darkly violent and a bit dumbed down, but still great fun."
Dave Kehr gave a largely negative review; "The film betrays no human impulse higher than that of a ten-year-old boy trying to gross out his baby sister by dangling a dead worm in her face." Ralph Novak of People complained "The ads that say 'this film may be too intense for younger children' are fraudulent. No parent should allow a young child to see this traumatizing movie; it would be a cinematic form of child abuse. Even Harrison Ford is required to slap Quan and abuse Capshaw. There are no heroes connected with the film, only two villains; their names are Steven Spielberg and George Lucas."
Kate Capshaw called her character "not much more than a dumb screaming blonde." Steven Spielberg said in 1989, "I wasn't happy with Temple of Doom at all. It was too dark, too subterranean, and much too horrific. I thought it out-poltered Poltergeist. There's not an ounce of my own personal feeling in Temple of Doom." He later added during the "Making of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" documentary, "Temple of Doom is my least favorite of the trilogy. I look back and I say, 'Well the greatest thing that I got out of that was I met Kate Capshaw. We married years later and that to me was the reason I was fated to make Temple of Doom."
The film's depiction of Hindus caused controversy in India, and brought it to the attention of the country's censors, who placed a temporary ban on it. The inaccurate depiction of Goddess Kali as a representative of the underworld and evil met with much criticism as she is instead the Goddess of Energy (Shakti). However, it is true that the thuggee cult, who were actually robbers and nothing more, used to worship Kali and offer human sacrifices so that their venture may succeed. Nevertheless, it was nothing as compared to its depiction in Spielberg's film. The depiction of Indian cuisine was also condemned as it has no relation whatsoever with "baby snakes, eyeball soup, beetles and chilled monkey brains." Shashi Tharoor has condemned the film and pointed to numerous offensive and factually inaccurate portrayals. Yvette Rosser has criticized the film for contributing to racist stereotypes of Indians in western society, writing "[it] seems to have been taken as a valid portrayal of India by many teachers, since a large number of students surveyed complained that teachers referred to the eating of monkey brains."
Dennis Muren and the visual effects department at Industrial Light & Magic won the Academy Award for Visual Effects at the 57th Academy Awards. John Williams was nominated for "Original Music Score". The visual effects crew won the same category at the 38th British Academy Film Awards. Cinematographer Douglas Slocombe, editor Michael Kahn, Ben Burtt and other sound designers at Skywalker Sound received nominations. Spielberg, the writers, Harrison Ford, Jonathan Ke Quan, Anthony Powell and makeup designer Tom Smith were nominated for their work at the Saturn Awards. Temple of Doom was nominated for Best Fantasy Film but lost to Ghostbusters.
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