7. THE RELEASE
Last Crusade retains the "thrill- a-second" pace
of the previous films, but this one has far more heart. Although
the movie abounds with the technology of the era it potrays,
the technology never overshadows the characters. The script
allows Ford and Connery to define what cinematic chemistry
is all about. The action sequences are woven into the story
to allow Indy and his dad to demonstrate their own types of
resourcefulness: Indy with the strength and force, his father
with ingenuity and wit. The humor is omnipresent and often
hilarious. The incredible ending manages to blend mysticism,
religion, and spectacular action far more successfully than
the conclusions of the first two films.
7.1 BOX OFFICE HIT
Last Crusade opened on Memorial Day weekend 1989 in 2327
theaters across the US and Canada. The $36 million epic immediately
set two then-box-office records: collecting the most receipts
ever in one day ($10 million) and having the biggest opening
week in film history (a total gross of $50 million). Critics
were unstinting in their praise, thus forgiving Spielberg
for the somber tone of Temple. Virtually every reviewer cited
the casting coup of a Harrison Ford-Sean Connery teamup. Last
Crusade, along with Batman and Lethal Weapon 2, dominated
the sumer box office and made short work of the competition,
which included such high-profile sequels as The Karate Kid
Part 2, Ghostbusters 2, and Star Trek 5. Ironically, one of
the films "victimized" by Last Crusade's staying
power was he 007 thriller Licence to Kill.
In England, where the film was premiered on June 27 and attended
by the Prince of Wales, Last Crusade grossed 15.923.000 pounds.
In France, Indy met a real apotheosis. Within two and a half
weeks from its release, Last Crusade broke the one million
tickets barrier in Paris establishing an absolute record.
Four million French run to 310 theaters in France for their
rendezvous with their favorite archaeologist. In the long
run the Last Crusade made a gross of 6.248.000 tickets.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade entered the top-10 of
box-office champions with a worldwide gross of $494.8 million.
There were people who at the time of the new film's release
accused Lucas and Spielberg for making another Indy film.
George Lucas had just got divorced from his wife Marcia and
he had given all his money in order to retain the control
of his companies. Spielberg on the other hand hadn't direct
anything successful since Temple of Doom while his serious
attempts towards a mature audience with films like The Color
Purple and Empire of the Sun got unnoticed and criticized
by the critics with less than kind remarks. The word was that
they both needed a success soon, in order to maintain their
status in the film business but poisonous remarks like these
never bothered the two filmmakers much.
Proud for his work Spielberg stated that he made the film
as an apology for Indy II, "I wanted to make a movie I could
stand naked on top of."
7.2 LAST CRUSADE ???
The final shot of the Last Crusade with the four intrepid
adventurers literally riding off into the sunset, towards
new adventures, was one of the many hints revealing Spielberg's
intentions on the continuation of the Indiana Jones saga.
"I built every clue into this movie I possible could think
of to let George know that we should retire this guy's number.
I did all I could. But at the moment I think I'd like to quit.
At this point we all feel pretty much have a nice first, second
and third act. Why go and create a forth act? We don't need
When talked to journalist Phil Brown Spielberg was very clear
about his intentions of making another Indy film, "I don't
control the destiny of the Indiana Jones movies. George can
make as many as he like but it's certainly my graduation gift
to be able to work on something like this in the best way
possible, say goodbye to all my old friends and move on."
Tough he agreed that his decision was not one without regrets.
"I'm really going to miss working with Harrison as Indy. I
look forward to working with him in other sorts of roles,
but I'll really miss sitting with him in that hat and that
jacket with all the sweat and the dirty khaki shirt and the
boots and the whip and the pouch and the sidearm and the five-day
stubble and most of all, I'll miss his sense of humor. Working
with Harrison as Indy was kind of like working with Fred C.
Dobbs from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre for eight years
and I'm going to miss that very much."
Spielberg wasn't the only one stating that he wanted to move
on, as George Lucas, too, found the prospect of another film
unlikely. "I don't foresee there being another one. Anything
is possible, but I've run out of ideas. I've had a great time
making the Indiana Jones films, but now it's time to move
on. I would just as soon do other things," said Indy's creator.
Robert Watts, being more conciliatory than the two filmmakers
went on to say that, "It was always envisioned as three movies,
this is the third and it's called The Last Crusade. Sean Connery
was never going to make another Bond film, but he did. I couldn't
tell you, to be honest whether there will be another one.
I don't know. um it's possible. but I suspect it would never
be quite the same team again, but I couldn't tell. I think
the formula has been very successful and I think the movies
are great fun. I personally would love to see another one
get made, but ultimately it's not my decision, so. all I can
say is, 'Wait and see!'"
"Indy doesn't die at the end," was Boam's observation. "His
father doesn't die. Sallah and Brody don't die. Nobody dies.
We haven't burned any bridges. We all know how this business
works, and that never doesn't necessarily mean never." John
Rhys-Davies shared the same thoughts that Boam had about the
continuation of the saga, "In the film business the door is
always open just a crack. Harrison is more of a mainline leading
man these days and I'm not sure that he really wants to do
any more Indiana Jones films. And this isn't really the sort
of films Steven wants to direct. I think he's more into areas
of the human heart than action and adventure. But you never
Ford saw Last Crusade as his last appearance as Indiana Jones.
He reflected on the role with some sentiment:"I'll miss
the whole thing. There is a lot of pleasure in this character
for me. I enjoy the kind of humor that we have in these films
and I love doing the physical stuff. It makes me feel like
a kid. I'll miss the particular fun of playing the character
but I think three films is enough." When asked about
any possibility of continuing the role in the future, Ford
responded, "I'll be in my fifties pretending to be thirty-five,
and I'm afraid it's going to get to a point where it's too
hard to get out of bed in the morning! I just won't be able
to do the things I used to do." However he did add.
"Nobody has proposed doing any more of them. We all have
other ambitions, other projects. It took us a long time to
find a script we were happy with for this one. Since we are
locked in a timeframe, which demands I don't get any older,
we can't take forever to settle on another script, either.
It's been eight years since the first picture, I believe.
It would be another four or five years before we have a script
and I'd be in my fifties. It might be unseemly." But even
for smoothie Ford, who doesn't want to admit this is his favorite
role, the idea of another one wasn't completely out of question.
In an interview he gave to MTV's The Big Picture show he seemed
more conciliatory and said, "I don't think we've run Indiana
Jones into the ground. He's a romantic, but he's also a cynic.
The interplay between the two extremes is what interests me
so much. And it's his bravery, indomitability, and selflessness
that make him irresistible to audiences. And for what it's
worth, we simply haven't exhausted all the dangerous situations
he can get into. If there is something I learned from Sean
is to never say never!"
"More cerebral than the first two Indiana Jones films,
and less schmaltzy than the second, this literate adventure
should entertain and enlighten kids and adults alike. The
Harrison Ford - Sean Connery father-and-son team gives LAst
Crusade unexpected emotional depth, reminding us that real
film magic is not in special-effects."
"Take a good look at this movie. In fact, go back four
or five times and take four or five good looks. In this imperfect
world, you're not likely to see many manmade objects come
this close to perfection."
- Ralph Novak, People
"No, it's not as fesh and exhilarating as Raiders, but
how could it be? Here's an antidote who sensed sequel sluggishness
in Temple of Doom... One of the best ideas in this second
sequel was recruiting Sean Connery. Connery and Ford are a
testy father-son duo sharing quips, imminent danger, and even
the favors of a gorgeous Nazi... Last Crusade is an adult
comic strip, hyperkinetic high adventure that scarcely pauses
for breath... Grab a crash helmet and go."
- Bruce Williamson, Playboy
"Though it cannot regain the brash originally of Raiders,
in its own way, Last Crusade is nearly as good, matching its
audience's wildest hopes."
- Caryn James, New York Times
"This thrice-told tale gives you your money's worth.
Now, it's time to hang up the bullwhip and move on."
- David Ansen, Newsweek
- INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE PRODUCTION INFORMATION
- The Films of Harrison Ford by Lee Pfeifer & Michael Lewis
- From Star Wars to Indiana Jones
- The Raider.net