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"You lost today kid.... But that doesn't mean you have to like it."
Described by River as "a little cameo" this movie would see him reunited with his much-admired tutor Harrison Ford, his former co-star from The Mosquito Coast. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was one of the biggest hits of 1989 and would take second place in total box office takings for that year, losing out only to Tim Burton's Batman.
After working on the heavy and emotionally exhausting Running On Empty, River looked for something a little easier. "I wanted to do something light, pure entertainment," he said.
Director Steven Spielberg, impressed by River's previous work wanted him to play the part of the younger Indiana Jones to make the film appeal to a youthful audience. River was more than happy to oblige. "I love the Indiana Jones films and being part of one was a lot of fun for me," he said. "It's all non-stop action - running and jumping, twisting and turning, fumbling, finding, keeping, saving from bad guys - that kind of stuff. It's a small part, only ten minutes at the movie's beginning, but I really enjoyed it."
The opening sequence of the movie which features the young Indiana Jones in his one-man, mini-crusade is used to explain how the older character came by many of his trademark characteristics. River falls into a crate of snakes to explain the older Indiana Jones' fear of them. Soon, he is face to face with a man-eating lion where upon he obtains his trademark whip. River then promptly whacks himself in the face with it to explain Indiana Jones' facial scar, which in real life, actually belongs to actor Harrison Ford. At the close of the opening segment, it is explained how Indiana Jones came into possession of his famous hat, and River's work in this movie is complete.
Director Steven Spielberg demonstrates River's final scene
during rehersals for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.