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"Indiana Jones is an adventurer, but he has human frailties, fears, money problems. He teaches, but I wouldn't call him an intellectual. He does brave things, but I wouldn't call him a hero. He's just there with a bullwhip to keep the world at bay."
'Indy' is back.
Harrison Ford plays the daring archaeologist in his third motion picture adventure, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." In the long-awaited film, Indiana Jones embarks on the quest of a lifetime as he begins a search for the Holy Grail. Presented by the Motion Picture Group of Gulf+Western's Paramount Pictures Corporation, the Lucasfilm Ltd. Production introduces moviegoers to Indiana's father, Dr. Henry Jones, with Academy Award-winner Sean Connery starring in the role.
"Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" is the third film collaboration of Harrison Ford, executive producer George Lucas, and director Steven Spielberg, following "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." George Lucas and Menno Meyjes wrote the story upon which the screenplay by Jeffrey Boam is based. The film also stars Denholm Elliot and John Rhys-Davies as characters who first appeared in "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Alison Doody makes her motion picture starring debut in the film, which also stars Julian Glover and River Phoenix. The third Indiana Jones movie again teams Lucas and Spielberg with executive producer Frank Marshall and producer Robert Watts.
While "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was set in 1936 and the events in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" occurred in 1935, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" takes place during the year 1938. It is the first film teaming Harrison Ford and Sean Connery, who have portrayed some of the world's best known movie heroes.
"This film has as much action as the first two movies, but at the same time the focus is on character," George Lucas says. "We find out more about Indy. While he admires and was influenced by his father, Indy is an adventurer and his father is a scholar. Dr. Henry Jones has never been able to appreciate Indiana's adventurous side."
"Henry is a scholar and a serious archaeologist, whereas he thinks Indy is a bit of a rogue -- even if he does give the artifacts he finds to the museum," Frank Marshall says. "It seems to Indy that he is never able to please his father and, besides, Indy has a lot to live up to."
"These are two men who have never made an accommodation for each other," Harrison Ford declares. "In this film you see another side of Indiana's personality. He behaves differently in his father's presence. Who else would call Indy 'junior' -- which is something that Indy hates?"
"Dr. Henry Jones is cantankerous and quite Victorian," Sean Connery says. "What is particularly pleasing is the humor one can find in Indiana's relationship with his father.
"What is also appealing about the film is the return to an older age; not an age of hardware and spacecraft, but cars and aeroplanes and trains and horses," Connery appraises.
Working with fairly basic tools, Indiana Jones has no gimmicks or gadgets -- just his own intelligence, dexterity and wit as he travels to faraway places. Steven Spielberg describes Indy as "a real throwback movie hero: a lover and a cad and a two-fisted hellion. He doesn't necessarily survive every cliffhanger unscathed."
"Indiana Jones is a romantic," Harrison Ford states. "He's also a cynic. The interplay between these two aspects of his character is what makes the role so interesting to play. His bravery, indomitability and selflessness is certain situations is what makes him attractive to audiences."
The Indiana Jones adventures are set in a period of high adventure and exotic romance. In "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," Indy encounters a woman very different from the characters portrayed by Karen Allen and Kate Capshaw in the first two movies.
In her first starring role in a motion picture, actress Alison Doody plays Dr. Elsa Schneider. "She's an art historian, a very strong-willed lady," Doody comments. "She is quite similar to Indy. Like him, she goes out and gets what she wants. In this case, she wants to find the Holy Grail."
Making their second appearance in an Indiana Jones movie are Denholm Elliott and John Rhys-Davies, who star as museum curator Marcus Brody and Sallah.
Elliot describes his character as "a rather eccentric professor and reluctant adventurer who is always saying the wrong thing at the right time. He's Indiana's friend and boss at the university. When Indy gets involved in these escapades, Brody sometimes accompanies him and gets into all sorts of uncomfortable situations."
In "Raiders of the Lost Ark," Sallah was the best digger in Europe. Two years later, he has become more prosperous. "He has left digging behind and has a small antique business," comments Rhys-Davies, who again plays the role of Indy's sidekick.
Julian Glover plays Walter Donovan, who Glover describes as "a rich industrialist with a passion for ancient artifacts. He's an extremely intelligent man who is prepared to sacrifice everything for his ultimate goal."
The cast of "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" includes Michael Byrne as Vogel, a villainous officer in Hitler's secret police. "A good villain can't be a buffoon or someone you see as an object of humor," George Lucas says. "He has to be somebody to fear and have the realistic motivations of a normal human being."
River Phoenix appears in the role of the young Indiana Jones. "Filming 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade' I had the opportunity to do a few of my own stunts," Phoenix says. "It's exciting to see how a dramatic and dangerous situation unfolds -- it's fun to witness it in a movie theatre and it's fun to make."