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Indiana Jones and the Temple of DoomIndiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 action/adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. First released on May 23, 1984, it is a prequel to the hugely successful action movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. This film is the second released, though the twenty-third chronologically, in a series of film and TV productions about the adventures of the heroic fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones.
Like the first, it starred Harrison Ford as Jones, was directed by Steven Spielberg and based on an original story by George Lucas. Many members of the original crew returned, including cinematographer Douglas Slocombe, editor Michael Kahn and composer John Williams. The film is darker in tone than its predecessor. The film was always intended to be a horror movie as well as a remake of elements of Gunga Din (1939). The original title was "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Death."
Indiana Jones is named after George Lucas's dog. In this film, all three leads are named after dogs. Willie was the name of Spielberg's dog, and Short Round was the name of the dog belonging to scriptwriters Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck.
AwardsThe film won an Academy Award for Visual Effects. Indeed, both Lucas and Spielberg have stated that Temple of Doom was focused on effects to a higher degree than either Raiders of the Lost Ark or Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
SynopsisThe film, set a year before Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1935, opens with Indiana Jones in a Shanghai nightclub attempting to trade the remains of Nurhaci for a large diamond (possibly "The Peacock's Eye") with a gangster named Lao Che. When the deal goes bad and Indy's friend Wu Han is killed, Indy and the club's singer Willie escape the pursuing criminals in a car driven by a 7 year-old boy named Short Round, an ally of Indy. They board a cargo plane not knowing that it is owned by Lao Che. As Indy, Willie, and Short Round nap during the flight, the pilots dump the fuel and parachute out of the plane. Indy and the others use an emergency raft to safely descend from the plane's altitude, eventually arriving near a village in India. The villagers enlist his help in retrieving a sacred stone, the Sankara Stone or the Siva linga, and the community's children from the evil forces of a nearby palace.
Initially the palace seems normal enough; the royal tenants are insulted by his questions about the village's claims. Indy is later attacked in his room by an assassin, which leads him to find a secret door in Willie's room. Beneath the palace is a vast underground chamber where the village rock and two more are held by Thuggees. An evil cult (who worship the goddess Kali with human sacrifice) has enslaved the village's children to dig for the remaining rocks within the mines of the palace in the hope that with all of them they can rule the world. The cult is led by the villainous Mola Ram (Amrish Puri), who performs a supernatural ritual of removing a man's heart while the man is kept alive by the power of the Sankara Stones. The man is then dropped into a pit of lava, his heart bursting into flames in Mola Ram's hand. Indy, Willie, and Short Round are captured by the Thuggee and separated: Indy sides with the Thuggee after being forced to drink the "blood of Kali Ma", which puts the drinker into the black sleep of Kali. Willie is kept as a human sacrifice, and Short Round is put in the mines alongside the village children. However, Short Round escapes to the temple where Willie is being lowered into the pit. He helps Indy return to his normal self by using a torch to wake him. They save Willie, take the Sankara Stones, and free the children. In the fight to escape the palace, the three jump into a mine car, and Indy accidentally takes the wrong tunnel. They are closely pursued by two Thuggee-filled cars. Indy knocks the first car off the tracks with a board, but the second comes upon them at high speed. In the struggle, Short Round nearly falls into lava and a Thug jumps onto the back of their car. Willie delivers an unexpected punch that knocks the Thug back onto the track and the other car crashes into his body.
Meanwhile, Mola Ram and others break the supports to a giant container of water, pouring the contents down the tunnels. After Indy stops the car, they avoid the rushing water by running outside only to find themselves at the top of a canyon. They try to cross a rope bridge but get trapped with the Thuggee on both sides. Taking a desperate gamble with a warning in Chinese to his friends to brace themselves, Indy cuts the bridge in half leaving Mola Ram and a few of his minions on the heroes' side. Mola Ram fights for the stones, but Indy invokes their magic and causes Mola Ram and all but one of the stones to fall into the river where the nefarious priest is devoured by crocodiles. At that moment, British troops appear to subdue the Thugs. The heroes triumphantly return to the village with their sacred stone and their children.
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