“Temple of Doom contains not an ounce of my personal feeling,” said Steven Spielberg in the build-up to the release of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The five years between the two films had been harsh on the second entry in the Indy franchise. Critical reaction had been largely poor and the sense of freshness Raiders of the Lost Ark so effortlessly achieved seemed lost. Moreover, Spielberg and George Lucas had taken a beating from social commentators, who criticised the film for its treatment of race, religion, and gender. Last Crusade, Spielberg confessed, was “an apology” for its predecessor.
Spielberg’s attitude to the film was not always so negative though. During filming and leading up to release, he and Lucas seemed happy with Temple of Doom, content that they had made a thrilling, funny and suitably different movie to Raiders. Indeed, Spielberg actually seemed to think Temple was superior to what had come before. “Having seen both movies now, I can truthfully say that Temple of Doom is another kind of adventure movie,” he told the ‘Making of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ book. “There’s more of a careful balance in Temple of Doom between horror and comedy than there was in Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was a straight-arrow adventure, at times even a conservative adventure.”
Things, of course, would change…
Spielberg: “I knew if I didn’t direct, somebody else would. I got a little bit jealous, I got a little bit frustrated and I signed on for one more.”
Spielberg: The danger in making a sequel is that you can never satisfy everyone. If you give people the same movie with different scenes, they say ‘Why weren’t you more oiginal?’ But if you give them the same character in another fantastic adventure, but with a different tone, you risk disappointing the other half of the audience, who just wanted a carbon copy of the first film with a different girl and a different bad guy. So you win and you lose both ways.”
As with every Indiana Jones film, production on Temple of Doom got underway with prolonged debates over plot and tone. Lucas wanted to go down a supernatural route, but Spielberg, having produced Poltergeist the year previous, vetoed that idea. The horror leaning would remain though, as Spielberg and Lucas, and screenwriters Willard Hyuck and Gloriz Katz, sought to emulate the ‘dark second act’ formula that worked so well on The Empire Strikes Back.
Lucas: “The original story was about a haunted castle in Scotland. But Steven said, ‘Aww, I just made Poltergeist, I don’t want to do that again.’ And that’s when we started working with Bill [Willard] Huyck and Gloria Katz.”
Hyuck: “George told us that he and Steven wanted to set the next Indy film in India. And he knew of our interest in India. We had traveled there, we were collecting Indian art and so forth, and I think that’s why he came to us.”
Spielberg: “George said that it was going to be a very dark film. The way Empire Strikes Backwas the dark second act of the Star Wars trilogy. So Gorge came up with this idea along with Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck that it was going to be about the Kali cult, with black magic and things that I personally find very spooky. In many ways the visual style of the film was conceived when George first told me the story which was a very rough sketch of the movie he wanted us to help him construct. I heard a couple of things — Thugees, temple of death, vooodoo and human sacrifices — so what came to mind immediately was torchlight, long shadows, and red lava light. I wanted to paint a dark picture of an inner sanctum.”
Huyck: “We came up with this religious cult that had appropriated the stones and was doing evil things. And then we asked ourselves, ‘Well, what kind of evil things? Steven wants a mine, so who is working in the mines?”
Katz: “What is, aside from the stones, the most valuable thing that the village could have?”
Huyck: “And we said, ‘Children.”
The notable absentee from these meetings was Lawrence Kasdan, who had written Raiders, along with Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. By 1983, Kasdan had moved from writer to director (helming the critically acclaimed Body Heat and The Big Chill) and was looking ahead to his next effort, Silverado. However, there was another reason for his moving away from the Indy team: an unease with the direction the story was taking.
Kasdan: “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.”
And where did the darkness come from? Writers, producer and director all give a different answer, Hyuck suggesting Spielberg and Spielberg nodding towards Lucas.
Huyck: “Steve wanted to do a very dark movie. This was going to be his nightmare movie.”
Spielberg: “When George Lucas came to me with the story, it was about black magic, voodoo, and a temple of doom. My job and my challenge was to balance the dark side of this Indiana Jones saga with as much comedy as I could afford.”
Lucas: “The story ended up being a lot darker than we intended it to be. Part of it is that I was going through a divorce at the time and I wasn’t in a good mood; and part of it was that we wanted to do something a little bit more edgy.”
Spielberg: “I was not going through a divorce; I had just come off a huge success with E.T. and I was in a good mood.”
Spielberg: “We all collaborated together — the screenwriters, Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz, George and I — in writing the screenplay, so it wasn’t like I was on the outside under protest. But it really went against my nature in the ’80s.”
There was never any doubt about Harrison Ford returning as the eponymous adventurer, but who would join him on his next adventure? A second outing for Karen Allen’s Marion Ravenwood was quickly ruled out, Lucas preferring to emulate the James Bond series and feature a different love interest in each film. So the search got underway for a replacement. One possibility, a serious actor from New York by the name of Kate Capshaw, was initially unsure.
Capshaw: “I was living in Hollywood, and one night, my boyfriend and his friend wanted to take my girlfriend and me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark. I told them that they should go and we would do something together while they were in the theater, but he was very persistent. I went, very petulant and sulky, and stayed that way for about two minutes after the movie started. When I came out, if there had been anyone doing interviews, I would have been a great advertisement for going to see that movie!”
Capshaw: “I got a phone call from my agent saying the sequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark was being cast and, ‘They would love to meet you’. But I was looking at foreign films and little art films, and being a very serious actor studying in Manhattan; I was not interested in doing a sequel. I expressed that to my agency who, in hindsight, was very patent and tolerant of my judgement and arrogance. And so we set a time to meet Steven.”
Capshaw: “I think George and Steven had been looking for “the girl” — by the way, even while we made the movie they always referred to her as “the girl” — and the casting director suggested me because I had just come out to Los Angeles and there is always heat surrounding the new girl. At that time, I didn’t ‘do’ sequels. And I didn’t ‘do’ action adventure. For my screen test — with Steven, not Harrison — it was a scene between Willie and Indy where she’s really hungry. It’s difficult to find audition scenes when there’s so much action. You can’t just go in and yell.”
Spielberg: “I took her tape from that reading and I thought she was absolutely Willie. She wasn’t that character in real life but she had the energy for that girl. I remember taking the tape over to Harrison’s house that night and saying, ‘Look I’ve got about 20 girls on tape. But I only want to show you on.’ And I put Kate in, and he said, ‘She’s the one’.”
Spielberg: “I look back and I say, ‘Well, the greatest thing that I got out of that movie was I met Kate Capshaw. We were married years later that to me was the reason I was fated to make Temple of Doom.”
Capshaw wouldn’t be the only new face to join Indy on his descent into hell. Looking to add emotion to the story, Spielberg wanted a child sidekick, and after a brief search, he found the perfect boy to play orphan Short Round — Ke Huy Quan.
Kathleen Kennedy: “Ke actually didn’t show up to do the interview. He brought his brother. But the entire time that he was trying to tell his brother what to do, we kept looking at him — until we finally said, ‘Who is this kid?’ and we asked him to audition. We then ran to the phone, called Steven, and said, ‘We think we found him.”
Quan: “A few days later we got a call from Steven’s office, asking me to go meet him. My mom dressed me up in a three-piece suit. But when I walked in, Steven took a look at me and said, ‘We’d love for you to come back the next day, but when you do, be very casual. So I went back in jeans and a shirt, and I auditioned with Harrison. Steven told me what he wanted, what the scene was about, and then he just let me say whatever I wanted. After that, he told me I got the part.”
Quan: “I had never seen Star Wars or Raiders, never seen Jaws. So when I met Steven, Harrison and George, I didn’t know who they were. I guess it helped in a way.”
Casting was less straightforward for the film’s major Indian characters — Roshan Seth as the corrupt Indian Prime Minister Chattar Lal and Amrish Puri as the villainous cult leader Mola Ram. Securing Puri, who was shooting another 18 films when he was cast, proved particularly difficult.
Robert Watts (producer): “This was something I had never before come up against. The Indian film industry operates in a manner that would drive me stark raving mad. The actors work sometimes two or even three shifts a day, four-hour shift. And they may work on two or three different films; they’ll be in one in the morning and another in the afternoon. In the end, we had four different visits from Amrish (one in Sri Lanka, three in London). He had to juggle around all his Indian commitments to do this movie. It wasn’t easy.”
Seth: wasn’t really able to deliver the role of Chattar Lal. What Spielberg wanted was an Oxford-educated Indian smoothie who was a crook. If I were to play it now, I would really know how to play that. I didn’t at that time.”
Ford was always going to return for Temple of Doom (though he took exception to Lucasfilm’s announcement that he would go on to appear in another four Indy adventures). The biggest conundrum was where to take the character in this second outing.
Ford: “They must be talking to Roger Moore then [about future Indiana Jones films]. I enjoy him [Indy] very much but it’s one at a time for me”
Ford: “Of course I’m doing the second Raiders film. With great pleasure. Steven Spielberg is going to direct it. So this is very exciting for me. It was one of the best working relationship experiences of my life working with Steven.”
Spielberg: “I wanted a kid in this movie. I wanted this mission to come from Indiana’s heart.”
Spielberg: “Indiana Jones is not just a gravedigger, as in Raiders, obsessed with the material object of his quest. In his one he saves lives. Many lives. Young lives.”
Ford: “There are very few character scenes in the film. George Lucas felt that was established in the first and really this is an all out action adventure film. It’s not a character drama.”
Frank Marshall (producer): “In the credits you’ll see: ‘Physical Conditioning for Mr. Ford by Body by Jake, Inc.’ That’s Jake Steinfeld, whom you may have seen in People magazine. He specializes in training entertainment personnel and worked with Harrison Ford before and during the movie, keeping him in shape. He was also working out Steven (Spielberg) every day. Jake used to double for the Incredible Hulk and every once in a while in Sri Lanka you’d hear this voice bellowing, ‘Okay! Drop and give me fifty, ONE-TWO-THREE-FOUR. ‘ Amazingly enough, there was an old YMCA in Kandy, so he and Harrison would go down there to work out two or three times a week. It was the most primitive weight room I’ve ever seen, with very old weights and ancient benches. Incredible.”
Ford: “I don’t know why they did that to me. I got three years older and the character got one year younger. So I’m four years older than the character. And I can feel the difference,”
The script written and the cast in place, shooting could finally get underway. However, while the leads all gelled well, the production encountered problem. First, the Indian authorities refused permission to shoot in their country after deeming the script offensive, and then Ford suffered an injury while riding the elephants that Indy journeys to Pankot Palace on.
Frank Marshall: “Originally the scenes were going to be shot in India at a fantastic palace. They required us to give them a scrip, so we sent it over and we didn’t think it was going to be a problem. But because of the voodoo element with Mola Ram and the Thuggees, the Indian government was a little bit hesitant to give us permission. They wanted us to do things like not use the term Majarajah, and they didn’t want us to shoot in a particular temple that we had picked. The Indian government wanted changes to the script and final cut.”
Quan: “It was a very, very happy time. We all stayed in the same hotel in Sri Lanka and we’d go back to Harrison’s hotel room and hang out. He even taught me to swim. On the set, Harrison played jokes on Steven all the time. There’s one shot where the mine car pops up into frame. Right before we did it, Harrison got ice-cream cones and gave some to me and Kate. When Steve said, “Action,” we all popped up with ice-cream smeared all over our faces. Steven just said, “That’s great, print that one!”
Capshaw: “Willie has led this pampered life and feels that’s what’s due her — to be cared for and looked after. She meets Indiana Jones, a person unlike anyone she has ever been involved with, and ends up going off with him. In the course of all their adventures, all of her earlier life is stripped away from her, and Willie must fall back on her own resources. She discovers that she is a very strong woman, a gutsy lady. Willie is a much different character than the woman Karen Allen played in Raiders.”
Elliott Scott (Art Director): “I’ve never worked with a director like Steven Spielberg before. He plans and plans and plans. He’s not a hard man at all, in fact he’s rather pleasant, but his sheer enthusiasm just carries you forward. He uses sketches to map out virtually the entire film, forcing himself to consider all the options at the drawing board stage. These are very rough sketches visually, but there’s a lot of depth in them, a lot of information. He would have sketch artists adapt his roughs and send them over to me saying: ‘This is the way I want the action to go.’ Then I would try to adapt the sequence to fit the set. Prior to that I would have shown him a model of the set so he knows in general where things are, but using these action sketches he would find that he needed, say, another camera or another doorway or another this or that. He would ask us to adapt the plans of the set, make something longer, shorter… all at the drawing board stage, which saves considerable amounts of money in the long run and allows everyone involved to know where they are going.”
Capshaw: “I’m with Harrison Ford in this little raft and Steven Spielberg is on the shore. We’re a ways from him so hes got one of those bullhorns. But we must have been on take eight — three of those takes were not good because of the raft, but the others were because of me — and Harrison says, ‘Look, doll, you’re making way too much of this. You don’t have to do anything. This is a B-Movie. Just say your lines.’ He said it with warmth and respect — but he said exactly what I needed to hear.”
Quan: “It was very different making movies back then versus making movies today. We shot a lot of the movie in London and they built these amazing sets. It wasn’t blue screen. Everything was built. Everything was fantastical, so for a kid to be a part of that was amazing. It was like a playground. The only thing I didn’t like as a kid was I was required to do a minimum of 3 hours of schoolwork everyday and there was a tutor on set. But every day I was so looking forward to going on the set and seeing how they make the movie. So, it was just fantastic. It was like play time. It was fun all the way.”
Capshaw: “I didn’t read the parts where Willie has to scream. But I didn’t know how to scream. So Steven taught me how to scream. Screaming is not as easy as it looks.”
Anthony Powell (Wardrobe Designer): “To the public, Indy wears an old shirt and an old pair of pants, but they don’t realize how much is involved and how expensive it all is. For a start, you need six of everything because what clothes have to go though on an action picture is phenomenal. Every time Harrison falls down a ravine or jumps in a river, he will need a change of costume. There are also stunt men and doubles that have the same requirements. On this movie alone, we needed about thirty shirts for Harrison, and it doesn’t show on the screen at all. Continuity is another problem. Films aren’t shot from the beginning to the end. Quite often, shooting starts at the end of the script and works backwards.
“This poses special problems on clothing. By the end of the movie, Harrison’s costume has to look like he’s crawled through jungles, fallen down mines and fought his way to hell and back. Now to make clothes look like as if they’re in that condition and as if someone has been wearing them for ten years involves, say Grand ball gown. The cost of ageing clothes artificially can be much more than the cost of making them in the first place. There are a million tricks of the trade involved: staining, bleaching, washing, dyeing, sandpapering. It’s very hard work!”
Ford: “My back was injured by riding elephants. It was a spinal injury and that was difficult, obviously. Luckily, I had a very good relationship with stuntman Vic Armstrong — he is a really smart guy at devising how these things would and could be done. But he also understands storytelling. I found him to be very wise about Indiana: he added things to the character.”
Watts: “Elephants have a sort of inbuilt Union Organizer in their heads. You are governed by the speed that they can walk from place to place. And they don’t work after certain hours of the day. They are working animals and they know when it’s time to knock off. They just stop working and that’s it. After working hours they go to the river to bathe and relax and they become a little cross if they’re deprived of their recreation time. And a cross elephant could prove both expensive and dangerous on a movie set. “
Ford: “Riding an elephant is very uncomfortable. I developed an antipathy towards elephant riding. You ride with your lags in a hyper extended position to accommodate the girth of the animal right over its shoulders. First one leg, then the other is pulled forward, which tends to spread you apart-like being stretched on medieval rack, I imagine.”
Ford: “The only fun thing about riding an elephant is getting off!”
Spielberg: “Danny Daniels put together this crazy number based on Cole Porter’s song ‘Anything Goes’. Kate had to learn the entire song in Mandarin, and then learn the choreography, but luckily what I didn’t know about Kate was she could also sing and dance. She has a great voice.”
Capshaw: “When I put on that beautiful red dress, it was so tight I couldn’t dance. So all the hard work I put into the musical number was for nothing.”
Powell: “Kate Capshaw had to wear this glamorous sequined dress, which I had wardrobe mistress Barbara Matera make in New York. It was very expensive and was made completely of original beads and sequins from the 1920s and 1930s, which Barbara had been collecting for years. But when we were shooting the scene with Harrison and Kate sitting by a little campfire, I saw an elephant calmly eating the whole back of the dress. So Barbara had to come to England and, using the few pots of beads and sequins that remains, she repaired the dress.”
SPIKES, MINE CARS, ROPE BRIDGES
Spielberg: “I’m a firm believer that in an adventure saga every sequence needs to have two or more activities happening simultaneously. Where Indiana is accusing the Maharajah and the palace authorities of stealing the Sankara Stone, on the other side of the table unspeakable entrees are being served. With the sequence inside the crusher room as Indiana and Short Round are about to be crushed, Willie is having her own problem with tens of thousands of insects.”
Spielberg: “The spike room was one of my favourite sets. That scene was my flagrant homage to the old Republic serials, and I wanted it in the story very early on. I had so much fun directing the scene because it was a race against time with the spikes coming down and Indy screaming at Willie to reverse the mechanism. I also liked the little coda that I added at the end after their final come out, when Willie leans over and her butt hits another device and the whole thing starts over again — and they have to kind of throw their bodies through one of the doors that’s quickly closing — and the last thing was Indy retrieving his hat. God forbid it should stay behind.”
Capshaw: “The worst part was having large bugs placed strategically on me where you can literally feel all their legs sort of grip you. The special animal trainer would start at my waist and my arms and work up my shoulders and then he would start placing them in my hair. And I would always be afraid that they would start crawling into inside my hair and I had just keep breathing and I closed my eyes and everybody would be quiet on the set. It was as good as working with bugs could have been.”
George Gibbs (Mechanical Effects Supervisor): “Steven Spielberg wanted the full size mine car circuit at Elstree to be just like a scenic railway. We hired in and bought some real mine cars and then had to decide how to power them. I settled for an electric motor and batteries controlled by a hidden motorcycle-type twist grip. We also installed disc brakes on each car, plus the electric motors had their own built-in braking system. We had a lot of teething problems, which one would expect. No one had ever built electrically l powered mine cars before. But eventually we riggred us four cars which could carry four people each. And they could really travel, especially coming down inclines eighteen or twenty feet high into a zigzag! Of course, I had to visit a lot of specialist companies for help designing and building an asymmetrical track plus installing steel flanges behind the wheels to keep the cars on the track around the curves.”
Spielberg: “One day the actors accidentally went through a large lump of smoke. The effects man didn’t take the B-smoke and properly paddle it evently across the track. He created a cloud that hung in the air, so when the mine car hit the cloud, it created a con trail that flowed off the shpulder and hat of Harrison — and I just loved it. From then on I had the effects man lump his clouds in midair.”
Douglas Slocombe (Director of Photography): “There were logistical problems with the rope bridge scene in Sri Lanka. We had to shoot from both sides and below the bridge, perched on slippery ledges and rock faces. In addition, it was difficult to get equipment from one side to the other quicky. At first, we thought that none of us except the stunt boys would set foot on it, but within ten minutes of Steven Spielberg arriving he had crossed it — true to form. After that, everybody wanted to cross it. But equipment was another matter and that had to be trucked all the way around the valley which could take several hours. The right equipment had to be in the right place at the right time. Equally important, when we were shooting from one side of the bridge, we had to ensure that no equipment was visible on the far side which was no easy task as arc lights and so on would take a considerable amount of effort to put in position.
Quan: “I remember this one scene where Kate and I walk to the end of the cliff. We don’t know if Indy is dead or alive. Then we see him and we had to laugh — because Harrison was off camera, just making funny faces to get a genuine laugh out of me. We would rehearse a couple of times, and then we’d do it, and every time we’d do it, it felt like a new experience for me.”
Whatever the film’s problems, John Williams excelled himself with a score that is by turns lush, comedic, romantic, and terrifying. Williams enjoyed experimenting with his music, while Spielberg ranks it as one of the composer’s finest works.
Williams: “One of the aspects in scoring a film like this is to try to find the right speed for these things. There’s so much quick cutting in all of the scenes, quick action, overlapping dialogue, sound design, and music, that we really feel like we’re on this kind of roller coaster. So what I need to do is to get the speed of the music right. The challenge and fun for me is to make sure the music is always moving at the right pace with what we see and hear and feel.”
Spielberg: “Johnny Williams saw the film and I think he reacted appropriately. His music is beautiful for Willie and Indy. I love the trek score where the elephant are going across India. That was some of the most beautiful trek music I’d ever heard. Then he got really dark and strange with the all-male chorus inside the Temple of Doom itself. John did an amazing score, which really brought the movie up in my eyes.
As shooting continued, it became obvious that the Indian government’s refusal wouldn’t be the only problem the film would run into. Temple of Doom‘s darkness seemed more apparent to Spielberg and Lucas as script was committed to celluloid, as did its relentless pace. To counteract this, the pair acted.
Hyuck: Everybody was saying ‘Steve, let’s take it down’. At such a late point, it was very difficult to make changes. There were some changes having to do with the intensity of the violence.”
Spielberg: “After I showed the film to George at an hour and 55 minutes, we looked at each other, and the first thing out of our mouths was, ‘Too fast.’ We needed to decelerate the action. So I actually did a few matte shots to slow it down. We re-established the palace outside in a night shot before going back inside again. 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.”
Lucas: “If you think of the Republic serials from the 1930s, they take themselves a little bit too seriously. So we wanted to infuse into Temple of Doom the humour you find in the old Abbott and Costello movies or in the Thin Man series. The dinner scene where outrageous dishes are served was something I’d always wanted to put in a movie. Steven has a sense of humour that fits into that, so he went hog wild.”
Seth: “Amrish Puri, who played Mola Ram, was a very nice guy. He was operatic; he couldn’t have been a better villain. But I have to say this: Indian people are very embarrassed when they see one of their own playing roles like that.”
Katz: “It’s boy’s adventure time. We didn’t see it as being that realistic. We saw it as being sort of funny. We had a lot of fun sitting around thinking of the mos disgusting meal you could eat — monkey brains.”
Seth: The banquet scene was a joke that went wrong. I got a great deal of flak for it because people kept saying, “How does an intelligent man like you agree to be in a film which shows Indians dining on beetles and eels?” Steven intended it as a joke, the joke being that Indians were so fucking smart that they knew all Westerners think that Indians eat cockroaches, so they served them what they expected. The joke was too subtle for that film.”
As critics got their claws into the film, Lucas, Spielberg and Ford defended it, insisting that it was their intention all along to go dark.
Spielberg: The picture is not called the ‘Temple of Roses’ it is called ‘The Temple of Doom. I can remember as a child at the movies my parents used to cover my eyes in the cinema when they felt I should not be exposed to what was coming out on the screen: it was usually two people kissing innocently. There are parts of this film that are too intense for younger children but this is a fantasy adventure. It is the kind of violence that does not really happen, will not happen and cannot really be perpetuated by people leaving the cinema and performing these tricks on their friends at home.”
Ford: “It is a darker film, by comparison to the first. But to say without that comparison that it’s a dark film is not exactly right. When I think of dark films, I think of more realistically dark films. This film deals with realistic emotions, but the context is not as realistic as some other kinds of films.”
Katz: “I think it’s really up to parental discretion to decide whether a motion picture is too violent or not. I would probably not want an 8 or 10-year old child to see the movie. But kids, certainly, are so much more sophisticated now… We had to create a villain, and villains must do bad things. They just can’t say: “Hello, I’m a villain with capital “V”.
Ford: “This is a completely moral tale and in order to have a moral resolve, evil must be seen to inflict pain. The end of the movie is proof of the viability of goodness. But I do not like films that use violence in a reprehensible way. I do not seek out movies that are bathed in blood.”
Lucas: “Temple of Doom invented the PG-13 rating. It was too gross to be PG, and it wasn’t quite gross enough to be an R.”
Spielberg: “The story of that was, I had come under criticism, personal criticism, for both Temple of Doom and, you know, Gremlins, in the same year. I remember calling Jack Valenti [then the president of the Motion Picture Association] and suggesting to him that we need a rating between R and PG, because so many films were falling into a netherworld, you know, of unfairness. Unfair that certain kids were exposed to Jaws, but also unfair that certain films were restricted, that kids who were 13, 14, 15 should be allowed to see. I suggested, “Let’s call it PG-13 or PG-14, depending on how you want to design the slide rule,” and Jack came back to me and said, “We’ve determined that PG-13 would be the right age for that temperature of movie.” So I’ve always been very proud that I had something to do with that rating.”
Ford: “I was fairly well pleased with the final result. It certainly was a darker story, but worth it. It was a little but more challenging than I think what people anticipated.”
Spielberg: “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 personal feeling in Temple of Doom.”
Capshaw: “I don’t think there was a good review. I was blind-sided by it. The thing that surprised me the most was that the critics, women critics in particular, were very critical of Willie Scott, as if we were making a political statement and I was doing nothing for my sisters. I found it odd that it was an action-adventure film and we were meant to be doing message work.”
Spielberg: “Indy Two will not go down in my pantheon as one of my prouder moments.”
Quan: “I didn’t get to see the movie until the premier at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. It was amazing, because when you’re shooting it, it’s all bits and pieces. To see it put together like that with the sound effects, I loved it. I had never thought of acting, but after seeing the film, I thought, I want to do this the rest of my life. I felt blessed to have worked with Steven, who did a private screening for me of his and George’s movies after I was done with the movie — and then I realised, ‘Wow, I was a part of this big thing.’”
Capshaw: “Temple Of Doom is the forgotten Indiana Jones movie. I was laughing with someone when they re-issued it as a three-pack. I said, “Thank goodness it’s a three-pack, or we wouldn’t have made the cut.”
Ford: “I felt it was funny and explored interesting, dark places. That scene where he takes the heart out, that was a new thing, a dark thing. But I enjoyed that about it. It also possesses some of the craziest action, the most energy. I think it is a good film. They all are.”
Quan: “I always loved acting, but when you get older and you’re going through adolescence, the roles are limited. That’s one reason and another reason is that I always found being behind the camera more satisfying. As a kid, I always wanted to be like Spielberg and to make wonderful movies. Even when I was making ‘Indiana Jones,’ I was looking at how he would come up with these amazing shots and how he would choreograph the blocking and all that. So I knew from early on I would go to film school and try to work behind the camera.”
Capshaw: “If I walk into a room and it’s on, we both have to sit down as we can both remember it like it was yesterday. We’ll go, ‘Oh yeah, remember that? You weren’t talking to me during that part,’ or, ‘Oh, that was a really big flirt day.’ It was so much fun.”
NBC Today Show, 1984
Steven Spielberg Q&A, Jim Windolf, Vanity Fair. January 2nd 2008.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: An Oral History, Empire Online
The Harrison Ford Story, Chapter 8, Part 2: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Short Round’s portrayer reflects on ‘Temple of Doom’ adventure, Karen Butler. United Press International. Published: September 23rd 2012.
The Making of Temple of Doom, theraider.net.
The Making of Temple of Doom, indianajones.de
Steven Spielberg: A Biography (Second Edition), Joseph McBride. University Press of Mississippi. 2011.
The Complete Making of Indiana Jones, Laurent Bouzereau and J. W. Rinzler. Ebury Press. 2008.