Welcome to LRM Scenes. In each installment of this collaborative column, we will present our favorite scenes from a particular movie, from a notable director’s catalogue, or the theme may be something different altogether. These may be scenes that are pivotal to the film, or simply one that stuck out to us.
After taking a week off for the Holiday, we’re back, with more of the scenes that give us an overflow of nerd emotion.
This week, we’ve decided to all choose scenes from the same classic film, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. We will of course, get to the other two films (yes, I said two) but we decided to start with this because the other two are just better films, and we figured we’d save them for last.
While many nerds place this at #3 (myself included) in their Indiana Jones rankings, that doesn’t mean it’s not a classic film, it simply means Raiders and Crusade are just amazing films.
Cam Clark is going to be hitting leadoff today.
Cam: For my favorite scene, I have decided to go for the sequence where Indy and Short Round get trapped inside a booby-trapped chamber and Willie is left with the task of rescuing the pair.
One of the criticisms often cited with Temple is that Kate Capshaw’s character of Willie Scott is a bit old-fashioned in terms of a female protagonist by today’s standards. Willie is a princess and she doesn’t like getting her hands dirty, meaning Indy is left to rescue her at various times throughout the film as she faints and screams a lot. Very different to how Karen Allen played Marion in Raiders as an independent woman, who refused to accept she wasn’t as capable as Indy.
I like the fact that in this scene the writers and director use this as a tool to rack up the tension. Indy usually the expert at getting in and out of situations like this is trapped and Willie is called to help them. She has to deal with a massive amount of crazy looking bugs who are crawling all over her and place her hand inside a hole teeming with life to release Indy and Shorty. The scene does an incredible job of ramping up the tension as the ceiling slowly falls to doom the pair. With time running out Willie has to “get all dirty again” to free them.
It works so well with the music building in intensity and pace as the ceiling comes lower and Ford’s exasperation at Willie for not being quicker. I love how she goes for the wrong hole because it’s easier and gets a fright as Indy sticks his first through to tell her to go into the other one. This is summed up as we close in on Indy’s face through the small hole as he shouts at Willie “We, are going, to DIE!” Then, just as she manages to release them she comes in screaming about all the bugs on her and immediately starts the mechanism again, which is superb comedic timing as the music kicks in exactly as it did previously, allowing Indy to be the hero and rush Willie out the door, as he escapes last, with the door almost shut he reaches in one last time to retrieve his hat, as always.
Even though you never truly believe Indy and Short Round are going to get crushed or stabbed to death, I find the scene retains a great deal of tension and as I watched it last night with my 4-year-old daughter, she was urging on Willie whilst also being disgusted by all the bugs in her hair and all over her. A classic Indiana Jones moment worthy of any of the movies in my opinion.
Stephon: Indiana Jones. The world’s most famous globe trekking temple runner. The archaeologist that does it all with a whip, innate charm, and a sidekick named Short Round. Temple of Doom is a kinetic film and one that director Steven Spielberg crafts into a pretty enjoyable ride. Though not Indiana’s Jones’ best outing, the film has several strong sequences.
My favorite in Temple of Doom takes place at Club Obi Wan. This sequence takes place in Shanghai sometime during 1935. Indiana Jones is at Club Obi Wan to trade the item Nurachi, the cremated ashes of the First Emperor Manchu Dynasty. In exchange, the villainous Lao Che is supposed to give Indy a diamond. The tables littered throughout Club Obi Wan are filled with diners in a mix of gowns and three-piece suits. It feels and looks to me like the classic 007 scene done American-style.
A lot happens in the sequence. First off there’s the exchange of items taking place. Lao Che rips Indy off poisoning him in a gamble that Indy will willfully take an antidote and allow Lao to get away with both the diamond and Nurachi. We also witness Wu Han’s death right in the arms of Indiana Jones. I like the mix of madcap action and emotion. There’s even a moment where Indy spears one of Lao’s men with a flaming kabob. The sequence is worth several replays.
Doll: Sethon the great took my second favorite Indiana and the Temple of Doom scene, making it easier to pick my favorite, because I thought about the 007-esque opening sequence to Temple of Doom. It is great. But, not as great as this scene…
As much as Temple of Doom is a black-sheep in the Indiana Jones franchise, not even considering Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the film has at least three scenes I’d love to discuss.
Perhaps the most ballsy move by Dr. Jones (Harrison Ford), he tells his friends to hang on, then chops the bridge to bits! The very bridge he is standing on. The scene then transitions to an action scene, on more of a ladder, but many henchmen are eaten by Crocodiles in the process.
It even involves Jones protecting his own life! Enjoy.
Seth: I chose the Jungle scene, you know, the one where Willie is becoming accustomed to all of the surrounding creatures while Dr. Jones and Short Round play cards. It’s by no means an action scene, and might not be but it’s a quaint little part of the movie that has always stuck with me.
Short Round accuses Indy of cheating seconds before being caught cheating himself. The conversation that ensues is my favorite part of the jungle scene. While the following conversation Dr. Jones explains to Willie the why they’re heading to Pankot Palace is more important to the movie, to the argument between Indy and Short Round is the gem of the scene, showing how close the two, we also learn Indiana Jones can speak Cantonese.
Their unique friendship shines in this scene and makes the cursed Indy sequence later in the film weigh much heavier. The scene produces many quotable lines from Short Round. You can engage in some fortune and glory below.
Did we leave out your favorite scene from Temple of Doom? Let us know which scene you love most in the comments down below!