Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: is this movie a cure for what Grails you? (film retrospective)

Returning as Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford is now on a quest to locate his father, who has vanished. Sean Connery, Alison Doody, Julian Glover, Denholm Elliot, and John Rhys-Davies are featured as well. Steven Spielberg served as director. George Lucas was the producer. Hey, you preferred Raiders of the Lost Ark‘s airiness over Temple of Doom’s musty odour. You may like this one, then.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is like a fine wine, it only gets better with age. Harrison Ford’s portrayal of the rugged and charismatic archaeologist is nothing short of iconic, and Sean Connery as his father adds a touch of class and humor to the film. The chemistry between the two leads is undeniable, making for some of the most entertaining father-son banter in cinematic history.

The movie also boasts some of the most thrilling action scenes of the franchise, from a high-speed motorcycle chase to a dramatic finale that will have you on the edge of your seat. And let’s not forget about the film’s villain, played by the always excellent Julian Glover, who brings a level of sophistication to the role that is often missing in other action movies.

Here’s your movie recap.

The young Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. finds grave robbers in 1912 while exploring tunnels in Utah. Golden Crucifix by Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, which Indiana brings to a museum, is discovered by the robbers. Although Indiana manages to elude the thieves, the sheriff demands that Indiana return the cross to their panama hat-wearing boss on the grounds that Indiana stole it from its legitimate owner. One of the robbers hands Indiana his fedora and begs him to persevere. In 1938, Indiana encounters the boss on a choppy ship, gets the cross, and escapes just in time for the ship to blow up and kill everyone.

When Indiana returns to his job as a teacher in San Francisco, he learns that his estranged father, Henry, has left in search of the Holy Grail—his lifelong obsession—which was used to collect Jesus’s blood and provide eternal life. Indiana doesn’t believe in its supernatural abilities. For Walter Donovan, Henry’s backer, Indiana must locate Henry and the Holy Grail. Indiana visits Dr. Elsa Schneider, Henry’s Austrian coworker, in Venice after obtaining Henry’s Grail journals from Marcus Brody.

Under Henry’s library, Indiana and Elsa discover a First Crusade knight’s tomb with a shield confirming the Grail’s provenance in Alexandretta. In order to preserve the Holy Grail, the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword targets Indiana and Elsa for murder, but when they learn that Indiana just wants Henry, they reveal that Henry is in Austria. Indiana sends Marcus to Skenderun, the city built on Alexandretta’s ruins, to see their old friend Sallah after giving him a diary map detailing the Grail’s journey from Alexandretta. Marcus and the map are found by Nazis.

Austria’s Castle Brunwald, under Nazi authority, is invaded by Indiana and Elsa. Henry is found by Indiana, who eventually gives up when Elsa is captured by SS Colonel Ernst Vogel. Donovan and Elsa acknowledge working with the Nazis to take the Grail and diaries. While Elsa transports the journal to Germany, Indiana and Henry leave the castle and the Nazis. After obtaining Elsa’s journals in Germany, they depart aboard an airship and a biplane. Hatay is informed by Sallah that Donovan, Elsa, and the Nazis are travelling along the Grail route. The expedition is wiped out by the Brotherhood, but Indiana rescues Henry, Marcus, and Vogel.

Following Donovan, Elsa, and the other Nazis to the location of the Grail’s burial in the Crescent Moon canyon, Indiana, Henry, Marcus, and Sallah are apprehended. When the Nazis are unable to get past the safety traps, Donovan murders Henry to force Indiana to take the Grail. Indiana uses the diary to get past the obstacles and leaps over a large chasm to save his father (revealed to be a concealed bridge). A Grail chamber is guarded by a 700-year-old warrior. The knight cautions that fake Grails are lethal.

Donovan is given a magnificent Grail to drink by Elsa before she turns to dust. Indiana correctly identifies a clay cup as the Holy Grail, but the knight warns that, in order to provide immortality, the Grail must remain within the temple. Indiana visits Henry again and observes how the Holy Grail water quickly heals his gunshot wound. Despite the Knight’s warning, Elsa departs with the Holy Grail, but the temple is destroyed. The earth splits apart as she dies attempting to regain the Grail, and Indiana almost perishes until Henry persuades him to let go. As the temple is destroyed, the Knight bids farewell as Indiana, Henry, Sallah, and Marcus ride out into the distance.

Our Take

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a perfect blend of humor, action, and adventure that continues to entertain audiences to this day. So grab your fedora and whip, and join Indiana Jones on one last crusade that will have you saying “this is the stuff of legends.”

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Is this movie a cure for what Grails you? (film retrospective)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Is this movie a cure for what Grails you? (film retrospective)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.