Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, directed by Steven Spielberg is the second movie in the Indiana Jones franchise and celebrated its 30th birthday this month (May), hard to believe.
After three rejected story lines, George Lucas decided to make the film a prequel as he didn’t want the Nazis to be the villains again following the 1981 movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. Lawrence Kasdan turned down an offer to write the script. Eventually Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz were hired as the movies screenwriters there final script was partly based upon the 1939 film Gunga Din.
Spielberg and Lucas were denied permission to film in North India and Amer Fort due to the government finding the script racist and offensive. The government insisted on the script to be changed and final cut privilege. Instead they filmed on location in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Matte paintings and scale models applied for the village, temple, and Pankot Palace.
Filming began on April 18, 1983 in Kandy and then moved to Elstree Studios in England. Eight out of the nine sound stages at Elstree Studio housed the filming of Temple of Doom.
In a recent interview with Yahoo, Indian actor Nizwar Karanj, who was the unfortunate one to have his heart ripped out by the menacing Mola Ram. Karanj said he never received a script for Temple of Doom, and didn’t know what his scene would entail. When he did arrive on the set he was told they were going to create a full-body cast that would later be lowered into the molten lava.
While riding the elephants Harrison Ford suffered a back injury. Ford, even though in severe pain continued filming. Eventually filming had to be shut down so Harrison could be flown back to the states for treatment. When he returned the majority of his action scenes were filmed using a stunt double.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was released on May 23, 1984 in the U.S., setting a record of $45.7 million (U.S. Dollars) in its first week. The film would go on to gross over $333.11 million worldwide a $180 million of that in the U.S. Temple of Doom would have the highest opening weekend of 1984 and was that year’s third highest grossing film in the U.S., behind Beverly Hills Cop and Ghostbusters.
Temple of Doom, too mature for PG audiences but not mature enough for the R rating, found itself in ratings limbo. Spielberg himself came up with a new rating that would bridge the gap. On August 10, 1984, just three months after parents were upset over the release of a PG-rated “Temple of Doom,” “Red Dawn,” starring Patrick Swayze, became the first film to be released with a PG-13 rating.
U.S. Theatrical Release: May 23, 1984
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone
Running time: 118 minutes
The only Indy movie to ever display its title on-screen using the famous Indiana Jones typeface; and the only movie to ever show its title largely obscured by an object (in this case, Kate Capshaw) in the foreground.
Set in 1935, a professor, archaeologist, and legendary hero by the name of Indiana Jones is back in action in his newest adventure. But this time he teams up with a night club singer named Wilhelmina “Willie” Scott and a twelve-year-old boy named Short Round. They end up in an Indian small distressed village, where the people believe that evil spirits have taken all their children away after a sacred precious stone was stolen! They also discovered the great mysterious terror surrounding a booby-trapped temple known as the Temple of Doom! Thuggee is beginning to attempt to rise once more, believing that with the power of all five Sankara stones they can rule the world! Now, it’s all up to Indiana to put an end to the Thuggee campaign, rescue the lost children, win the girl and conquer the Temple of Doom.