Fun with Franchises: Our Favorite Images from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

One of the recurring features that we do in Fun with Franchises (a feature within a feature) is, after we finish watching a film, we go through and pick out our favorite images from that film. These images could be anything from really famous images from the film or franchise, really beautifully composed shots, shots that are funny to us because of the facial expressions being made in them or because of what we said about them in the article in which they appeared, or simply because they have boobs in them.

How we do this is, in the same way we watch the films, Colin and I separately pick out about ten to fifteen shots that we really liked. (This typically ends up being him picking out around 30 and me having around 70.) Then we compare lists, and whichever ones we both chose automatically make our final list. Everything else we talk through. We have it down to a science by now. Within four total emails, we’re left with a final list of ten images we liked the best, along with ten honorable mentions, which were also as good, but just missed out on making the list proper. (And then more we just work in. Just cause.)

It’s not very complicated (like most things we do here at B+ Movie Blog), and is just a way for us to point out shots that we really liked in the films, especially since we tend to pick stuff that’s not always on the beaten path. (We also don’t officially rank the list of shots. We just put them in chronological order. Simply picking them is hard enough. We don’t want to make our lives any harder. Plus, we’re lazy.)

That said — here are our favorite images from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:

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It’s the shots article, son. EHEHEHEHEHEHEHE

This will never not be funny to me.

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1. Western shit

This was a foregone conclusion. Colin and I love the western genre. It’s my favorite genre, alongside musical. Nothing makes me happier than a western. And here this movie is, starting with classic western imagery, just shot after shot of beautiful natural locations. What’s more to want?

If they replaced Willie Scott with shots of this place, Temple of Doom would have been a whole lot better.

Colin:

Westerns are my favorite. I don’t like guns, I don’t like the West, I don’t like most of the values that the genre stands for, and yet…Westerns are so great. I’m imagining how amazing it would be if someone actually intercut Temple of Doom with shots of Monument Valley instead of Willie Scott. Like, he’d say something, and it would cut to ^^ this. Talk about the key to comedy.

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2. This

I love that they set this on the deck of a ship, and clearly put it on a soundstage. So the boat is rocking back and forth, they made wave effects crashing into the boat, sending water everywhere. There’s barrels! And it’s all done in wide shot. This, to me, is a perfect action scene.

Colin:

It’s really that the did it wide like this and on a soundstage. This is so clearly a SET that I have to like it. If you don’t like this because it doesn’t look as gritty as some new action movies, or as clean and CG as some other new action movies, we’re not having this conversation anymore.

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3. Silhouettes

This is so great. The 30s gangster silhouette with the gun, and the great lighting on the two of them as well. The silhouette is so great, though. This is how people got murdered in the 30s.

Colin:

This the the classic nefarious villain shot. And we have the hat and gun barrel in silhouette on the wall. Our hero, and the bad guy. Look at the lighting, too. This is so clearly pastiche that you immediately notice how over the top it is while you’re looking at the single image. Effective, too. 

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4. This shot

It’s a combination of the lighting (they light her so well in this scene), the perfect mixture of green and red going on, her natural beauty, and that “just been fucked” hair she’s got going on. This image is sexy as hell.

Colin:

This is the shot that convinces me she’s really hot. And she is. Look at that.

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5. These faces

Because Sean Connery wins at everything. And it proves to the world, once and for all, no matter who it is, Sean Connery fucked her first.

Colin:

I have nothing to add. That was perfect.

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6. This

I love people who hop up and down and roll their fists around, ready to throw down at anyone who comes at them. And add to that the single take of the truck being rolled up, the reveal that it’s a Nazi truck, and then the great staging where we reveal how deep the shot goes — it’s perfect. I love when a set is revealed to only be part of the location. Every time I talk about All Quiet on the Western Front on this blog, I always talk about how that movie did things with staging that other films of the era just didn’t do. You’re in this room, and you think, “Oh, it’s flat, tableau staging like early sound.” And then they open up the doors and you’re in what feels like three-dimensional space… it’s amazing. Plus, this is like western imagery where this one flimsy wall of a town is all that separates humanity from the wild.

Colin:

The first thing is how Sallah is posing, and the way he sort of hops around to fight. He’s like the Notre Dame mascot. But the second image is better, because it is that window into nothingness we see in Westerns. I think My Darling Clementine is the one that sticks out most, as Fonda’s walking down to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. The camera is beside him and we see open desert as he passes buildings, and you start to see just how tenuous the hold is between this little community and its place in the void. I doubt Spielberg went that far with this, but there is something to be said for the idea that the town is safe, and what lies beyond is not. So the way this shot is set up demonstrates that beautifully.

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7. Fuck Books

Say what you will about the tenets of national fascism, but they sure as hell knew how to throw a rally. It’s because they’re good at organizing. We’ve seen Triumph of the Will. They don’t stand all willy nilly. They’re all neat and ordered. And that makes their crowd shots look nice. And then the red of the banners matches up well with the fire of the Jew books. It’s hard to make a book burning rally look bad, visually speaking. As we’ve established, it doesn’t look super great for your group, but it does make a nice entry in the photo album.

Colin:

The fascists do know how to make a rally look snappy. While the tone and background music is totally different, there’s a parallel between this scene and Scar singing ‘Be Prepared’ in The Lion King because they both came from Triumph of the Will. You see this sort of thing, and there’s something visually appealing about its organization, but at the same time, you’re repelled by the nature and content of the image.

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8. Crosshairs

Crosshairs shots are awesome. Plus he’s on a horse, and in the desert, and the whole thing is crisp as hell. What’s not to like?

Sometimes the oldest camera tricks are the best.

Colin:

This is so old fashioned! I think the best part is that it’s not trying to be a more modern version, where it would be sniper crosshairs or something, or where it would be moving a lot. This has the feel of a stationary camera with a long lens, shooting it as though he was completely still and the backdrop was moving behind him. Like the title screen of an old movie, where a ship will be sailing in place.

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9. I do appreciate a good crevice

This could be from The Tree of Life and you wouldn’t know. Sometimes pure beauty is the way to go. There’s no reason for it other than, “Goddamn, this looks nice.” Plus they come up here on horses, and it’s nice and silhouette-y. Just a great location.

Colin:

This is the kinda place you could bring a girl and get lucky. OR, she’d be like, nah.

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10. This place

Holy jumping fucking shitballs, this place is amazing. It’s an actual HOUSE carved into a mountain. Honestly, if it were habitable inside, and had furniture and shit, I’d go, “Can I move into this place right now?” Because that shit took effort and looks beautiful. Honestly, if my walkway were that crevice in the previous shot, and this was the front yard, I’ll move into that place TODAY. I don’t even care if it’s in Turkey. Can you imagine watching a movie on that fucking cave wall? New life goal: This place.

Colin:

This was in Turkey? Aw, fuck that then. But I think we like it because it’s a REAL dwarven kingdom. Tell me this doesn’t look like Arabian Erebor. Arabbor? Why didn’t I think of that during the regular articles? Oh well. 

– – – – – – – – – –

Honorable Mentions:

  • This shot

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This is the entire movie in a single image. It’s simple, and effective.

Colin:

This may be thin, but his hat is sort of filling the rest of the space, which means that what we see on the tablet so far is what we begin with, and the rest is going to require some adventure, which the hat signifies. 

  • Map travel

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Because map travel just looks nice.

And despite this being a really good movie, there aren’t that many shots that I out and out loved. The first movie was really bold in its visual choices, being free of expectation and too much money. The others are more tampered down. Which isn’t that bad a thing (unless you’re comparing them to Raiders in that regard), it’s just that it limits the amount of great shots that I really loved from them. Most of the shots we enjoyed here were facial expressions more than images. Which goes to show how this movie is more about character relationships than anything else.

Colin:

These are my favorite shots from these movies, I think. I love the idea of adventure travel and maps. The second one’s even better, cause they’re driving that awesome car, which I forgot to mention in the articles. It’s a Steyr 200 Cabriolet, which is awesome. That’s such a random car for the time, but that’s what makes it great. They didn’t just grab an old Mercedes.

  • War room maps

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Talk about going back to basics. Map travel, wide shots of western iconography, and war rooms with giant maps that you can move pieces around on. If a movie has one, chances are we’ll find a way to get it in the shots article.

We like what we like.

Colin:

I discussed this at length during the articles. I love map shots. Put shots of maps in your movie, and there’s a good chance that I will be kind to it.

  • Marcus

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This is more of a tribute to Denholm Elliott than anything. He’s awesome. The first one is funny because of the cut, the second one is nice because he’s just so fucking clueless, and I have no idea what the third one is. You can practically see the *GULP!* happening. Denholm Elliott is the Bernard Lee of this franchise.

Colin:

He was the comic relief, but also not really. He’s kind of the heart of this movie, if you stop and think about what role everyone sort of plays. He’s the goofy one who tags along but isn’t ever really killing anyone or fighting or anything. But his facial expressions and delivery are gold. If you haven’t seen A Bridge Too Far (okay movie, not amazing), his tiny role in it is great. He plays the RAF meteorologist who’s telling them there’s fog over the drop zone so they have to wait, and he’s explaining to them shit like, “Well, fog…you see…it moves.” 

  • This shot

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He’s shaking his fist at something, which is just a great thing to do. Try shaking your fist at things. It feels great.

Also, he’s shaking his fist at REAR PROJECTION!!!!!!!!!!

(We love rear projection here at B+ Movie Blog.)

Colin:

I love fist shaking. And rear projection. This is a great image.

  • Simplicity

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I love that we picked these shots. Because it’s so easy to make something look good. One person against a stark background. No frills, no fancy camera movement.  Just this. I like that we ended up liking this better than most shots in this franchise. Most people would have put some iconic image with the cup or whatever here. Not us.

Colin:

The first shot looks like it’s taken out of North by Northwest, which I love. It’s just him and his shit against that deep, blue Technicolor VistaVision. And the second, you’ve got the same thing, but the ANGLE is awesome too. These two shots are excellent.

  • Wide shot

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More western stuff. Plus here, they’re arguing on top of a tank as it’s heedlessly drifting toward the edge of a cliff. That’s nice too. But mostly the western stuff.

Colin:

Kinda looks like a miniature, doesn’t it? I like that.

  • Face/Off

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This is straight out of West Side Story or X-Men. (Or both. Imagine both.)

I love two sides standing apart like this and facing off. The only place you see this anymore is in football during the coin toss. This is amazing. The only thing that would make this better is if everyone was standing opposite their opponent. You know what I mean? How you face off against your adversary for that movie? Or if they started snapping their fingers and pulled out switchblades and started dance-fighting. That would be better too.

Colin:

Look at the blocking. You’re supposed to see this as two parallel lines, but they’ve blocked it so you get everyone in the shot by staggering.

  • This shot

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In each of thees movies, they have shots that epitomize the genre. This is one of them. Man walking up the steps of a temple into the unknown, knowing danger is waiting, but not what it is exactly. Beautiful.

Colin:

Wandering into the unknown. This is always the shot, but notice that this time, you’re watching him go in from outside, while in Temple, it was watching him come in from outside.

  • This shot

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The odd number films in this franchise have awesome final shots. The even ones have shitty final shots. I’m guessing this was meant to be the end of the trilogy and presumed end of the franchise. Since, at this point, was there any continuous franchise that went more than three movies? Bond wasn’t connected so much from film to film. But I guess neither is this. So there’s Bond. And Star Trek. But other than that, anything? Jaws technically had four, but are we counting that? Horror movies had quite a few. Halloween and Nightmare on Elm.

I think the point was it felt like they were letting the franchise ride off into the sunset with this. Either way, it looks nice. A classic western ending, which works with the tone of the film we had for much of it.

Colin:

This really works as a wrap on the SERIES, rather than the movie. The wrap on the movie could have been outside Arabbor, but they threw this in because it was a fitting end to the trilogy. Oh well. 

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow, we go over our final thoughts from the film.

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