My Favorite Movies – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

“Indiana? We named the dog Indiana.” – Sean Connery as Professor Henry Jones

My Favorite Movies:

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

When Henry “Indiana” Jones broke onto the scene, I was three years old. The swashbuckling archaeologist made for an odd hero – a wisecracking professor with a whip wasn’t exactly the public’s idea of a star. Yet the formula held, and so the sequels were penned.

Indiana Jones and the Last CrusadeIndiana Jones and the Temple of Doom came out when I was six. I barely remember the hype, but don’t remember seeing it on its first run. I vaguely remember it as a movie filled with dust, camels and nearly naked natives. I wasn’t a huge fan at the time, but I was still entranced with Benji. So there you go.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? To me, that was pure gold.

Imagine: an eleven year old boy, in love with Nintendo, driven to play Final Fantasy for hours upon hours, discovering the joys of medieval culture and falling completely for anything that even hinted at swords, dragons and chain mail. A young dork in the making. And the perfect audience for an Indiana Jones movie dealing primarily with the Holy Grail, medieval culture’s greatest treasure.

I’ll admit, I thought Sean Connery was hilarious, and since I’ve never been incredibly interested in the Bond movies, to me this is Connery’s best film. He took the sarcastic personality of Harrison Ford’s Indiana and added a foil. It’s a dynamic partnership that still has me howling.

To me, The Last Crusade justified the existence of the previous Indiana Jones movies. They moved from dusty relics to pertinent prequels. The trilogy is brilliant in a non-stuffy way. It’s a manic tour through time and space; a series of mental puzzles that puts like-minded impostors like The DaVinci Code to shame. It’s the perfect action series; that is, if you prefer your action movies to be ladled up with a heap of wit and a sprinkling of Nazis.

But while the first two movies are almost certainly better than the last, the series is best completed and best supported by The Last Crusade. At least to the eleven-year-old part of my mind, that is.

Top Five Trilogies

1. Indiana Jones Trilogy – See above

2. The Bourne Trilogy – Unlimited ass-kicking action in the world’s most recognizable locales. Spy thrillers take note – you have a long ways to go if you want to match up.

3. Oceans Eleven/Twelve/Thirteen – I actually liked Oceans Twelve, to tell you the truth. Casino robbery that’s utterly implausible, yes. But fun all the same.

4. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – These are fantastic movies, best watched together. One movie doesn’t tell the entire story, which is why none of the movies alone make my list.

5. The Dollars Trilogy
– While I’ve never seen all three movies all the way straight through, I have seen every minute of each film in parts enough to know that spaghetti westerns are a lost art form.

This was lovingly handwritten on February 18th, 2008