The third film in the Indiana Jones series introduced film icon Sean Connery as Indy’s father and involved a quest for a Holy Relic. It also brought the Nazis back into the series. Here are some of the fun and compelling lines from this film.
INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE (1989)
Played by the late River Phoenix, a teenaged Indy is a boy scout in Utah. Some shady characters, led by a guy only known as “Fedora,” have uncovered the Cross of Coronado, supposedly a holy relic. Indy steals it from them and leads them on a merry chase, which ends on a circus train.
Fedora confronts Indy: “You got heart, kid, but that belongs to me.” Indy says, “It belongs to Coronado!” Fedora: “Coronado’s dead, and so are all his grandchildren,” to which Indy replies, “This should be in a museum!”
After the relic is turned over to a baddie called Panama Hat, Fedora tells Indy, “You lost today, kid. But that doesn’t mean you have to like it.” He then removes the fedora and puts the iconic hat atop Indy’s head.
Years later the adult Indy, having again stolen the relic, is confronted by Panama Hat, who says, “This is the second time I’ve had to reclaim my property from you.” Indy reiterates: “That belongs in a museum!” Panama Hat: “So do you.”
Indy is recruited by asshole rich guy Walter Donovan to find the Holy Grail, the chalice of Christ. His father, Professor Henry Jones, had led the project but has now gone missing. Indy travels to Venice to pick up the trail. Along with Professor Elsa Schneider he finds the clue that will lead them to the holy relic. But guys from a secret society, sworn to protect the Grail, try to kill them. After a chase through the catacombs Indy and Elsa emerge from a sewer outlet amid startled al fresco diners, looking and smelling awful. Indy smiles and exclaims, “Ahhh, Venice!”
Having learned his father is being held captive in a castle on the Austrian/German border, Indy travels there with Elsa. So who is holding him? Indy is pissed to find out: “Nazis. I hate these guys.”
Indy rescues his dad and kills a few Nazis, which shocks Henry: “Those people are trying to kill us!” Indy replies, “I know, Dad.” Henry says, “This is a new experience for me.” Indy: “It happens to me all the time.”
Elsa is working with the Nazis, who recapture the Joneses. They escape and travel to Berlin, where Elsa has gone with Henry’s Grail diary. As they observe the Nazis marching and burning hundreds of books, Henry says, “My boy, we are pilgrims in an unholy land.” (The scene where Adolf Hitler autographs the diary for Indy is chilling.)
After retrieving the diary from Elsa they try to flee Berlin on a Zeppelin but are unsuccessful. They escape on the blimp’s small biplane but are shot down. Cornered on a beach by a Luftwaffe plane, Indy is stunned when his father opens his umbrella and frightens a flock of gulls, which fly up and cause the plane to crash. Henry, smiling, says, “I suddenly remembered my Charlemagne: ‘Let my armies be the rocks and the trees and the birds in the sky.’”
After some more harrowing adventures the story culminates in the desert temple that supposedly houses the Holy Grail. Three lethal booby traps guard the entrance, the clues for overcoming them in Henry’s diary. As “motivation” for forcing Indy to go through, scumbag Walter Donovan shoots Henry, then tells Indy, “You can’t save him when you’re dead. The healing power of the Grail is the only thing that can save your father now. It’s time to ask yourself what you believe.”
Indy survives the three challenges and finds the chamber where a 700-year-old knight guards the Holy Grail. Donovan and Elsa follow, and Donovan tells Elsa to find the chalice amid many others. Elsa, who has about had it with Donovan’s bullshit, chooses the gaudiest one she can find. Donovan is ecstatic as he fills the cup with water: “This is indeed the cup of the King of Kings.” He drinks from it, hoping for immortality, but instead ages rapidly, turns into a skeleton and shatters to dust. In an understated voice the Grail Knight says, “He chose…poorly.”
Indy chooses the plainest cup he can find: “That’s the cup of a carpenter.” He drinks the water and lives. The Grail Knight says, “You have chosen wisely. But beware: the Grail cannot pass beyond the Great Seal. That is the boundary, and the price, of immortality.”
Indeed. Indy saves his father with the Grail’s water and plans to return the cup, but Elsa is obsessed with taking it out, which costs the poor woman her life. An earthquake forces them from the temple, and they ride off into the sunset with their friends, though not before Henry opines, “Elsa never really believed in the Grail. She thought she’d found a prize.” Indy asks him, “And what did you find, Dad?” Henry’s answer: “Me? Illumination.”
Nineteen years passed before Indiana Jones set out on another adventure. Few thought it would ever happen. We’ll look at some great lines from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in next week’s post.