RANKED: Steven Spielberg (#27 — Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom)

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Chris Luckett



Release Date: May 23, 1984

Chronology: After the hot streak of Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, but before Spielberg tried his hand at serious drama for the first time (The Color Purple)

Box Office: $180 million ($410 million, adjusted for inflation)

Oscars: 2 nominations, 1 win (for Best Visual Effects)

Premise: Taking place a year before the events of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the second Indiana Jones movie takes the adventurous archaeologist (Harrison Ford) to an Indian village where a dangerous cult has kidnapped the town’s children and stolen three sacred Sankara stones.

Over Two Hours?: Not over, but just about two hours exactly

John Williams Score?: Yes

Father Issues?: Not directly, although Indiana has a paternal sense of protection for Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan)

War?: No

Aliens?: Not yet

Special Appearances: Dan Aykroyd, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg

Fun Fact: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is largely responsible for the creation of the PG-13 rating. Many parents were upset at the content within the PG-rated Indy prequel, leading Spielberg to publicly suggest the creation of an intermediate rating between PG and R. Two months later, the first PG-13-rated movie was released.

Best Line: “Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory.”

Best Scene: 

Verdict: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is dark for darkness’ sake, forgetting the intangible but critical element of fun that made the first movie so enthralling. Several action scenes are top-notch, but the shrill performance of Kate Capshaw — the future Mrs. Spielberg – and the forced romance between her and Indy make you glad they broke up before the events of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Rating: 2½ / 5