Topping the Last Crusade?

1989’s LAST CRUSADE | Humor, edge made this the best of the ‘trilogy’

The fourth installment of the “Indiana Jones” films opens this week, and I don’t know who’s more excited – my sons or me.

I distinctly remember seeing “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in 1981, having just graduated from high school. My Aunt Lou took my sister Belinda and me to a theater in Greensboro to see it, and we were all amazed. The film’s opening sequence is especially good.

A few years ago, we bought the “trilogy” – Raiders and two subsequent films, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (a prequel, released in 1984) and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989) on DVD; my Star Wars-loving sons loved the adventure-packed movies. Both are now big Harrison Ford fans, so when previews of the upcoming “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” started showing, we were all thrilled.

We watched “Last Crusade” this weekend and it reminded me why I always thought this was the best of the bunch: the open sequences showing how Indy got his scar and developed his fear of snakes, the wonderful dialogue between Ford’s Indiana Jones and Sean Connery’s Dr. Henry Jones Sr., plus the mixture of humor, adventure and suspense…it all added up to make it a near-perfect movie.

Here’s a scene from the movie that features the late Denholm Elliott (who died in 1992) and John Rhys-Davies…

The new film is set in 1957, some 19 years after “Last Crusade.” Connery turned down a role in this 4th installment. I’ll post a review after we see it…

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