Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

  • Directors: Steven Spielberg
  • Producers: George Lucas, Robert Watts, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy
  • Writers: Screenplay, Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz, Story, George Lucas
  • Genres: Action, Adventure
  • Actors: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone

In 1935 (a year before the events of Raiders of the Lost Ark), Indiana Jones narrowly escapes the clutches of a crime boss in Shanghai. With prententious nightclub singer Willie Scott and his eight-year-old Chinese sidekick Short Round in tow, Indiana flees Shanghai on a plane that, unbeknownst to them, is owned by the crime boss. The pilots leave the plane to crash over the Himalayas, though the trio manage to escape on an inflatable boat and ride down the slopes into a raging river. They come to Mayapore, a desolate village in northern India, where the poor villagers believe them to have been sent by the Hindu god Shiva and enlist their help to retrieve a sacred Sivalinga stone stolen from their shrine, as well as the community’s kidnapped children, from evil forces in the nearby Pankot Palace. During the journey to Pankot, Indiana hypothesizes that the stone may be one of the five fabled Sankara stones, which promise fortune and glory.

The trio receive a warm welcome from the residents of Pankot Palace, who rebuff Indiana’s questions about the villagers’ claims and his theory that the ancient Thuggee cult is responsible for their troubles. Later that night, however, Indiana is attacked by a would-be assassin, leading him, Willie and Short Round to an underground temple where the Thuggee worship the Hindu goddess Kali with human sacrifice. The trio discover that the Thuggee, led by their evil high priest Mola Ram, are in possession of three of the five Sankara stones, and have enslaved the children to mine for the final two stones, which they hope will allow them to rule the world. As Indiana tries to retrieve the stones, he, Willie and Short Round are captured and separated. Indiana is forced to drink a potion called the “Blood of Kali,” which places him in a trance-like state called the “Black Sleep of Kali Ma,” and begins to mindlessly serve Mola Ram. Willie, meanwhile, is kept as a human sacrifice, while Short Round is put in the mines to labour alongside the enslaved children. Short Round breaks free and escapes back into the temple where Willie is about to be lowered into a pit of lava. He burns Indiana with a torch, shocking him out of the Black Sleep. While Mola Ram escapes, Indiana and Short Round manage to save Willie, retrieve the three Sankara stones and free the village children.

After a mine cart chase to escape the temple, the trio emerge above ground only to be cornered by Mola Ram and the Thuggee on a rope bridge over a crocodile-infested river. Using a machete stolen from one of the Thuggee warriors, Indiana cuts the rope bridge in half, leaving everyone to hang on for their lives. In one final struggle against Mola Ram for the Sankara stones, Indiana invokes an incantation, causing the stones to glow red hot. Two of the stones fall into the river, while the last falls into and burns Mola Ram’s hand. Indiana catches the now-cool stone while Mola Ram falls into the river below and is torn to pieces by the crocodiles. A company of British Indian Army riflemen from Pankot arrive to apprehend the remaining Thuggee. Indiana, Willie and Short Round return victoriously to the Indian village with their sacred Sankara stone and missing children.

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