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20 Coolest Indiana Jones Movie Moments

11 September 2013 | Features, Other Lists | by David Zou


It’s not until you look back at the Indiana Jones movie franchise(actually the first three movies) that you realize just how many memorable moments there are in the series. To whittle that list of seminal moments down to just twenty is excruciating, and it will be different for everyone.

These are the moments that stuck with us long after the credits rolled. They are shocking, humorous and exciting. Some have become part of the iconic legends (like the boulder) while others can be quoted in pop culture with no need of an explanation (like “No ticket!” ala Kevin Smith).

The reality is that the films(again, except Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) overall are memorable and worth another look for any fan of the adventure genre. Here are our favorites…


20. Grease Is The Word


The Moment: It seems churlish not to include anything from Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, so we’ll plump for the Greaser dust-up that segues into a hair-raising motorcycle getaway. But then again, there was that bit with the monkeys…

As Seen In: Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (2008)

Effortless Cool: This capering chase scene is the one sequence that feels like it might not be out of place in the original trilogy. Sadly, it’s all downhill from here.

If It Was Tomb Raider: It would probably be marred by some rot involving aliens, giant ants and the space between spaces. Wait, hang on…


19. Dinner Is Served


The Moment: If Temple Of Doom is the most cartoonish of the original trilogy, the famous dinner scene is the sequence aimed most squarely at the kids in the audience. Monkey brains for tea? Yuck!

As Seen In: Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom (1984)

Effortless Cool: Monkey brains might taste quite nice as far as we know, but serving them in the luckless chimp’s severed head? Well now that’s just too much.

If It Was Tomb Raider: Lara would clean her plate without comment. She’s a little harder to shock than Willie…


18. Umbrella vs. Messerschmitt


The Moment: Finding themselves hopelessly exposed on a sun-kissed beach, it looks like the game is up for the Jones boys as a Messerschmitt dives ominously towards them. Pa Jones has a plan however, startling a flock of gulls with his umbrella and sending them directly into the pilot’s course…

As Seen In: Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade (1989)

Effortless Cool: Only in the Indiana Jones series could an elderly man’s umbrella be employed to defeat a fighter plane. Bravo sir!

If It Was Tomb Raider: Lara would disrobe into a figure-hugging wetsuit and make her escape into the ocean.


17. The Staff Of Ra


The Moment: Having entered the map room, Indy places the Staff of Ra into the correct base and stands back as the sunlight bounces off it to reveal the true location of the Well of Souls.

As Seen In: Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)

Effortless Cool: Its one of the more understated moments in the film, but the growing sense of anticipation (aided once again by John Williams’ score) as the sun creeps towards the staff is truly magical.

If It Was Tomb Raider: It would involve a hideously over-choreographed sequence of athletics, as Lara attempts to hit a sequence of hard-to-reach pressure points in order to expose the secret location.

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