Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan
Plot: After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees, and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace.
D.R. Nanayakkara, cast as the Indian village Shaman, did not speak a word of English. He delivered his lines phonetically by mimicking Steven Spielberg who was prompting him off camera. The pauses in his dialogue were therefore not for dramatic effect, but rather waiting for his next line.
While filming the whipping scene, the crew played a practical joke on Harrison Ford. While he was chained to a large stone, Barbra Streisand appeared, dressed in a leather dominatrix outfit. She proceeded to whip him, saying "That's for Hanover Street (1979), the worst movie I ever saw." She continued whipping him for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), and making all of that money. Carrie Fisher then threw herself in front of Ford to protect him, and Irvin Kershner chided director Steven Spielberg. "Is this how you run your movies?" This entire sequence was filmed.
Steven Spielberg said that he did not enjoy this film as much as the rest of the Indy films, but said that it was a great experience for him because he met his future wife, Kate Capshaw, during the production of this movie.
Jonathan Ke Quan's film debut. An open casting call was put out to all the elementary schools to find a young Asian actor to play Short Round. Jonathan Ke Quan arrived with his brother, not to audition, but merely to provide moral support. He caught the casting director's attention because he spent the entire time of his brother's audition telling him what to do and what not to do. Steven Spielberg liked his personality, so he and Harrison Ford improvised the scene where Short Round accuses Indy of cheating during a card game. Kwan won the role over about 6,000 other auditions.
The "chilled monkey-brains" were made from custard and raspberry sauce.
Amrish Puri shaved his head for the role of Mola Ram, creating such an impression that he kept it shaved and became one of India's most popular film villains.
In the "Making Of" Documentary for this movie, George Lucas said that although he originally intended for Temple of Doom to have a darker tone compared to Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) (much like Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) was darker than Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)), he admitted that he made it much darker than he intended, part of the reason being that he was going through a divorce at the time and was "not in a good mood".
Steven Spielberg wanted Karen Allen to reprise her role as Marion Ravenwood but he and George Lucas had already decided that every movie should include a different woman for Indy. This would change however, when she eventually returned in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008). Spielberg and Lucas felt that enough time had passed that an old flame was more appropriate for the fourth film.c
14 dummies fall off the bridge when it is cut. Batteries inside them operate their leg and arm movements to make it look like they're really kicking and flailing.
In the original draft, there was supposed to be a motorcycle chase scene across the Great Wall of China. However, the Chinese government refused to grant the permission of filming.
Kate Capshaw was very critical of Willie's character, saying that she was "not much more than a dumb screaming blonde."
Harrison Ford herniated his back in the scene where he is attacked in his bedroom by a Thuggee assassin. Production had to shut down for Ford to be flown to Los Angeles to have an operation. A huge majority of Ford's work in the fights and chases in the Temple of Doom are actually stuntman Vic Armstrong.
There was a scene involving Kate Capshaw and a rather large snake which had to be cut out as Capshaw was having panic attacks at the very prospect of it. Director Steven Spielberg jokingly says that the only reason Kate married him later was because he allowed the scene to be cut.
Filmmakers were unable to get permission to shoot scenes in India. The Indian government demanded final cut of the film in order to censor what they deemed unworthy. As a result, production was moved to Sri Lanka where some locations were also used for The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957). The film came under fire when it was released for being racist and far too violent for an Indiana Jones film.
The three main characters are named after dogs. Short Round was named after screenwriter Willard Huyck's dog, which was named after the orphan in The Steel Helmet (1951), Willie is named after Steven Spielberg's dog and Indiana is named after George Lucas's dog.
George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck were concerned how to keep the audience interest while explaining the Thugee cult. Huyck and Katz proposed a tiger hunt but Spielberg said, "There's no way I'm going to stay in India long enough to shoot a tiger hunt." They eventually decided on a dinner scene involving eating bugs, monkey brains and the like. "Steve and George both still react like children, so their idea was to make it as gross as possible," says Katz.
All of the people in the Indian village speak "Sinhala," one of the languages of Sri Lanka, as opposed to Hindi, the Indian language. The villagers are all Sri Lankans.
Producer Robert Watts and production designer Elliott Scott traveled to India to scout the interiors and exteriors for the film, which had a budget of $28 million. All of the exteriors—including the Maharajah’s palace, which was to be shot at an existing palace called Amer Fort—and most of the interiors—including the City Palace in Jaipur, which would also stand in for the Maharajah’s palace—were found fairly quickly. But the local government rejected their permits because they found the script to be offensive to Indian culture.
For their second Indy movie, Spielberg and Lucas wanted to one-up the creepy-crawly Raiders scene with 10,000 snakes, and they did it with bugs. Lots of bugs. For the scene where the trio stumbles upon a cavern filled with countless insects on the way to the Temple of Doom, the production assembled 50,000 cockroaches and 30,000 beetles from nearby London bug farms. Capshaw was so freaked out about her scene with the creepy crawlies that she admitted to taking a Valium beforehand just to calm down.
Spielberg later said of Amrish Puri who played Mola Ram, “Amrish is my favorite villain—the best the world has ever produced and ever will!”