Steven Spielberg's third action-packed entry in the Indiana Jones trilogy evokes the cliffhanger Saturday matinee serials of yesteryear. It's 1938 and Indy (Harrison Ford) receives word that his archaeologist dad, Professor Henry Jones (Sean Connery), has disappeared while on a quest for the Holy Grail. Indy embarks on a search for both his dad and the much-coveted artifact. THE LAST CRUSADE has a unique twist to the series' traditional opening-sequence cliffhanger. Actor River Phoenix plays an adolescent Indy who, while on a field trip with his Boy Scout troop, finds adventure on a circus train. Spielberg wanted to make the film about a father-and-son relationship, and Connery was his first choice to play Indy's dad. The selection was perfect, considering Spielberg and producer George Lucas first came up with the idea of the series as a rival to the James Bond movies in which Connery had starred. Before shooting THE LAST CRUSADE, Spielberg was planning on directing RAIN MAN with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise but gave up the project to fulfill his contractual obligation with Lucas to make a third Indiana Jones movie.
When Indy's archaeologist dad, Prof. Henry Jones, embarks on a quest for the Holy Grail, he is kidnapped by the Nazis, who also desire the priceless chalice. Naturally, Indy comes to the rescue, joining his father in the search for the Grail. The audience is in for a wild ride "keeping up with the Joneses" as the two men battle enemies, trade insults, encounter rats, evade traps, become involved with the same woman, and meet Hitler. The film is a loose retelling of the Parsifal myth.
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