1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is widely regarded to be the best of the Indiana Jones sequels. Indy goes looking for the Holy Grail and ends up reconnecting with his estranged father, played by Sean Connery. It’s fitting that Indy’s dad was played by the original James Bond because Indy’s pulpy, action-packed adventures were heavily influenced by the 007 movies. And like 007, Indy is undeniably cool.
After hanging off the back of a moving truck in Raiders of the Lost Ark and jumping out of a plane in an inflatable raft in Temple of Doom, Indy pulled off these incredible feats in his third big-screen outing.
10 When He Took On A Gang Of Grave Robbers At The Age Of 13
The opening sequence of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a prologue that fills in Indy’s backstory. River Phoenix plays a young Indy who breaks off from a Boy Scouts trip in a canyon to take an artifact that “belongs in a museum” from some grave robbers.
The grave robbers chase Indy to a circus train, where he acquires his bullwhip, fedora, and the scar on Harrison Ford’s chin. It’s a testament to Indy’s confidence that he confronted a gang of dangerous grown men alone at the age of 13.
9 When He Fought The Same Grave Robbers In His 30s
When the prologue is over and Harrison Ford is reintroduced as an adult Indiana Jones, he’s fighting the exact same group of grave robbers over the exact same artifact. Once again, he takes on the whole gang alone, facing insurmountable odds in the pursuit of what he thinks is right.
The fight takes place on a boat in the middle of a choppy ocean in the pouring rain, so it’s difficult enough to even stay standing upright without being simultaneously beaten and bloodied by a bunch of guys.
8 When He Interrogated An Assassin Against A Boat Propeller
After Indy uncovers the tomb containing a clue to the Grail’s location, he’s pursued by a band of assassins sworn to protect the holy cup’s location. This leads to a fantastic boat chase that weaves in and out of giant industrial-sized ships.
At the climax of the chase, Indy has one of the assassins cornered on a boat as it’s being torn to shreds by the propeller of a much larger boat. This interrogation method proves to be effective, as the assassin instantly gives up the information.
7 When He Threw Vogel Out The Zeppelin Window
When Indy and his dad need to travel great lengths, they dress up in German disguises and take the fastest, most convenient form of transportation of their time: a Zeppelin ride.
Indy disguises himself as an attendant and starts checking tickets. When the villainous Vogel recognizes him, Indy throws him out the window onto a pile of luggage and tells the shocked passengers, “No ticket!” — at which point they all frantically start reaching for their own tickets.
6 When He Won A Motorcycle Chase With A Sidecar
In most Indiana Jones movies, Indy only has to worry about saving himself from the bad guys, but in The Last Crusade, he also has to worry about his dad. When they narrowly escape from the Germans’ castle, accidentally burning half of it down along the way, Indy has to grab a motorcycle with a sidecar for the ensuing chase so that there’s somewhere for his dad to sit.
The German officers chasing them don’t have the burden of the weight of an extra person on one side of their bikes, and yet Indy still manages to lose them.
5 When He Jumped Off The Tank Before It Fell Off The Cliff
The climactic tank chase in The Last Crusade culminates in the tank falling off a cliff. While Henry, Sr., Sallah, and Brody all manage to get off the tank in time, Indy appears to go over the edge of the cliff with the tank and all the Germans on board.
However, when his dad and his friends are staring morosely over the cliff and mourning him, a scuffed-up Indy joins them, casually revealing that he jumped off the tank in the nick of time.
4 When He Stole The Zeppelin’s Biplane
After Indy and his dad are rumbled aboard the Zeppelin, they need to get away as soon as possible. They find that the only way to escape from the airship is by stealing a biplane. Luckily, Indy knows how to fly.
Pursued by a German pilot in their own fighter plane, Indy ends up having to crash-land the biplane when his dad accidentally shoots through the rudder with the machine gun.
3 When He Took A Leap Of Faith
On his way into the temple housing the Holy Grail, Indy has to take a leap of faith over a giant, treacherous chasm. Since his dad will succumb to his gunshot wound if he doesn’t find the Grail, he has no choice but to take the leap.
Thankfully, Indy doesn’t fall to his death. It turns out to be an elaborate optical illusion, as the bridge across the chasm has been dressed up to look like a continuation of the chasm itself.
2 When He Chose The Right Grail
When nefarious businessman Walter Donovan forces Indy to take him to the Holy Grail, they meet the ghostly Grail Knight protecting it. He tells them they must choose the correct Grail out of the dozens of cups and chalices available around the room.
Donovan chooses the shiniest, most extravagantly bejeweled cup of the bunch, drinks from it, and ages into a crumbly skeleton in seconds. The Grail Knight announces, “He chose … poorly.” Going in a different direction, Indy instead chooses a grimy, humble little cup. The Grail Knight smiles, “You chose … wisely.”
1 When He Rode Off Into The Sunset
Although the series eventually continued with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, almost two decades later, the Indiana Jones franchise reached its perfect conclusion with The Last Crusade.
The final scene of the threequel plays like the final scene of countless classic Westerns, as the heroes ride off into the sunset. Having reconnected with his estranged father and discovered that there’s more to life than collecting hard-to-find artifacts, Indy’s story came to a hugely satisfying end, albeit temporarily.