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Indiana Jones and the
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Produced by Frank Marshall
George Lucas
Kathleen Kennedy
Written by Screenplay:
David Koepp
George Lucas
Jeff Nathanson
Starring Harrison Ford
Cate Blanchett
Karen Allen
Shia LaBeouf
Ray Winstone
John Hurt
Jim Broadbent
Igor Jijikine
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Janusz Kamiński
Editing by Michael Kahn
Studio Amblin Entertainment
Lucasfilm Ltd.
The Kennedy/Marshall Company
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) May 22, 2008
Running time 122 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $185 million
Gross revenue $786,636,033[1]
Preceded by Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Followed by Indiana Jones 5

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a 2008 adventure film. It is the fourth film in the Indiana Jones franchise, created by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg. Released nineteen years after the previous film, the film acknowledges its star Harrison Ford's age by setting itself in 1957. It pays tribute to the science fiction B-movies of the era, pitting Indiana Jones against Soviet agents – led by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) – for a psychic alien crystal skull. Indiana is aided by his former lover Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and their son Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf). the supporting cast included Ray Winstone, John Hurt, and Jim Broadbent.

Screenwriters Jeb Stuart, Jeffrey Boam, Frank Darabont, and Jeff Nathanson wrote drafts, before David Koepp's script satisfied all. Shooting began on June 18, 2007, and took place in various locations: New Mexico; New Haven, Connecticut; Hawaii; Fresno, California; and on soundstages in Los Angeles. To keep aesthetic continuity with the previous films, the crew relied on traditional stunt work instead of computer-generated stunt doubles, and cinematographer Janusz Kamiński studied Douglas Slocombe's style from the previous films.

Marketing relied heavily on the public's nostalgia for the series, with products taking inspiration from all four films. Anticipation for the film was heightened by secrecy, which resulted in a legal dispute over an extra violating his non-disclosure agreement and the arrest of another man for stealing a computer containing various documents related to the production. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was released worldwide on May 22, 2008, and was a financial success, grossing over $786 million worldwide, becoming the second highest grossing film of 2008. The film received mostly positive reviews from critics, but fan reaction was mixed. The MPAA had rated this movie PG-13 for Adventure Violence and Scary Images.



In 1957, World War II hero Indiana Jones and his long-time partner George "Mac" McHale are kidnapped by a group of Soviet agents led by the psychic Colonel Dr. Irina Spalko. The Soviets infiltrate a government warehouse in Nevada and force Indiana to find a crate containing the remains of an interdimensional being that crashed ten years prior in Roswell, New Mexico. After finding the crate, Mac double-crosses Indiana, having been bought off by the Soviets. Indiana manages to escape into the desert, where he stumbles upon a nuclear test town and survives a nuclear explosion by hiding in a lead-lined refrigerator. He is later found and debriefed by the FBI because of Mac's Soviet ties. Shortly after returning to Marshall College, Indiana is offered an indefinite leave of absence to avoid being fired because of the incident.

At a train station, Indiana is stopped by greaser Mutt Williams, who tells him that his old colleague Harold Oxley was kidnapped after discovering a crystal skull in Peru. Indiana proceeds to tell Mutt the legend of a skull found in the mystical city of Akator, in which whoever returns the skull to the city would be given control over its supernatural powers. Mutt gives Indiana a letter from his mother, who was also kidnapped, containing a riddle written by Oxley in an ancient Native American language, which leads them to the Nazca Lines in Peru. There they discover that Oxley was incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital, having suffered a mental breakdown from the powers of the skull, until he was kidnapped by the Soviets. In Oxley's cell, they find clues that lead them to the grave of Francisco de Orellana, a Conquistador who went missing in the 16th century while searching for Akator. They discover the skull at the grave, with Indiana reasoning that Oxley had hidden it there after finding it.

Shortly afterward, Indiana and Mutt are captured by the Soviets and taken to their camp in Brazil, where they find Oxley and Mutt's mother, who turns out to be Indiana's old love, Marion Ravenwood, and reveals that Mutt is Indiana's son. Spalko believes that the crystal skull belongs to an interdimensional being form and holds great psychic power, and reveals that the specimen stolen from the warehouse also has a crystal skull. She also believes that returning the skull to Akator will grant the Soviets the advantage of psychic warfare. Indiana, Marion, Mutt and Oxley manage to escape from the Soviets into the Amazon, where Mac claims that he is actually a CIA double agent working against the Soviets and joins the group.

The five head for the temple of Akator, but not before being attacked by the Soviets. They manage to escape when a colony of giant ants appear, and try to eat them. They reach the temple, surviving an attack by the Ugha warriors defending it. As they enter the temple, Mac, who is actually still loyal to the Soviets, secretly leaves a trail of homing devices for the Soviets to follow. Inside the temple, they find valuable artifacts from ancient civilizations all over the world, and Indiana deduces that the aliens were of a kindred spirit: they, too, were "archaeologists" studying different Earth cultures. The five enter a chamber containing thirteen interdimensional being crystal skeletons, one missing a skull, seated on thrones in a circle. After the Soviets arrive, Spalko places the skull onto the headless skeleton. The interdimensional beings begin communicating to the group through Oxley in an ancient Mayan dialect, promising to reward them a "big gift". Spalko approaches and demands to "know everything". The interdimensional beings grant her request and transfer their collective knowledge into her mind, activating a portal to another dimension. Indiana, Marion, Mutt and the now-sane Oxley escape the temple, while Mac and the other Soviets are sucked into the portal; the skeletons, meanwhile, knowing that Spalko will use their knowledge for villainous purposes, form a single interdimensional being which overwhelms Spalko with its knowledge, causing her brain to ignite and her body to disintegrate, her scattered essence absorbed into the portal. The temple crumbles, and a flying saucer rises from the debris and disappears to the "space between spaces". After they return home, Indiana is reinstated and made an associate dean at Marshall College, and he and Marion are married.


See also: Indiana Jones characters introduced in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Harrison Ford during the filming of movie.
  • Harrison Ford reprises the role of Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. To prepare for the role, the 64-year-old Ford spent three hours a day at a gym, practiced with the bullwhip for two weeks,[2] and relied on a high-protein diet of fish and vegetables.[3] Ford had kept fit during the series' hiatus anyway, as he hoped for another film.[4] He performed many of his own stunts because stunt technology had become safer since 1989, and he also felt it improved his performance.[5] He argued, "The appeal of Indiana Jones isn't his youth but his imagination, his resourcefulness. His physicality is a big part of it, especially the way he gets out of tight situations. But it's not all hitting people and falling from high places. My ambition in action is to have the audience look straight in the face of character and not at the back of a capable stuntman's head. I hope to continue that no matter how old I get."[6] Ford felt his return would also help American culture be less paranoid about aging (he refused to dye his hair for the role), because of the film's family appeal: "This is a movie which is geared not to [the young] segment of the demographic, an age-defined segment [...] We've got a great shot at breaking the movie demographic constraints."[5] He told Koepp to add more references to his age in the script.[7] Spielberg said Ford was not too old to play Indiana: "When a guy gets to be that age and he still packs the same punch, and he still runs just as fast and climbs just as high, he's gonna be breathing a little heavier at the end of the set piece. And I felt, 'Let's have some fun with that. Let's not hide that.'"[8] Spielberg recalled the line in Raiders, "It's not the years, it's the mileage",[8] and felt he could not tell the difference between Ford during the shoots for Last Crusade and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.[9]
  • Shia LaBeouf plays Henry "Mutt Williams" Jones III, a motorcycle-riding greaser and Indiana's sidekick and son. The concept of Indiana Jones having offspring was introduced in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, in which Old Indy is shown to have a daughter.[10] During development of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, this idea was incorporated into Frank Darabont's script, with Indiana and Marion having a 13-year-old daughter. However, Spielberg found this too similar to The Lost World: Jurassic Park,[11] so a son was created instead.[12] Koepp credited the character's creation to Jeff Nathanson and Lucas.[7] Koepp wanted to make Mutt into a nerd, but Lucas refused, explaining he had to resemble Marlon Brando in The Wild One; "he needs to be what Indiana Jones' father thought of [him] – the curse returns in the form of his own son – he's everything a father can't stand".[11] LaBeouf was Spielberg's first choice for the role, having been impressed by his performance in Holes.[2] Excited at the prospect of being in an Indiana Jones film, LaBeouf signed on without reading the script and did not know what character he would play.[13] He worked out and gained fifteen pounds of muscle for the role,[14] and also repeatedly watched the other films to get into character.[15] LaBeouf also watched Blackboard Jungle, Rebel Without a Cause and The Wild One to get into his character's mindset,[2] copying mannerisms and words from characters in those films, such as the use of a switchblade as a weapon.[16] Lucas also consulted on the greaser look, joking that LaBeouf was "sent to the American Graffiti school of greaserland".[8] LaBeouf pulled his rotator cuff when filming his duel with Spalko, which was his first injury in his career. The injury got worse throughout filming until he pulled his groin.[17]
  • Cate Blanchett plays the villainous Soviet agent Irina Spalko. Screenwriter David Koepp created the character.[7] Frank Marshall said Spalko continued the tradition of Indiana having a love-hate relationship "with every woman he ever comes in contact with".[18] Blanchett had wanted to play a villain for a "couple of years", and enjoyed being part of the Indiana Jones legacy as she loved the previous films.[19] Spielberg praised Blanchett as a "master of disguise", and considers her his favorite Indiana Jones villain for coming up with much of Spalko's characteristics.[8] Spalko's bob cut was her idea, with the character's stern looks and behaviour recalling Rosa Klebb in From Russia with Love.[20] Blanchett learned to fence for the character, but during filming, Spielberg decided to give Spalko "karate chop" skills.[21] LaBeouf recalled Blanchett was elusive on set, and Ford was surprised when he met her on set outside of costume. He noted, "There's no aspect of her behavior that was not consistent with this bizarre person she's playing."[5]
  • Karen Allen reprises the role of Marion Ravenwood, under the married name of Marion Williams, who appeared in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Frank Darabont's script introduced the idea of Marion Ravenwood returning as Indiana's love interest.[11] Allen was not aware her character was in the script until Spielberg called her in January 2007, saying, "It's been announced! We're gonna make Indiana Jones 4! And guess what? You're in it!"[22] Ford found Allen "one of the easiest people to work with [he's] ever known. She's a completely self-sufficient woman, and that's part of the character she plays. A lot of her charm and the charm of the character is there. And again, it's not an age-dependent thing. It has to do with her spirit and her nature."[5] Allen found Ford easier to work with on this film, in contrast to the first film, where she slowly befriended the private actor.[23]
  • Ray Winstone plays George "Mac" McHale, a British agent whom Jones worked alongside in World War II, but has now allied with the Russians due to his financial problems. The character acts as a spin on Sallah and René Belloq - Jones's friend and nemesis, respectively, in Raiders of the Lost Ark.[24] Spielberg cast Winstone as he found him "one of the most brilliant actors around", having seen Sexy Beast.[21] Winstone tore his hamstring during filming. "I keep getting these action parts as I’m getting older," he remarked.[25] Like John Hurt, Winstone wished to see the script prior to committing to the film. In interviews on British TV[26] Winstone explained that he was only able to read the script if it was delivered by courier, who waited while he read the script, and returned to the US with the script once Winstone had read it. His reasoning for wanting to read the script was, "If I'm gonna be in it, I want to be in it." He gave suggestions to Spielberg, including the idea of Mac pretending to be a double agent.[27] He also stated that once filming was completed he had to return the script, such was the secrecy about the film. He was later presented with a copy of the script to keep.[28]
  • John Hurt plays Harold "Ox" Oxley, Mutt's surrogate father and an old friend of Indiana, whom he lost contact with in 1937. Six months prior to the events of the film, he went insane after discovering the crystal skull, which commanded him to return it to Akator. Frank Darabont had suggested Hurt when he was writing the screenplay.[29] The character is inspired by Ben Gunn from Treasure Island.[21] Hurt wanted to read the script before signing on, unlike other cast members who came on "because Steven — you know, 'God' — was doing it. And I said, 'Well, I need to have a little bit of previous knowledge even if God is doing it.' So they sent a courier over with the script from Los Angeles, gave it to me at three o'clock in the afternoon in London, collected it again at eight o'clock in the evening, and he returned the next day to Los Angeles."[30]
  • Jim Broadbent plays Dean Charles Stanforth, an academic colleague and friend of Jones. Broadbent's character stands in for Marcus Brody, whose portrayer, Denholm Elliott, died in 1992.[21] As a tribute to Elliott, the filmmakers put a portrait and a statue on the Marshall College location, and a picture on Jones' desk, saying he died shortly after Indiana's father.
  • Igor Jijikine plays the Russian Colonel Dovchenko. His character stands in for the heavily built henchmen Pat Roach played in the previous films (Roach died in 2004).[21]

Joel Stoffer and Neil Flynn cameo as FBI agents interrogating Indiana, in a scene following the opening sequence. Alan Dale plays General Ross, who protests his innocence. Andrew Divoff and Pavel Lychnikoff play Russian soldiers. Spielberg cast Russian-speaking actors as Russian soldiers so their accents would be authentic.[9] Dimitri Diatchenko plays Spalko's right hand man who battles Indiana at Marshall College. Diatchenko bulked up to 250 pounds to look menacing, and his role was originally minor with ten days of filming. When shooting the fight, Ford accidentally hit his chin, and Spielberg liked Diatchenko's humorous looking reaction, so he expanded his role to three months of filming.[31] Ernie Reyes, Jr. plays a cemetery guard.

Sean Connery turned down an offer to reprise his role as Henry Jones Sr., as he found retirement too enjoyable.[32] Lucas stated that in hindsight it was good that Connery did not briefly appear, as it would disappoint the audience when his character would not come along for the film's adventure.[33] Ford joked, "I'm old enough to play my own father in this one."[5] The film addresses Connery's absence by Indiana mentioning that both Henry Sr. and Marcus Brody died in the previous two years. Connery later stated that he liked the film, describing it as "rather good and rather long".[34]




Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men from Mars script by Jeb Stuart, dated February 20, 1995:

The second draft's prologue is set in Borneo in 1949, with Indiana proposing to Dr. Elaine McGregor after defeating pirates. She abandons him at the altar, because the government requests her aid in decoding an alien cylinder (covered in Egyptian, Mayan and Sanskrit symbols) in New Mexico. Indiana pursues her, and battles Russians agents and aliens for the cylinder.

The script featured army ants, a rocket sled fight, Indiana surviving an atomic explosion by sealing himself in a fridge, and a climactic battle between the US military and flying saucers. Henry Jones, Sr., Short Round, Sallah, Marion Ravenwood and Willie cameo at Indiana and Elaine's wedding(s). Indiana is also a former colonel and was assigned to the OSS during World War II.

During the late 1970s, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg made a deal with Paramount Pictures for five Indiana Jones films.[36] Following the 1989 release of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lucas let the series end as he felt he could not think of a good plot device to drive the next installment, and chose instead to produce The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, which explored the character in his early years.[11] Harrison Ford played Indiana in one episode, narrating his adventures in 1920 Chicago. When Lucas shot Ford's role in December 1992, he realized the scene opened up the possibility of a film with an older Indiana set in the 1950s. The film could reflect a science fiction 1950s B-movie, with aliens as the plot device.[11] Meanwhile, Spielberg believed he was going to "mature" as a filmmaker after making the trilogy, and felt he would just produce any future installments.[12]

Ford disliked the new angle, telling Lucas "No way am I being in a Steve Spielberg movie like that."[22] Spielberg himself, who depicted aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, resisted it. Lucas came up with a story, which Jeb Stuart turned into a script from October 1993 to May 1994.[11] Lucas wanted Indiana to get married, which would allow Henry Jones Sr. to return, expressing concern over whether his son is happy with what he has accomplished. After he learned that Joseph Stalin was interested in psychic warfare, he decided to have Russians as the villains and the aliens to have psychic powers.[37] Following Stuart's next draft, Lucas hired Last Crusade writer Jeffrey Boam to write the next three versions, the last of which was completed in March 1996. Three months later, Independence Day was released, and Spielberg told Lucas he would not make another alien invasion film. Lucas decided to focus on the Star Wars prequels.[11]

In 2000, Spielberg's son asked when the next Indiana Jones film would be released, which made him interested in reviving the project.[38] The same year, Ford, Lucas, Spielberg, Frank Marshall, and Kathleen Kennedy met during the American Film Institute's tribute to Ford, and decided they wanted to enjoy the experience of making an Indiana Jones film again. Spielberg also found returning to the series a respite from his many dark films during this period.[23] Lucas convinced Spielberg to use aliens in the plot by saying they were not "extraterrestrials", but "interdimensional", with this concept taking inspiration in the superstring theory.[12] Spielberg and Lucas discussed the central idea of a B-movie involving aliens, and Lucas suggested using the crystal skulls to ground the idea. Lucas found those artifacts as fascinating as the Ark of the Covenant,[39] and had intended to feature them for a Young Indiana Jones episode before the show's cancellation.[11] M. Night Shyamalan was hired to write for an intended 2002 shoot,[38] but he was overwhelmed writing a sequel to a film he loved like Raiders of the Lost Ark, and claimed it was difficult to get Ford, Spielberg, and Lucas to focus.[40] Stephen Gaghan and Tom Stoppard were also approached.[38]

Frank Darabont, who wrote various Young Indiana Jones episodes, was hired to write in May 2002.[41] His script, entitled Indiana Jones and the City of Gods,[11] was set in the 1950s, with ex-Nazis pursuing Jones.[42] Spielberg conceived the idea because of real life figures such as Juan Perón in Argentina, who protected Nazi war criminals.[11] Darabont claimed Spielberg loved the script, but Lucas had issues with it, and decided to take over writing himself.[11] Lucas and Spielberg acknowledged the 1950s setting could not ignore the Cold War, and the Russians were more plausible villains. Spielberg decided he could not satirize the Nazis after directing Schindler's List,[8] while Ford felt "We plum[b] wore the Nazis out."[22]

Jeff Nathanson met with Spielberg and Lucas in August 2004, and turned in the next drafts in October and November 2005, titled The Atomic Ants. David Koepp continued on from there, giving his script the subtitle Destroyer of Worlds,[11] based on the J. Robert Oppenheimer quote. It was changed to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, as Spielberg found it more inviting a title and actually named the plot device of the crystal skulls. Lucas insisted on the Kingdom part.[43] Koepp's "bright [title] idea" was Indiana Jones and the Son of Indiana Jones, and Spielberg had also considered having the title name the aliens as The Mysterians, but dropped that when he remembered that was the name of a film.[12] Koepp collaborated with Raiders of the Lost Ark screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan on the film's "love dialogue".[7]


The production crew converts a storefront in downtown New Haven, Connecticut to be used in a scene set to take place in the 1950s.

Unlike the previous Indiana Jones films, Spielberg shot the entire film in the United States, stating he did not want to be away from his family.[44] Shooting began on June 18, 2007[15] at Deming, New Mexico.[45] An extensive chase scene set at Indiana Jones's fictional Marshall College was filmed between June 28 and July 7 at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut (where Spielberg's son Theo was studying).[45][46][47]

Afterwards, they filmed scenes set in the Peruvian jungles in Hilo, Hawaii until August.[47] Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is the biggest film shot in Hawaii since Waterworld, and was estimated to generate $22 million to $45 million in the local economy.[48] Because of an approaching hurricane, Spielberg was unable to shoot a fight at a waterfall, so he sent the second unit to film shots of Brazil's and Argentina's Iguazu Falls. These were digitally combined into the fight, which was shot at the Universal backlot.[47]

Harrison Ford and Shia LaBeouf's stunt doubles during filming in 2007 in New Haven, Connecticut.

Half the film was scheduled to shoot on five sound stages at Los Angeles:[49] Downey, Sony, Warner Bros., Paramount and Universal.[30] Filming moved to Chandler Field in Fresno, California, substituting for Mexico City International Airport, on October 11, 2007.[50] After shooting aerial shots of Chandler Airport and a DC-3 on the morning of October 12, 2007, filming wrapped.[51][52] Although he originally found no need for re-shoots after viewing his first cut of the film,[42] Spielberg decided to add an establishing shot, which was filmed on February 29, 2008 at Pasadena, California.[53]


Spielberg and Janusz Kamiński, who has shot all of the director's films since 1993's Schindler's List, rewatched the previous films to study Douglas Slocombe's style. "I didn’t want Janusz to modernize and bring us into the 21st century," Spielberg explained. "I still wanted the film to have a lighting style not dissimilar to the work Doug Slocombe had achieved, which meant that both Janusz and I had to swallow our pride. Janusz had to approximate another cinematographer's look, and I had to approximate this younger director's look that I thought I had moved away from after almost two decades."[39] Spielberg also did not want to fast cut action scenes, relying on his script instead for a fast pace,[39] and had confirmed in 2002 that he would not shoot the film digitally, a format Lucas had adopted.[54] Lucas felt "it looks like it was shot three years after Last Crusade. The people, the look of it, everything. You’d never know there was 20 years between shooting."[44] Kamiński commented upon watching the three films back-to-back, he was amazed how each of them advanced technologically, but were all nevertheless consistent, neither too brightly or darkly lit.[2]

While shooting War of the Worlds in late 2004, Spielberg met with stunt coordinator Vic Armstrong, who doubled for Ford in the previous films, to discuss three action sequences he had envisioned.[55] However, Armstrong was filming The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor during shooting of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, so Dan Bradley was hired instead.[56] Bradley and Spielberg used previsualization for all the action scenes, except the motorcycle chase at Marshall College, because that idea was conceived after the animators had left. Bradley drew traditional storyboards instead, and was given free rein to create dramatic moments, just as Raiders of the Lost Ark second unit director Michael D. Moore did when filming the truck chase.[20] Spielberg improvised on set, changing the location of Mutt and Spalko's duel from the ground to on top of vehicles.[2]

The Ark of the Covenant is seen in a broken crate during the Hangar 51 opening sequence. Lucasfilm used the same prop from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Guards were hired to protect the highly-sought after piece of film memorabilia during the day of its use. A replica of the staff carried by Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments was also used to populate the set to illustrate the Hangar's history.[43]


Stunts involving vehicles were shot on location in Hawaii, while CGI was used to add plants to the forest

Producer Frank Marshall stated in 2003 that the film would use traditional stunt work so as to be consistent with the previous films.[57] CGI was used to remove the visible safety wires on the actors when they did their stunts (such as when Indy swings on a lamp with his whip).[20] Timed explosives were used for a scene where Indiana drives a truck through crates. During the take, an explosive did not set off and landed in the seat beside Ford. However, it did not go off and he was not injured.[58]

Steven Spielberg stated before production began that very few CGI effects would be used to maintain consistency with the other films. During filming however, significantly more CGI work was done than initially anticipated as in many cases it proved to be more practical. There ended up being a total of about 450 CGI shots in the film, with an estimated 30 percent of the film's shots containing CG matte paintings.[52] Spielberg initially wanted brushstrokes to be visible on the paintings for added consistency with the previous films, but decided against it.[22] The script also required a non-deforested jungle for a chase scene, but this would have been unsafe and much CGI work was done to create the jungle action sequence. Visual effects supervisor Pablo Helman (who worked on Lucas' Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones as well as Spielberg's War of the Worlds and Munich) traveled to Brazil and Argentina to photograph elements that were composited into the final images. Industrial Light and Magic then effectively created a virtual jungle with a geography like the real Amazon.[59]

The appearance of a live alien and flying saucer was in flux. Spielberg wanted the alien to resemble a Gray alien, and also rejected early versions of the saucer that looked "too Close Encounters". Art director Christian Alzmann said the aesthetic was "looking at a lot of older B-movie designs – but trying to make that look more real and gritty to fit in with the Indy universe." Other reference for the visual effects work included government tapes of nuclear tests, and video reference of real prairie dogs.[60]


John Williams began composing the score in October 2007;[61] ten days of recording sessions wrapped on March 6, 2008 at Sony Pictures Studios.[62] Williams described composing for the Indiana Jones universe again as "like sitting down and finishing a letter that you started 25 years ago". He reused Indiana's theme as well as Marion's from the first film, and also composed five new motifs for Mutt, Spalko and the skull. Williams gave Mutt's a swashbuckling feel, and homaged film noir and 1950s B-movies for Spalko and the crystal skull respectively. As an in-joke, Williams incorporated a measure and a half of Johannes Brahms' "Academic Festival Overture" when Indiana and Mutt crash into the library.[63] The soundtrack features a Continuum, an instrument often used for sound effects instead of music.[64] The Concord Music Group released the soundtrack on May 20, 2008.[65]


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2008, ahead of its worldwide May 22 release date. It was the first Spielberg film since 1982's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial to premiere at Cannes.[66] The film was released in approximately 4000 theaters in the United States, and dubbed into 25 languages for its worldwide release.[39] More than 12,000 release prints were distributed, which is the largest in Paramount Pictures' history.[67] Although Spielberg insisted his films only be watched traditionally at theaters, Paramount chose to release the film in digital cinemas as part of a scheme to convert 10,000 U.S. cinemas to the format.[68]


Frank Marshall remarked, "In today's information age, secrecy has been a real challenge. [...] People actually said, 'No, we're going to respect Steven's vision." Fans on the internet have scrutinized numerous photos and the film's promotional LEGO sets in hope of understanding plot details; Spielberg biographer Ian Freer wrote, "What Indy IV is actually about has been the great cultural guessing game of 2007/08. Yet, it has to be said, there is something refreshing about being ten weeks away from a giant blockbuster and knowing next to nothing about it."[20] To distract investigative fans from the film's title during filming,[69] five fake titles were registered with the Motion Picture Association of America; The City of Gods, The Destroyer of Worlds, The Fourth Corner of the Earth, The Lost City of Gold, and The Quest for the Covenant.[70] Lucas and Spielberg had also wanted to keep Karen Allen's return a secret until the film's release, but decided to confirm it at the 2007 Comic-Con.[71]

An extra in the film, Tyler Nelson, violated his nondisclosure agreement in an interview with The Edmond Sun on September 17, 2007, which was then picked up by the mainstream media. It is unknown if he remained in the final cut.[72] At Nelson's request, The Edmond Sun subsequently pulled the story from its website.[73] On October 2, 2007, a Superior Court order was filed finding that Nelson knowingly violated the agreement. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.[74] A number of production photos and sensitive documents pertaining to the film's production budget were also stolen from Steven Spielberg’s production office. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department set up a sting operation after being alerted by a webmaster that the thief might try to sell the photos. On October 4, 2007, the seller, 37-year old Roderick Eric Davis, was arrested. He pleaded guilty to two felony counts and was sentenced to two years and four months in jail.[20][75][76]


Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing, attributed the film's large marketing campaign to it having been "nineteen years since the last film, and we are sensing a huge pent-up demand for everything Indy".[77] Paramount spent at least $150 million to promote the film,[78] whereas most film promotions range from $70 to 100 million. As well as fans, the film also needed to appeal to younger viewers.[79] Licensing deals include Expedia, Dr Pepper, Burger King, M&M's, and Lunchables.[79] Paramount sponsored an Indiana Jones open wheel car for Marco Andretti in the 2008 Indianapolis 500, and his racing suit was designed to resemble Indiana Jones's outfit.[80] The distributor also paired with M&M's to sponsor the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, with NASCAR driver Kyle Busch behind the wheel, in the 2008 Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway.[81] Kyle Busch and the #18 team won the race and visited victory lane with Indiana Jones on the car.[82] With the film's release, producer Frank Marshall and UNESCO worked together to promote conservation of World Heritage Sites around the world.[83][84]

The Boston-based design studio Creative Pilot created the packaging style for the film's merchandise, which merged Drew Struzan's original illustrations "with a fresh new look, which showcases the whip, a map, and exotic hieroglyphic patterns".[85] Hasbro, Lego, Sideshow Collectibles, Topps, Diamond Select, Hallmark Cards,[86] and Cartamundi all sold products.[87] A THQ mobile game based on the film was released,[88] as was a Lego video game based on the past films.[89][90] Lego also released a series of computer-animated spoofs, Lego Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Brick, directed by Peder Pedersen.[91] Stern Pinball released a new Indiana Jones pinball machine, designed by John Borg, based on all four films.[92] From October 2007 to April 2008, the reedited episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles were released in three DVD box sets.[93]

Random House, Dark Horse Comics, Diamond Comic Distributors, Scholastic, and DK published books,[77] including James Rollins' novelization of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,[94] a two-issue comic book adaptation written by John Jackson Miller and drawn by Luke Ross (Samurai: Heaven and Earth), children's novelizations of all four films,[95] the Indiana Jones Adventures comic book series aimed at children,[96] and the official Indiana Jones Magazine.[97] Scholastic featured Indiana and Mutt on the covers of Scholastic News and Scholastic Maths, to the concern of parents, though Jack Silbert, editor of the latter, felt the film would interest children in archaeology.[79]

Home media

The film was released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in North America on October 14, 2008. This includes a two-disc edition Blu-ray; a two-disc Special Edition DVD; and a one-disc edition DVD.[98] These editions were released in the UK on November 10.[99] Among the collectible editions include; Kmart, which contains four LEGO posters parodying those of the films; Target Corporation, whose DVD has an eighty-page book of photographs; and Best Buy, whose edition contains a replica of a crystal skull created by Sideshow Collectibles.[100] As of March 1, 2009 it has made $109,296,975 in revenue.[101]


Box office

Box office revenue Box office ranking Reference
United States Foreign Worldwide All time domestic All time worldwide
$317,101,119 $469,534,914 $786,636,033 #25 #27 [1]

Indiana Jones is distributed by one entity, Paramount, but owned by another, Lucasfilm. The pre-production arrangement between the two organizations granted Paramount 12.5% of the film's revenue. As the $185 million budget was larger than the original $125 million estimate,[70] Lucas, Spielberg, and Ford turned down large upfront salaries so Paramount could cover the film's costs. In order for Paramount to see a profit beyond its distribution fee, the film had to make over $400 million. At that point, Lucas, Spielberg, Ford, and those with smaller profit-sharing deals would also begin to collect their cut.[78]

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was released Thursday May 22 in North America and grossed $25 million its opening day.[102] In its opening weekend, the film grossed an estimated $101 million in 4,260 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #1 at the box office,[103] and making it the third widest opening of all time.[104] Within its first five days of release, it grossed $311 million worldwide. The film's total $151 million gross in the United States ranked it as the second biggest Memorial Day weekend release, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.[105] It was the third most successful film of 2008 domestically, behind The Dark Knight and Iron Man respectively,[106] and the second highest grossing film of 2008 internationally, behind The Dark Knight.[107] In February 2010 it was the 25th highest grossing film of all time domestically, and 27th highest grossing worldwide, as well as the most financially successful Indiana Jones film when not adjusted for inflation of ticket prices.[108][109]


The film received mostly positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 76% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 239 reviews. The consensus was "Though the plot elements are certainly familiar, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull still delivers the thrills and Harrison Ford's return in the title role is more than welcome."[110] Metacritic reported the film had a score of 65 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews", based on 40 reviews.[111] Yahoo! estimated an average rating of B from 15 reviews.[112] The Associated Press reported the film received a "respectful – though far from glowing – reception," saying that "some viewers at its first press screening loved it, some called it slick and enjoyable though formulaic, some said it was not worth the 19-year wait...," adding that J. Sperling Reich, who writes for, said: "It really looked like they were going through the motions. It really looked like no one had their heart in it."[113] USA Today stated reviews were "mixed" and reviewers felt the "movie suffers from predictable plot points and cheesy special effects".[114] Roger Ebert gave the film 3.5 stars out of 4, a rating he also gave to The Last Crusade. Ebert argued that the only critical criterion for judging the latest film was comparing it to the previous three. He found it "same old, same old", but that was what "I want it to be."[115] James Berardinelli gave the film 2 stars out of 4, calling it "the most lifeless of the series" and "simply [not] a very good motion picture."[116]

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation called for the film to be banned, accusing the production team of demonizing the Soviet Union. Party official Andrei Andreyev said: "It is very disturbing if talented directors want to provoke a new Cold War."[117] Another party official commented that "in 1957 the USSR was not sending terrorists to America but sending the Sputnik satellite into space!"[118] Spielberg responded that he is Russian, as his ancestors came from Ukraine, and explained: "When we decided the fourth installment would take place in 1957, we had no choice but to make the Russians the enemies. World War II had just ended and the Cold War had begun. The U.S. didn't have any other enemies at the time."[119] The film's depiction of Peru also received criticism from the Peruvian and Spanish-speaking public.[120][121]

The mixed fanbase reaction did not surprise Lucas, who was familiar with mixed response to the Star Wars prequels. "We're all going to get people throwing tomatoes at us," the series' creator had predicted. "But it's a fun movie to make."[122] Some fans of the franchise who were disappointed with the film adopted the term "nuked the fridge", based on the scene in the film, to denote the point in a movie series when it has passed its peak and crossed into the level of the absurd, similar to "jumping the shark". This phrase has since appeared across the Internet,[123] and was chosen as #5 on Time Magazine's list of "top ten buzzwords" of 2008.[124] South Park parodied the film in the episode "The China Probrem", broadcast some five months after the film's release.[125] David Koepp reflects, "I knew I was going to get hammered from a number of quarters [but] what I liked about the way the movie ended up playing was it was popular with families. I like that families really embraced it."[126] A CinemaScore survey conducted during its opening weekend indicated a general "B" rating.[127]

The film was nominated for Best Action Movie at the 2009 Critics' Choice Awards.[128] The Visual Effects Society nominated it for Best Single Visual Effect of the Year (the valley destruction), Best Outstanding Matte Paintings, Best Models and Miniatures, and Best Created Environment in a Feature Motion Picture (the inside of the temple).[129] The film ranks 453rd on Empire magazine's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time.[130] At the 51st Grammy Awards, John Williams won an award for the Mutt Williams theme.[131] It was nominated at the Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Costumes and Best Special Effects. It won Best Costumes, [132] and One Razzie for Worst Prequel or Sequel of that year.


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  • Rinzler, J.W.; Laurent Bouzereau (2008). The Complete Making of Indiana Jones. Random House. ISBN 9780091926618. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a 2008 adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg from a story co-written by executive producer George Lucas.


Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr.

  • [first lines] Russians.
  • [After he slams into a pursuing truck while pursuing Irina Spalko.] Damn, I thought that was closer!
  • Oh, that can't be good. That can't be good at all!
  • [to the Russians searching for him as they leave him at a nuclear test site] Sure, great! Don't wait for me!
  • I think you just brought a knife to a gunfight.
  • If you want to be a good archeologist, you gotta get out of the library!
  • Come on, genius.
  • [to a mad Harold Oxley who is speaking apparent gibberish] We went to the University of Chicago together, and you were never this interesting. My name is Ind... My name is Henry Jones, Jr.
  • This is intolerable. (reference from his father)
  • I have a bad feeling about this. (reference from Star Wars)
  • Leave it to Ox to write a riddle in a dead language.

Henry "Mutt" Williams-Jones III

  • [on his motorcycle, to Indiana] Get on, gramps.
  • [to Indiana] For an old man, you're not bad in a fight. What're you like - 80?
  • Hold up! [combs his hair] Okay, I'm ready.
  • [Right after what is said above] Don't give these pigs anything.
  • Ox, It's Mutt. It's me.
  • Don't call me son! [reference to Indy telling his own father not to call him "Junior"]
  • What are you looking at, Daddy-o! She's getting away!
  • [combs his hair while telling Indy and Marion] I can't concentrate with you two fighting all the time!

Irina Spalko

  • [To Mutt while they are dueling] You fight like a young man; eager to begin, quick to finish!
  • And what I do not know, I find out.
  • We will turn you into us, Dr. Jones.
  • [Right before trying to push his truck of a cliff] Do svidanya, Dr. Jones.
  • And where is it you would imagine I am from, Dr. Jones?
  • [Right before she gets consumed by the knowledge] I want to know.


  • Mac: JONESY!
  • Mac: [The driver of the car he is in is playing Chicken with Indy]Don't get clever, Boris. Stop the car! Stop! You don't know him! You don't know him!
  • Marion Ravenwood-Williams: Get your hands off of me, you rotten, Rusky son of a bitch! Indiana Jones. About time you showed up! [Then walks staight past him to hug Mutt]
  • Jocks: Get that greaser!
  • Howard Oxley: [Repeated Line] Henry Jones, Junior!
  • Howard Oxley: How much of human life is lost in waiting.


Mac: This ain’t going to be easy.
Indiana Jones: Not as easy as it used to be.
Mac: Well, we've been through worse.
Indiana Jones: Yah, when?
Mac: Flensburgh. There was twice as many.
Indiana Jones: We were younger.
Mac: I still am young!
Indiana Jones: We had guns. Put your hands down, will you; you're embarrassing us.
Colonel Dovchenko: You recognize building, yes?
[Indy looks over to the Russians draging away the dead American soilders they killed]
Indiana Jones: Drop dead. [Dovchenko punches him] I'm sorry, I meant drop dead comrade.

Indiana Jones: You're not from around here, are you?
Irina Spalko: And where is it you would imagine I am from... Doctor Jones?
Indiana Jones: Well the way you're sinkin your teeth into those v-ouble-u's, I should think Eastern Ukraine.

Irina Spalko: You're a hard man to read, Dr. Jones.
Indiana Jones: Ouch.
Irina Spalko: So, we will do this, what is expression? Old-fashion way. You will tell us. You will tell us.

Irina Spalko: This warehouse, where you and your government have hidden all of your secrets. Yes?
Indiana Jones: This is a military warehouse. I've never been here before in my life.

Indiana Jones: Compass? Anyone got a compass? You know, North, South, East -
Mac: West.

Irina Spalko: No defiant last words, Dr. Jones?
Indiana Jones: [sarcastically] I like Ike.
Colonel Dovchenko: Put down gun.
Indiana Jones: You got it, pal.
[Indy drops the gun and it "accidentally" shoots Mac in the foot]

Indiana Jones: How did Deidre take the news?
Dean Charles Stanforth: How does any wife take such things... the look on her face was a combination of pride and panic.
Indiana Jones: I never should have doubted you, my friend.
Dean Charles Stanforth: No, you have reason to question your friends these days. You know, I barely recognize this country anymore; the government has us seeing communists in our soup.
Indiana Jones: Brutal couple of years, huh, Charlie? First Dad, then Marcus.
Dean Charles Stanforth: We seem to have reached the age where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away.

Mutt Williams: The name's Mutt. Mutt Williams.
Indiana Jones: Mutt? What kind of name is that?
Mutt Williams: It's the one I picked, you got a problem with that?
Indiana Jones: [calmly] Take it easy.

Indiana Jones: Who is your mother, again?
Mutt Williams: Mary, Mary Williams. You don't remember her?
Indiana Jones: There've been a lot of Marys, kid.
Mutt Williams: [punches the table and storms from his seat] Shut up! That's my mother you're talking about, okay! That's my mother.
Indiana Jones: [ordering Mutt to sit down immediately] You don't have to get all sore all the time just to prove how tough you are. Sit down. Sit down, please.

Mutt Williams: [When told he is going too fast while driving his motorcycle through the library] That's a matter of opinion! (screaming)

Mutt Williams: [finishes combing his hair] What's that?

Mutt Williams: [shows Indiana the ladder] This way down. [falls down the ladder]
Indiana Jones: [walks down the stairs]

Mutt Williams: [after Indiana has shot a native grave guard with his own poison dart and scared off a second] You're a teacher?
Indiana Jones: [shrugging] Part-time.

Mutt Williams: Dead end.
Indiana Jones: Maybe.
Mutt Williams: [combs his hair] Hm--
Indiana Jones: What are you doing? Put that thing away! [Mutt hears him and stops combing his hair] Give me some light over here.

Indiana Jones: Dance on your own dime, will ya?
Mutt Williams: Ow! A scorpion just stung me, am I gonna die?
Indiana Jones: How big?
Mutt Williams: Huge!
Indiana Jones: Good.
Mutt Williams: Good?
Indiana Jones: The thing with scorpions, the bigger the better. Small one bites you, don't keep it to yourself.

[looking at the odd shaped human skulls]
Mutt Williams: Why'd they do that?
Indiana Jones: To honor the gods.
Mutt Williams: No, no, God's head's not like that, man.
Indiana Jones: Depends on who your god is.

Indiana Jones: Crystal isn't magnetic.
Mutt Williams: Neither is gold.

Indiana Jones: Careful, you may get exactly what you wish for.
Irina Spalko: I usually do.

Mac: [Jones punches Mac in his nose after Mac unties Jones] AWWWW! You broke my nose.
Indiana Jones: I told you so.

Indian Jones: Yeah, but you're alright?
Mutt Williams: They left my bike.
Mutt Williams: [when Irina holds her sword at him] Whoa, whoa, whoa! Wait, wait, wait! stop, stop, stop! Uh-huh [he combs his hair] I'm ready. Don't give these pigs a thing.
Indiana Jones: You heard him.

Indiana Jones: [to Mutt] Marion Ravenwood is your mother!
Marion Ravenwood-Williams: Oh, for God's sake, Indy! It't not that hard.
Indiana Jones: Well, I know. I just thought -
Marion Ravenwood-Williams: That I would never have a life after you left.
Indiana Jones: Well that's fine.
Marion Ravenwood-Williams: A damn good, really good life!
Indiana Jones: Well so have I!
Marion Ravenwood: Really? You still living in a trail of human wreckage or have you retired?
Indiana Jones: Why, you're looking for a date?
Marion Ravenwood: Anyone but you!
Irina Spalko: [Irina has Marion and Indiana hostage] So Dr. Jones, you will help us?
[Dovchenko cocks a pistol and points it at Marion's back]
Irina Spalko: A simple 'Yes' will do.
Indiana Jones: Oh Marion, you had to go and get yourself kidnapped.
Marion Ravenwood-Williams: Not like you did any better.
Indiana Jones: Same old, same old...

[Indy and Marion are trapped in drysand pit]:
Mutt Williams: What is it. quicksand?
Marion Ravenwood-Williams: I'm calm.
Indiana Jones: No, it's a drysand pit...
Marion Ravenwood-Williams: I'm sinking, but I'm calm.
Indiana Jones: ...Quicksand is a mix of sand, mud and water and depending on the viscosity it's not as dangerous as people sometimes think.
Marion Ravenwood-Williams: For Pete's sake, Jones, we're not in school!
Indiana Jones: Don't worry. There's nothing to worry about unless there's a...
[Suddenly there is a void collapse]:
Indiana Jones: A void collapse.

Indiana Jones: Oxley, go get help!
Harold Oxley: Help?
Indiana Jones: Help!
Harold Oxley: Help!
[Oxley leaves]
[Indiana and Marion are trapped in the sand pit]
Marion Ravenwood-Williams: [to Jones] Mutt can be a little impetuous.
Indiana Jones: Believe me, it's not the worst quality in the world. Keep your arms above your head. When the kid comes back, be ready to grab something.
Marion Ravenwood-Williams: Indy, he's...
Indiana Jones: He's a good kid, Marion. You should get off his back about school. Not everyone is cut out for it
Marion Ravenwood-Williams: Mutt, I mean, his name's Henry.
Indiana Jones: [absent-mindedly] Henry. Good name.
Marion Ravenwood-Williams: He's your son.
Indiana Jones: My son?
Marion Ravenwood: Henry Jones...III.
Indiana Jones: Why the hell didn't you make him finish school?!

[Mutt throws a long snake into the sand pit to save Jones]
Mutt Williams: Grab the snake!
Indiana Jones: Stop calling it that! Call it something else!
Mutt Williams: It's a snake! What do you want me to call it?!
Indiana Jones: [afraid to touch the snake] A rope!
Mutt Williams: What?
Indiana Jones: Say "grab the rope!"
Mutt Williams and Marion Ravenwood-Williams: Grab the rope!

Indiana Jones: [surrounded by Russian soldiers after getting pulled out of the sandpit by Mutt] Thanks Ox...
Harold Oxley: [points at the Russians] Help.

Marion Ravenwood-Williams: I'm sure I wasn't the only one to get with my life. There must have been plenty of women for you over the years.
Indiana Jones: There were a few, but they all had the same problem
Marion Ravenwood: Yeah? What's that?
Indiana Jones: They weren't you, honey.

Indiana Jones: [to Mutt and Marion as he climbs onto the roof of their newly captured truck] Keep driving.
Mutt Williams: Well, what's he gonna do now?
Marion Ravenwood-Williams: I don't think he plans that far ahead.
Mutt Williams: Yeah...
Indiana Jones: [pops out from the inside of the truck with a bazooka] Scooch over will ya, Son?
Mutt Williams: Don't call me 'Son'. Don't.
Indiana Jones: I think I'd cover my ears if I were you!
[Indy shoots a rocket at a giant tree cutter but it sends the large circular blade bouncing straight for them, cutting through other trucks as it goes]
Indiana Jones: Duck!

Mac: Jonesy! [Indy knocks off two Russians] Jonesy?
Indiana Jones: Hi, Mac! [punches him]

Indiana Jones: Marion, take the wheel!
Mutt Williams: That's not fair; she drove the truck!
Indiana Jones: Don't be a child - find something to fight with!

Mutt Williams: [after swinging on tree vines and landing back in the truck]: Whoa!
Indiana Jones: Whoa. [looks ahead to see a cliff] WHOA!

Indiana Jones: [to Mac, after it is revealed that he is actually working for the Russians] So, what are you, like a triple agent?
George McHale: No, I just lied about being a double agent.

Mutt Williams: What are they, like spacemen?
Harold Oxley: Interdimensional beings, in point of fact.
Indiana Jones: Welcome back, Ox.

Indiana Jones: Where did they go? Into space?
Harold Oxley: Not into space. Into the space between spaces.

Mutt Williams: I don't understand anymore. Why the legend about the city of gold?
Indiana Jones:: Well, the Ugha word for 'gold' translates as 'treasure.' But their treasure wasn't gold, it was knowledge. Knowledge was their treasure.

Indiana Jones: Why don't you stick around, Junior?
Mutt Williams: I don't know. Why didn't you, "Dad?"
Harold Oxley: [scoffs] Dad... [gives Indy a questioning look] Dad?
Indiana Jones: [chuckles] Somewhere, your grandfather is laughing right now.

Harold Oxley: Well done, Henry.
Indiana Jones and Mutt Williams: Thanks, Ox.

See also

External links

Simple English

Indiana Jones and the
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Produced by Frank Marshall
Denis L. Stewart
George Lucas
Kathleen Kennedy
Written by Screenplay:
David Koepp
George Lucas
Jeff Nathanson
Starring Harrison Ford
Shia LaBeouf
Cate Blanchett
Karen Allen
Ray Winstone
John Hurt
Jim Broadbent
Ian McDiarmid
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Janusz Kamiński
Editing by Michael Kahn
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) May 22, 2008
Running time 123 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$125 million
Preceded by Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Official website
Allmovie profile
IMDb profile

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a 2008 adventure movie directed by Steven Spielberg. The story the movie is based on was written by Spielberg and executive producer George Lucas. Set in 1957, this fourth movie in the Indiana Jones movie series and is based around an older and wiser Indiana Jones (played by Harrison Ford) against agents of the Soviet Union—led by Spalko (Cate Blanchett)—for the crystal skull. Indy is helped by his former lover Marion Ravenwood (played by Karen Allen), Mutt (played by Shia LaBeouf) and friend Mac (played by Ray Winstone). John Hurt, Jim Broadbent, and Ian McDiarmid also play fellow academics.

The movie was in "development hell" since the 1989 release of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, because Spielberg and Ford did not agree over Lucas's choice of the skull as the center plot device. Screenwriters Jeb Stuart, Jeffrey Boam, M. Night Shyamalan, Frank Darabont and Jeff Nathanson wrote early versions, before David Koepp's script was chosen by all three men. Shooting finally started on June 18 2007, and took place in New Mexico, New Haven, Connecticut, Hawaii, Fresno, California, and at soundstages in Los Angeles. This movie uses more stunts than CGI (computer generated images) so that the movie looks like the rest in the series. The music was created once again by John Williams



At the beginning of the movie, the U.S Army is doing weapons testing in Nevada in 1957. It is then revealed that the Soviets have taken control of some of the army and shoot some security people dead. A group of Soviet men and agent Irina Spalko then pull Indiana Jones out of the car and make him get an object that he found ten years ago. He finds the box and tries to escape, but his friend Mac turns on him. After escaping, he finds himself in a fake town. The U.S Army then explodes an atomic bomb. Jones gets into a refrigerator and barely survives.

Because Jones was Mac's friend for a long time, the U.S government thinks that Jones might be a Communist. At Marshall College the next day (where Jones teaches), the head dean informs him that he is on a "leave of absence" and that the dean resigned in order to protect Jones. Jones packs his bags and leaves New York. Before he can leave, though, a young man named Mutt Williams comes to him and shows him a letter. Williams says that Harold Oxley, one of Jones's old friends, has been kidnapped. Later, these people kidnapped Williams' mother Mary and will kill them both if the crystal skull cannot be found.

Jones reads the letter and the puzzle and says that Oxley was referring to Cuzco, Peru. Jones and Williams fly down there, where Jones learns that Oxley was put in a jail a couple of months ago. In the prison, Oxley scratched out some drawings. Jones and Williams head to a grave site where they believe Francisco de Orellana lies buried; legend tells that he found the crystal skull but was never found. They find the skull and come up only to find Mac and some Soviets pointing weapons at them.

All of them fly to a new camp in the jungle. Spalko tells Jones that she believes that the skull was made by aliens and that it holds great power. There, Jones finds that "Mary Williams" is actually Marion Ravenwood, his old lover. He also finds Oxley, who is out of his mind, rambling and unable to speak a full sentence. Jones finds out what Oxley is saying. As the Soviets and Jones figure out where to go, Williams starts a fire and tries to get them to escape. Jones and Ravenwood fall in quicksand and start sinking. As they sink, Ravenwood tells Jones that Williams' real name is Henry Jones III and that he is Jones's son. Williams uses a snake to get them out of the sandpit. They are recaptured.

The next day, the Soviets begin destroying the forest as they seek to reach the Temple of Aktor, the area Oxley pointed out. Jones gets his ropes loose and takes over one of the cars, starting a long jungle chase. In the end, they find the area, the location where the crystal skull should be returned. Mac rejoins the group as a good guy, but in reality he was still not good, and left little blinking red lights as a trail so the slower Soviets can find where Jones and his party were.

In a chamber tomb, Jones and his party find that 13 crystal skeletons, with one missing a skull. Spalko takes the skull away from Oxley and puts it back. The temple begins to crumble. Spalko wants to know everything in the world but she soon knows too much and explodes. Jones and his party start to escape. Jones stops to try to get Mac, but Mac says it is okay and lets himself be taken away. After Jones exits the temple, he sees the temple collapse and reveal itself to be a flying saucer. Back home, Jones becomes the associate dean of Marshall College. He and Ravenwood get married.


  • Harrison Ford as Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr.
  • Shia LaBeouf as Mutt Williams, a motorcycle-riding "greaser" and Indiana's sidekick.
  • Cate Blanchett as Irina Spalko, a villainous Russian agent.
  • Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood.
  • Ray Winstone as "Mac" George Michale, both a friend of and competitor with Jones.
  • John Hurt as an unnamed friend of Jones who disappeared in 1937 while searching for the skulls
  • Jim Broadbent as Dean Charles Stanforth, another friend of Jones who works at Yale University.
  • Ian McDiarmid as Professor Levi.
  • Igor Jijikine plays a Russian henchman Colonel Dovchenko.


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