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With Comparative of All Four of the Indiana Jones Quadrilogy
(1989), PG-13 [Lite PG-13*] (2hr 02min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
May 26, 2008
June 2, 2008

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Christian Long Distance

(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(1989), PG-13 [Lite PG-13*] ...

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Lucasfilm, Paramount Pictures
Distribution (US): Paramount Home Video
Director(s): Steven Spielberg
Producer(s): George Lucas. Frank Marshall. Arthur F. Repola. Robert Watts
Characters: George Lucas, Philip Kaufman
Story by: George Lucas, Menno Meyjes, Jeffrey Boam
Cinematography/Camera: Douglas Slocombe
Music: John Williams
Film Editing: Michael Kahn, George Lucas
Casting: Maggie Cartier, Mike Fenton, Valorie Massalas, Judy Taylor
Production Design: Elliot Scott
Art Direction: Fred Hole, Stephen Scott
Viewed on Paramount Home Entertainment VHS

I know everybody has seen it but I will still tell you about it.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (PG-13) earned a final score of 66. That places it one point below the top of the scoring range earned by PG-13 movies (67 to 55 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. The final score of 66 also places it two points under the bottom of the scoring range earned by PG movies (86 to 68 out of 100). Last Crusade is thus an ultra-lite PG-13 just like Crystal Skull which earned a final score of 67. The scoring comparative shown below displays this. Below is also the reason I chose to analyze all four of the films in the Indiana Jones quadrilogy.

The two PG-rated films earned scores earned by hard PG-13 or lite R movies in the comparative baseline database. The two PG-13 films earned scores nearly equivalent to scores earned by PG films. In spite of the MPAA not implementing the PG-13 rating until 1984 (the year of Temple of Doom), above is more evidence that the MPAA is inconsistent and unreliable. Maybe more than that, as seen in the Temple of Doom scoring distribution, it is evident the MPAA appears to care nothing about assault of God's Word and the inherent moral assault on our kids.

Notice if you will the variations in the heights of the "mercury" columns between film scoring sets. This reveals a paradigm shift in content. Every Jones film is rife with violence but Last Crusade and Crystal Skull calmed down notably from Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Temple of Doom, especially in the Drugs/Alcohol (D) and Offense to God (O) investigation areas.

I am not going to itemize all the information revealed by the above scoring comparative since the typical caliber of intellect of most of our readers seems to be higher than my own. Therefore, the probability is high that you can probably figure out for yourself what the above scoring comparative says.

The four-film comparative is done. And I have found out what I wanted to find out. I hope you also find some useful information from the above comparative generated by the CAP analysis model built by Jesus through me.

This installment of the Jones quadrilogy is akin to the episodes of the Star Wars phenomenon. This third film discusses some developments that happened before the first film and thus adds dimension to the Indy character.

The story opens with teenage Henry "Indiana" Jones (River Phoenix), a.k.a "Indy", often called "Junior" by his father, Professor Henry Jones, Sr. (Sean Connery), in the Boy Scouts on an expedition in the deep West. Junior stumbles upon a grave-robbing dig by what seems to be some less than honorable characters. They are stealing the Cross of Coronado. Since Indy feels it should be in a museum, he steals it from the thieves and runs home to dad with it. The thieves, of course, chase after Indiana.

Indiana commandeers one of the horses of the expedition and mounts a locomotive to get home , er, rather away from the bad guys after him. It is a circus train with lions and tigers and ... snakes. After falling into the lion's car, while trying to ward off the lion with a whip we discover how Indy came by the now famous scar on his chin.

After an attempt to explain to dad what had happened and after rather distant attention from dad, the chief thief, Fedora (Richard Young), at the direction of the man in the Panama Hat (Tim Hiser, later Paul Maxwell), arrived shortly after young Indy ... with the sheriff (Marc Miles). It seems the Cross of Coronado was the legal property of the Panama Hat man. So, Fedora takes the cross and tells Indiana "You lost today, kid. But that doesn't mean you have to like it." and places his fedora on Indiana's head and pushes his head down onto Indiana's chest, hiding his face.

In a clever device of the filmmakers the next scene is of an older Indiana (Harrison Ford) as he raises his still-face-hidden, fedora-clad head aboard a sea-going ship ... with the man in the Panama Hat again. Jones found the man in the Panama Hat and was trying to get the Cross of Coronado away from him to put it in a museum. In Dr. Marcus Brody's (Denholm Elliott) museum.

Brody has bad news for Indy while again in the classroom teaching archeology to doting students. His father, Professor Henry Jones, Sr. has turned up missing on one of his escapade to locate the Holy Grail, the cup Jesus used at the Last Supper and the cup that Mary used to catch the blood and waters of Jesus as He hung on the Cross. Jones, Sr. was last seen in Venice, Italy.

Contacting a man who might have information about the whereabouts of Jones, Sr., Walter Donovan (Julian Glover), Donovan has part of a shield with markings that partially reveal the location of the Grail.

Both Indy and Brody travel to Venice to meet with Dr. Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody) who might be able to help Indy find his father. Through clever links the three of them begin the search for Indy's father via a search for the Holy Grail with information from the notebook Jones, Sr. sent to Indy earlier. After busting through the floor of a museum in Venice leading to the sewers below, Indy and Schneider find the rest of the shield with the location of the Holy Grail.

Climbing out of the sewers, Indy and Schneider are attacked by the guardians of the Grail. After defeating the guardians (of course), one of them tells Indy where his father is held captive by the Nazis who are also looking for the grail. After rescuing his father, the pair travel by motorcycle to Berlin where Indy actually meets Hitler himself during a book-burning frenzy.

And that is just the start of this two-hour romp in action adventure.

From America to Venice to Berlin to the deserts of the Holy Land, this feature is packed with action and intrigue. It is probably one of the best of the Indiana Jones quadrilogy. But, like the other Indiana Jones episodes, it has some bad apples in its barrel.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
As with the other three films of the Indiana Jones quadrilogy, this installment is rife with violence of varying intensities, the "trademarks" of the Indiana Jones phenomenon. Some of the scenes in the violence content were quite graphic such as the beheading of a Nazi soldier, seeing his head roll to a stop with the face forward and the crushing fall of a German commander where his body was not only flopped around as the tank he was in rolled after a great fall, but as the tank crushed his body. In addition, Jones, Sr. is shot to intimidate Indy into action that would prevent the Nazi's from finishing off Jones, Sr. Further, the film is filled with human rot. [Prov. 16:29, Prov. 3:31]

There is so much violence in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade that it would take far too much space in this "brief description" to give you the level of information you need to know before deciding whether this film is fit for your kids ... or yourself. So please be sure to inspect the listing in the findings/Scoring section before deciding.

Impudence/Hate (I) - 81 out of 100
Fortunately (?) the writers had someone cuss only five times. But God gave us some nasty-grams about such uncleanliness. [Col. 3:8, Mark 7:20] The lying did not help this investigation area score, either.

Sexual Immorality (S) - 84 out of 100
The implied intercourse, the implications about sexually immoral behaviors and the implication of a father and son sharing the same sex partner were the extent of sexually oriented content. [Col. 3:5]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 84 out of 100
This version of the Indiana Jones quadrilogy is refreshingly lite on alcohol content, so unlike the first one (Raiders of the Lost Ark). Booze appears only three times, drinking once and smoking once. But let me remind you that the American College of Physicians found that alcoholic beverages in and as entertainment embolden the young to try drinking.

Offense to God (O) - 81 out of 100
A number of issues that violate God's Word caused the lost of about 20% of the starting 100 points in this investigation area. Aside from the three uses of God's name in vain (without the four letter expletive), Indy's portrayal of unbelief by calling the Gospel a "bedtime story" was indeed expensive to the scoring. [Rev. 21:8]

Murder/Suicide (M) - 67 out of 100
It was the five murders, three all at once, that killed about one third of the starting 100 points in this investigation area.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good. [The issue is the violence, no matter how "small" it might seem, and its effect on an observer. "A violent man" can be a man, woman OR the men/women/characters demonstrating the violent behavior/action on the screen. Knowing of Prov. 16:29 you now know why violence, especially in and as entertainment, can embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. See also *Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit* . Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV. And see 1 Cor. 15:33 below.]
  • Prov. 3:31 Envy thou not the oppressor [man of violence, extortionist, etc.], and choose none of his ways.
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy (injurious speech, slander in this use), filthy communication [aischrologia: foul speaking, low and obscene] out of your mouth.
  • Mark 7:20 He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.'
  • Col. 3:5 Put to death [mortify, deprive of power, destroy the strength of], therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [deilos {di-los'}; timid, cowardly], and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers [sexually immoral], and sorcerers [all forms of evil/magic to force or do harm], and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • pursuit to capture minor child
  • action violence of varying intensities, frequent
  • assault with knife and other instruments
  • beating, repeatedly
  • order to kill by drowning
  • fighting - long sequence plus repeated instances of fighting
  • many deaths by ship exploding
  • intimidation by proximity
  • human remains, frequent
  • firearms for offense
  • attempted murder by fire
  • pursuit to kill, repeatedly
  • reckless gunfire with endangerment
  • gunfire to kill, frequent
  • firearms to control, frequent
  • defensive killing, repeatedly
  • hostage
  • firearm to threaten
  • binding
  • order to kill
  • threat to choke
  • bomb drop to kill
  • dying man and death
  • slap to face, repeatedly
  • three defensive killings with bullet exit visible in each
  • death by runover with tank
  • fight for gun
  • many deaths by tank guns
  • defensive killing by bullet through head
  • death by mutilating fall with body being crushed
  • sword for defense
  • beheaded bodies
  • beheading with head rolling to stop facing viewer
  • disabling gunshot to father's stomach to force compliance of son
  • peril action
  • human rot
  • death by fall

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 81 out of 100
  • five uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • lie about identity
  • lie

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 84 out of 100
  • implied immoral sex
  • man on woman
  • implication of immoral sex
  • talk of mutual sex partner between father and son

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 84 out of 100
  • booze, three times
  • drinking, once
  • smoking, once

    Offense to God (O) - 81 out of 100
  • calling the Gospel a bedtime story
  • three uses of God's name in vain all without the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 67 out of 100
  • three gunfire murders
  • two murders by grenade

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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