More than a whole four decades after the first Indiana Jones was released in 1981; the 5th Indiana Jones is scheduled to premiere next year on July 29 after several delays. Although Steven Spielberg won’t be directing this one, with Mads Mikkelsen recently being cast to star alongside Harrison Ford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, we can’t help but get more and more excited for the next installment.
As our anticipation grows, we have been following along with all the latest updates, but we have a lot yet to figure out. Meanwhile, we can revisit the first four Indiana Jones movies and re-enjoy all of the best scenes and most climactic moments.
Here are 10 of our favorites:
10. Opening the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark
Starting off our best scenes list, let’s start with the epic ending scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
We don’t know how Indy knew to keep his eyes closed, but we’re glad he did in the dramatic scene from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark when the Nazis all have their faces melted off and are burnt to a crisp from the mystical powers held within the ark. Especially after the ironic line he says earlier in the film, stating that he doesn’t believe in magic, calling it “a lot of superstitious hocus pocus.”
Even though this was the first movie released from the franchise, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark actually takes place a year after the events of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, where Indy experiences quite a few supernatural events.
So, we may not know for sure how Indy managed this one… but it was still pretty cool to watch.
9. “Antidote? To What?” “To the poison you just drank, Dr. Jones!”
At the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, we find Indy all gussied up in a nightclub in Shanghai dealing with Loa and his men. They try their hardest to get the best of Dr. Jones but underestimate his ability to survive.
After the unfortunate death of Indy’s friend, Johan, the fight begins after Indy skewers one of Loa’s men with a kabob of flaming meat.
Willie scrambles for the diamond while Indy fights his way through the crowd for the antidote that thankfully never gets broken. Indiana and Willie make a narrow escape behind a rolling drum as he’s being shot at by a machine gun. Lucky, how they always seem to miss, huh?
Jumping from the window and landing perfectly inside the car, Short Round is there to save the day. “Hold on to your potatoes!” he cries before whisking them off through the streets of Shanghai.
8. “Snakes. Why’d it Have to be Snakes?”
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark has a ton of spectacular scenes, but one of my absolute favorites is when poor Indy has to lower himself into a roiling pit of snakes.
We all have our one biggest fear. For me, it’s spiders. For Indiana, it’s snakes. One of the most famous lines from the Indiana Jones movies is when Indiana discovers the chamber that holds the ark to find that it is completely filled with snakes. He rolls over and says, “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?” to which Sallah adeptly replies, “Asps. Very dangerous. You go first!”
He gets himself down, and just as I would have done, he lights them all on fire.
After breaking out of the snake pit, Indiana Jones and Miriam try to make their escape on the airfield when Indiana gets into a fight with a pilot he hopes to steal a plane from.
Unfortunately, a much bigger and burlier Nazi mechanic comes out to try and save him. Luckily, quick-witted as ever, Jones is able to outsmart him, with Miriam’s help, and the big man gets a propeller to the face.
They never do make it away on the plane.
6. The Truck Chase in Raiders of the Lost Ark
Another intense scene comes after another one of the best lines in the franchise.
From one epic scene to the next, we find Indy, Miriam, and Shallah are hiding together and trying to figure out what to do next after they find out that the Nazis have the Ark of the Covenant. Indiana tells them, “I’m going after that truck.” Shallah asks, “How?” to which Indy shrugs and replies, “I don’t know. I’m making this up as I go.”
Following this, we watch Indy chase down the Nazi truck that holds the ark. Harrison Ford actually suffered some bruised ribs as a result of being dragged behind the truck during some of the more intense shots.
5. The Mine Cart Chase in the Temple of Doom
In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Willie and Short Round are trying to escape the mine on a minecart and calling to Indy when he just narrowly makes it into the cart with them.
They then fly precariously along the tracks as if on a roller coaster at rapid speeds. Indy, clever as always, does his best to stop the carts that are fighting to catch up with them. Short-Round is very nearly ripped apart as they play tug-o-war with him from cart to cart. At the end of the tracks, the brake breaks off, and Indy has to stop the car with the bottom of his boot.
With his boot smoking, he starts yelling out, “Water! Water! Water!” and as if he summoned it, here it comes rushing down the tunnel towards them.
4. Finding the Holy Grail in the Last Crusade
“He chose… poorly.” says the 700-year-old grail knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade after Donovan (very dramatically) gets the life drained out of him and turned to dust mere seconds after drinking from the fanciest cup in the place.
Indiana, of course, chooses correctly by picking the most humble-looking cup out of them all and is able to whisk away with it, narrowly saving Dad Jones.
3. The Retrieval and Escape with the Golden Idol in Raider of the Lost Ark
Indiana Jones in the Raiders of the Lost Ark starts off perfectly with arguably the best scene of the entire movie. Smooth chin swipe, balancing out the bag, and a smooth transition of a sandbag for the idol – except not perfect. Indiana barely escapes as a giant rolling boulder tries to crush him to death only to make it out in the knick of time and have it taken away from him by that pesky Belloq. “It seems there is nothing you can possess that I cannot take away.” As Belloq laugh,s Indy is chased by the natives through the jungle and narrowly makes his escape yelling, “Jock! Start the engine!” and of course, when he is finally in the air and soaring away, he finds a snake in his lap. “Oh, that’s just my pet snake Reggie!” Jock says. “I hate snakes! I hate em’!” “Oh, come on! Show a little backbone, will ya?”
2. The Rope Bridge Scene in the Temple of Doom
After their narrow escape from the mines, Short Round, Willie, and Indiana run away as quickly as they can only to come to a scary-looking rope bridge that Willie is far from keen to climb onto. Short Round tries to prove its strength by jumping on it until he breaks through the wooden planks and almost falls to the crocodile-infested river below. Willie and Short Round make it across only to be met by Molar Rob on the other side.
The only way of escape? Hack through the bridge ropes and hang on for dear life. Indiana tells Short Round to hold on as he starts wrapping a foot into the ropes of the bridge. “Hang on, lady. We’re going for a ride.”, he tells Willie “Oh my god, is he nuts!?” she asks. He replies with probably one of his best lines in the film. “He no nuts! He’s crazy!”
After hacking through the bridge ropes, they all go flying downward, with most of them falling to their deaths. For all who’s left holding on, it’s an epic fight to climb back up the sides and make it to safety. Almost getting his heart snatched from his chest again, Archers shoot their arrows across at him, and we don’t know how they missed, and neither does Indiana Jones.
Epic rolling crocodiles and Indy climbs up with the stone in his hand. Hard to beat a scene like that.
1. Kicking Nazi Butt on Tanks in the Last Crusade
In the climactic tank fighting scene, Indiana comes to save the day by out-smarting the Nazis and their tanks.
“The pen is mightier than the sword,” says Marcus after Professor Jones Sr. stabs one of the Nazis inside the tank. Meanwhile, Indy is almost crushed against the rock wall outside and only makes it to safety after the tank driver gets shot between the eyes.
Finally clear of the Nazis, Papa Jones pops up smiling “You call this archaeology?” he asks Indy.
At the end of the scene, Indy barely gets off just in time as the tank falls off the side of a cliff. Tank top fighting, gun-slinging, and near-death experiences. It’s hard to beat scenes like that one.
When I was a kid, I loved Indiana Jones for the thrill and adventure. Plus, you know… Harrison Ford was super cool in just about anything. I don’t think I could ever truly rank the scenes from best to worst; they’re all too fantastic. Do you have a favorite Indiana Jones scene? Let us know in the comments below.