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Book Review

Book Cover

The Complete Making of Indiana Jones (Hardback)


Author: J. W. Rinzler and Lauren Bouzereau
Ebury Press
RRP: £25.00, US $35.00
ISBN: 978 0 09 192661 8
Available 22 May 2008

When George Lucas and Steven Spielberg came together to create a no-holds-barred action-adventure movie, a new hero was born - Indiana Jones. The rest is record-breaking box-office history. Now, comes an all-new Indiana Jones film: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The Complete Making of Indiana Jones offers fans a unique opportunity to go on location for an up-close, all-access tour of the year's most eagerly anticipated blockbuster - as well as the opportunity to revisit the first three classics...

The Complete Making of Indiana Jones includes over three hundred large format (27cm tall x 30cm wide) pages packed to the rafters with behind-the-scenes photos, production drawings, interviews, and a commentary on all four Indiana Jones movies that will keep even the most clued up of fans salivating as they turn each page.

For those coming to this book after experiencing Indiana's adventures for the first time thanks to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, there's a wealth of fresh information on this latest adventure, including exclusive on-set interviews with the cast and crew. These include Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Cate Blanchett, Ray Winstone, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and John Hurt, as well as director Steven Spielberg, executive producer George Lucas and screenwriter David Koepp.

But, for the fans that grew up with the original trilogy, there's also equal space given to the first three movies - as well as tons of information that you won't have read about elsewhere.

There are hundreds of full-colour images - from storyboards, concept paintings and set-design schematics to still photos from all four films, with candid action shots of the productions in progress (an in-depth chronicle of the making of the first three Indiana Jones movies, including transcripts of the original story meetings, cast and crew anecdotes, production photos and information on scenes that were cut from the final films); and, never-before-seen artwork and archival gems from the Lucasfilm Archives.

Most glossy books like this have a tendency to pad the pages out with large images for the sake of it. The Complete Making of Indiana Jones, on the other hand, is still big on lavish imagery but not a single image is include for the sake of it. In fact there are the odd times when you almost wish some of the images had been reprinted a little bigger. There are plenty of pictures, and snippets of information, that you won't have seen before.

There are some great little stories included in the text too. In Raiders Spielberg was concerned that the tarantulas on Alfred Molina (Satipo) weren't moving enough. So, the spider wrangler introduced a female spider so that the males would fight and all hell broke loose - with the spiders running around the set. In Temple of Doom several scenes were scrubbed from the script after Ford slipped a disk. But he still went through with a scene that involved fighting a Thuggee assassin - a scene that resulted in Ford herniating his back. In Last Crusade Alison Doody (Dr. Elsa Schneider) tried to convince Spielberd not to kill her off. She wanted them to shoot a scene, after the Jones's had left, where her hand would be shown coming out of the rubble - but they kept saying to her: "You're dead! You're dead!"; and in Crystal Skull there's a sweet moment where on the day principal photography wrapped, Ford gave LaBeouf one of his hats, which he'd signed "It's all yours, Harrison Ford".

You can dip in and out of this, but believe me it's hard not to want to read every page from cover to cover. A fantastic coffee-table edition that every Indiana Jones fan should own.


Darren Rea

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