Study Guide

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw)

Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw)

Anything Goes

If you're keeping track, Willie changes outfits five times, breaks two nails, and screams…well, we can't count that high. She screams a lot. She is definitely not what Netflix would characterize as a "Strong Female Lead."

The first half of the film consists of Willie shrieking, complaining, or otherwise being a burden. She attempts to steal the diamond. She hides the antidote from Indy. He gives her a gun; she drops it. She puts perfume on an elephant. And as we said, she won't stop screaming.

Indy agrees:

INDY: Biggest trouble with her is the noise.

Despite her shrillness (or maybe because of it) we can relate to her. Unless you're a globetrotting adventure seeker—it doesn't count if you just pretend to be one on Instagram—Willie's the character we're most similar to. She's an outsider, sucked into a situation she doesn't want to be in.

She knows where she belongs, and it's not at a table eating Snake Surprise:

WILLIE: I can't go to Pankot. I'm a singer. Oh, I need to call my agent. Is there a phone?

Okay, we hope we wouldn't act the exact same way she does when in this situation, but chances are there would be more than a few screams of terror when confronted with the horrors of Pankot Palace, whether it be chilled monkey brains, a cave full of bugs, or Mola Ram's bad makeup job.

We Ain't Saying She's a Gold-Digger

Or wait. Scratch that. We're exactly saying that she's a gold-digger.

Willie knows what she wants, and what she wants is a butt-load of cash. Her actions throughout the movie don't exactly come as a surprise, seeing how she puts finding the diamond at a priority over helping Indy find the antidote in the movie's opening scene. (What happened to that diamond anyway?)

Accustomed to her own lavish lifestyle—that red dress is incredible—Willie doesn't know how to deal with poverty. She doesn't want to eat the food in the village because it's poor-people food, and not rich enough for her palate.

And, just as Indy's eyes lit up when he hears the words "Sankara stones," Willie gets that cha-ching look when she walks into into Pankot Palace.

WILLIE: I think the maharaja is swimming in loot. Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea coming here after all.

You'll notice that Indy doesn't criticize her here, for a change. That's because the two have found something in common: the hunt for a fortune. However, it wouldn't be Temple of Doom if five minutes went by without Willie being humiliated, so we soon learn that the Maharaja's about twelve years old.

Romancing the Stone

Indy's in Willie's age bracket, but these two have one of the most unlikely romances on film. They spend most of the film bickering—and we don't mean in a cute, banter-y way. Both characters are downright nasty to one another.

Check it out:

WILLIE: There's nothing you have that I could possibly want.

and

INDY: I'm allowing you to tag along, so why don't give your mouth a rest? Okay, doll?

At some point they warm up to one another…because nothing gets the juices flowing like a brainwashed dude trying to perform a human sacrifice, apparently. Actually, all snark aside, its Indy's brainwashing that leads Willie to realize what a good guy Indy had been all along:

WILLIE: Indiana...help us. Please, snap out of it. You're not one of them. You're not one of them. Please come back to us. Don't leave me.

Hey, sometimes all it takes is magic demon blood and a pit of lava to get those true feelings to come out, right?

Not A Dumb Blonde

But Willie's not just a shrilly gold-digging love interest (although she is both of those things). She's also a resourceful lady. Without Willie, Indy and Short Round would be crushed, impaled, and covered in bugs: she overcomes her insectophobia to save her buddies from certain death.

She also throws a snake out of camp (and we know how much Indy hates snakes) and punches a guard during the mine-cart chase. She may be a damsel in distress, but she's canny enough to know that both Indy and Short Round are in distress as well.

The Scream

Before we close the book on Willie Scott, we want to talk about her name. No, she isn't named after pervy weatherman Willard Scott. Nor is her name, despite what some people want you to think, an homage to the classic Wilhelm Scream sound effect, although the scream does appear in multiple Indy films.

Willie is actually named after Steven Spielberg's dog. And, before you're offended that an already weak-willed female character is named after a dog, remember: Indy was named after a dog too. (Source)

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