Study Guide

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Violence

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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Kittens would be a very different film. We were going to say it would be less violent, but on second thought, we're not so sure. We've seen a few feisty kittens in our day, and being scratched by a cat—no matter its size—stings pretty bad.

But even though we've seen some heart-wrenchingly adorable li'l kittehs, one thing we haven't seen is a cat wrench someone else's heart out. That's Mola Ram's territory. Or should we say terror-gory? (No, no we shouldn't.)

Temple of Doom's exceedingly violent, especially for a PG-rated movie. But it uses gore and horror in a way that is appealing. Face it, even if you cover your eyes during the more intense scenes, you're peeking at them through your fingers. Just make sure to snuggle something fluffy when you're done.

Questions About Violence

  1. Why is this film so violent? Is it too violent?
  2. What does the violence add to the story?
  3. Which scenes are the most difficult to watch, and why?
  4. Is the violence in Temple of Doom still shocking by today's standards?
  5. How has violence in film changed because of the PG-13 rating?

Chew on This

Violence can repel—just ask some of the parents angry over the film's rating—but it can also attract. While it never ventures into the horror genre, Temple of Doom is violent enough to be as thrilling as other pictures of Spielberg's that glorify violence, like Jaws or Jurassic Park.

The good guys only use violence in retaliation. Indy never attacks unless he is provoked, or one of his friends his harmed. Or he's brainwashed. Indy's most violent act is at the very beginning, after his friend Wu Han is killed, and he puts a skewer through Lao's henchman.

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