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(1984), PG [Lite R-PG*] (1hr 56min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
May 25, 2008
May 31, 2008

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(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.

(1984), PG [Lite R-PG*] ...

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy
Production (US): Paramount Pictures, Lucasfilm
Distribution (US): Paramount Home Video
Director(s): Steven Spielberg
Producer(s): Kathleen Kennedy, George Lucas, Frank Marshall, Robert Watts
Story by: George Lucas
Screenplay: Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz
Cinematography/Camera: Douglas Slocombe
Music: John Williams
Film Editing: Michael Kahn, George Lucas
Casting: Jane Feinberg, Mike Fenton, Marci Liroff, Mary Selway
Production Design: Elliot Scott
Art Direction: Roger Cain, Alan Cassie
Viewed on Paramount Home Entertainment VHS

I can't remember the last film I've seen with so much action violence and other violence of several types, about 1.5 per minute. The CAP analysis model found enough violence content to drain to zero the 100 starting points in the Wanton Violence/Crime (W) investigation area. Except in two cases, one where Mola Ram (Amrish Puri) rips the still-beating heart out of a sacrifice victim and one where Ram gets squished in a stone crusher, the ton of violence has been described as "good, clean action adventure violence", meaning no blood or gore. But it is still violence. The American Medical Association and four other professional health associations finally agreed with God [1 Cor. 15:33] that such entertainment can and does embolden youth to develop aggressive notions which can manifest in behavioral choices as well as develop an embittered worldview and lose trust in and even fear others. For what it's worth, I agree.

Most of the violence in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is not gory. The violence is mostly defensive and does not typically portray lust for it or bitter contempt for amity as does the violence in many R-rated films. But I'll say it again: it is still violence. The magnitude of so many instances of "lesser" violence in The Temple of Doom makes the envelope of violence contribution equivalent to that earned by many R-rated films. See our CAP Rule of 1000 publication for more information about the equivalence of the influence of many "lesser" instances of "bads" to a few but much more extreme "bads."

As promised, following is a scoring comparative of three of the four films in the Indiana Jones quadrilogy. So far, with only The Last Crusade (PG-13) yet to be analyzed, the two PG-rated Jones films earned lower final scores than the PG-13 Crystal Skull which almost earned a final score equivalent to PG-rated films in the comparative baseline database. The MPAA has it backwards. More proof of the unreliability of the MPAA ... consistently. And, subjectively speaking, Crystal Skull was not as intellectually entertaining as any of the previous installments.

Indeed, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is, in part, a "lite" R-PG* (a PG-rated film earning a score equivalent to R-rated films) because of the violence. The other contributor to the R-PG status is the content found by the Offense to God (O) investigation area. Each of the Wanton Violence/Crime and the Offense to God investigation areas found enough content to earn an area score of zero. But the "good news" is that the content found by each of the other four investigation areas [Impudence/Hate (I), Sexual Immorality (S), Drugs/Alcohol (D) and Murder/Suicide (M)] earned scores equivalent to PG-rated films in the comparative baseline database. But is that good news good enough?

As I've said a hundred times if once, we just tell you what is there and share with you what God says about it. You decide whether it is fit for your kids. We tell you the truth about the content of films; truth the MPAA, previews/trailers, word-of-mouth, advertisers, etc. can't or won't tell you so you might be in a better position to make an informed moral decision on your own whether a film is fit.

Both Speilberg and Lucas have cameo appearances in this second masterpiece of the director/writer pair. Spielberg appears as a tourist. Lucas appears as a missionary. So does Frank Marshall, one of the producers, appear as a missionary.

Fortunately, this second feature in what is now the Indiana Jones quadriolgy does not bear the alcohol/tobacco scars of the first feature, Raiders of the Lost Ark which ran rife with alcohol and tobacco. Indeed, Temple of Doom is equivalent to most PG-rated films in terms of the presentation of alcohol, drugs and tobacco.


This film runs rife not only with violence but with unholy rituals and evil behaviors. So much so the Offense to God (O) investigation area found enough content to drain all of the starting 100 points of this investigation area, yielding an investigation area score of zero in Offense to God. That makes this film equivalent to many R-rated films in this area. Much of the film is indeed rather dark.

But aside from violence and unholy matters, Temple of Doom is equivalent to PG films. Each of the other four investigation areas (Impudence/Hate, Sexual Immorality, Drugs/Alcohol and Murder/Suicide) earned scores equivalent to the like content in PG-rated films in the comparative baseline database.

Indy (Harrison Ford) finds himself trying to deal with Lao Che (Roy Chiao), a crime boss of Shanghai and owner of the nightclub in which Indy and Che meet. Che has a diamond Indy wants and Indy has the cremated remains of a king from the Machu dynasty Che wants. As possessions are swapped, Che offers In

dy an alcoholic drink to celebrate their deal. Unfortunately, the drink is poisoned. Indy pulls Wilhelmina 'Willie' Scott (Kate Capshaw), the nightclub star, to him as a hostage and threatens her life with a fork unless Che gives the diamond back to Indy. To that, Che indicates Willie's worth to him by telling Jones 'You keep her. I'll find another."

The chuckling Che offers Indy the antidote to the poison in exchange for getting the diamond back. A ruckus ensues -- a fatal ruckus for one character. The diamond gets mixed with a spilled bucket of ice. As Willie digs through the ice of the diamond the vial of antidote is kicked to her and she shoves it between her breasts.

Indy barely escapes with his life. Leaping out a second story window with Willie, after bounding off an awning below Indy and Willie land in a conveniently placed car driven by his young thief companion, Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan) who speeds off with Indy and Willie. As the action continues through the streets of Shanghai. Indy fetches the antidote from between Willie's breasts shouting "I'm not that kind of girl" without offering any resistance. Is there a design obvious here? The story has her placing the vial between her breasts. Indy has to have it to live. He fetches it. Gotta get some sex in there, I guess. Once out of Shanghai ... Well, as with Raiders too many have seen Temple of Doom to go into any more detail about the story or plot. Also as with Raiders the biggest reason I am conducting analysis of each film in the Indiana Jones quadrilogy is to make a comparative scoring study of them.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
As discussed above Temple of Doom presents enough violence to lose all the 100 starting points in this investigation area. Examples of violence include sword impalement, a knife to a child's throat, sequences of action violence of varying intensities, gunfire to kill frequently, death by hanging, a victim's heart being ripped from his chest, massive abduction enslavement of children, beatings of children and much more. Please see to the listing in the Findings/Scoring section for a full accounting of the findings. [Prov. 16:29]

Impudence/Hate (I) - 80 out of 100
There are three uses of aischrologia (the three/four letter word vocabulary) noted. There might be more but if so I missed them. But still, three is three too many. [Col. 3:8] Other than an "I hate YOU" by Willie and a young boy saying "Please let me die!", there was not much to the Impudence/Hate content.

Sexual Immorality (S) - 71 out of 100
There is entirely too much sexually-oriented content for the intended audience, the PG age stratum. It is not right for them (not that its okay for anyone) to see a man shove his hand between a woman's breasts. And it is not right for her to offer sex to him nor him to entice her for it. [1Ths. 4:7]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 80 out of 100
While Raiders was rife with the use of alcoholic beverages and tobacco, Temple of Doom is comparatively light in alcohol/tobacco content. However, drugs are used to force an altered state of consciousness.

Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
In addition to 11 uses of God's name in vain (all without the four letter expletive) [Deut. 5:11], this film presents intense unholy practices such as voodoo and human sacrifice frequently. In one case a young boy repeatedly stabs an effigy to cause pain to another ... and enjoys it. In an evil ceremonial ritual Mola Ram rips the still beating heart out of a sacrificial victim.. These are but very few of the examples of unholy, evil practices in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. This film also presents faith in false gods and praying to them. [Deut. 5:7, Ps. 40:4] The Findings/Scoring section reveals all that were found.

Murder/Suicide (M) - 80 out of 100
There is murder by gunfire, murder by ritual (incineration) and murder by being thrown off a cliff.


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  • 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. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV. And see 1 Cor. 15:33 below.]
  • Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander (injurious speech), and filthy language [aischrologia: foul speaking, low and obscene speech] from your lips.
  • 1Ths. 4:7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
  • Deut. 5:7 "You shall have no other gods before me.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or responsible discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name or title.]
  • Ps. 40:4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.

    ***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 Temple of Doom (1984) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • firearm threats, repeatedly
  • threat to impale hostage with a fork
  • attempted murder by poison
  • sword impalement
  • fighting, repeatedly
  • action violence, frequent, of varying intensities
  • gunfire to kill, frequent
  • reckless driving to escape
  • pursuit to kill, repeatedly
  • planning to kill
  • attempted murder of passengers by flight crew bailing out of plane in-flight
  • great falls, repeatedly
  • attempted murder by choking
  • death by hanging
  • decayed corpses, repeatedly
  • insect infestation of a woman
  • heart ripped form chest
  • abduction of a woman, a man and a child
  • massive abduction enslavement of children
  • repeated beatings and whippings of children
  • imprisonment of children, many
  • skull as drinking vessel
  • assault
  • whipping of a man by a man
  • whipping of a boy by a boy
  • bondage to force compliance
  • somewhat graphic convulsion display
  • defensive killing by a child
  • attempted ritual murder by lava
  • slap to the face of a child
  • child burning an adult
  • knife to child's throat
  • death by lava
  • attempted murder by knife
  • knife attack
  • additional slapping
  • death by crushing
  • death by great fall, repeatedly
  • children attacking captors
  • bloody death by stone crusher
  • child stab of a child
  • child burn of a child
  • children fighting
  • attempted murder by sword
  • sword attack
  • brutalization of woman and child
  • order to kill
  • multiple deaths by great fall into swarm of crocodiles
  • many deaths by military fire
  • attempted murder by arrow

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 80 out of 100
  • three noted uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • "I hate YOU!"
  • "Please, let em die" by a child

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 71 out of 100
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure
  • attention to private anatomy
  • inappropriate touch
  • sexual innuendo, twice
  • preparing for sexual encounter
  • offer of inappropriate touch
  • offer of sex
  • statue nudity

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 80 out of 100
  • bar
  • booze
  • forced consumption of drug(s)
  • forced drug intoxication

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • faith in false god
  • belief in a mystical stone having the power to give and take fertility and prosperity, repeatedly
  • evil shrine of sacrifice, repeatedly
  • massive evil ritual ceremony, repeatedly
  • prayer to false god
  • unholy healing
  • disembodied heart beating outside of host
  • disembodied heart bursting into flame
  • prayer to die by child
  • voodoo effigy to manipulate by child, repeatedly
  • evil imagery
  • offering of flesh to false god
  • prayer to false god
  • ritual frenzy, twice
  • lust for death by ritual, twice
  • lust for pain caused by voodoo
  • attempted murder by evil power
  • evil incantation to invoke the power of a false god

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 80 out of 100
  • murder by gunfire
  • ritual murder by incineration
  • murder by being thrown off a cliff

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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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