You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Indiana Jones Temple Of Doom TV Edit Completely Changes The Movie

ScreenRant logo ScreenRant 1/12/2023 Shannen Michaelsen
© Provided by ScreenRant

One change in the TV edit of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom completely alters the movie. A prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom sees the skeptical Professor Jones travel to India with his loyal friend Short Round and singer Willie Scott, where they seek to recover the sacred Sankara stones. The film was rated PG because the PG-13 rating didn't yet exist, but it's full of graphic and potentially upsetting scenes.

One of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom's most iconic scenes comes when Mola Ram, the film's villain and leader of Kali worshipers, removes a character's still-beating heart from his chest. The ritual is completed thanks to supernatural forces, and the victim remains alive after his heart is removed. His chest seals over while Mola Ram holds the heart up and the Thuggees cheer. Indy and his companions look on in horror from a hiding spot.

Replay Video

Related: Why George Lucas Made Temple Of Doom An Indiana Jones Prequel

Temple Of Doom's Missing Heart Destroys The Story

When edited to air on TV, Temple of Doom's disturbing human sacrifice scene is altered. Instead of showing off the realistic beating heart, Mola Ram's hand appears empty, making the ritual seem like nothing more than a charade met with cheers. Given that a theme of Temple of Doom is that Indiana doesn't believe in the mystical and fantastical until he witnesses it in person, the altered version of the scene should completely change his story.

If no supernatural force is visible during the human sacrifice, Indiana's skepticism should be further confirmed. Instead, the scene rocks him, and he mutters in shock while Mola Ram lifts the heart, "He's still alive." This doesn't make sense in the TV edit, and ruins the ongoing story of Indy becoming, as Mola Ram puts it, "a true believer." That said, the supernatural elements of Temple of Doom do seem to contradict Indy's skepticism in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Temple of Doom may have missed the sweet spot between its final cut and TV edit that would have made more sense for the character growth of Indiana Jones.

Temple Of Doom's Death Scene Helped Establish PG-13

Many 1984 audiences also felt that Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom missed a sweet spot, but that's because it pushed the limit of the MPA's PG rating about as far as it could go, partially leading to the creation of the PG-13 rating. Since PG-13 didn't exist at the time, and R ratings were restrictive, most movies aimed for a PG rating. Temple of Doom, along with Gremlins, pushed PG too far for some viewers, who thought the films should have been rated R.

Temple of Doom director and Gremlins producer Steven Spielberg suggested to Jack Valenti, the leader of what was then called the MPAA, that they create a third rating between PG and R. Thus, PG-13 was born, with Red Dawn the first film to be released with the new rating later in 1984. Now, most films aim for the PG-13 rating instead of PG, proving how Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom's violent heart scene changed the history of film forever.

Next: Every Way That Indiana Jones Changed Between Movies

Key Release Dates

  • Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
    Release Date:

More from ScreenRant

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon