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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Album Cover Art
1989 Warner
1997 Edoya
Album 2 Cover Art
2008 Expanded Set
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
Labels Icon
Warner Brothers Records
(May 23rd, 1989)

Edoya (Japan)
(April 16th, 1997)

Concord Records (Set)
(November 11th, 2008)
Availability Icon
The 1989 Warner album was a regular U.S. release. The 1997 Japanese import with identical tracks and cover art was available through online stores but has since disappeared.

The 2008 set (called "The Soundtrack Collection") is a regular commercial product with a retail price of $60 but initally sold for $43 to $45 at primarily major online outlets.
Nominated for an Academy Award and a Grammy Award.
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... on the inadequate 1989 album if you are willing to tolerate substandard sound quality and only half of the impressive, but not overwhelming music written by John Williams for the film.

Avoid it... even on the 2008 expanded, remastered edition if you absolutely demand the complete score for the film, because that set is missing more than 20 minutes of material.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 8/29/97, REVISED 12/28/08
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: (John Williams) With the fourth installment in the Indiana Jones film franchise long in the works, the final chapter of the story for two decades remained Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, perhaps the most humorous entry in the original trilogy. The introduction of Henry Jones (Indy Jr.'s father) produces laughs sadly missing from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, while the object of the chasing and searching in The Last Crusade is nothing less than the Holy Grail itself. The film would mark the tenth collaboration between director Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams, and the two were anxious to move the musical identity of the franchise towards more mature structures that would further distance it from the reliance on the famous "Raiders March" theme from the original film. There were plenty of fresh storylines with which to inspire Williams to write several new themes and motifs for the never-ending chasing of the Joneses. The religious elements of the story provide the same opportunity for grandeur that Williams had employed with great effect for the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the presence of Henry Jones allows Williams to explore the more personal and distantly sensitive side of the main character, and the Nazis are treated to their own new and robust theme. Missing no opportunity to make a splash, Williams writes several cues with stand-alone identities throughout the middle of the score that themselves have become concert pieces. As such, the music for The Last Crusade wanders in almost as many directions as Hook would the following year (though with fewer actual themes, of course), and there are many similarities in its fragmentation of attention to the composer's much later Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. In both franchises, Williams would branch out so effectively from the base identity of the original film that the newly created identity would share only a few of the aspects that made the original so memorable.

In The Last Crusade, Williams has lost the magic and sheer enthusiasm of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but has maintained his usual high standard of action writing to such a degree that the score is still entertaining. Williams and Spielberg decided that any extended use of the original march would be a symbolic pushing of the "cheap thrill" button, and thus the only substantial presentation of that theme exists in the customary end credits suite of all the themes from the film. It's easy to understand why the country (and the world, in fact) was becoming tired of the "Raiders March," for it had received endless airtime in concert halls and public address systems through the 1980's. But with its diminished role in The Last Crusade, also absent is the charming and exuberant element of the music's impact on the film. By moving further from that addictive flair, the franchise had almost musically recognized that it was tired, a characteristic that wasn't lost on critics and audiences. To compensate, Williams does try to continue the tradition of putting some humor into the mix, though none of the brighter cues in The Last Crusade can still touch "The Basket Chase" from the original film. Williams marks the early days of Indy's adventures at the outset of the film with a playful theme that shares all too many elements in rhythm and instrumentation with his obnoxious Ewok music from Return of the Jedi. Later, "No Ticket" is a more successful play on sharp, deliberate string rhythms in a stand-alone piece. A somewhat humorous, but fascinating cue remains "Scherzo For Motorcycle and Orchestra," perhaps the ultimate chase cue to end all chase cues for the beloved archeologist. Embodying the more formidable Nazi theme for The Last Crusade, this cue is the highlight of the score in its frenzy of action that perfectly merges the sophistication in movement for Henry Jones, the impending danger from the Nazis, and the light-heartedness of Indy's creative methodology.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.95 Stars
***** 2,157 5 Stars
**** 1,099 4 Stars
*** 792 3 Stars
** 356 2 Stars
* 290 1 Stars
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Some of the Brass Section (Hollywood Studio Symphony)   Expand >>
Kino - March 25, 2009, at 3:01 p.m.
2 comments  (3704 views)
Newest: April 13, 2009, at 12:17 p.m. by
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Steve Larson - December 27, 2008, at 4:39 p.m.
1 comment  (2472 views)
Best score of John Williams
S.Venkatnarayanan - June 5, 2008, at 1:50 a.m.
1 comment  (2720 views)
The BEST Score... My 1st ever.
Vinod Nair - May 31, 2008, at 3:38 p.m.
1 comment  (2494 views)
Temple of the Sun?
Bob - July 5, 2007, at 5:50 p.m.
1 comment  (2174 views)
Devin Rose - March 30, 2007, at 11:37 p.m.
1 comment  (2105 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1989 and 1997 Albums Tracks   ▼Total Time: 58:16
• 1. Indy's Very First Adventure (8:11)
• 2. X Marks the Spot (3:07)
• 3. Scherzo For Motorcyle and Orchestra (3:49)
• 4. Ah, Rats!!! (3:36)
• 5. Escape from Venice (4:21)
• 6. No Ticket (2:42)
• 7. The Keeper of the Grail (3:21)
• 8. Keeping Up with the Joneses (3:35)
• 9. Brother of the Cruciform Sword (1:53)
• 10. Belly of the Steel Beast (5:26)
• 11. The Canyon of the Crescent Moon (4:16)
• 12. The Penitent Man Will Pass (3:23)
• 13. End Credits (Raiders March) (10:36)
2008 Concord Set Tracks   ▼Total Time: 91:11

Notes Icon
None of the inserts for the 1989 or 1997 products contain extra information about the score or film.

The 2008 Concord set contains bloated packaging with extensive photography and short notes from the composer and director, but it surprisingly contains no analysis of the music itself.
Copyright © 1997-2021, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade are Copyright © 1989, Warner Brothers Records, Edoya (Japan), Concord Records (Set) and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 8/29/97 and last updated 12/28/08.
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