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TheRaider.net Films Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Deleted Scenes
 
Deleted Scenes
Not all scenes made it to the final cut of Crustal Skull.
Here follows a list of scenes that have been left out and why.
 
Mac's Head Placed Under Truck

In the movie, Indy assists the Russians in finding a crate in the maze-like Hangar 51 after Irina Spalko puts a rapier to his neck. Originally, Indy refuses to assist the Soviets by saying (in a nod to Last Crusade), "Killing me's not gonna solve your problem."

In response, Spalko has Mac dragged back outside the warehouse and puts her sunglasses back on. As seen in this publicity still, a horrified Indy is held back by two Russians, while Mac says "it's all gone pear shaped" before his head is held in front of the tire of a truck. Dovchenko starts the engine and slowly drives forward. Indy agrees to help the Russians in order to spare his friend's life. Note that in the scene which immediately follows in the movie, Spalko removes her sunglasses and hands them to a nearby soldier.

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Indy Pulls Russian's Trigger with Whip

In the movie, Indy creates a standoff between himself and the Russians in Hangar 51 when he punches a distracted soldier and whips the gun out of another's hand, quickly arming himself and Mac. An extra gag was scripted and shot: when Indy wraps his whip around the soldier's gun and tugs, it pulls the trigger, causing it to fire and kill the soldier Indy had punched as he was getting back to his feet. Indy then tugs a second time to pull the weapon right out of the soldier's hand.

In an episode of IndyCast, stuntman John Braver, who played the gun-bearing solider, confirmed that this was filmed as scripted. It exists in the novelization and comic book adaptation, and an approximation of how it would have played can be found in the warehouse set piece's pre-visualization on the DVD.

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Russians Depart Hangar 51

In the film, we're given a brief moment back in the warehouse where Spalko and Mac enter a vehicle and Spalko commends Mac on a job well done. This was originally part of a longer scene where Spalko's team exits the location.

A very brief image of the Russians marching out of the warehouse can be glimpsed in one of the TV spots, and one of the making-of documentaries on the DVD shows Spielberg directing an exterior scene of the vehicle that goes to fetch Dovchenko exiting the facility at sundown. Koepp's screenplay also includes a moment where a truck of legitimate U.S. Marines is alerted to the commotion caused by the rocket sled. Note the flashing red lights on the roof. Spalko and Mac quietly drive out the rear of the warehouse before the Marines can spot them.

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Additional Doom Town Scenes

Before asking whether the Doom Town house has a phone, Indy tries using one until he notices its short unplugged swinging cord. Outside, the Russians drive past a Doom Town sign. This harkens back to Jeb Stuart's 1995 script, where a sign reading "Boomsburg - Please Drive Carefully" mystifies the lost Russians who can't find it on their map.

In the script, there is one extra exchange at the end of the FBI interrogation scene between Indy and Agent Taylor in which Indy cites "friends in Washington" who can vouch for him, Congressman Freleng and Abe Portman. It's worth noting that these particular lines are pretty much lifted from Frank Darabont's 2003 draft, in which Dean Stanforth was then named Dean Carl Stalling. These names are nods to Warner Brothers animator Friz Freling and composer Carl Stalling.

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Indy Searches for Himself

There was additional dialog between Indy and Dean Stanforth at Indy's home that didn't make it into the film in which the two aging men reflect on the legacy they will leave behind. In the movie, the scene's dialog ends after Stanforth says, "Just another a half glass" (referring to the wine). In the script, Stanforth continues, "when you're young you spend all your time thinking 'Who will I be?' And for years you're busy shouting at the world 'this is who I am!' But lately I've been wondering - after I'm gone, who will they say I was?"

A curious observation is that the shooting script - the one we have access to, anyway - lacks Indy's "Brutal couple of years, eh Charlie? First dad, then Marcus..." line that appears in the movie as he looks at photographs of the fallen characters on his desk. Interestingly enough, a deleted appendage to this line in which Mac is invoked made its way onto a collector's card. Indy says, "First dad, then Marcus... Now Mac may as well be dead."

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Mutt and the Russians at the Train Station
The scene where Indy boards the train was to begin with a different shot that showed the two KGB agents tailing Indy at the station, and Mutt doing the same, the wheel of his motorcycle entering the frame as he arrives on the scene. Likely, it was simply deemed redundant, and Mutt's emergence from the mist might have been considered the better first image for his character.
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Extended Diner Dialogue
The script includes an additional exchange between Indy and Mutt in Arnie's Diner where the skull's psychic powers are mentioned. The seams of this minor cut are visible in the movie, which cuts straight from "Interesting craftsmanship, but that's about it," to Mutt's line, "Laugh if you want" (which doesn't really make sense). Given that the loss amounts to a measly two lines, the motivation for deleting them was presumably a decision not to bring up the psychic nature of the skull this early in the story. Maybe Indy's line was deemed a bit too "on the nose." A line about staring into the skull's eyes and going mad survived the comic adaptation.
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The Univers(ity) Conspires against the Russians

While Indy and Mutt run down the sidewalk, in the background one can see a Russian outside the diner with a college girl on his back. In an unused shot, he throws her on the street and the Russians watch the motorcycle drive by.

Football players and cheerleaders were cast and costumed for a race through the football field, in which Indy would catch a pass and use the football as a projectile, but these scenes (46 and 47) were never filmed. After colliding with Brody's statue, the Russians comically juggle the dislodged head before they drop it and flee. From the library steps, the second sedan is chased by a 1959 Ford police cruiser.

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A Discovery No Politician Can Touch

The scene with Indy and Mutt at Indy's home after the campus chase originally ran a bit longer. A line at the beginning had Mutt pointing out that they would need to be quick, as Indy's home would be the first place their pursuers would be looking for them.

There was more to the scene's end as well, with Indy ruminating on the ammunition the discovery of Akator would give him in clearing his name, supplying a clear motivation for him embarking on the adventure. The last image before the travel montage commenced would have been Indy opening his closet to reveal his trademark Indy gear. The line about the reputation that finding Akator would give Indy would have helped to explain why Indy is (seemingly inexplicably) cleared and promoted at the end of the movie. One theory as to why the finished movie cut this scene off early is because of its final image - Koepp designed the moment where Indy throws open his closet door to reveal the whip and hat to be the movie's triumphant "Indy's back!" moment. However, this purpose was served in Indy's introduction, when he picks his hat off the ground and puts it on in silhouette against the military vehicle. That visual is one Spielberg invented on the set; it does not appear in the script, and its creation might have made Koepp's moment here redundant in Spielberg's eyes. In losing it, the line "Oxley's telling us the skull is in Nazca Peru" became the most effective way to terminate the scene.

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More Travel Montage

Behind-the-scenes material shows the filming of a scene that would have been included during the travel montage to Peru. Indy and Mutt change planes when they reach Mexico City, at which point Mutt's Harley has to be transferred to a crate, much to Mutt's concern. In the movie, we see the follow-up to this with Mutt ensuring that his motorcycle is well-secured on the plane. Evidence that this scene was shot can be found in behind the scenes footage as we see the filming of a shot where Mutt is looking out the plane window, a shot which does not appear in the film. The novelization and comic book adaptation expanded this into a discussion between Indy and Mutt about the lines.

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Huge Skull on Sanitarium Wall

In the sanitarium Indy climbs to sit on Oxley's cot and observe the floor map from above. It's not apparent in the movie that Oxley has used the cell windows for eyes in a massive etching of the crystal skull. Before the match dissolve to the cemetery, it's possible Spielberg had a shot of the large skull behind Indy. There may be at least a publicity photo, since it would so closely resemble the teaser poster, down to the small skull between the "eyes."

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Mutt Stabs a Cemetery Warrior, Whip Action

This bit in the Chauchilla Cemetery sequence would have been located between the part in the movie when Indy warns, "Those darts are poisoned!" when a dart hits the handle of Mutt's shovel and the part when Indy says "Stay there!" and follows a warrior into a barrow. In the full scene as per the script, Mutt is forced to throw his switchblade at the cemetery warrior in self-defense when he prepares to fire another dart. The injured warrior removes the blade from his shoulder so that he can throw it back at Mutt, but Indy whips the weapon right out of his hand just in time. Later, after the "Part time" exchange, Mutt retrieves his blade and notes the bloodstain on it.

The editing in the final cut disguises the excision pretty seamlessly, but note how Indy's whip is out when he crawls into the barrow after the warrior. It is not clear why this scene was cut. It was definitely filmed, because production stills exists of Indy whipping the knife out of the warrior's hand and Mutt looking at his bloodstained switchblade, and there is footage of Harrison Ford practicing with his whip on the cemetery set in behind-the-scenes featurettes.

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Orellana Lends a Hand

At the very end of the scene in the crypt, the script includes a thrilling moment - the floor suddenly gives way under Mutt's feet and he nearly falls to his death. As the cemetery is built on the eroded promontory of a cliff looming over Nazca valley (a treachery that Indy reinforced in a brief, deleted exchange with Mutt just before they enter the ultimate burial chamber), Mutt dangles over a vertiginous view of the Nazca lines below before Indy pulls him back to safety using Orellana's corpse.

Concept art exists for this scene and is showcased in the Complete Making book. It is unknown if this scene was filmed or why it was eliminated. It would seem that a capper like this one would have been well-employed in this exposition-heavy section of the picture, and Mutt dangling over the Nazca lines would have made for a breathtaking image. Interestingly and possibly related to this decision, there is some re-arranging of the dialog for the scene when the skull is discovered in the final movie versus how it appears in the script. The shifting of lines makes Indy's rumination "He brought it back where he found it. Why?" the last line of the scene, whereas it originally came earlier. Perhaps the omission of Mutt's close call made it necessary to switch up the way the scene played out in order to terminate it in a more natural way. And yet, in the film when Mutt emerges from the crypt, he's lost his lantern.

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Additional Lines for Mac

When we first arrive at the Russian's encampment, there is a scene where a drunken Mac swaggers into the tent where Indy is held captive to remind him of the multiple times he saved Indy's life, including this humorous addition: "Do you remember the amnesia darts I pulled out of your neck in Jakarta?" It's almost certain that this was filmed, as the editing at the moment in the movie (between "I had the situation under control" and "You owe me") does seem a bit awkward.

In the script, Indy and Marion's argumentative reunion went a little longer. After Indy concludes with "Same old same old," he notices Mac is staring at Marion approvingly and asks, "What are you looking at?" Mac's rebuffed advances toward Marion are actually something of a running gag in the script. At the end of the movie, when Mac reveals his final betrayal, Mac tells Marion "Don't worry, you can come with us." She replies "Hah! Fat chance."

Mac was given a bit more participation in the campfire scene. As Indy is about to try to parse Oxley after Marion's introductions, Mac is seen placing bets with some Russian soldiers on Indy's ability to crack the riddle: "I'm giving three to one the Yank figures him out. Who wants some." Mac also repeats Spalko's order to "Get some paper" when Indy requires something for Oxley to write on.

During the jungle chase, Mac claims he is a double-agent when Indy confronts him after commandeering the vehicle he was riding in. In the script, there was a follow-up to this reveal in which Mac states "You think General Ross just happened to turn up in Nevada to bail you out? I sent him, he's my control agent!" This dialogue survives in the novelization and comic book adaptation; it is unknown if it was filmed.
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Russians in the Jungle

In 2007, Bolshoi-trained dancer Tyler Nelson (not pictured) described to his local newspaper the interrogation scene, Jones family reunion and a "crucifix skull." His and presumably other scenes of Russians dancing to balalaika music were reportedly cut by Speilberg as a result.

Later, there was a brief shot of several Russians temporarily stranded in the jungle firing ineffectively after the protagonists drove by.

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Spalko Talks Telepathy, Reads Mac's Mind

This was arguably the most significant cut of them all. The scene would have taken place the morning after the quicksand scene while the Russians are clearing a path for the convoy with the jungle cutter, just before we rejoin the captured Jones family discussing Mutt's heritage. The scene shows Spalko holding the skull in frustration because she is unable to communicate with it the way Indy and Oxley were able to. Mac expresses doubt at the existence of any real psychic powers, so Spalko relates to him a story about test performed on rabbits that showed that a mother rabbit registered a brain reaction when her children were killed far away from her presence. Spalko then demonstrates her mind-reading ability by answering a question that Mac was thinking, leaving Mac spooked.

It is presumed that this was cut for time/pacing reasons, as it would have lent some welcome dimension to both the Mac and Spalko characters. It also reinforces the fact that the skull chooses whom it speaks to - it refuses to communicate with Spalko, but it talks to the aging academics Indy and Oxley. This adds a layer to Spalko's failed attempt to read Indy's mind at the start of the picture. It's also worth noting that this scene makes Spalko's psychic powers completely unambiguous - in the film, with the prologue sequence of Spalko being unable to read Indy's mind, it's left uncertain. It is possible Spielberg wanted this uncertainty. A production still seen in a trading card confirms that the scene was shot, and it appears in both the novelization and comic adaptation.

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Piranha

After the heroes drive off the cliff in the duck and manage to land safely in the river, there was supposed to be a little bit of dialog between the characters before the waterfalls are spotted. Marion says Mutt "was fencing champ two years in a row, but he got kicked out for betting on the matches," which Mac admires. Then a piranha clamps onto Mutt's finger and everyone screams. Evidence that at least a portion of this was filmed can be glimpsed in the final film when Oxley says "Three times it drops." Beside him, Indy can be seen mouthing the end of some conversation.

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Through Eyes and Tears

The film offers no explanation for how the heroes managed to scale the seemingly unscalable cliff face it is deduced that they must enter to reach the lost city. The comic adaptation contains a panel depicting the ascent. In James Rollin's novelization, which also includes the climb, there's a humorous moment during it where Indy advises Mutt on a matter of safety to which an exacerbated Mutt replies, "Man, how's ANY of this safe?"

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Quartz Lights

In Darabont's draft, Indy's party encounters the water turbines on their way to the antechamber, which apparently generate electricity for dim greenish motion sensor lights leading to the chamber of the gods. In Koepp's draft, the water turbines are encountered on the way out, then a quartz-walled tunnel which fills with water, aiding their escape. The mysterious quartz lights seen in concept artwork and DVD featurettes are illuminated either by generators or reflected and refracted light from the skylight.

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The Original Portal

This isn't strictly a deleted scene, but it is a significant design change the Spielberg made when the movie was in production that altered the spectacle of the temple's (and several of the characters') destruction. The inter-dimensional portal that opens at the film's climax and sucks up Mac, the Russians and all the artifacts was scripted to be, simply, an enormous sinkhole, and the ship the aliens depart in was depicted not as the classic UFO it takes the form of in the final film (probably a visual tribute to Earth vs. the Flying Saucers), but rather a transparent, bubble-like orb.

As a result of re-envisioning the concept of the portal as the underside of an alien spaceship as opposed to a black hole, the staging of Mac's demising was altered somewhat. In the script, the vortex is expanding directly behind Mac, and it is clearer that the gold he's weighted down his pockets with is what causes the magnetic portal to suck him in. In the screenplay, Mac recognizes his doom and releases the whip voluntarily to prevent Indy being consumed with him. Both the novelization and the comic adaptation preserve the original visual intention of the portal and the aliens' exit.

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Exiting the Church

Before filming additional scenes at airports around Fresno, the film offiially wrapped on October 11 at the First Christian Church of North Hollywood on Moorpark and Colfax. The crew filled the view outside the doors on Colfax with foliage, and parked a white corvertible with a red interior and whitewall tires for the Joneses.

It is unknown how far the wedding party ventured into the street, but the cast and crew toasted with champagne in the church parking lot next door.

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Sources

- Images from the Indiana Jones official website, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull DVD featurettes and comic adaptation, and various entertainment publications.
- Text by Raven member Udvarnoky. Many thanks!

 

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