Five years after the disappointing "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", a chastened Steven Spielberg completed the trilogy for a majestic final instalment that combined the finest elements of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" with his pet theme of father-son relationships.
The return of Brody (Elliott) and Sallah (Rhys-Davies) to the fold makes this even more of a family affair, but it's the inspired casting of Sean Connery as Indy's crotchety father that makes the third Indy movie such a rich and rewarding experience.
A brilliant coup sees the film kick off with an extended flashback to Indiana's early days and our young hero (Phoenix) having his first taste of adventure during a scout trip in Utah. Jump forward to the late 30s and a new quest begins, with Dr Jones (Ford - who else?) joining his estranged dad in his hunt for the Holy Grail.
Hurtling from Venice to Berlin to the Middle East, the relentless momentum is mirrored by the astonishing variety of vehicles employed to zip Ford and Connery from one place to the next. Speedboats, zeppelins, aeroplanes, motorcycles, tanks - all play a crucial role. Ironically, however, it's the quieter moments we remember, mostly due to the leads investing real pathos into their testy exchanges.
The emphasis on the Jones boys means Julian Glover's venal villain and Alison Doody's treacherous beauty are sidelined, while the climax is one booby-trapped tomb too many. Still, a rousing send-off to one of Hollywood's most successful franchises.