The Other 'Indy Girls'

May 18, 2008|By [MICHAEL SRAGOW]

CATE BLANCHETT appears as Irina Spalko, the first all-out female villain in the series, in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008). If she works, she'll heat up the Cold War in a dry-ice way as the driven, greedy chief of an elite Soviet military unit jousting with Indy and his new sidekick, Mutt (Shia LaBeouf).

ALISON DOODY as Dr. Elsa Schneider, a gorgeous Austrian art historian and sadly halfhearted femme fatale in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). Doody is a blond dazzler, but she's wasted until the end, when, as Pauline Kael said, "She goes out in glory, with glittering eyes and a lewd smile." None of that lasciviousness is directed at Indy: Elsa lusts for the Holy Grail more than she does for our hero.

KATE CAPSHAW (the future Mrs. Spielberg) as cabaret singer Willie Scott, a tall, striking blonde with curly hair tumbling around her forehead in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). She has the voluptuous comic energy of Ginger Rogers in her heyday, and she looks like a sexual match for the sardonically charismatic Indiana Jones, but her performance peaks early, in the opening scene at the Shanghai, China, nightclub called "Obi Wan."

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