If there's one scene we all remember from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, it's the priest Mola Ram pulling the beating heart from a man's chest. But it turns out the filmmakers had something even gorier in store for that poor fellow—something too violent for the final film.
Yahoo! Movies recently interviewed Nizwar Karanj who played the Thuggee character whose heart was ripped out and was then lowered into a lava pit. He reveals that he was actually told very little about the film—he didn't even receive a script—but wanted to know why the crew was making a likeness of his body:
I asked them specifically, "Why is this happening?" And they said, "Because there's going to be a scene where your body goes into molten lava, and we'll be using this cast." Actually, they made a lifelike face of mine for the film, including glass eyes. That was because, once the cage was lowered into this pit of molten lava, my body would disintegrate and you would see my face floating. But that scene was too gory for the censors, so they cut that! [Laughs.] If you ever get a chance to see the uncensored version, that will be there.
Instead, Karanj's onscreen death was obscured by billowing flames.
But even without the face-floating moment, the level of violence in The Temple of Doom did cause a bit of a headache for Steven Spielberg, who ended up approaching the Motion Picture Association of America to creating a rating between PG and R. And thus the PG-13 rating was born.