So Sci-Fi was airing all of the Indiana Jones movies this weekend, and I was reminded that Last Crusade is still the best of the bunch. I was also reminded of a curious exchange I’d always wondered about. About half an hour from the end, Indy and his father Henry are trying to rescue their friend, scholar Marcus Brody, from a Nazi convoy on its way to find the Holy Grail. Henry (played, as you’ll recall, by Sean Connery) drops into the tank in which his old friend is being held and greets him by singing, with a strange little flappy-dance, “Genius of the restoration…” to which a surprised Marcus replies, making his own odd motions, “…aid our own recuscitation!”
You get the sense it’s some sort of inside joke, maybe an old college club greeting, and it’s quirky enough that I wouldn’t be surprised if the screenwriters actually lifted it from some real college tradition rather than making it up. But does anyone know where it originates, if that’s the case? And is the “genius of the restoration” some kind of abstract quality or force, or is it some specific person? If so, who?
UPDATE: Dad thinks he recalls it’s an old toast traditionally given at the University Club in Manhattan. What it means, though, remains mysterious.