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« Hollywood's Liberal Agenda | Main | "Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?" »


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Ben Jones

Interesting and thoughtful essay. On the one hand, I've always liked Indy, for several of the reasons you mention early on. Also, his discomfort in Raiders when the girl blinks and shows "I love you" on her eyelids. How many action heroes even have classrooms?
But I also remember the scene in the marketplace where the Bedouin warrior waves around two scimitars in a graceful arc, and Indy just shoots him. I laughed my ass off when I was eleven. But the fact is, that action wasn't clever or wily so much as it was dishonorable.
In the end, I'd have to agree that Ford makes Indiana Jones a better hero than he was on paper.


Marion makes some vague reference to her being underage when their romance began so we may even be able to add a jail bait violation to Indy's list of shortcomings.


An interesting complication, riffing off that Bedouin warrior scene -- apparently the original script called for Indy to duel him with his bullwhip; it was Ford who argued that shooting him made much more sense.


A couple of points in Indy's favor, agains the Indy-as-usual-right-wing-fantasy suggestion: he knows what it means to be given food by poor people in India, and he knows what to do to people who make children work as slaves in miserable industrial facilities.


I loved the Young Adventures of Indiana Jones! They weren't on for very long, though, were they? I wanted to be an archaelogist for the longest time because of my crush on Indy.

Very nice piece, Mr. Mannion.


"We know he is one because we recognize that in all the movies Lucas and Speilberg are stealing from---excuse me, paying homage to"

One of my central arguments is that they in fact are NOT stealing from old Hollywood movies. Spielberg may have thought he was paying homage to those older models, but the Indiana Jones universe is actually the converse of those older models. In fact, the entire Indiana Jones series would have been almost unthinkable and could not have been made under the Hays Code (just the fact that Jones is celebrated within the movies as both a professor at a major university AND an openly admitted thief would have resulted in the script being immediately rejected).


Regarding the Bedouin warrior scene, I had read that it was Ford who suggested the change because he was suffering from dysentery and didn't want to shoot a scene that was 3-1/2 pages of the script.

Greg in AK

Well i'm not sure that because some of the concepts or plot devices in the raiders movies are simalar to those used in rambo, etc movies means that indy is a right wing type guy. Genre movies share common elements, that's what it means to have a genre.

But anyway , Indy does have a code, and one that would not fly with most of the right wing side of the aisle. That code is learning and knoldege for it's own sake. In the beginning of the last movie Indy,(river phoenix) takes the old spanish cross thingee. he tells his dad that it belongs in a museum. Simply it should be studied and displayed for the good of all. Same for the arc of the covenant, study it.

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