Today: March 3, 2024

What Indiana Jones Taught Us

Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark was the film that started it all – and what a ride it’s been! But if you think that the Indy franchise is just one big boy’s own adventure serial, then think again … Indy has some important life lessons to teach us too.

Indiana Jones And The
Raiders Of The Lost Ark was the film that started it all – and what a ride it’s
been! But if you think that the Indy franchise is just one big boy’s own
adventure serial, then think again … Indy has some important life lessons to
teach us too.

“But in the Latin
alphabet, Jehovah begins with an I.”

You may think that archaeologists are all beardy, real
ale drinkers who spend their lives kneeling in trenches digging up bits of
pottery. Not so! They’re lone, dashing heroes who wear fedoras and leather
jackets and fight evil with a quip and a crack of the whip. Oh, a little Latin
doesn’t hurt either.
Life’s Lesson?

Study. You never know when a little learning will come in handy.

“Nice try kid, but I think
you just brought a knife to a gunfight.”

Indy makes this comment to Mutt (Shia LaBeouf) in The Crystal
but never was the trope so
famously illustrated than in Raiders Of
The Lost Ark
. According to movie lore, the script called for an epic street
fight pitting an Arab Swordsman against Indy and his whip. However, Cairo belly
put Harrison Ford out of action and
one of the most famous scenes in movie history was born. The scene is nicely
subverted in The Temple Of Doom when
Indy, confronted by several sword-wielding enemies, reaches for his gun, only
to discover it’s gone.
Life’s Lesson?

Be prepared … for every contingency.

“It’s not the years,
honey, it’s the milage.”

Marion Ravenwood (Karen
) enters the Indy story when Dr Jones visits her in Nepal to find the
headpiece of the Staff of Ra, which holds the secret to finding the Ark of the
Covenant (Raiders). Disappointed
at how the years have changed him, Marion comments that Indy’s not the man he
used to be.
Life’s Lesson?

Age and experience are valuable assets. Especially in a fist fight.

“X never, ever marks the
Mild mannered archaeologist Dr Henry Jones Junior, may
tell his students that archaeology has nothing to do with treasure hunting and crosses marked on
mysterious maps, but his alter ego – Indy – knows better. Archaeology is ALL
about maps and treasure and when it comes to Venetian libraries, X does indeed
mark the spot.
Life’s Lesson?
Sometimes what you’re looking for can
be right under your nose.

“Hey, lady! You call him
Dr. Jones!”

There’s no doubt that Indiana Jones is a way cooler
name than Henry Jones Junior. And, even if Indy prefers to use the name of the
family dog rather than the name given to him by his parents, that’s his choice.
Life’s Lesson?
respect the wishes of others. And never, ever call him Junior.

“Choose wisely”
In The Last
the ancient Templar who guards the Holy Grail warns Donovan (Julian Glover) and Jones to choose, but
“choose wisely”. Donovan chooses a shiny, showy golden goblet as the cup “of a
King” and suffers the consequences. Indy selects a simple wooden cup as “the
cup of a Gallilean carpenter” and lives to tell the tale.
Life’s Lesson?

Never judge a book by its cover. Unless he’s wearing a Nazi uniform.

“In our country, it’s not
usual for a guest to insult his host.”

Although, of course, if you do insult them they’re
likely to threaten to cut off your what Short Round so tactfully calls your
“potatoes”. No, when faced with the leaders of death cults, who serve you
chilled monkey brains for dinner. Just smile gratefully and tuck in.
Life’s Lesson?

Never insult your host. You’ll live longer that way.

“He who finds the Grail
must face the final challenge.”

Professor Henry Jones (Sean Connery) has forgotten more about archaeology than Indy ever
knew. Luckily he’s written it all down in his diary. So when Indy has to
navigate his way through the deadly traps that hide the path to the Holy Grail,
he has Dad and the Chronicles of St. Anselm to help him.
Life’s Lesson?

Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and trust in others.

“Leave me alone. I don’t
like fast women.”

Dr. Elsa Schneider
(Alison Doody) is the Austrian
art professor who, despite Indy’s protestations, manages to seduce both Jones
Junior and Jones Senior in The Last Crusade. What a gall! But considering that
she turns out to be a Nazi sympathiser, perhaps Indy should have stuck to his
guns and thrown the lady out of his bed instead.
Life’s Lesson?
Greeks, or in this case Austrians, baring gifts.

“May we go home now,

Marcus Brody (Denholm
) may be a man who gets lost in his own museum but he’s clearly no
fool when it comes the important things in life. In fact Marcus could teach
Indy a few life lessons too: Don’t drink the water (“No thank you, sir, no.
Fish make love in it”). The pen is mightier than the sword. And sometimes you
just have to know when to quit.
Life’s Lesson?

Not everyone can be a hero. But that’s OK.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email:

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