Indiana Jones is a fictional character and
the protagonist of the Indiana Jones franchise. George Lucas created
the character in homage to the action heroes of 1930s film serials.
The character first appeared in the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost
Ark, to be followed by Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984,
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989, The Young Indiana Jones
Chronicles from 1992 to 1996, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of
the Crystal Skull in 2008.
is most famously played by Harrison Ford and has also been portrayed
by River Phoenix (as the young Jones in The Last Crusade) and in the
television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles by Corey
Carrier, Sean Patrick Flanery, and George Hall. Doug Lee has supplied
the voice of Jones for two LucasArts video games, Indiana Jones and
the Fate of Atlantis and Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine,
David Esch supplied his voice for Indiana Jones and the Emperor's
Tomb, and John Armstrong for Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings.
The character is distinguished by his
appearance (bullwhip, fedora, satchel and leather jacket), sense of
humor, deep knowledge of many ancient civilizations and languages,
and fear of snakes.
Since his first appearance in Raiders of
the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones has become one of cinema's most famous
characters. In 2003, the American Film Institute ranked him the
second greatest film hero of all time.
A native of Princeton, New Jersey, Indiana
Jones was introduced in the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, set in
1936. The character is an adventurer reminiscent of the 1930s film
serial treasure hunters and pulp action heroes, whose research is
funded by Marshall College (named after producer Frank Marshall), a
fictional college in Connecticut, where he is a professor of
archaeology. He also attended the University of Chicago.
In this first adventure, he is pitted
against the Nazis, who are commissioned by Hitler to recover the Ark
of the Covenant. Dr Jones travels the world to prevent them from
recovering the Ark and is aided by ex-girlfriend Marion Ravenwood.
The Nazis are led by Jones's archrival, a Nazi-sympathizing French
archaeologist named René Belloq, and Arnold Toht, a sinister
In the 1984 prequel, Indiana Jones and the
Temple of Doom, set in 1935, Jones travels to India and attempts to
free enslaved children and the three Sankara stones from the
bloodthirsty Thuggee cult. He is aided by Short Round, a young boy,
and is accompanied by singer Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw).
The third film, 1989's Indiana Jones and
the Last Crusade, set in 1938, returned to the formula of the
original, reintroducing characters such as Sallah and Marcus Brody, a
scene from Professor Jones's classroom (he now teaches at Barnett
College), the globe trotting element of multiple locations, and the
return of the infamous Nazi mystics, this time trying to find the
Holy Grail. The film's introduction, set in 1912, provided some back
story to the character, specifically the origin of his fear of
snakes, his use of a bullwhip, the scar on his chin, and his hat; the
film's epilogue also reveals that "Indiana" is not Jones's
first name, but a nickname he took from the family dog. The film was
a buddy movie of sorts, teaming Jones with his father, often to
comical effect. Although Lucas intended to make five Indiana Jones
films, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was the last for over
eighteen years, as he could not think of a good plot element to drive
the next installment.
2008 film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, is
the fourth film in the series. Set in 1957, 19 years after the third
film, it pits an older, wiser Indiana Jones against Soviet agents
bent on harnessing the power of an extraterrestrial device discovered
in South America. Jones is aided in his adventure by his former
lover, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), and her son, Henry
"Mutt" Williams (Shia LaBeouf), later revealed to be
Jones's biological child. The film also reveals that Jones was
recruited by the Office of Strategic Services during World War II,
attaining the rank of Colonel in the United States Army. He is tasked
with conducting covert operations with MI6 agent George McHale
against the Soviet Union.
In March 2016 it was officially announced
that there is a fifth Indiana Jones film currently in development,
with Ford and Spielberg set to return to the franchise. The film will
be released on July 19, 2019.
1992 to 1996, George Lucas executive-produced a television series
named The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, aimed mainly at teenagers
and children, which showed many of the important events and
historical figures of the early 20th century through the prism of
Indiana Jones' life.
The show initially featured the formula of
an elderly (93 to 94 years of age) Indiana Jones played by George
Hall (right) introducing a story from his youth by way of an
anecdote: the main part of the episode then featured an adventure
with either a young adult Indy (16 to 21 years of age) played by Sean
Patrick Flanery or a child Indy (8 to 11 years) played by Corey
Carrier. One episode, "Young Indiana Jones and the Mystery of
the Blues", is bookended by Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones,
rather than Hall. Later episodes and telemovies did not have this
The bulk of the series centers around the
young adult Indiana Jones and his activities during World War I as a
16- to 17-year-old soldier in the Belgian Army and then as an
intelligence officer and spy seconded to French intelligence. The
child Indy episodes follow the boy's travels around the globe as he
accompanies his parents on his father's worldwide lecture tour from
1908 to 1910.
show provided some backstory for the films, as well as new
information regarding the character. Indiana Jones was born July 1,
1899, and his middle name is Walton (Lucas's middle name). It is also
mentioned that he had a sister called Suzie who died as an infant of
fever, and that he eventually has a daughter and grandchildren who
appear in some episode introductions and epilogues. His relationship
with his father, first introduced in Indiana Jones and the Last
Crusade, was further fleshed out with stories about his travels with
his father as a young boy. Indy damages or loses his right eye
sometime between the events in 1957 and the early 1990s, when the
"Old Indy" segments take place, as the elderly Indiana
Jones wears an eyepatch.
In 1999, Lucas removed the episode
introductions and epilogues by George Hall for the VHS and DVD
releases, and re-edited the episodes into chronologically ordered feature-length
stories. The series title was also changed to The Adventures of
Young Indiana Jones.
character is also featured in novels (based on the movies and some
original stories), comics, video games, and other media. Indy also
appears in the 2004 Dark Horse Comics story Into The Great Unknown,
collected in Star Wars Tales Volume 5. In this non-canon story
bringing together two of Harrison Ford's best roles, Indy and Short
Round discover a crash-landed Millennium Falcon in the Pacific
Northwest, along with Han Solo's skeleton and the realization that a
rumored nearby Sasquatch is in fact Chewbacca.
Indiana Jones is also featured in the
Disney theme park attraction, Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland
and Tokyo DisneySea, as well as the Disneyland Paris attraction
Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril.
The Americian and Japanese attractions
were some of the most expensive of their kind at the time and opened
in 1995 and 2001, respectively, with sole design credit attributed to
Walt Disney Imagineering. Disney did not originally license Harrison
Ford's likeness for the American version; nonetheless, a
differentiated Indiana Jones audio-animatronic character appears at
three points in both attractions. However, the Indiana Jones featured
in the DisneySea version does use Harrison Ford's likeness but uses
Japanese audio for all of his speaking parts. In 2010, some of the
Indy audio-animatronics at the Disneyland version were replaced with
ones resembling Ford.
The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
is a live show that has been presented in the Disney's Hollywood
Studios theme park of the Walt Disney World Resort with few changes
since the park's 1989 opening, as Disney-MGM Studios. The 25-minute
show presents various stunts framed in the context of a feature film
production, and recruits members of the audience to participate in
the show. Stunt artists in the show re-create and ultimately reveal
some of the secrets of the stunts of the Raiders of the Lost Ark
films, including the well-known "running-from-the-boulder"
scene. Stunt performer Anislav Varbanov was fatally injured in August
2009, while rehearsing the popular show.
Jones's full name is Dr. Henry Walton Jones Jr., and his nickname is
often shortened to "Indy".
In his role as a college professor of
archaeology, Jones is scholarly and learned in a tweed suit,
lecturing on ancient civilizations. At the opportunity to recover
important artifacts, Dr. Jones transforms into "Indiana," a
"non-superhero superhero" image he has concocted for
himself. Producer Frank Marshall said, "Indy [is] a fallible
character. He makes mistakes and gets hurt. ... That's the other
thing people like: He's a real character, not a character with
superpowers." Spielberg said there "was the willingness to
allow our leading man to get hurt and to express his pain and to get
his mad out and to take pratfalls and sometimes be the butt of his
own jokes. I mean, Indiana Jones is not a perfect hero, and his
imperfections, I think, make the audience feel that, with a little
more exercise and a little more courage, they could be just like
him." Harrison Ford said the fun of playing the character was
because Indiana is both a romantic and a cynic, while scholars have
analyzed Indiana as having traits of a lone wolf; a man on a quest; a
noble treasure hunter; a hardboiled detective; a human superhero; and
an American patriot.
Jones is modeled after the strong-jawed heroes of the matinée
serials and pulp magazines that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg
enjoyed in their childhoods (such as the Republic Pictures serials,
and the Doc Savage series). Sir H. Rider Haggard's safari guide/big
game hunter Allan Quatermain of King Solomon's Mines, who dates back
to 1885, is a notable template for Jones. The two friends first
discussed the project in Hawaii around the time of the release of the
first Star Wars film. Spielberg told Lucas how he wanted his next
project to be something fun, like a James Bond film. According to
sources, Lucas responded was something to the effect that he had
something even better.
One of the possible bases for Indiana
Jones is Professor Challenger, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in
1912 for his novel, The Lost World. Challenger was based on Doyle's
physiology professor, Sir William Rutherford, an adventuring
academic, albeit a zoologist / anthropologist.
Another important influence on the
development of the character Indiana Jones is Carl Barks' comic
character Uncle Scrooge, which, since his creation has been an
intellectual property of the Walt Disney Company. Carl Barks created
Uncle Scrooge in 1948 as a one-off relation for Donald Duck in a
Donald Duck comic book. Barks realized that the character had more
potential, so a separate "Uncle Scrooge" Dell Comics book
series full of exciting and strange adventures in the company of his
duck nephews was developed. This Uncle Scrooge comic series strongly
influenced George Lucas. This appreciation of Scrooge as an
adventurer influenced the development of Jones in clear and obvious
ways. For example, the prolog of "Raiders of the Lost Ark"
contains an homage to Barks' Uncle Scrooge adventure "The Seven
Cities of Gold" published in "Uncle Scrooge" #7, Dell
Comics, September 1954. This homage in the film takes the form of
playfully mimicking the removal-of-the-statuette-from-its-pedestal
and the falling-stone sequences of the comic book.
While a prototype of Uncle Scrooge in the
beginning was Ebenezer Scrooge from Charles Dickens's "A
Christmas Carol", quickly the personality of Scrooge took on
some of the characteristics of H. Rider Haggard's Allan Quatermain
and Arthur Conan Doyle's Professor Challenger. This means then that
Lucas and Spielberg may have been influenced directly by Haggard's
Quatermain and Doyle's Challenger, as noted above, but also
indirectly through Bark's/Disney's Uncle Scrooge.
character was originally named Indiana Smith, after an Alaskan
Malamute called Indiana that Lucas owned in the 1970s and on which he
based the Star Wars character Chewbacca. Spielberg disliked the name
Smith, and Lucas casually suggested Jones as an alternative. The Last
Crusade script references the name's origin, with Jones's father
revealing his son's birth name to be Henry and explaining that
"we named the dog Indiana", to his son's chagrin.
Lucas has said on various occasions that
Sean Connery's portrayal of British secret agent James Bond was one
of the primary inspirations for Jones, a reason Connery was chosen
for the role of Indiana's father in Indiana Jones and the Last
Crusade. Spielberg earned the rank of Eagle Scout and Ford the Life
Scout badge in their youth, which gave them the inspiration to
portray Indiana Jones as a Life Scout at age 13 in The Last Crusade.
Costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis
noted that the inspiration for the series as well as Indiana Jones'
outfit was Charlton Heston's Harry Steele in Secret of the Incas
(1954) and called Raiders of the Lost Ark "almost a shot for
shot" remake of the Heston film, citing that Indiana Jones was
"a kinder, gentler Harry Steele".
people are said to be the real-life inspiration of the Indiana Jones
character, although none have been confirmed as inspirations by Lucas
or Spielberg. Names floated in this regard unclude:
Italian archaeologist and circus strongman
Giovanni Battista Belzoni (17781823).
Yale University professor, historian, US
senator, and explorer Hiram Bingham III, (right top) who rediscovered
and excavated the lost city of Machu Picchu, and chronicled his find
in the bestselling book The Lost City of the Incas in 1948.
University of Chicago archaeologist Robert Braidwood.
British archaeologist Percy Fawcett (right
2nd from top), who spent much of his life exploring the jungles of
northern Brazil, and who was last seen in 1925 returning to the
Amazon Basin to look for the Lost City Of Z. A fictionalized version
of Fawcett appears to Jones in the book Indiana Jones And The Seven Veils.
Frederick Russell Burnham (right 2nd from
bottom), the celebrated American scout and British Army spy who
heavily influenced Haggard's fictional Allan Quatermain character and
also became the inspiration for the Boy Scouts.
British archaeologist and soldier T. E.
Lawrence (right bottom, AKA Lawrence of Arabia).
Northwestern University political
scientist, anthropologist, professor and adventurer William
Vendyl Jones (1930 - 2010) who led digs in
Israel searching for the holy ark.
Carl Ethan Akeley (May 19, 1864
November 18, 1926) Explorer, sculptor, biologist, conservationist,
inventor, taxidermist, and nature photographer, noted for his
contributions to American museums, most notably to the Field Museum
of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History. He is
considered the father of modern taxidermy.
requests by Spielberg and Lucas, the costume designer gave the
character a distinctive silhouette through the styling of the hat;
after examining many hats, the designers chose a tall-crowned,
wide-brimmed fedora. As a documentary of Raiders pointed out, the hat
served a practical purpose. Following the lead of the old
"B"-movies that inspired the Indiana Jones series, the
fedora hid the actor's face sufficiently to allow doubles to perform
the more dangerous stunts seamlessly. Examples in Raiders include the
wider-angle shot of Indy and Marion crashing a statue through a wall,
and Indy sliding under a fast-moving vehicle from front to back. Thus
it was necessary for the hat to stay in place much of the time.
The hat became so iconic that the
filmmakers could only come up with very good reasons or jokes to
remove it. If it ever fell off during a take, filming would have to
stop to put it back on. In jest, Ford put a stapler against his head
to stop his hat from falling off when a documentary crew visited
during shooting of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. This created
the urban legend that Ford stapled the hat to his head. Anytime
Indy's hat accidentally came off as part of the storyline (blown off
by the wind, knocked off, etc.) and seemed almost irretrievable,
filmmakers would make sure Indy and his hat were always reunited,
regardless of the implausibility of its return. Although other hats
were also used throughout the films, the general style and profile
remained the same.
fedora was supplied by Herbert Johnson Hatters in England for the
first three films. The fedora for Crystal Skull was made by Steve
Delk and Marc Kitter of the Adventurebilt Hat Company of Columbus, Mississippi.
The leather jacket, a hybrid of the
"Type 440" and the A-2 jacket, was made by Leather
Concessionaires (now known as Wested Leather Co.) for Raiders of the
Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. For Indiana Jones
and the Temple of Doom, jackets were made in-house at Bermans &
Nathans in London based on a stunt jacket they provided for Raiders
of the Lost Ark. Tony Nowak made the jacket for Indiana Jones and the
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
The Indiana Jones shirt is based on a
typical safari-style shirt. Its distinctive feature is two vertical
strips running from the shoulders to the bottom of the shirt tails
and continued over both breast pockets. A common debate regards the
original shirt color. Surviving samples of the original shirts seem
to be darker in reality than they appear on screen. Most fans look
for an off-white "stone" color for their replicas. The
original shirts, however, may have been more of a "tan" or
"natural" color. The shirt varied little from film to film,
the only notable difference being the darker buttons in Temple of
Doom and Last Crusade. Originally designed by Andreas Dometakis for
the films, this shirt was once one of the hardest pieces of gear to find.
trousers worn by Indiana Jones in all three films were based on
original World War II Army and Army Air Corps officer trousers.
Although not original Pinks they are based on the same basic design
and do carry a slight pinkish hue. The trousers made for Raiders are
said to be more of a greyish-brown whereas the trousers made for
Temple of Doom and Last Crusade were supposedly a purer reddish
brown. The trousers were made of a khaki wool-twill, pleated with
seven belt loops, two scalloped button flap rear pockets, a button
fly and a four-inch military style hem. They were all most likely
subcontracted by the costume department and made by famed London
based cinema costumers, Angels and Bermans, to be tailored perfectly
for Harrison Ford for the production.
The satchel was a modified Mark VII gas
mask bag that was used by British troops and civilians during World
The whip was a 8 to 10 foot (2.4 to 3.0 m)
bullwhip crafted by David Morgan for the first three films. The whips
for Crystal Skull were crafted by a variety of people, including
Terry Jacka, Joe Strain and Morgan (different lengths and styles were
likely used in specific stunts).
The pistol was usually a World War I-era
revolver, including the Webley Government (Last Crusade and Crystal
Skull), or a .45 ACP Smith & Wesson Hand Ejector 2nd model
revolver (Raiders). He has also used an M1917 revolver (Temple of
Doom), a Nagant M1895 (Young Indiana Jones), and a 9 mm Browning
Hi-Power (Raiders). The weapon is carried in a military pattern flap holster.
The shoes were made by Alden. A stock
style (model 405) that had been a favorite of Ford's before the
films, they are still sold today (though in a redder (brick) shade of
brown than seen in the films) and are popularly known as "Indy Boots."
The fedora and leather jacket from Indiana
Jones and the Last Crusade are on display at the Smithsonian
Institution's American History Museum in Washington, D.C. The
collection of props and clothing from the films has become a thriving
hobby for some aficionados of the franchise. Jones' whip was the
third most popular film weapon, as shown by a 2008 poll held by 20th
Century Fox, which surveyed approximately two thousand film fans.
Spielberg suggested Harrison Ford; Lucas resisted the idea, since he
had already cast the actor in American Graffiti, Star Wars and The
Empire Strikes Back, and did not want Ford to become known as his
"Bobby De Niro" (in reference to the fact that fellow
director Martin Scorsese regularly casts Robert De Niro in his
films). During an intensive casting process, Lucas and Spielberg
auditioned many actors, and finally cast actor Tom Selleck (right) as
Shortly afterward pre-production began in
earnest on Raiders of the Lost Ark. However, CBS refused to release
Selleck from his contractual commitment to Magnum, P.I. (which was
gradually gaining momentum in the ratings), forcing him to turn down
One of CBS's concerns was that shooting
for Magnum P.I. conflicted with shooting for Raiders, both of which
were to begin about the same time. However, Selleck was to say later
in an interview that shooting for Magnum P.I. was delayed and did not
actually begin until shooting for Raiders had concluded.
After Spielberg suggested Ford again,
Lucas gave in, and Ford was cast in the role less than three weeks
before filming began.
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