I mean, it's been a loooong time since Indy first donned his fedora, and it was still a long time ago when he last cracked the whip. But after seeing some footage of Harrison Ford in his trademark attire and the return of Marion Ravenwood by originator Karen Allen, I was hooked.
Since it had been some time since I saw the original, I looked through my modest DVD collection and was pretty shocked to realize I didn't own a copy of it. So to the video store I went, and purchase the complete set I did.
The other evening, while it was raining, seemed like the perfect setting to go back in time and enjoy the escapades of the roguish, dashing, professor as he traveled the world battling Nazi's and making the world a better place.
Raiders of the Lost Ark, sorry, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (if you acknowledge the repackaged title) started just as I remembered. But just a few minutes into the storyline I was surprised to have a very different take on the character.
What came across to me thorough the eyes of an adult was that Indiana Jones was a bit of a thief. He "procured" items for the museum and there is a definite tongue in cheek interaction between Jones and his benefactor Marcus Brody (the late Denholm Elliott) about how Jones comes about his treasures.
In fact, when Brody tells Professor Jones that some men from the government want to see him, he's struck with fear; "Am I in trouble?" He asks. Of course they have little knowledge of his escapades and, instead, want to discuss what it is he knows about a Professor Ravenwood.
Now comes the other odd moment in watching this movie.
When Indy finally reaches Nepal, where Marion (Professor Ravenwood's daughter) has a small tavern. He asks first about Ravenwood, and then tells Marion that he is searching of a cheap insignificant piece that her father may have found.
Insignificant? In the earlier scene with the G-Men, he talks of how this item, if found, could provide the location to the Ark of the Covenant; the final resting place for the ten commandments. And whoever has possession of this Ark has the ability to rule the world.
If that scene weren't enough of make me think he wasn't such a great guy, it's the interaction that precedes this that really got me.
Upon seeing Indy for the first time, in 10 years, she gives him a right hook. He apologies and tells her he never meant to hurt her. She says she was a child. He says she knew what she was doing.
How on earth did I never take notice of this? I mean, really. Was Indy involved in a relationship with a "child"? Or was Marion exaggerating?
If Marion's age is the same as Karen Allen's then she was probably in her late teens before she embarked on the relationship with Indy. But still, it was something that took me off guard and made me realize that Indiana Jones was no saint.
And I'm okay with that. In fact, I like that. I don't think you can travel the world, deal with Nazi's, natives with blow darts and conniving, ruthless other archaeological hunters and NOT be a little soiled.
In fact, that's kind of what I liked about another Ford character; Han Solo. Han was a smuggler, he wasn't a saint. So when George Lucas decided to have Greedo shoot first in the now infamous scene in the Star Wars cantina, nearly everyone, me included, were outraged.
When the fed's were after ET who was trying to get home, they originally brandished handguns in their pursuit of this creature from another world. And that makes sense. HE'S FROM ANOTHER PLANET FOR GOODNESS SAKES. You would imagine, hope even, that the officials had means to protect themselves.
But in the reissue of ET: The Extraterrestrial, Spielberg changes the guns to flashlights. WHAT?
C'mon. The feds were the bad guys because we know ET is a good guy. And them carrying weapons was justified in their protection, and in allowing us to not like them even more.
So I'm happy Indiana Jones wasn't a saint. I'm glad he shoots the Scimitar wielding man trying to block his way in the marketplace in Egypt. And I'm glad that none of this was changed for the reissue of the DVD.
Yes, seeing this movie through the eyes of an adult brought things to light that I completely missed as a kid. But it makes the movie even better, and the character, as fantastic as he is, a little more human.