Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981
Welcome back to another installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week marks the third anniversary of the podcast. So to keep with the theme of other past anniversaries, Dion Baia and J. Blake are going back and celebrating the pulps– the subgenre of the serials that so many of our modern iconic characters we know and love today were born out of. And what better character epitomizes that history than the figure created to celebrate that very style in cinema, everyone’s favorite archeologist and adventurer, Indiana Jones, and the film that started it all, Raiders of the Lost Ark, from 1981!
After a brief Joe Piscopo interlude, the boys start a very deep-dive into the origins of Dr. Jones and one of the most successful franchises of all time. Taking on their first Steven Spielberg-directed movie, Blake and Dion discuss the essential genius of Spielberg as well as analyze the brilliance of George Lucas and his connection with this film, while challenging a lot of the guff by critics concerning Lucas in his years post-1977‘s Star Wars– and even encountering Spielberg detractors while in film school. The boys utilize the little known transcription of the legendary story conference between Spielberg, Lucas and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan from January of 1978 (a fabulous read for any fan or writer), which lays out Indy as a protagonist, the other supporting characters, and even the story arc for Raiders. They also discuss the 1954 Charlton Heston film Secret to the Incas, and it’s supposed connection to Indiana Jones. They get into this love-letter to those serials of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s, and focus on the elements that transcend genre and the other various forms of media, as they attempt to pin down what makes this property so unique and utterly timeless. The boys get into the artwork of legendary artist Jim Steranko and his input into the look of this iconic character. They also get into Indy‘s superhero costume, even laying out the actual brand-name items that the adventurer prefers to wear. So, how much was exactly cut out of the original story and shelved only to be used in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? How much of Chuck Heston and Secret of the Incas really influenced the Indy property? What does famed artist Carl Barks and his iconic character, Scrooge McDuck, have to do with Indiana Jones? And what the heck does The Big Lebowski have to do with any of this? Well, come have a listen to our longest running podcast yet, as we “Tickle the Brim” a little and celebrate our 3rd anniversary in this all new mega-edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! *(The 1951 film that first introduced the Wilhelm scream was actually called Distant Drum, not The Distant Dream as mentioned. )
#GoingFullIndy #TickletheBrim #WettheForceps
Here is the much-referenced and highly recommended full text of the 1978 Raiders of the Lost Ark Story Conference Transcript between George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Larry Kasdan.
Often referenced as an inspiration of Indy and Raiders, please check out the 1954 Charlton Heston film, Secret of the Incas, courtesy of YouTube!
Take a look at the original concept art legendary comic book artist Jim Steranko did for Spielberg for Raiders of the Lost Ark, and specifically the look of Indiana Jones.
So you wanna be Indiana Jones? Well don’t look any farther than to TheRaider.net‘s list of the official items worn by Ford, and how you can acquire those specific brand-names.
And for everything else Indiana Jones, look no farther than the aforementioned TheRaider.net!
Have a look at the often forgotten Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones appearance (circa 1950), in Chapter 20 of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, entitled Mystery of the Blues, from 1993.
Lastly, if you missed it, check out Harrison Ford‘s hilarious 2013 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! while promoting the biopic 42, where he is questioned about the upcoming installment of Star Wars.
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HELL YES! I always look forward to the anniversary episodes and I was almost certain you were going to do The Phantom, The Shadow or Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, but seeing it’s Raiders is even better!
I love Raiders and I was lucky enough to see it on the big screen a few years ago when they had that brief theatrical re-release.
Thank you SO much for putting up the transcript. As a writer I’m always interested to see the process of how things like this go from rough ideas to finished product.
And those Jim Steranko concept prints, I freaking love those. I’ve seen Steranko at the NYCBM convention and last year he had some! But the line was long and I didn’t have much time there. If he’s at another convention and he has those prints I’d definitely buy them. I’d get the famous one of Indy standing but also the one of him punching the pilot. I’d love to get those signed to me and to put them up in my apartment.
And it’s funny you guys mention George Lucas and the public’s perception of how he fits in with this. I know it’s his character but I so often associate Indiana Jones with Spielberg that I often forget Lucas was involved.
I’m only halfway through the episode so please forgive me if I haven’t touched on anything else you guys brought up. Just wanted to give my initial thoughts and congratulate you on another amazing year. I love the podcast and appreciate all the hard work you guys do!
Hey Jose! Glad you’re liking the podcast, and thank you again, as always, for taking the time to write us. Yeah, Steranko is the man. I got the one Indy pic signed of him holding the gun, and that sucka is framed and on the wall. And yeah, that transcription really shines a light on the genius of both Lucas and Spielberg- we hope it gets read by more fans of those directors and film fans in general, as time goes by. And as a writer, like you said, it’s an indispensable resource. But thanks again, it’s always a pleasure to hear from you. Maybe we’ll see you this year at NYCBM if our schedules permit us to go this year. Take care and be well.-Dion
Really love the podcast, keep up the great work guys!
Also wanted to pass along The film that allegedly inspired Temple of Doom. It’s a classic Terence Fisher Hammer Film.
“The Stranglers of Bombay” (1959)
Hey Tom! Thanks so much for listening, and taking the time to write us. We will definitely check out that 1959 film. We’re big fans of Hammer, so that’ll be a great treat for us. Thank you for the heads up!