Indiana Jones: When History and Fiction Collide

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by Dubya_Fett, Aug 10, 2001.

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  1. Dubya_Fett Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2001
    star 3
    I would like to make a slight clarification on an earlier post, regarding Indy's comments about "giant vampire bats" in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom". There are so-called "false vampire bats" in India, which are large and carnivorous, but do not drink blood like the small "true vampire bats" of the New World. "False vampire bats" might be commonly referred to as "vampire bats" by a layman like Indy, so this could excuse his comments.

    -Dubya Fett
  2. Dubya_Fett Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2001
    star 3
    I would like to make a slight clarification on an earlier post, regarding Indy's comments about "giant vampire bats" in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom". There are so-called "false vampire bats" in India, which are large and carnivorous, but do not drink blood like the small "true vampire bats" of the New World. "False vampire bats" might be commonly referred to as "vampire bats" by a layman like Indy, so this could excuse his comments.

    -Dubya Fett
  3. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    This thread deserves to be resurrected!
  4. xie Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 5
    It will be interesting to see how Indiana Jones 4 goes, in regard to Historical Inaccuracies.

    Any speculation? :)
  5. Blur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4

    This has been an interesting, informative thread.

    Just to offer up a possible explanation for these historical innacuracies in the Indy films (and the Young Indy historical innacuracies weren't even mentioned, and there were much more of those than the ones in the Indy films), how about this: The Earth that Indy inhabits and where his adventures take place is not the same Earth that we're familiar with and not the same Earth of our past - it's a parallel Earth where things are similar, though not exact to our own Earth. This explains the post-1935 bombing of Shanghai by China, the rocker-launcher in ROTLA, etc.

    This is the only explanation that makes sense to me, though I know not everyone will like it....
  6. COSLeiaOrganaSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 15, 2002
    star 4
    I read a book like that once...
  7. Latorski Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2002
    star 4
    How about the artifacts in the opening action sequences: the idol at the beginning of Raiders, the ashes in TOD, Cross of Coronado? Anybody know if they really existed?
  8. AdmiralZaarin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2001
    star 5
    There was never a plane like the one depicted in ROTA.

    The Bf-109 was only put into mass production in 1939. TLC is in 1937, isn't it?

  9. Jedi_Humaira_Blaine Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2003
    star 5
    Hmm, with regard to the Vampire Bats...I wondered if Indy was just trying to scare his lady companion. Heheh! ;)

    Okay...I have a blooper to bring up. Lucas/Spielberg made a mistake Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom with regard to a language spoken by a certain group of people.

    When Indy enters that Indian village, he is surrounded by villagers all begging for help.

    Here's something most people may not have known:-

    The language spoken was by no means a language spoken anywhere in India. The language was Singhalese-the main language of the dominant race in Sri Lanka. And I'm Sri Lankan, I should know! ;)

    Plus, those actors and actresses are known faces in the Sri Lankan cinema industry

    Now I believe that some of those scenes were shot here in Sri Lanka...but the language ought to have been done accurately. Us Sri Lankans tend to have a laugh about that! [face_laugh]

    Any thoughts?
  10. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    That is interesting!

    My thoughts are that it would be easier for Spielberg to have the local actors speak their own language than have to learn a new language for a few incidental background lines.

    But it's definitely an observation worthy of this thread!

    Can you tell us the sorts of things they are saying? :)
  11. Jedi_Humaira_Blaine Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2003
    star 5
    Yes, agreed. It is much easier to get actors to speak their language. But it is funny!

    And funnier still, that I'm probably the only person on the boards who can translate! ;) Unless, there is another person from Sri Lanka!

    Translate? Well yes...most of it. :D I have the movie at home at the moment so I can definitely tell you most of it.

    When the old lady comes up to the little boy who was with Indy (sorry, his name just slipped my mind now) she was saying something on the lines of:-

    "Oh child, stay with me please...please stay with me"

    It was related to the fact that the people had lost their children...so it wasn't innacurate in that sense. :)

    Even what the men were saying about their village, the fields/crops being ruined etc was all spot on. :)

    I can tell you more if you like... :)

  12. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    > I can tell you more if you like...

    Absolutely - but no rush. :)

  13. Lizardmonkey Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 2
    The Indiana Jones films are certainly not historiographic, but they are important historical documents of prevailing popular attitudes in the nineteen-eighties. I cite, for example, the scene where Indiana shoots the swordsman in the Egyptian market in 'Raiders'.
    This scene was, apparently, created on the spot because Harrison Ford was suffering from a digestive ailment and could not face a gruelling, intricately choreographed scene. What we end up with is a visual allegory of American foreign policy in the eighties - "if you have a problem, shoot it."
    The Jones character - and that of Belloq - was a dissection of real-life french archaeologist Pierre Montet who discovered the gold-rich tomb of Psusennes in the 1930s. He was looking for Tanis and believed he would find relics of the Jewish exodus. This coupled with a story Phillip Kauffman's (the director) dentist had told him about the Nazis searching for the lost Ark was the basis of the movie.
    The Holy Grail was a Christian interpretation of European pagan symbols - particularly the cauldron of Tuatha - and is a legacy, perhaps, of the early Christian missionaries attempts to compare Pagan traditions with Christian lore when converting the peoples of ancient Britain and continental Europe.
    The Shankara stones - "lingas" as was rightly pointed out earlier - are not grail-like relics in Hindu folklore, however the story was told of them in Boy's Own books of the early twentieth century.
    More specifically, the films are truer to the makers' desires to recreate old swashbuckling serials from the 1930s-50s.
    Republic's 'Lost City of the Jungle' for example, has a climax where a radioactive box is opened by military-minded baddies, disintegrating them.

  14. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    Now here's a big historical inaccuracy. In "Temple of Doom", Indy says he found Short Round after his parents were killed when the Japanese bombed Shanghai. Now Indy must have access to a time machine, because the Japanese bombed Shanghai in 1937, and TOD is set in 1935!

    -Dubya Fett


    I belive I have figured this out. Raiders was set in 1936 and Last Crusade in 1938. I'm guessing that Temple of Doom was originally set in 1937 after the Japanese bombed Shanghai. However sometime after filming was completed they decided to set the film in 1935 as a "backstory" for Indiana Jones. They probably forgot about contradicting a few lines of dialogue or didn't think nobody would notice.

  15. WormieSaber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 22, 2000
    star 5
    Bats. I hate giant bats.
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