Indy takes a job as assistant to a Hollywood studio executive in an attempt to earn his college fees. His job is to get flamboyant and difficult director Erich Von Stroheim to complete his latest epic on time and with the budget, or else. Written by
David Kinne <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While serving as a stunt man on a Western film directed by John Ford (played by Stephen Caffrey), young Indy performs a stunt where he hangs onto the bottom of a speeding, runaway stagecoach. The real John Ford used this stunt in Stagecoach (1939) (performed by Yakima Canutt), and it became George Lucas and Steven Spielberg's inspiration for the stunt in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) where Indiana Jones hangs onto the bottom of a speeding truck. The joke then, is that Indy is "inspiring himself" by performing the stagecoach stunt in this episode. See more »
The story takes place in 1920. In the opening scene, young Indiana Jones is sitting in a movie theater, watching the chariot race from Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925), which wasn't released until 1925. See more »
I admit that I only watched this film because it had Erich von Stroheim in it, and didn't even finish watching it, and know nothing about the Indiana Jones series, so maybe I'm missing something here, but so much about this movie was so terrible that it wasn't even funny.
It wasn't ALL bad -- actually, the sets and costuming were excellent (the 1920s - such an aesthetically pleasing time period!). And the bits of the actual movie "Foolish Wives" were good, because they had the authentic Erich in them. The most painful parts seemed to occur whenever the main characters had dialogue. Some of the lines exchanged between young Indiana Jones and the heroine made me want to retch. There are some actors whose delivery and skill can make a cheesy piece of dialogue work -- these two do not belong to this group. They were trying to be youthfully cutesy, and the results were not pretty. The heroine says things you'd never expect anyone to say in normal conversation, lines that sound clumsy and forced, especially out of her mouth -- she doesn't seem comfortable in her role.
And then there's Erich von Stroheim. True, the guy did seem to be having a lot of fun playing the role -- and the back of his head was identical to Stroheim's (you couldn't really expect much more; Stroheim was unique, no conventional Hollywood pretty-boy, and you'd be hard-pressed to find someone whose looks were remotely similar). Actually, the scenes with Stroheim would have been enjoyable IF he hadn't used that overdone corny fake German accent. Did he do any research at ALL? Did he bother to look at any of the talkies Stroheim was in? Erich von Stroheim was Austrian. Austrian! Austrian!! And there's a huge difference between an Austrian and a blatantly false German accent. It was embarrassing -- I might have been able to enjoy it and root for him if he had been a bit more convincing, but I couldn't get over the way he was mangling Stroheim's delicate growl, with that lilting Austrian twang, into the voice of a hysterical cartoon Nazi.
Whew, I needed to get that off my chest.
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