In “South America, 1936” Indiana Jones leads an expedition to find a golden icon in a lost temple. He gets it but triggers the cave’s defenses. He gets away, but a rival relic hunter named Belloq takes the idol from him. Indy runs away, finds his pilot, and takes off. Back at his university, his boss and friend Marcus Brody tells him the government has sent some men to talk with him.
Why Indy might be hard to identify with: The racial politics of the situation are a little uncomfortable. He’s in the business of stealing cultural treasures from their home countries, and killing the natives if they get in his way.
- Specific time and place: South America, 1936
- Stuff: Leather jacket, cowboy hat, whip, map in two pieces.
- He has a friend, Marcus Brody, who doesn’t mind that he didn’t bring the idol back.
- Has to watch his back, literally and figuratively. One of his own men tries to kill him. And later he has tarantulas on his back.
- Booby traps trying to kill him. Sees the rotting corpse of his competitor Forestal.
- Fails in a way that speaks to his flaw: Replaces the idol with a bag of sand that weighs the same, but the temple knows the difference and triggers lots of defenses. He doesn’t realize that the difference is God, which he doesn’t believe in.
- Rival relic hunter Belloq and an army of Indians take the idol away from him: “Dr Jones, again we see that there is nothing you can possess that I cannot take away.”
- Has to ride in a plane with a snake “I hate snakes! I hate ‘em!” “C’mon, show a little backbone, would you?”
- Has to make sure he’s spelling the word Neolithic correctly on his chalkboard.
- Uncomfortably hit on: Girl has written “Love You” on her eyelids.
- Before we can see his face we can see that he’s leading this expedition. One of his men screams and runs away when he sees a stone head, but Indy’s unfazed. He also isn’t scared when he finds a poison dart stuck in a tree.
- Man tries to shoot him in the back, but he cooly whips the gun out of the man’s hand.
- “Nobody’s come out of there alive! Please!” He enters anyway.
- Reaches back to get his whip when the door is closing.
- Swings on a vine like Tarzan.