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Tintin in America: Rastapopoulos in the dinner scene?

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#1 · Posted: 12 Dec 2004 00:58
At the end of Tintin in America there is a person at the celebratory dinner table who looks remarkably like Roberto Rastapopoulos. In several books about Tintin various writers have commented on this fact, but whereas some of these writers comment on the fact that it could be simply 'an early prototype' of a Rastapopoulos type figure, some others have come to claim that it was indeed (at least in the new colour version) Rastapopoulos sitting there like a complete hypocrite celebrating Tintin's success at fighting the crime lords of the USA...

I wonder if there was ever any official comment on whether this was meant to be him from Herge or anyone that knew Herge's intentions regarding this scene? If it was indeed Tintin's no. 1 enemy then perhaps that would explain the odd remark that Tintin makes in the English colour translation of Cigars of the Pharaoh that "this isn't the first time that we've met"...
Although this remark from Tintin (as I understand it) was made by the translators to explain (rather clumsily!) that Tintin knows Rastapopoulos already from the adventures that already had been previously translated into English that featured him, it still could be a case of serendipilty.

It would make sense that the millionaire film tycoon of Cosmos Pictures would be sitting next to Mary Pickford at that dinner at the end of Tintin in America...

Does anyone else have an opinion about this?


P.S. if this has already been discussed here please forgive me, I have searched for this topic but not found it in the forums...
#2 · Posted: 12 Dec 2004 01:22
It'd be fun to think that it really was him, although his presence wouldn't necessarily be hypocritical on the face of it: remember that Rastapopoulos was ostensibly a high-society man. His illegal activity was generally underground (although people like the Emir knew about it).

Come to think of it, how did he ever get to become the Marquis di Gorgonzola? Wouldn't there be an outstanding warrant for his arrest after the Cigars debacle? ;)
#3 · Posted: 12 Dec 2004 21:14
speaking of Marquis di Gorgonzola, how in the red sea sharks, did tintin know of him when it was actualy Rastapopoulos ?
#4 · Posted: 12 Dec 2004 23:16
I don't think Tintin knew it was Rastapopoulos until he saw him boarding his speedboat to "brazen it out"... Although he doesn't seem in the least bit surprised.

And yes, it's definitely the Big R at the end of the banquet table. You can recognise that profile anywhere.
#5 · Posted: 13 Dec 2004 02:03
speaking of Marquis di Gorgonzola, how in the red sea sharks, did tintin know of him when it was actualy Rastapopoulos ?

If you mean how did he know of the Marquis's existence, it's because the Emir Ben Kalish Ezab told him about the Marquis while the two were in his mountainside hideout.
John Sewell
#6 · Posted: 13 Dec 2004 18:29
Seeing as how Tintin's already been offered a role in Paranoid Productions "new billion dollar movie spectacular" a few pages earlier, maybe Rastapopoulos is at the dinner in his studio mogul guise, hoping to poach him for himself - maybe if he'd played his cards right, Tintin could have ended up as the leading man in the desert, instead of that jodphur-wearing fop in Cigars ("He's absolutely ruined my entrance!") ;)

Interesting that at the dinner, he seems to be wearing some sort of medal or order insignia. I bet he got it under false pretences, whatever it is! As for how he came by his Marquis status, I think in some countries it was possible to buy a title, or acquire one which comes with the purchase of a property. It would definitely appeal to his vanity, especially if he only had to buy a decrepit old castle somewhere to gain it!

Alternatively, seeing as he's a thoroughly rotten scoundrel, he may have bumped off the real Marquis and taken his place, Blofeld-style. That wouldn't explain how the Emir knows his true identity, but let's face it, he's a fairly ambiguous character himself, so might have had dealings with him in the past before the slavery operation came to light!
#7 · Posted: 14 Dec 2004 05:22
well, i mean where exactly did this marquis di gorgonzola come from after all- was there a real person and rastapopoulos is just impersonating him or did he invent this character?
#8 · Posted: 22 Dec 2004 01:01
Probably a title he bought/swindled with his ill-gotten millions...
#9 · Posted: 6 Jan 2005 19:21
The man in the dinner scene who appears to be Rastapopoulos is also in the black and white facsimile version of "Tintin in America." Also, interestingly enough, on one of the pages with the Chinese men in the cellar (one of the deleted scenes near the end, right after the dinner scene), there is a box with Chinese characters on it, and also the word "OPIUM". Since Rastapopoulos was involved in the opium trade in China, could this be a clue that the man at the table is indeed him?
#10 · Posted: 30 Jan 2005 18:48
Sorry for bumping this thread, but all this while I thought that I had discovered Rastapopoulos in America!
It's definitely him at the dinner scene, and the statement in Cigars is not a clumsy piece of translation - it all fits!!

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