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Tintin: Small "homage" in Indiana Jones?

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#31 · Posted: 24 Mar 2021 17:27
Choose your word: inspired or influenced.

I'd go for "coincidence" myself - and even then, your choices are often, truthfully, very tenuous.
The fact that there is a motor bike and side-car in Lotus and one in Last Crusade is certainly true, but not remarkable nor notable, as, firstly it's a period correct piece of military kit, and secondly, used in pursuits amongst other things - so there is no reason to suggest that you'd need to use Lotus as a reference to include it (and that's overlooking the fact that Tintin, as you say, was on a bicycle, being pursued by a motor-cycle and side car, and Indy and Henry Sr. were on the motor-cycle combo, being pursued), especially when there are other films with chases involving such vehicles - Where Eagles Dare provides a good example.

Look at it another way (and putting aside the fact that Spielberg was not the source of much of the Indiana Jones material, and Lucas, Kasdan, et al., (who did write Indiana Jones) haven't been shown to have read, seen or known about Tintin and were not involved in the Tintin movie), there are far more compelling sources than Tintin for influence on the Indiana Jones series, starting with the movie serials that Lucas openly states he wished to pay homage to in his movies.

The photo blow-up on the wall at Lucasfilm, of the man leaping from horse to truck, taken from a frame of an old Hollywood film, Zorro Rides Again (1937), is a far more straightforward - and acknowledged - inspiration, than trying to make a case for someone in Hollywood having to use a series of Belgian comics - in which an artist reused elements of the same old films he saw at the cinema in Brussels.

There are far better candidates for speculative influence upon Indiana Jones within the realms of cinema itself than any Tintin book.

Take the early Charlton Heston vehicle, Secret of the Incas, which itself was inspired by the 1948 book by Hiram Bingham, Lost City of the Incas and - possibly more importantly - made as a pragmatic decision by the film studio that movies shot in exotic locations were in vogue, and nobody had yet shot a Hollywood studio film in Peru.

To allay any suspicions that the Bingham book was inspired by Hergé having written Seven Crystal Balls/ Prisoners of the Sun earlier in the forties, it must be said that Bingham was an explorer and archaeologist (a proto-Indiana Jones), who had been writing about the Inca people - and Machu Picchu in particular (the model for Hergé's Incan temple) - from 1911 onward in books and magazine articles, and is thus far more likely to have been a source of information used by Hergé than vice versa.

Anyway, Heston's "Harry Steele" character wears what - to modern audiences - is the Indiana Jones costume of brown fedora, leather jacket, shirt, putty-coloured trousers, boots, and he carries a service revolver; Deborah Nadoolman, the movie's costume designer, acknowledges that it was seeing this film several times during preparation for Raiders that she used as her template for what Indy wears in the field.

The film also has a scene where the location of a treasure is indicated by a beam of light - in the manner in which the jeweled head of the Staff of Ra is used by Indy in the Map Room to locate the Well of Souls.
To me that also sounds very similar to how the Lidenbrock party use a shaft of light and a shadow to locate the portal used by Arne Saknussemm to enter the subterranean realm, in Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
Verne has been cited by some as another influence upon Hergé, showing again that there is a large "soup" of ideas from which popular culture draws.

So, anyway, I just am trying to get across that the ability to make a link or association between incidents isn't enough to join Tintin to Indiana Jones, nor is it even necessarily significant.

King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider-Haggard, published in 1885 has a plot which hinges on the heroes being in possession of the date of an eclipse, and using it to their advantage.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain, published in 1889 has a plot which hinges on the hero being in possession of the date of an eclipse, and using it to his advantage.

Prisoners of the Sun has as a plot which hinges on the hero being in possession of the date of an eclipse, etc. etc.

What can one say?
Twain took from Haggard?
Hergé took from Haggard?
Hergé took from Twain?
Maybe nobody took from anyone of the three, but drew on another source, which also used an eclipse - or maybe they came up with the idea independently.
There's no question that the concepts are similar, but nothing to make a case of there being a tie between them, and - at the end of the day - it doesn't really matter, as each stands in its own right as a work of popular fiction.

I thought it was just a "staple" of pulp/interbellum adventure

I'd be inclined to agree. :-)
#32 · Posted: 28 Mar 2021 13:13
Yes, because it's something I had seen in pulp movies that predate Indiana Jones movies by decades, from a time when Tintin comics weren't that common in the US.
#33 · Posted: 17 Apr 2021 14:54
Thanks for comments, actually I wouldn't go for "coincidence", but anyway, regardless of independent motives and scenes one can find in adventure movies and books, I mentioned a strong resemblance between the structures of some scenes and episodes. This still needs an explanation and I don't believe that any other example is better than Tintin, because it's more appropriate than Tintin.

On the other hand, one can not accept the argument that anyone involved in Indiana movies haven't been shown to have "read", seen or "known" about Tintin (double quotes are mine). These people are professional and they are educated. I can't see any reason that they couldn't reach the comics in its original language and art.


P.S. I'm not interested in Spielberg's Tintin movie or who did write the Indiana scenarios. These are finished productions and I think we are here for the sake of curiosity.

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