Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Questionable Jones No. 11

As with Star Wars the Indiana Jones series really isn't a comedy and there is little in the way of comic relief characters... until they messed up Marcus Brody. Still, it has hilarious moments.

Question: "What was the funniest moment in the series?"

Scott's Answer: Probably in Crusade (which can be a little too lighthearted at times) when Indy finds out he and his dad slept with the same woman. Spielberg films it wonderfully and Ford and Connery both have some great reactions.

Andrew's Answer: For my money, there is nothing funnier than when Jones shoots the swordsman in Raiders. When that happened, the theater erupted and I still chuckle whenever I see it today.


shawn said...

I'll second Andrew. When Indy shoots the swordsman in "Raiders".

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, that always makes me laugh.

Backthrow said...

I agree, Indy shooting the swordsman in RAIDERS was the best.

Runners-up (also in RAIDERS):

* When Toht enters the tent and scares Marion & Belloq with what looks like a nasty implement of torture, only to reveal that it's a coat-hanger

* When Indy gets tired of pretending to be a disheveled German soldier and just beats up the officer berating him in the Nazis' secret submarine dock, with the final kick that makes the officer's cap pop up from below frame, which he grabs and wears.

* The Arab assassin accidentally getting the 'apple shish kebab' treatment from his sword-wielding fellow henchman, during the alley fight with Indy.

* The exact moment that we find out the mountaineer has lost the drinking contest with Marion.

* Marion accidentally slamming Indy's face with the pivoting full-length mirror, made funnier with the cut-away to the ship's exterior when he screams, and made funnier still when it cuts back to them... Marion: "What'd you say?". LOL

The other films (except the horrible CRYSTAL SKULL) had some amusing moments (particularly LAST CRUSADE), but they tried way-y-y-y too hard to be 'gags', so weren't nearly as effective as the humor in RAIDERS. And yeah, turning Marcus into a bumbling fool wasn't a good idea... and foreshadowed the utter garbage foisted upon us years later in CRYSTAL SKULL.

Anonymous said...

Backthrow -

The coat hanger gag was originally used in 1941 where it got no laughs at all. Spielberg swore he'd keep using it till it got a good reaction. Thankfully, it only took one movie. :-)

And agreed re: Marcus in Crusade.

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

My other answer would be when Spielberg said, "Sure, George, I'll do Crystal Skull with aliens even though I think it's stupid!"

Sadly, I wasn't too far off the mark.

tryanmax said...

Yep, nothing beats shooting the swordsman. All we can do now is add to the list.

In ToD, Indy and Shortround play cards and ignore Willie as she freaks out over every creepy-crawly in the jungle.

In TLC, Indy, posing as a porter on a zeppelin, punches and tosses a Nazi officer overboard, then calmly explains to the other passengers, "No ticket."

There's a dry sort of humor to the end of RotLA when the Ark of the Covenant gets packed in a crate and stashed in a mammoth government warehouse.

Mountain Man said...

"Asps. Very dangerous. You go first."

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, What I like about the gags in Raiders in particular is how seamlessly they fit the character and the moment. They aren't even gags in that sense, they are just funny out of the scene itself. Especially by the fourth film, the gags began to feel like gags. That's never a good thing.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, So you're saying the whole fourth movie was just a joke someone took too far, huh? LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I do like that "No ticket" line.

AndrewPrice said...

Mountain Man, That's a good one too!

KRS said...

My vote: the end of the opening sequence, with the pilot not wanting to let go of the fish he just caught in order to save Indy (and himself) and then scolding Indy to be a man after he complains about the snake in the cockpit. There were a lot of good one liners ("I'm making this up as I go.") in that movie that did not detract at all from the seriousness of the quest. Brilliant.

The great thing about the swordsman is that Indy had been going through all the fighting up to that point without resorting to the pistol on his hip. That's in line with shows like Gunsmoke and other family friendly stuff where the good guy never kills the bad guy, but just outmaneuvers him (Sheriff Taylor didn't even carry a sidearm and made Deputy Fife carry his one round in a shirt pocket).

Point is, for those of us raised in a shelter who hadn't seen movies like The Wild Bunch, seeing Indy draw his pistol and shoot that guy with a look of supreme annoyance on his face was actually a little bit of a shock, which gave the joke a delicious punch.

One time gag. Sweet.

AndrewPrice said...

KRS, I agree. There are many layers to that joke. In particular, up to that point, Indy doesn't seem like someone who would shoot someone without a gun. He's also been fighting with fists and swords so much that it just seems like this is how it's done. So when he shoots the swordsman, it really is unexpected. Add in the whole annoying factor and it becomes comical -- almost like he's telling the film, "Uh, no, that's one challenge too many!"

At the same time, there's the filmmakers joke in there too that you get to watch the whole buildup as he shows off his swordsmanship and skill. It's this big build up for something truly tense to come... then it's over. It's like watching a volcano build up for an explosion and then you just hear the sound of air escaping. It's funny because it runs so contrary to what films have taught us to expect.

Jason said...

It may not be the funniest moment, but I think it is a funnier moment than the first Marion drinking scene. It's when Marion is trying to outdrink Belloq, only he holds his own very well and says, "I grew up with this" while holding the bottle.

Voz said...

I've always loved when Connery calls Indy Junior, causing Indy to take advantage of the argument between him and his dad to grab the gun from the Nazi guard and shoot them all and then growl "I said...DON'T call me Junior!"

AndrewPrice said...

Jason, That's a good scene. What I can never tell is if she's drunk or just faking it?

AndrewPrice said...

Voz, That's a funny scene. :)

Dave Olson said...

Who could forget "Love You" on the girl's eyelids?

And a few seconds later, the kid dropping off the apple on Indy's desk as the class files out the door.

Anonymous said...

Two major lines come to mind, first "X never marks the spot" and as tryanmax said the "No ticket" scene. Both brilliant.


AndrewPrice said...

Scott, That is hilarious since X always marks the spot in these films. I love the X in the library on the floor.

AndrewPrice said...

Dave, The guy leaving the apple is funny. His expression is priceless. This is not the class he wanted, obviously!

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