Wednesday, November 10, 2010

30 Day Movie Meme: Day 15


I love Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Marlon Brando in The Godfather, Charlie Chaplin as The Tramp or Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind.

I also love a lot of characters from recent films that aren't necessarily deemed classics: Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation or Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds.

But, in the end, it all comes back to Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones.

There's no way to make this sound cool, so I'm just going to put it out there: I'm an Indy fangirl. Tried and true. What can I say, I'm a sucker for history-loving archaeologists who wear fedoras, carry a whip and can balance his brain with brawn.

Harrison Ford may not be the world's greatest actor. Like Kevin Costner or Bill Paxton, he's one of those regular joe's you love simply for being reliable and likeable.

But, Harrison Ford was born to play Indiana Jones.

At the age of six my parents showed me Raiders of the Lost Ark. The experience pretty much solidified my love of film (yes, at that young an age). It pretty much captured everything a person could want in a film: action, excitement, romance, comedy and a strong script. Unlike your typical, generic action film, Raiders of the Lost Ark (and, later, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) went above and beyond what one might expect in a film of the action genre. I wanted to be Indiana Jones and I actually credit the films with inspiring my love for history.

Under the guidance of director Steven Spielberg, Ford made Indy a brave, loyal and charming protagonist: one of those good guys who is impossible to dislike. Ford's chemistry with co-stars Karen Allen, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliot and John Rhys-Davies makes it all the better.

The trilogy and 2008 sequel was a throwback to the western serials of the 1930s: those weekly adventures that would end on a cliffhanger. Raiders and Crusade are both perfect homages to those films (Temple of Doom and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls to a much lesser extent).

Indiana Jones is everything you could want in an action figure. They just don't make those heroes like they used too.