Ossus Library Index Young Indy Index

TALES OF INNOCENCE

Directed by Bille August and Michael Schultz (1999, Lucasfilm)
Starring Sean Patrick Flannery (guest cast)

Indy battles Hemmingway for the love of a girl, then cannot return the love of an older woman while searching for a traitor.

 

 

4 stars

October 23rd, 2013, on DVD, for the 4th time  

 

4 stars

July 23rd, 2000 on Video for the 3rd time  
   

The first part, as usual, was terrific, and very, very funny.  The second part was kind of lackluster, but with no actual faults except that it didn't do much of anything.  I chose to rate this one by giving most of the weight to the first part.

  I didn't understand Indy's mission at the beginning, and even by the end, it wasn't quite clear what he was doing.  It's obvious that the German soldiers are defecting, but the way he dodges across the lines should make somebody suspicious.  The German officer that Indy speaks to before he crosses each time speaks as if he were an Allied soldier.  But that is a minor part of the story.

  For Indy is in love with a beautiful Italian girl.  But in his long escapades across enemy lines, she has found another suitor.  Indy meets up with Ernest Hemmingway, in a hilarious scene where Indy pretends that he doesn't understand English.  Eventually they find themselves in a bar together, and Indy tells Hemmingway his troubles.  Hemmingway urges Indy to one-up the guy, bring her more flowers than he does, etc.  So Indy takes his advice, and gets a kiss out of the girl when he tells her that crossing enemy lines is very dangerous, and that he might be killed. 

  Finally, Indy is invited to her birthday party, by her mother.  Unfortunately, her father invited the other guy, and they meet at the door.  Indy is very shocked to find out that the other guy is none other than Hemmingway!

  And so the competition begins, and we barely get to see the girl (and I doubt the guys get to see her much, either).  This is the crux of the episode, where they spy on each other, and try to get the best of each other.  In an very funny scene, Indy gets her a bird, then Hemmingway buys her a cat, and the sounds in side the house are enough to indicate what is happening.  Then Indy gets her a dog, and with the crashing furniture we know who has won this round! 

  Finally, the two guys come to a sort of truce.  They decide to ask her to choose between them.  But when they arrive, she is in her wedding dress, ready to marry an old childhood sweetheart. 

  But the competition doesn't end there; it becomes even more absurd!  They argue their way down the soldiers lines until they come under attack, and both end up being wounded.  They agree that they will never let a woman come between them again, until they see their nurse...

  Part two sees Indy transferred to Venice, where he recovers, with the help of a good many nurses, who pepper him with kisses when he is transferred to North Africa.  He is to search for traitors who have been giving French weapons to the native tribes, who intend to use the war as an excuse to break free of French control. 

  Immediately, Indy is captured, but escapes (absurdly setting his breath on fire and thus virtually the whole enemy encampment),  with documents giving the serial numbers of all the weapons that have come to the rebels.

  So Indy is sent to another North African city, disguised as an escort for an American erotica novelist, who is touring.  They begin to fall in love, but each holds back because of the age difference.  It is a tragedy, because the ideals of society won't let them get involved with each other.  The message is spelled out in a neat scene where she describes the constraints on society to the king she is visiting. 

  Of course, Indy finds the guns that are being smuggled, and confides in the head of security that he knows how they were being smuggled.  Of course, that person is the one who has been smuggling the weapons all along.  There is a (fortunately) short chase scene, and then Indy and the guard get into a sword fight with some fencing swords that happen to be hanging on the wall.  Indy almost loses, but at the last minute, is able to shove the guard over a balcony, where he is killed. 

  There is another short sub-plot about an American journalist, who discloses that he wants to write an all-out expository biography on T.E. Lawrence.  The author asks him how far he would go to expose a person's life, and he responds that he would go as far as possible.  This must be the beginning of the paparazzi. 

  So the first part was terrific, and I've seen that one three times now.  The second part was lackluster, and seemed rushed, but it is not quite bad enough to bring it too far down -but it was close.

 

  Guest Cast: Jay Underwood as Ernest Hemmingway
Lex Van Delden as Emanuel Victor Voska
 
   

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