The Adventures Of Young Indiana Jones Volume Three - The Years Of Change from Paramount
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It’s funny that Indiana Jones never bumped into any of his famous former acquaintances during his three globetrotting big screen adventures. In these final episodes from George Lucas’ ambitious edutainment TV series, Indy (Robert Sean Leonard) hobnobs with all manner of 20th-century icons and notables. Among his exploits: serving as translator at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, helping Professor Robert Goddard with his liquid-fueled rocket experiments; jamming on tenor sax with Sidney Bechet; beating up bigots alongside his buddy Paul Robeson; busting bootleggers with Ernest Hemingway and classmate Elliot Ness, doing stuntwork for director John Ford; and trading quips with Alexander Wolcott, Dorothy Parker and the other wits of the Algonquin Round Table. If any names or events are unfamiliar, there’s no need to log ont o Wikipedia. Each episode is enhanced by an impressive array of handsomely produced biographical profiles and background docs that feature some A-list talent (Martin Scorsese appears in the featurette devoted to Ford). Enlightening, yes, but for those who prefer their Indy old school will thrill to the episode "Treasure of the Peacock’s Eye"--the most Raiders-like in this collection--in which a treasure map found on a dying man leads Indy on a search for a priceless gold statue once in the possession of Alexander the Great. Plus, it’s got pirates! The episode, "Masks of Evil" finds Indy against a modern-day (1918 to be exact) Vlad the Impaler. Best of all, Harrison Ford himself, appearing as the grown-up Indy, kicks off "Mystery of the Blues" on an exciting note, being relentlessly pursued for a Native-American artifact in his possession. Other episodes are amusing trifles. In "Scandal of 1920," a lovelorn Indy juggles the affections of three women (including a free-thinking critic portrayed by Anne Heche) while toiling backstage at a Broadway musical. Suffice to say, it’s more fun to watch Indy battle an army of the undead than it is to see him get romantic advice from George Gershwin and Irving Berlin, or, in the episode, "Hollywood Follies," tangle with temperamental director Eric von Stroheim. As with the previous two Young Indiana Jones sets, each feature-length program is comprised of two re-edited original broadcast episodes that chronologically carry on Indy’s extraordinary saga. With Indy back after a 19-year absence in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, this value-packed box set is an excellent way--especially for a new generation of fans--to keep up with the Joneses. --Donald Liebenson