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Old 10-27-2014, 09:14 AM   #1
Kooshmeister
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Dietrich and Katanga

Okay, so Katanga attempts to protect Marion and keep her aboard by telling Dietrich that he (more or less) wants to sell her as a sex slave. Dietrich reacts by calling him a savage and telling him he'll take what he wants, blah, blah, blah, villainous blather.

This situation and Dietrich's reaction to it are interesting. Unless he knows Katanga is friendly with Indiana, he has no reason to think he's being anything but totally sincere in wanting to sell Marion.

A few points:

1. Does Dietrich think Katanga is being sincere, or does he see though the charade?

2. If he thinks Katanga was telling the truth, is his angry refusal because he dislikes the captain thinking he's in a position to bargain and (as he sees it) making arrogant demands? Or was Dietrich genuinely against what Katanga is proposing?

3. Regardless of which one it is, it's interesting that he immediately does more or less the exact same thing Katanga had proposed, by giving her to Belloq as payment (or, rather, Belloq suggests it and Dietrich implicitly goes along with it; he neither agrees nor objects).

Which leads me to:

1. If Dietrich thinks Katanga was lying, then there's no ambiguity to his actions; he saw through an obvious charade and evilly takes Marion prisoner. With a hint of racism thrown in because he's a douchebag.

2. If Dietrich thinks Katanga is telling the truth, and took Marion because he was pissed off that the captain presumed to bargain with him while also being black, does (as far as he knows) saving her from sexual slavery just to spite Katanga count as doing the right thing for the wrong reasons?

3. If he thinks Katanga is telling the truth and objects to the idea of slavery (at least of a white woman), then Dietrich is still a racist scuzzbag but one with something resembling principles.

Either way, he's clearly a racist, but I always found the scene ambiguous as to whether Dietrich knew Katanga is lying or not, and what his reaction said about him as a person.
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Old 10-27-2014, 01:49 PM   #2
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Good question.

Well, he obviously knows that Indy and Katanga were in cahoots somehow, but I think he believes Katanga is telling the truth about Indy's fate and Marion's eventual fate. Nothing in his lines, or his delivery, indicates that he thinks he's bluffing.

And the way he says "savage" clearly shows his racism. I've always thought he considered it laughably presumptuous for Katanga to think he's in any position to bargain. 'We'll take what we want, and then decide whether or not to blow your ship from the water.' Essentially, 'If you want to bargain, feel free to grovel on your knees and beg me to spare your life.'

Don't think he could care less about Marion one way or the other, and simply offers her to Belloq to keep his digger/historian/stand-in priest happy. Don't think he objects to the idea of slavery, so it's not doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.

Arrogance, racism, and a self-serving power trip all around.

Finally, he doesn't blow the ship from the water. If he thought Katanga was lying and Indy was on board, he probably would have torpedoed it 1) to get revenge and 2) be rid of him.
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Old 10-27-2014, 03:25 PM   #3
Lance Quazar
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Dietrich was a racist who took Marion mostly to piss of Katanga. I don't think that pleasing Belloq even really entered his mind.

He was pissed that Katanga was presumptuous enough to try to deal at all. I think he might have even left her there entirely had Katanga not said anything.

(Though, at that point, Belloq might have intervened.)
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Old 10-27-2014, 06:58 PM   #4
Mickiana
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Dietrich is racist, clearly: "Savage."

His intent was to take Marion regardless, to accommodate Belloq's wishes, but not to please Rene per se. To Dietrich, Belloq was just a means of getting the Ark found and delivered to Hitler. Rene wanted Marion so as to take something more from Jones and perhaps for his own pleasure.

Dietrich clearly doesn't trust Katanga to be telling the truth about killing Jones as he immediately looks around for any sign of betrayal to this claim, but he can't be sure. But his mission has higher priorities other than bickering with the ship's crew and worrying about whether Jones is alive or not.

He asserts his superiority to Katanga with his threat of what he could potentially do, and he could do it if he wished, but his mission to the Fuhrer is his priority. At this point he has the Ark back in his possession and Katanga is no longer of importance in the whole scheme of things.

When you think about it, Dietrich should have (for the sake of his mission) blown the Bantu Wind out of the water to erase the possibility of Jones being hidden in some part of the ship. Of course, the persistent Jones would have already made it to the deck of the U Boat by the time torpedoes were launched at the Bantu Wind, for him to forlornly watch his new friends' demise.

This scene shows how Jones loses out to his competitors but still remains persistent in competing with them. He doesn't beat them to the prize: his competitors bring about their own tragic end in their quest for those prizes and Indiana Jones lives to adventure on for another day.
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Old 10-27-2014, 09:29 PM   #5
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Correction: When Katanga claims to have killed Jones, it is Rene who looks around, as if in doubt of that. He and Jones have a history and Rene is aware of Jones' tenacity and thus is wise or at least cautious enough to doubt Jones is dead without seeing his body.

So, I have to take back my argument that Dietrich doesn't trust Katanga's claim to be true. It seems to remain ambiguous whether Dietrich believes him or not. I don't think it is important to Dietrich to believe Katanga or not. Like I said, it is his mission for the Fuhrer that matters.

Dietrich dismisses the importance of Jones' survival or doesn't even consider it, as long as he has regained possession of the Ark.
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:53 PM   #6
Kooshmeister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickiana
Correction: When Katanga claims to have killed Jones, it is Rene who looks around, as if in doubt of that. He and Jones have a history and Rene is aware of Jones' tenacity and thus is wise or at least cautious enough to doubt Jones is dead without seeing his body.

I say he was trying to find the source of the world's most annoying squeaky pulley.
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Old 10-29-2014, 04:35 AM   #7
Mickiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kooshmeister
I say he was trying to find the source of the world's most annoying squeaky pulley.

Lubricated by time and sea water (and Ben Burtt's sound effects).
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