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View Poll Results: Choose, but choose wisely
Marion 98 54.75%
Willie 34 18.99%
Elsa 47 26.26%
Voters: 179. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-07-2012, 01:10 AM   #151
Montana Smith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance
Avoiding the obvious political jokes... Elsa is the kind of woman that would gladly side with any evil in the world if there was opportunity in it. She's not a sadistic evil person, but she is evil in the sense that her moral compass broke off years ago.

There's some good left in her, but it's deeply buried, with her affection for Indiana mired in her 'femme fatale' role - and it even took the shooting of Henry Sr. just for some of a more just nature to really show through.

She was a true Nazi, and not just a characature of one. She was a Nazi because it was convienient for her to be one, just like many of the party leaders. In the end, she never even betrayed the Nazis... just Donovan, who had already admitted he was using them too.

I wouldn't see her that way.

Indyland is scattered with obsessives driven by the need to acquire some artifact or other. They align themselves with the faction they imagine might assist them best.

Belloq despised Hitler and his Nazis, which is made especially evident in the novelization:

Quote:
"A museum piece." Belloq spoke with obvious contempt, staring across the room at the German. How little they know, he thought. How little they understand of history. They put their faith in all the wrong things: they build their monumental arches and parade their strutting armies-failing to realize you cannot deliberately create the awe of history. It is something that already exists, something you cannot aspire to fabricate with the trappings of grandeur. The Ark: the very thought or the possibility of discovering the Ark made him impatient. Why did he have to speak with this miserable little German house painter, anyhow?

Belloq used the Nazis for his own ends.

I see Elsa in the same situation, only her obsession is much more deeply entrenched than Belloq's. For Belloq the Ark is a quest propelled by ambition - just as it is for Indy. The fortune and glory of the goal itself.

With Elsa it's much more a need that she cannot deny. Whereas Belloq took full precautions (or so he thought) when opening the Ark, Elsa was incapable of detaching herself from the object that gripped her mind. She would follow that quest to the death because at that point in her life there was nothing else.

On top of that Elsa never displayed any material allegiance to the National Socialists. She wore no Party badge. She wasn't a member of the SS-Ahnenerbe. In the desert the fieldcap she wore was devoid of insignia.

It was no surprise that she put her trust in the Nazis. She was Austrian, as was Hitler. The Anschluß had taken place in March 1938. No doubt Hitler had sought out her expertise just as much as she'd sought his assistance in forming an expedition to find her Grail.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:19 AM   #152
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MontanaSmith, my fedora is off to you. I had left an earlier post showing my bid for Elsa, so yesterday I tried to defend that bid with a new post. Unfortuantely, I failed and abandoned the post. I found it difficult to articulate that Elsa wasn't a willing Nazi stooge, but an opportunist- two differences that somehow didn't sound so different in print. You articulated that very idea so well. Your post has reinvigerated me to post a personal observation: Elsa was fresh out of academia and suddenly she is given a promising opportunity to find one of the most sought-after relics in history. She now had a chance to prove the myths. She now had a chance to shine in the archeological community. If any of us were Austrian in those days, fresh out of academia and hungry for discovery, would we turn our backs on such a golden opportunity? We know she never intended to hand the Grail over to Germany. After all, she kept the Grail diary close to her heart even though Donovan inteded it as a gift to Hitler. It's a matter of putting ourselves in a similar cituation to Elsa. The climax puts Indy in her position, when he, too, has the Grail nearly in his grasp, filling him with lust. Henry, Sr. felt the obsession of the Grail throughout his entire life nad his relationship with Junior tooke a backseat. I can honestly say that if I had the opportunity to steal the Holy Grail away from the Nazis by pretending to be a their stooge, I like to think I would at least try. "It belongs in a museum" as Indy might say. For whatever her deeper reasons might have been, Elsa was certainly playing a very courageous game of deception.

Last edited by foreverwingnut : 06-07-2012 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:44 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by Montana Smith
I wouldn't see her that way.

I think you're making a couple of assumptions about the Nazis which are erroneous, because we can't seperate what we know of them now from what even most party-members knew and believed in 1937.

The war hadn't started. The final solution hadn't even been imagined. For most political observers, Churchill was considered a lunatic and Hitler a progressive force for Europe. Only a handful of people with foresight, or really learned the Great War's lessons, really could see what was happening.

This is why I said that Ilsa is a true Nazi character, and not one of the charicatures that we've seen in media since the war's onset. She used the party in precisely the way the party advertised itself to be used. She was also a high-ranking party member, hence her invitation to Hitler's rally. This was explicitly stated in the movie.

In other words, we're forgetting the Ilsa hadn't yet directly faced the evil of the Nazis just yet, because they haven't happened. She had no problems actually going to the rally, for instance, but was in tears once she was there. She was facing confliction with herself about her obsession, her loyalty, and her admirations to the "Jones Boys" who obviously really hated the side she had chosen.

As a literary device, she's a conflicted femme-fatale who must have her end in the story.

Quote:
Belloq despised Hitler and his Nazis, which is made especially evident in the novelization:

Belloq saw the Nazis for what they were, but felt he could use them to further his own ambitions. He was the ultimate mercenary, as he himself admitted, and would stab them in the back the moment a better deal would come along. Note that when the Ark is found, the relationship between Vogel and Belloq reverses to where Belloq is clearly the man in charge...
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:44 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by Vance
I think you're making a couple of assumptions about the Nazis which are erroneous, because we can't seperate what we know of them now from what even most party-members knew and believed in 1937.

I'm not making any assumptions about the Nazis. I'm writing only about the way the characters are portrayed in the ficticious world of Indiana Jones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance
The war hadn't started. The final solution hadn't even been imagined. For most political observers, Churchill was considered a lunatic and Hitler a progressive force for Europe. Only a handful of people with foresight, or really learned the Great War's lessons, really could see what was happening.

Churchill was touted as a warmonger for seeing the probable future of Europe.

Hitler was not considered a progressive force by those who suffered under his policies. The concentration camp at Dachau opened in 1933, the year Hitler became Chancellor. Within a few years it had a terrible reputation.

Mein Kampf was first published in 1925 and 1926. Hitler's intentions were clear. As were his actions against the Jews, Socialists, Communists, gypsies, the disabled.

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On July 14, 1933, the German government instituted the “Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases.” This law called for the sterilization of all persons who suffered from diseases considered hereditary, including mental illness, learning disabilities, physical deformity, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism. With the law’s passage the Third Reich also stepped up its propaganda against the disabled, regularly labeling them “life unworthy of life” or “useless eaters” and highlighting their burden upon society.

http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/focus/disabilities/


The horrors of Nazi policy were not as hidden as some expect. They were open, which became a problem in 1936 when Germany hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

People supported the NSDAP for a variety of reasons. For some it meant accepting the benefits and looking the other way when it came to the less palatable aspects. For others it was a genuine excuse to indulge in brutality.


Of course, Germany wasn't alone. Britain had it's own anti-semitism and even its own 'Crystal Night'. Yet in Germany the actions were sanctioned by the the will of the Government.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance
This is why I said that Ilsa is a true Nazi character, and not one of the charicatures that we've seen in media since the war's onset.

You mean 'Elsa', as opposed to 'Ilsa' (She-Wolf of the SS). There was no 'true' Nazi character. (Speak to Dr. Tyree on that subject).

'Caricatures' such as Major Toht existed. Monsters such as Oskar Dirlewanger. And there existed those who became more conflicted, such as Oskar Schindler, whom Spielberg celebrated in film. He was an opportunistic Nazi Party member before he turned to helping Jews escape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance
She used the party in precisely the way the party advertised itself to be used. She was also a high-ranking party member, hence her invitation to Hitler's rally. This was explicitly stated in the movie.

Point me to the evidence that Elsa was a Party member, because I've looked and never found it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance
In other words, we're forgetting the Ilsa hadn't yet directly faced the evil of the Nazis just yet, because they haven't happened.

You should really read some firsthand accounts of 1930s Germany before jumping to conclusions like that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance
She had no problems actually going to the rally, for instance, but was in tears once she was there. She was facing confliction with herself about her obsession, her loyalty, and her admirations to the "Jones Boys" who obviously really hated the side she had chosen.

We know nothing of her loyalty to the Party, but we know much about her obsession with the Grail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance
Note that when the Ark is found, the relationship between Vogel and Belloq reverses to where Belloq is clearly the man in charge...

You mean Dietrich. The situation there is clear. Belloq was the archaeological expert. Dietrich was the officer commanding the force protecting the find, who begrudgingly deferred certain repsonsibilities to the Frenchman.

Last edited by Montana Smith : 06-07-2012 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:12 AM   #155
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Montana, your posts are always a treat to read because it certainly appears you know your stuff on this one!

I voted Elsa cuz she's the hottest. Plain and simple.

But I'm glad there are people like you who vote and defend for other reasons.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:52 PM   #156
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Originally Posted by Montana Smith
Hitler was not considered a progressive force by those who suffered under his policies. The concentration camp at Dachau opened in 1933, the year Hitler became Chancellor. Within a few years it had a terrible reputation.

We could go on at length on this tangent, but the main reason Hitler and is regieme were able to do the things they did in the early 1930s is that no one wanted to believe the extremism. (There are many, many examples of this today...)

Simply put, It's amazing and horrifying what people will turn their blinders to when they, themselves, are comfortable. In Elsa's case, she was simply 'away' on her missions and quests for the Grail - easily enabling her to avoid confronting the evils of the regieme head on - until she was dragged to Berlin and saw it first hand. (Though, this is an anachronism, as the major book burning rallies would be a year or so later...)

Quote:
People supported the NSDAP for a variety of reasons. For some it meant accepting the benefits and looking the other way when it came to the less palatable aspects. For others it was a genuine excuse to indulge in brutality.

As I said, people joined the party to get what the party promised them. While this is true of much of any political party, the Nazis really rewarded ambition to a much more blatant degree. This at once made them very powerful, and eventually irredemably evil.

Quote:
There was no 'true' Nazi character. (Speak to Dr. Tyree on that subject).

I meant that Elsa was more realistic as a person than what we usually see in post-war features. Yes, there were monsters, and many of them, but the vast majority of Germans were not. Many simply found their place in the machine - willingly or no. The fact that Elsa was shown a little more sympathetically than most (but, really, only a little) doesn't really alleviate that she chose to be a Nazi. Though it may not have been a well informed choice.

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Point me to the evidence that Elsa was a Party member, because I've looked and never found it.

She's in the 'party box' at Hitler's rally. You are not there if you're not a member of the party, and a respected one at that.

Quote:
You should really read some firsthand accounts of 1930s Germany before jumping to conclusions like that.

I have, but perhaps I should have said "to the degree". Nazi Germany hadn't quite fallen into the moral abyss just yet, but it was clearly on its way. Most of the world was still in denial about what was happening (check out the NYT articles of the 1935-1937 period) and what was to come... This would, of course, change very quickly.

Really, at this point, there's more of a problem with the scenes in Venice in the movie. Musolinni's Italy wasn't exactly a welcome place to go adventuring, either...

Quote:
You mean Dietrich. The situation there is clear. Belloq was the archaeological expert. Dietrich was the officer commanding the force protecting the find, who begrudgingly deferred certain repsonsibilities to the Frenchman.

Right, mixed up my stock-German-commanders there. But, yes, my point was just to illustrate that Belloq and Elsa weren't really the same sort of character.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:43 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by Vance
In Elsa's case, she was simply 'away' on her missions and quests for the Grail - easily enabling her to avoid confronting the evils of the regieme head on - until she was dragged to Berlin and saw it first hand. (Though, this is an anachronism, as the major book burning rallies would be a year or so later...)

Book burnings date back to the May 1933 "Action against the Un-German Spirit" during which students held pro-Nazi demonstrations.

http://suite101.com/article/fighting...urning-a369790

Quote:
...attendance at the book burning was mandatory. All who were personally invited and neglected to attend were penalized in various ways.

“This invitation to the book burning in Munich outlines the order of events: invitees ‘must arrive at the designated area at precisely 11 p.m. At 11 p.m. the torchlight procession of the entire Munich Students Association will be arriving. 1. The united bands will play parade music 2. The festivities will begin at 11 with the song "Brothers, Forward!" 3. Speech by the leader of the German Students Association Kurt Ellersiek 4. Burning of the nation-corrupting books and journals 5. Group sing-along of ... songs’. Landeshauptstadt München, Stadtarchiv”


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance
She's in the 'party box' at Hitler's rally. You are not there if you're not a member of the party, and a respected one at that.

That's interesting, because I just looked at the stills from those scenes. And I've finally spotted the evidence that she was a Party Member!





For once the props department didn't use the Gold version. I don't know if it's possible to read the legend on the badge, since there were very similar non-Party NSDAP supporter pins. Though the chances of one of those being used is highly unlikely.

It is significant, however, that she is only seen wearing the Party Badge when she's compelled to do so. Away from Hitler she doesn't wear it. Not even in Vogel's presence. Her association is for a specific reason, which has nothing to do with politics, but with opportunity. Hitler serves her need to claim the grail for herself.

Her material allegiance is confined only to the one specific occasion in the film where she couldn't be seen otherwise.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance
I have, but perhaps I should have said "to the degree". Nazi Germany hadn't quite fallen into the moral abyss just yet, but it was clearly on its way. Most of the world was still in denial about what was happening (check out the NYT articles of the 1935-1937 period) and what was to come... This would, of course, change very quickly.

The German State was deep in the moral abyss from the moment Hitler became chancellor. As he affirmed his grip on power and spread his influence and orders throughout every aspect of German life the people were in an almost impossible situation. Some made the best of it, some resisted as best they could, and some indulged their vices with newfound freedom.

As you say, many outside (and within) Germany were in denial of the real and impending situation.

The November 1938 edition of Homes and Gardens ran a feature on the Berghof:



]



The article mentions Mein Kampf, but passes no judgement. It writes of the Berhof "set amid an unsophisticated peasantry". Class and anti-Communism feature heavily in the denial of the Hitler's mistreatment of his own people, and of those within the claimed territories before his invasion of Poland.

Compared to Belloq and Donovan, Elsa appears to be the least reprehensible and the most conflicted.

Belloq had a history of crossing moral boundaries, to whom murder was an acceptable option. Donovan was an early member of the Nazi Party. Elsa is obsessed to the point where the separation of right and wrong is almost impossible.


Just noticed the caption to the last picture: a tiny hint of anti-German sentiment leftover from the end of the Great War: Hitler's German Shepherd is referred to as an "Alsatian".

Last edited by Montana Smith : 06-09-2012 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:13 AM   #158
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Elsa Schneider, the enigma.

Elsa is quite the enigma, giving us only subtle hints, but never any solid answers to the secrets she held in heart. As I've stated earlier, "she was playing a very dangerous game of deception", but it is easy to debate about the limits of that deception. In a very compelling presentation, Vance has brought to our attention that Elsa could never have been at the party rally had she not been an accepted member of the Nazi party. However, speaking for myself, Vance's evidence only compounds the enigma. Why does she weep at the book burning? Certainly as an archeologist she must feel the incredible loss of knowledge contained in the books, but is it something more universal? She told Indy, "I believe in the Grail, not the swastika.". This single line speaks volumes to my ears and tells me more about her true character while her actions purposely mislead us. The swastika was the symbol for the ideological blueprint for the New World Order- a symbol of repression, intolerance, and destruction and clearly Elsa was at odds with it. Henry Senior remarked, "The quest for the Grail is not about archeology, it's a race against evil. If it is captured by the Nazis, the armies of darkness will march all over the face of the earth.". Elsa most certainly believed this as well. She emphatically believed in the power of the Grail, for she knew that tricking Donovan into drinking from the false Grail would permanently remove him from the equation. As I stated earlier, Donovan sent the Grail diary to Berlin as a gift to Hitler, but Elsa denied it to the Fuhrer and kept it close to her own heart. Without the map that lead to the location of the Holy Grail, the diary was a useless curiosity to the Nazis, so why should she keep it? Because it was a symbol of a divine quest that she shared with the Jones boys and the Holy Crusaders- a recorded link to her fellow seekers. I think the ultimate truth in the enigma of Elsa's true desires are to be found in the subtleties of her words and her expressions that each of us can interpret in our own way. Allison Doody was such a superb actress that she toys with us. Her eyes show such great expressions of love, avarice, fear, joy- a roller coaster of emotions that created this enigma that we are all trying to decipher. She would be pleased to know that she gave us a unique quest of our own. Thank-you, Allison Doody.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:43 AM   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
Book burnings date back to the May 1933 "Action against the Un-German Spirit" during which students held pro-Nazi demonstrations.

I knew that they had them earlier, but I didn't think that the "festival rallies" (with Hitler making them a major party event) happened until shortly before the war itself. Consider me corrected. (That's why I come here. I learn things!)

Quote:
That's interesting, because I just looked at the stills from those scenes. And I've finally spotted the evidence that she was a Party Member!

Her official bio has her as an 'up and coming star' of the Nazi party as well. But, really, even without the badge, the deference shown to her by the soldiers should have been a clue. :P

Quote:
It is significant, however, that she is only seen wearing the Party Badge when she's compelled to do so. Away from Hitler she doesn't wear it. Not even in Vogel's presence.

She's a civilian operative, and a 'spy' at that (though I'll use the term a little loosely at this point). The Jones, by this point, have a staunch anti-Nazi reputation, so her wearing the pin through most of the movie would have just been dumb - which she is clearly not.

There's no real reluctance to join the Nazis for her, and she only once shows regret about it (though it is profound). The rest of the time, she was happily playing along with them, even when it included killing two men that she professed affection for.

Quote:
Her material allegiance is confined only to the one specific occasion in the film where she couldn't be seen otherwise.

Other than Henry calling her one and Elsa's confirmation?

Like I said, the real problem is that most of the time Nazis are protrayed as either thugs or evil masterminds. We don't see too many of the conflicted characters that actually made up most of the Nazi ranks. Elsa was envisioned as the femme-fatale for Indy in this movie, but she was made more symathetic (probably to explain why Indiana would have a soft spot), adding a lot more depth than normal.

If the character had lived, she likely would have indeed defected at the war's onset, or would have suffered one of the early political 'purges'. Certainly she was in anguish about what she was seeing in Berlin, and it was pretty clear that she didn't want to be in Berlin. But she was not absolved of her sins, of course, which is why she died in a very pulp way, refusing to leave the treasure behind...

Quote:
The German State was deep in the moral abyss from the moment Hitler became chancellor.

Keep in mind that I'm in no way saying the Nazis were ever a force for good. Clearly they were not (which is a lot of the point of my conversation here). I'm only saying that the depths of depravity that we take for granted in our literature now were only hinted at for most people, in the 1933-1937 years. If you were an American, the only alarming thing that the news would talk about was Germany's re-armament. Most eyes were on the Pacific, for good reason.

Europe was trickier. The evidence of what was coming was undeniable, and Nazi activities were growing in both brazenness and cruelty. Yet, most of Europe's press simply wouldn't cover it and even many German citizens (outside of the Berlin area, in particular) were only seeing hints as the worst of things was primarily kept to Party activities.

Only "Crystal Night" made the impact in the press that was required... and that was in November 1938. The evils of Germany were now no longer deniable, and even the New York Times, which had openly been sympathetic to Nazis until this point, had to change tune.

But, of course, anyone who was really paying attention knew that it was already coming, and worse was down the road... but by that time...

Quote:
The article mentions Mein Kampf, but passes no judgement. It writes of the Berhof "set amid an unsophisticated peasantry". Class and anti-Communism feature heavily in the denial of the Hitler's mistreatment of his own people, and of those within the claimed territories before his invasion of Poland.

I suspect (though this comparison is a bit unfair) that it's a bit like "Dreams of My Father". Many people bought the book to support the Party, but few people who owned it ever bothered to read it - much less understand it.

Quote:
Compared to Belloq and Donovan, Elsa appears to be the least reprehensible and the most conflicted.

Belloq was a mercenary. He was hired to the Nazis to do a job, and Belloq was happy to take the money and fame - and the Ark too, if he could get away with it. He always refers to the Nazis as 'them' and clearly sets himself apart from them. Had he lived, though, he would have been a Mercenary for the Vichy... there was a certain amount of French pride in him, after all, but he wouldn't help France without coin. He would take Nazi money right up until the invasion of France, though.

Donovan would be a Nazi outright if the party had attained mass in the United States. With his personality, he was a part of them, though he maintained his 'independence' in the way many party leaders did. I think they were going for a "Lindburgh" style association here, but Lindy was never that much of a sympathizer.. and Donovan wasn't shown with any sympathetic traits.
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:00 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by foreverwingnut
Why does she weep at the book burning? Certainly as an archeologist she must feel the incredible loss of knowledge contained in the books, but is it something more universal? She told Indy, "I believe in the Grail, not the swastika."

Like I said, I think that the rally serves as a powerful emotional shock to Elsa. Her initial reluctance to go the rally shows that she, at some level, knew what these events were like, but she was keeping herself from confronting them directly. She gets there and it's tough for her, hence her sought-after moment of silence.

Then, of course, Henry Junior, filled with rage and disgust, stands in front of her. This is the confrontation that she just can't handle and breaks down. She wanted the stand for the grail, but didn't understand what it meant. But it's not until this point that she refutes the Swastica openly, and it's clearly hard for her. (This is a great scene for Allison, and really makes Elsa a more complete character. Without it, she would have just have been a femme fatale spy.)

The most telling point about the whole thing is that Elsa goes from wanting the grail for herself to wanting to share it with Indy. It wasn't even about the glory anymore for her, but the achivement of her dream, and she wanted to share that. But, like I said above, she was fated at this point to atone for her sins, dying by being unable to let go of the treasure.

Interestingly, one of the adventure games for Last Crusade has it so you can save Elsa by catching the Grail with the whip and returning it to the Grail Knight. She defects to England (which was not at all unusual in 1938) just in time for the war to begin.
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:49 AM   #161
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Well said, Vance. I've only been on The Raven for a short time but I must admit that this particular topical discussion has been my favorite so far. This discussion has shined a spotlight on a very complex character- arguably the most complex in the Indy universe. On a lighter note, I'd like to add that Allison Doody could easily have been one of the sirens of the war-time era. She has a very old-fashioned beauty. Her starry-eyes, high cheek bones, and slendor face are reminiscient of the pin-up stars like Lauren Bacall or Rita Hayworth. As an artist, I'm suddenly inspired to paint a tasteful, cheesecake pose of her if time permits. A black-and-white still of Elsa reclined over the hood of a Bentley perhaps.
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:33 AM   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance
I knew that they had them earlier, but I didn't think that the "festival rallies" (with Hitler making them a major party event) happened until shortly before the war itself. Consider me corrected. (That's why I come here. I learn things!)

Here are a couple of photos from the first Nazi book burning:


Quote:
Joseph Goebbels, German propaganda minister, speaks on the night of book burning. Berlin, Germany, May 10, 1933.


Quote:
Students and members of the SA unload books deemed "un-German" during the book burning in Berlin. The banner reads: "German students march against the un-German spirit." Berlin, Germany, May 10, 1933.

http://www.ushmm.org/outreach/en/art...uleId=10007677



My real issue with your earlier post was with two points that you appeared to be making:

1) That the evils of the Nazi state weren’t apparent by 1938.

2) That there was a “true Nazi character”.


In your subsequent posts you've elaborated on those remarks, and I understand what you were getting at.



I still stand by my view of Elsa, minus, of course, her wearing of the Party badge! Not having found that in the usual selection of screencaps, I went to VP's library of large scale screenshots to see it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiffy
Indyland is scattered with obsessives driven by the need to acquire some artifact or other. They align themselves with the faction they imagine might assist them best.

Belloq despised Hitler and his Nazis, which is made especially evident in the novelization

...

Belloq used the Nazis for his own ends.

I see Elsa in the same situation, only her obsession is much more deeply entrenched than Belloq's. For Belloq the Ark is a quest propelled by ambition - just as it is for Indy. The fortune and glory of the goal itself.

With Elsa it's much more a need that she cannot deny. Whereas Belloq took full precautions (or so he thought) when opening the Ark, Elsa was incapable of detaching herself from the object that gripped her mind. She would follow that quest to the death because at that point in her life there was nothing else.

...

It was no surprise that she put her trust in the Nazis. She was Austrian, as was Hitler. The Anschluß had taken place in March 1938. No doubt Hitler had sought out her expertise just as much as she'd sought his assistance in forming an expedition to find her Grail.

The issue of the badge actually re-affirms my feelings. Whereas Donovan sports his at every opportunity outside of America, Elsa only wears it when compelled. If she were a proud Nazi she would be displaying her support even in the desert, where even the SS are incorrectly wearing armbands on their regular army (Heer) field uniforms.











And for fun, here's something else that I just noticed.

In New York Donovan wears a red carnation in place of the badge. It's only significant in the context of the later scenes, with red being a potent Nazi colour, and a red carnation often symbolizing passion:



And to throw the viewer off the scent, Kazim also wears a red carnation:



(Also, when the Crusaders were stricken with plague in the 13th century they mixed the leaves of carnations with wine and drank it to control the fever).

To throw the audience even further off the scent Indy picks a white rose to give to Elsa, which has connotations of purity and innocence, but also of secrecy:






It may mean nothing, but I like the idea of the subtle symbolism.
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:45 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by Montana Smith
Here are a couple of photos from the first Nazi book burning:

I've been reading about Goebels lately (as I'm writing some pulp stuff for myself), and it's an interesting character. A very powerful man who was very obviously insecure in that power - a lot of his (for lack of a better word) antics were of his own design, apparently including the Kristalnacht announcement itself!

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2) That there was a “true Nazi character”.

I just meant a more 'realistic portrayal' of a Nazi rather than the charicatures that we were usually getting in movies, and so on. My apologies if my statements sounded like anything else. I certainly didn't mean to say "true Nazi character" as a sort of ideal!

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I still stand by my view of Elsa, minus, of course, her wearing of the Party badge! Not having found that in the usual selection of screencaps, I went to VP's library of large scale screenshots to see it.

I think that after Berlin (and thus in the desert scenes), she didn't really consider herself a Nazi anymore, but was too deep into her own mess. Certainly at that point, she was no longer a proud Nazi, and was quite willing to escape it all with Indy, provided she had the Grail too, of course.

Before that, though, she clearly was major party member, but wouldn't be wearing the badge since she was meant to be a plant for the Jones.

This, then, would leave the only scenes for her to have the badge on to be the castle upon the Jone's capture (which seems unlikely due to lack of time) and Berlin itself, where she did have the badge on.
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:59 AM   #164
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I think that after Berlin (and thus in the desert scenes), she didn't really consider herself a Nazi anymore, but was too deep into her own mess. Certainly at that point, she was no longer a proud Nazi, and was quite willing to escape it all with Indy, provided she had the Grail too, of course.

Before that, though, she clearly was major party member, but wouldn't be wearing the badge since she was meant to be a plant for the Jones.

This, then, would leave the only scenes for her to have the badge on to be the castle upon the Jone's capture (which seems unlikely due to lack of time) and Berlin itself, where she did have the badge on.

Yes, she didn't wear the badge early on for the same reasons that Donovan didn't in New York. They would have been made well aware from Indy's 1936 adventure that he 'hates those guys'!

There's something else though. The comical manner in which Henry Sr. revealed his brief relationship with Elsa may also reveal more about her feelings:

Quote:
Indiana Jones: How did you know she was a Nazi?
Professor Henry Jones: She talks in her sleep.

I took it that her alliance with the Nazis was disturbing to her. Maybe giving her nightmares, or causing her to talk in her sleep as she wrestles with her conscience.



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Originally Posted by Vance
Her official bio has her as an 'up and coming star' of the Nazi party as well.

As somebody pointed out to me a few years ago, the Indiana Jones Wiki generally comes to The Raven for its information.

Last edited by Montana Smith : 06-09-2012 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:07 PM   #165
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carnations

The possible symbolism of the colors of the carnations, Monty, is really intriguing. I don't know if symbolism was intended or Spielberg just had an over-zealous florist, but there are definately a lot of carnations in Last Crusade. There are white and pink carnations as centerpieces on all the dining tables of the zeppelin. The man referred to as Panama Hat wears a red carnation in both eras. I've always found it interesting, too, that Young Indy wears a red scout patch over his heart in opposition to Herman's silver badge. This may all just be an artistic use of bold and contrasting colors to compliment the composition, however, as carnations are found in Temple of Doom, too. In the Obi-Wan Club, Indy is wearing a red carnation in contrast to the white carnations of Lao's consortium. Still, if ever there is hidden symbolism to be found in an Indy film, it's Last Crusade, such as the animal symbols of the Six Degrees of Awareness as described in the novel.

Last edited by foreverwingnut : 06-09-2012 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:04 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by foreverwingnut
The possible symbolism of the colors of the carnations, Monty, is really intriguing. I don't know if symbolism was intended or Spielberg just had an over-zealous florist, but there are definately a lot of carnations in Last Crusade. There are white and pink carnations as centerpieces on all the dining tables of the zeppelin. The man referred to as Panama Hat wears a red carnation in both eras. I've always found it interesting, too, that Young Indy wears a red scout patch over his heart in opposition to Herman's silver badge. This may all just be an artistic use of bold and contrasting colors to compliment the composition, however, as carnations are found in Temple of Doom, too. In the Obi-Wan Club, Indy is wearing a red carnation in contrast to the white carnations of Lao's consortium. Still, if ever there is hidden symbolism to be found in an Indy film, it's Last Crusade, such as the animal symbols of the Six Degrees of Awareness as described in the novel.

Maybe a thread on hidden symbolism is in order?
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:00 AM   #167
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MontanaSmith, I agree that a new thread is in order. I realized we were getting off topic here by heading down a very different road, but it was too compelling to obey the "WRONG WAY" sign. I had started a thread called "Six Degrees of the Grail Quest", which began a very short discussion about imagery and symbolism. Could we continue there or would you like to start an entirely new thread?
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:18 AM   #168
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MontanaSmith, I agree that a new thread is in order. I realized we were getting off topic here by heading down a very different road, but it was too compelling to obey the "WRONG WAY" sign.

It's hard staying on topic with something like Indy, because there are so many directions it can go. You never know where it'll end up.

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Originally Posted by foreverwingnut
I had started a thread called "Six Degrees of the Grail Quest", which began a very short discussion about imagery and symbolism. Could we continue there or would you like to start an entirely new thread?

A thread with an all-encompassing title might offer more of a chance. For example, I remember Stoo mentioning the Masonic devices in Donovan's apartment. There are probably lots of such instances throughout the movies. Some intentional, and some we could at the very least assign to the sub-conscious!

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Old 06-22-2012, 09:21 AM   #169
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I picked Marion for a few reasons:
1) She is the girl Indy ends up marrying
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:32 AM   #170
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Marion...hands down.

Karen Allen was perfect in that roll and has left her mark as being the ultimate Bond...I mean Indy Girl.

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Old 06-27-2012, 08:01 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by qwerty
If you would meet all three in real life wich one would you choose? Beware that all the women would come with their movie personalities.
For a long time I thought it would be Marion but I saw the TV movie King Solomons Mines and that changed my mind a little bit. In that movie Alison Doody looks preaty fine. And it is made 15 years after TLC.
I am gonna be shallow and say Elsa.

I have only discovered this thread (started in 2006 - most users from that time are already cybercorpses here ) because of the most recent and utmost interesting posts by Monty, Vance and Wingnut. To me, it is as much a jewel as the Remaining Jewish and Christian Relics and Cliffhangers - Republic Pictures threads - reasons why I like hanging out here .

Mostly thanks to the entertaining musings and hardcore research on page 7 here, I will try not to be as shallow as the admitting OP from Serbia, and choose Elsa: not solely because of her physique and style, and despite purportedly not liking blondes (as I am being reassured quite often), or indeed any phantasma dreaming about the Ilsa side of her, but because her characterisation is surprisingly complex, very substantial and multifaceted, and much deeper than it would have been necessary for a genre film like any "Indiana Jones".

I deem her to be quite a good metaphor for the choices people had at their disposal at their respective levels both in Germany, Europe and abroad during the late 1930s on how to position oneself vis-à-vis the NSDAP-in-power and lead one's life, and the consequences this would bring upon them and others (just looking at the small and societally not too relevant field of archaeology, we can think of the biographies of Otto Rahn, Gero von Merhart and Paul Jacobsthal). Elsa's choice is probably much more representative and "common" of the decisions many people made for themselves at that time than is discussed or acknowledged today. The discourse nowadays is mentally imprisoned between "Hitler porn"-type television/movie programming on one side, and on the other side important attempts to make sense of the unfathomable horrors of Nazism, which, however, leave Hannah Arendt's 'banality of evil' out of discussion or even consideration because a simplified dramatising of this era makes it easier to grapple this topic. (I am looking at you, "England"... )

If you dive a little bit into the Elsa Schneider character(isation), the elegance of it, what in German could be referred to as "innere Stimmigkeit', becomes apparent. I think it's fair to speculate that this was intended by Spielberg and Boam (who also adapted Dead Zone for Cronenberg), and that a nucleus for Spielberg's later and more mature examination of the Nazi spectre might already be seeded here. In an interview (which I cannot reference right now ) he once said that the Nazi portrayals in his earlier movies were too operetta-like and inappropriate.

I must say my choice is a bit of a surprise to me, as Marion is a quite obvious choice for the Indy fan. But following this thread, when contrasted with Elsa, Marion is suddenly somewhat lacking - not only does she not live up to her own grandiose Nepal exposition when it comes to the latter parts of ROTLA, but KOTCS devoids her of the best chance to be portrayed and mentally imprinted as a much more profound character. All the added dimensions that are given to her - the out-of-wedlock love child, the tragic "rescueing" marriage, the quasi-marital Oxley relationship, the second "we'll meet again" with Indy happening in context of a dramatic fight for life... I mean... is the driving an amphicar and being more Willie–than–Nepal-Marion all that Lucas could create for a character like her?

Anyway...
if I had to choose to meet one of the three in real life, Elsa would be the most interesting. Not so sure if I would go to an "encore", though... the topic of ethics might be quite a downer between us.

"Just another day at the office"


Edit: typos and grammar

Last edited by Archaeos : 06-27-2012 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:25 PM   #172
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Good post, Archaeos.

I like the cut of your jib!

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Old 08-04-2012, 07:26 PM   #173
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Good post, Archaeos.

I like the cut of your jib!




And I like the cut of your new avatar, Monty.



Will take me donkey years to see the inner dog of you when I look out for your post, though.

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