Young Indiana Jones 1.4 – Paris, 1908

I think this is the only occasion in all of Young Indiana Jones where the chronology of the stories was rearranged to make the compilation movies. The three European segments originally took place prior to their trip to British East Africa, but after they were re-edited, they met Roosevelt first and then went back to Paris, Vienna, and Florence. The story was written by Reg Gadney and was one of four Corey Carrier episodes to air on ABC during the summer of 1993, just after the network had finally given up and was burning off stories. ABC also required that one of the scenes in this episode was censored when it was shown. French actress Nathalie Cardone has a short nude scene as her character models for Picasso. The broadcast version has a table in front of her.

I really enjoyed this one when it was shown and still think it’s quite good, my favorite of the four we’ve seen so far. In it, Indy and Miss Seymour bump into an American kid, fifteen year-old Norman Rockwell, while visiting the Louvre. Indy and Norman conspire to get away from the tutor, and witness Degas and Picasso having a spirited argument in a cafe. Rockwell defends Degas’s honor after the master has left, and Picasso decides to show them a thing or two about art.

Picasso paints an imitation Degas and conspires to get the old man to sign it as one of his own, while at the same time he doesn’t see anything wrong with putting his own signature to Rockwell’s sketch of his own, as yet unexhibited, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Very amusing hijinks ensue, including a brawl at a cafe, a chase through a graveyard, and cameo appearances by Henri Rousseau, Gertrude Stein, and Alice B. Toklas, because Indiana Jones has to meet everybody in the 20th Century.

Our son was polite. He certainly didn’t love this, and he was incredibly worried for Indy when he snuck out and traveled across the rooftops to get to Picasso’s party, but the fight pleased him, and he loved the use of a fake ghost to drive off some troublemakers. Plus, Picasso was enough of a nut to go around firing pistols into the ceiling, so the show had enough punctuations to keep his interest.

Above, that’s Lukas Haas as Rockwell, which I think is great casting. Haas was probably best known then for his role in Peter Weir’s film Witness when he was about nine. As Picasso, there’s a face who is very familiar to anybody my age who was watching music videos for hours a day in the early eighties. Danny Webb was that stockbroker-type guy having a horrible, horrible day in Yes’s clip for “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” He’s had almost two hundred bigger and better roles since, but some music video parts are just iconic for the generation that wanted their MTV. Just ask those three girls who drove around in ZZ Top’s old Ford.