. Rahway, NJ Indy Screening
by Adam McDaniel

Ever the RAIDERS fan, I attended the January 20th festival of the INDY trilogy in Rahway, NJ (coming all the way from Poughkeepsie, NY) -- ... Attending the gala was the author (Lee Pfeiffer) of an upcoming book on Harrison Ford, as well as many Indy-fans interested in prospects of a new film.

The theater itself was undergoing renovations; thus in the beginning it seemed rather disappointing. Rahway, as well, is not one of the better tourist attractions of the area, either...but there still was a generous crowd -- many of whom had come from far away (New Paltz, NY, Brooklyn, ect.) and sported Indy-costumes. The biggest thrill for everyone was the screening of RAIDERS -- it had been 13 years since I'd last seen it in a theater. Everyone was cheering and clapping at thirty second intervals. When TEMPLE OF DOOM came on, I'd say a hearty chunk of the audience had left. LAST CRUSADE was unfortunately the least [enjoyable?] experience -- though the print looked beautiful, there was an audio problem which caused an irritable "hiss" throughout most of the film.

NOW, the BIG NEWS -- though unofficial and still only rumor -- from the voices of the principle players of the festival: Indiana Jones IV will be made, though a specific production date is uncertain (presumably the end of this year). Although there is a vicious rumor suggests a plotline entailing aliens, it is just a guise. The story apparently takes place in the 1950's -- featuring a slightly older, more mature Jones. This is nice, mainly because Ford doesn't have to fear underplaying his age. It also takes place AFTER WWII, leaving some nice possi- bilities for character development in the character by turning a weakness -- the onset of age -- into a strength (a ploy used nicely in STAR TREK II).

KAREN ALLEN, though unofficial, HAS been asked to reprise her role of Marion Ravenwood. Her return will mark a nice romantic storyline between her and Ford, especially since their relationship was the most developed of the films. Because Indy can't seem to keep a steady date any more than the hat on his head, issues of his relationships with women, and inability to "settle down" will be dealt with. Another, though very radical, possibility is a plot of Indy having a child.

Looks like he has had his hands full after taking on Nazi Germany.

Think you need to travel all the way to Peru to find the golden idol of the Goddess of fertility, just as Indy did? Nah! One sure INDY-collector managed to have it -- or, at least, a full-size copy produced from the original mold for the prop in the film -- available for display...the owner kept a close eye on it, and with good reason; who was to say that another INDY buff could run off with it under his arm like a real-life INDIANA JONES?

As I've said, the experience of seeing the films on the large screen again was a great thrill. Included was a prelude, "GREAT MOVIE STUNTS: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK" which was entertaining (for those of you, like me, who own a videocassette copy of the "Making of RAIDERS" double-feature, there were two documentaries dealing with the film. THIS one showed was the one narrated by Harrison Ford, and NOT the PBS documentary.).

Afterward was another thrill: the showing of the trailers. There were two for RAIDERS: the first was for the initial 1981 release, the second -- and very, very stylish trailer for its time -- was made for the 1982 reissue in nationwide theaters. I believe there was one shown for TEMPLE OF DOOM, and two trailers for LAST CRUSADE (the first a pre-release trailer, announcing the completion of principle photography, featuring a documentary clip of Ford stapling the fedora onto his head, saying "Just another day at the office..."; the second the traditional release trailer.)

I showed up to the theater at 2:00 PM, and am not too modest to say that I was the FIRST patron in the theater. One person I met had come from New Paltz, NY (near Vassar College, where I attend)! After a lengthy talk with several INDY fans outside of the theater, I relunctantly mentioned that I had brought -- saved all these years as good luck charms in my attic -- hidden in my pocket, the KENNER RAIDERS' action figures of Indy and Marion. When I held them up embarrassed, little did I realize that five other people had ALSO brought an INDY action figure as well! Small world.

Perhaps the most dedicated fan, however, was not someone who showed up early or sported an INDIANA JONES costume, but a young boy (I could not remember his name....he looked about 12) whom we learned had just had an operation two days before the festival, and was so set on not missing the show that his faithful dad brought him to see it in a wheelchair. An announcer for the festival -- a local radio DJ -- pointed him out in the audience, and the boy was greeting with standing applause.

THAT'S one hell of a movie fan.

Indyfan.com Site Author: Micah Johnson
Page Author: Adam McDaniel
Created: January 1996
Last modified: May 25, 1998