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Charlton Heston: The First Indiana Jones?


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Posted Apr 8th 2008


I found this interesting little article at "Cinematical.com" & I thought I would share it with my movie friends! Being the Charlton Heston & Indiana Jones fan, I this is 1 film int he Heston cannon I haven't seen, after reading this article (& doing my own movie research) I would very much like to see this film...hmmmmmmm...??!!!



Noted in Dave Kehr's blog: commenting on the death of the great Heston, the long-memoried expert on pre Star Wars film writes "one of Heston's most influential roles remains one of his least known: that of Harry Steele. Dashing though cynical adventurer who wears a fedora and a leather jacket, as he searches for Incan treasure in a manner that distinctly suggests a certain later day hero created by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. The film is Jerry Hopper's 1954 Secret of the Incas and Paramount has been strangely reluctant to release it to TV or DVD ... reportedly, Spielberg and Lucas screened it for members of the production team planning Raiders of the Lost Ark."


One Raiders of the Lost Ark fansite, theraider.net. has already commented: "the atmosphere of the story is so similar that any Indiana Jones fan will be smitten with this film."

Why doesn't Paramount fess up and re-release this? It'd be worth $20 to see Heston as Steele, searching for a jeweled relic in the Inca Temple of the Sun among real life locations in Machu Picchu (as visible above, but here's a better look at the poster). He's up against a first-rate villain (Thomas Mitchell, of Gone With the Wind, Stagecoach, and many other classics). And then there's the matter of the film's discovery, the debuting "bird girl of the Andes" Yma Sumac. Seen here at YouTube (

) demonstrating her world-famous 5 octave pipes in one of her numbers from the film. Don't believe the horrible lie that Yma Sumac is really Amy Camus from Brooklyn!







By Richard von Busack

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I agree. TCM should make an effort to rent a copy of this film. I never saw it when it first came out and I've never seen it on TV.


They almost certainly already have it (along with the rest of Heston's early films, with the exception of THE PRESIDENT'S LADY, RUBY GENTRY, THE PRIVATE WAR OF MAJOR BENSON and BAD FOR EACH OTHER,) as part of the post-1948 package of Paramount films that includes SUNSET BOULEVARD, ROMAN HOLIDAY, SABRINA, STALAG 17, WAR OF THE WORLDS and dozens of others.


It's not that TCM doesn't have the films, it's that the programmers have little or no clue as to their existence or value (and would rather just show us the same Warner's and MGM titles over, and over, and over...)

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