only the pennington man shall pass


The above was spoken by Mike Barnett shortly before the Raiders' dismantling of the New York Jets in their recent playoff game. Chad Pennington is the New York quarterback, failing miserably in the contest, and the line references the instructions given to Indiana Jones in the climactic final moments of "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade."

The game continued, the Raiders kept amassing points and rushing yardage, and our conversation turned naturally to the subject of Indiana Jones. Much like the Raiders, Indy is an unstoppable force. And also like the Raiders, Indy is getting up there in years. In fact, the final sequence in "Last Crusade" seems designed to disguise Harrison Ford's advancing age (he was 47) and lack of mobility. He passes the first challenge by remembering, "Only the penitent man shall pass," and then kneeling down. The second challenge is solved by spelling the name of God in Greek. His supposed "leap from the lion's head" involves Indy simply falling and landing on an invisible bridge. All told, these stunts could have been performed by Harrison Ford, ex-president Gerald Ford, or ex-Beatle George Harrison without much decline in effectiveness.

After completing these "challenges," Indy is given a task that only a sufficiently cultured, middle-aged man can do properly - pick out wine glasses. No young man would have the patience and experience to select the true Grail. Plus, Harrison Ford doesn't have to run or jump.

Plans are reportedly in the works for a fourth Indiana Jones movie. Right now, Harrison Ford is 60 years old. The action sequences are going to have to be scaled down a great deal to accomodate his age and infirmity.

Young Nubile Adventureress: Indy, the Nazis have flown the ancient relic back to Germany! How are we going to find the cash to pay for our plane tickets?
Indy: I can cash in my IRA. By the way, it's much better to begin a Roth IRA when you're young, so you can avoid many income tax penalties.
Young Nubile Adventuress: Kiss me.

Sallah: What's wrong, Indy?
Indy: (clutches chest) Having... heart attack... pills...
Sallah: They're right over there, Indy. Behind that nest of snakes.
Indy: (gasping) I... hate... snakes. And... saturated...fat.

Short Round: No time for another trip to the restroom, Doctor Jones! We gotta move!
Indy: My greatest challenge is ahead of me now, Short Round.
Short Round: What is it? We gotta fly rickety biplane over mountains? Fight a troop of Gestapo soldiers using bare hands? Ride pushcart through elaborate mine?
Indy: Tougher than that. I have to find where I left my car keys.


Oh I **LOVE** getting an indirect reference!

I have to commend you for your sensative address of two defining films for any child of the 1970s/1980s: Back to the Future and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. However, I feel one film that you've failed to address thusfar in this forum is Superman III (although it isn't a last of a trilogy). Compared to the others in the francise, this is the quintessential film for the end of the millenium. The idea of an intricate bank fraud that's even referred to in Office Space; Good Superman v. Bad Superman; Face of Fire, Richard Pryor; Lana Lang, who now plays Mrs. Kent on the tv show Smallville; and of course, Christopher Reeves, the greatest Superman ever, who also faces possibly the worst fate imaginable for a super man. All of these things go through my head each time I watch Superman III. And it is one, two, three roman numeral I's in the title.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on January 19, 2003 1:30 PM.

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