Indiana Jones is one of the coolest movie characters ever. At times, he seems invincible. Other times, he is completely human and his situation seems helpless. How did George Lucas and Steven Spielberg come up with such a fascinating character? The Smithsonian Channel investigates the real-life adventurers that inspired the 1930’s and 1940’s characters from whom Lucas and Spielberg’s vision developed. The parallels to the character that we know are pretty convincing, to the events that caused one explorer to fear snakes to the Grail-hunter who had a run-in with the Nazis. “The Real Story: Indiana Jones” cannot pinpoint precisely who inspired the Indiana Jones character, but it helps to explain why this fictional character seems so rooted in history.
[Pictured: Regardless of the inspiration behind the character, Harrison Ford was the perfect choice.]