Today, in celebration of completion of week long (hell) benchmark testing, I threw Raiders of the Lost Ark into the DVD player and let my 7th graders experience the awesomeness of Indiana Jones.
I came to the scene where Marion Ravenwood is being held captive and the evil, bespectacled nazi, Major Arnold Toht, (You know, the weird little guy who’s face gets melted off later in th movie by the power of God) has just entered the tent where she is being held.
It has already been made clear that, if nothing else, Majo Toht is a master of coercion (torture) and he’s been assigned the task of convincing Marion to divulge further useful information about where to find the “Well of Souls” where the Lost Ark is located.
Major Toht enters and speaks in his creepy, weird-voice way; hinting at the pain and humiliation he intends for Marion’s near future. All the while, he manipulates a curious contraption made of sticks and chains that is obviously intended to make the movie viewer (and possibly Marion) believe he’s preparing to beat her with nunchucks. However, he ultimately completes his construction only to reveal is actually some kind of travel coat hanger.
While watching this afternoon, I was struck by distinct, clear memory of my dad being particularly tickled by this bit of business. I know that he thought this character was particularly entertaining and I clearly remember him laughing out loud at this part of the movie.
Now, my dad died nearly 20 years ago in 1993. I suppose it is possible that I have this vivid memory from watching a re-run of the movie on TV or even on vhs, but I really can’t remember when this could have happened.
It just always surprises and delights me to come in contact with things that conjure such strong associations with my dad. It makes me miss him and think about all of the good things in my life that I wish he could have been a part.
But, mostly the scene itself just made me smile to remember how much my dad loved that character and that performance. Thanks, Raiders of the Lost Ark!