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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


Indiana Jones: Passion for Life Indiana Jones
"Passion for Life"
(Originally TV episode "Paris, September 1908")
(42:48-end on Passion for Life DVD)
Written by Reg Gadney
Story by George Lucas
Directed by René Manzor
Bookends directed by Carl Schultz
Original air date: June 19, 1993

Indy meets the artistic community of Paris, including the volatile genius Pablo Picasso.


Read the "September 1909" entry of the It’s Not the Years, It’s the Mileage Indiana Jones chronology for a summary of this episode


Notes from the Indiana Jones chronology


This episode takes place in September 1908, in Paris, France. (In The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Passion for Life TV movie, the events of this episode take place around September 1909 instead, but I am sticking with the original Young Indiana Chronicles timeline for these studies.) 


Didja Know?


The title of this episode ("Passion for Life") comes from the title of The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Passion for Life, a TV movie repackaged for the Family Channel from the two episodes of the Young Indiana Chronicles "British East Africa, September 1909" and "Paris, September 1908".


   Some new introductory and interstitial scenes were filmed in order to turn this Young Indiana Chronicles episode into the second half of the Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Passion for Life TV movie. Actor Lloyd Owen, portraying Henry Jones, Sr. had worn brown contact lenses to cover his own blue eyes in order to match the eye color of actor Sean Connery (1930-2020)who had played the character earlier in 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade during the first season of the TV series, but did not during the second season and for the new material shot in 1996 for Adventures of Young Indiana Jones TV movies. Hence, we see the senior Jones sometimes with brown eyes, but more often with blue!

    New scenes shot with Little Indy actor Corey Carrier are also noticeable for his contradictory heights between scenes due to much the actor had grown! 


Notes from the Old Indy bookends of The Young Indiana Chronicles


The Old Indy bookends take place in Manhattan, 1993 at an art auction.


Indy tells the woman at the auction about his time as a boy in Paris, mentioning that "back home" Taft had been elected president and Jeff Johnson was the first black heavyweight boxing champion. It seems that Indy's memory is not what it once was. The "young Indy" story of this episode takes place in September 1908 and Taft would not be elected until November. And Jack (not Jeff) Johnson did not become the first black heavyweight boxing champion until December, in a fight against James J. Jeffries.


Notes from The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones


The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones is a 2008 publication that purports to be Indy's journal as seen throughout The Young Indiana Chronicles and the big screen Indiana Jones movies. The publication is also annotated with notes from a functionary of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation, the successor agency of the Soviet Union's KGB. The FSB relieved Indy of his journal in 1957 during the events of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The notations imply the journal was released to other governments by the FSB in the early 21st Century. However, some bookend segments of The Young Indiana Chronicles depict Old Indy still in possession of the journal in 1992. The discrepancy has never been resolved. 


The boxed set of DVDs of the complete The Young Indiana Chronicles TV series has notations and drawings in the storage slot for each disk that suggest they are meant to be excerpts from Indy's journal. Most of these notes and drawings do not appear in the The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones book. Here is the slot image for this episode:


The journal as published skips over this time in Indy's life. In fact, it goes from May 1908 to September 1909...over a year! Are we to believe that Indy made no journal entries that entire time? Perhaps the entries were excised by the Russians for some reason when it was in their possession?




Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Indiana Jones

man at art auction

woman at art auction

Henry Jones, Sr.

Anna Jones

Helen Seymour

organ grinder

Norman Rockwell

Edgar Degas

art store clerk


Pablo Picasso

Fernande Olivier

Georges Braque

hotel inspector

police inspector

cabaret waiter

Louis Blériot (mentioned only)


cemetery night watchman

Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler

Gertrude Stein


Didja Notice?


In the new introductory scene on the boat, Henry, Sr. begins to tell Indy about the wild life of Renaissance artist Benvenuto Cellini before Anna interrupts him to say that perhaps their son can learn about Cellini later in his life and Henry acquiesces. Cellini (1500-1570) was an Italian sculptor, musician, and poet who was known for his active bisexual love life.


The Jones family arrives by boat in Nice, France prior to their train ride to Paris. The sign at the station reads Côte d'Azur, the region of France where Nice lies.


The poster Indy looks at at the station at 44:45 on the DVD has a graphic image of the Eiffel Tower and the words "Nice a Paris Chemin de fer." This is French for "Nice to Paris Railway".


Indy remarks that the Eiffel Tower is the tallest manmade structure on Earth. At the time, this was true.


Henry, Sr. tells Indy his first order of business should be to see the paintings at the Louvre Museum.


The train's fuel car seen at 46:15 on the DVD has SE&CR painted on the side, indicating it was once part of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway of the southeast of England.


At 46:46 on the DVD, Anna says "Merci," as the porter assists her out of the carriage. Merci is French for "Thank you."


The family stays at the Hotel Lepic in Paris. As far as I can tell, this is a fictitious location.


Indy and Miss Seymour see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. The Mona Lisa is a world-famous painting by Leonardo Da Vinci, painted in the 16th Century. It is generally believed to have taken Da Vinci four years to paint , rather than three as stated by Miss Seymour. Miss Seymour's remark that the model for the painting had to sit and smile for three years for it and was entertained by singers and comedians to keep her amused seems rather fanciful, and I have not been able to confirm such a rumor.


Indy and Miss Seymour meet a 14-year old Norman Rockwell at the Louvre. We see that he was making his own sketch of the Mona Lisa. Rockwell (1894-1978) was an American painter and illustrator. I have not been able to confirm whether Rockwell spent any time in France at that age. 


The painting seen at 50:00 on the DVD is An Old Man and his Grandson (1490) by Domenico Ghirlandaio, though the one seen here appears to be a copy or something, because it does not quite match the details of the actual painting! This painting is actually on display at the Louvre.
An Old Man and his Grandson An Old Man and his Grandson
An Old Man and his Grandson (copy?) An Old Man and his Grandson (copy?)


   The painting by Edgar Degas seen at 50:27 on the DVD is L'Absinthe from 1876. At 50:46, we see Women Ironing (1886). Again, the paintings seen here do not look quite like the originals!
   Indy meets Degas (1834-1917) later in the episode.
L'Absinthe L'Absinthe
L'Absinthe (copy?) L'Absinthe


At 52:40 on the DVD, Indy and Norman walk past a sign advertising "Terreur - Vins, Cafe, Liqueurs".  This is French for "Terror -  wines, coffee, liqueurs." Terreur may refer to the Reign of Terror that lasted for about a year (1793-94) of the French Revolution, during which numerous massacres and public executions took place; here it seems a Paris cafe has taken the name.


Walking to the artists' quarter of Paris on Montmartre, Norman remarks to Indy, "Beats New York, huh?" Norman Rockwell spent most of his life in the state of New York. Montmartre is a neighborhood on a hill in Paris; in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, the neighborhood was known as the home of artists and bohemianism.


At 53:00 on the DVD, the words Griffon Papeterie Fondee en 1659 are printed on the glass of the doors of the art store Indy and Norman go into. This is French for "Griffon Stationery Founded in 1659". Griffon Papeterie appears to be a fictitious business.


    Norman shows Indy a sketch he's done of Alphonso Rockwell, saying he was his most famous ancestor, who invented the electric chair. Alphonso Rockwell (1840-1933), a proponent of the use of electricity in medicine, was a consultant on the development of the electric chair, but he did not invent it and, as far as I can tell, he was not a relative of Norman Rockwell. It's possible that Norman is simply pulling Indy's leg, knowing the 9-year old will be thrilled by the thought.

    Norman also tells Indy that his aunts give Bibles to convicts in Sing-Sing. As far as I can tell, this is also untrue. Sing-Sing is a maximum-security prison in New York.


At 53:59 on the DVD, Norman, Indy, and the art shop clerk say "Au revoir" to each other. Au revoir is French for "goodbye".


At 54:15 on the DVD, Indy and Norman go into a restaurant and cabaret called Le Lapin Agile. Although this is a real cabaret in Paris since 1860, the one seen here appears quite different in design from the real one.


At the cabaret, Degas tells Picasso that a number of locals, such as Matisse and Schukin have said that his current art style will destroy him. Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was a Spanish painter and sculptor who lived most of his life in France. Matisse is Henri Matisse (1869-1954), a French painter. Schukin is Sergei Schukin (1854-1936), a Russian businessman and art collector.


Picasso's mistress and studio model seen here is Fernande Olivier (1881-1966).


Picasso shares a studio with Georges Braque (1882-1963), the co-developer of the Cubism art style with Picasso.


When Indy is gone from the hotel for far too long, Miss Seymour contacts the Paris police to report it, telling them the boy is about 10. In the revised timeline of the 2000 TV movie version of this story, he would have been 10 years old. But in the original version of this episode aired as part of The Young Indiana Chronicles from 1993, he would be just 9. It's possible the age she speaks was altered for the movie.


The airplane model Picasso receives from the waiter at the cabaret appears to be a Blériot IX monoplane, though that plane did not fly until July 1909. Louis Blériot (1872-1936) was a French inventor, engineer, and aviator who invented and built the first successful monoplane.


After his illicit night out, Miss Seymour makes Indy read the entirety of Les Miserable. Les Miserable (The Wretched) is an 1862 novel by Victor Hugo, widely considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th Century.


As it gets close to Indy's bedtime, Miss Seymour says "Bonne nuit" to him. This is French for "good night".


At 1:20:33 on the DVD, we see that Picasso's studio door has a lot of notes written directly on it from people who've visited him. Most prominently seen is "Picasso je t'aime, Fernande," which is an "I love you" from Fernande.


1:20:56 on the DVD, a banner hanging at the party reads "Homage a Rousseau", French for "Homage to Rousseau". This refers to Henri Rousseau (1844-1910), a French post-impressionist painter. He is the guest of honor at the party. The party seen here seems to be based on an actual banquet thrown in honor of Rousseau by Picasso where Rousseau says the same words he uses here, "We are the two greatest painters of the time, you in the Egyptian genre, I in the modern genre." But the actual banquet (which became known as Le Banquet Rousseau) was thrown in November 1908, not September as depicted in this episode.


At 1:21:20 on the DVD, Fernande introduces Indy and Norman to a Mr. Kahnweiler, a famous art dealer, Gertrude Stein, and Alice B. Toklas. Kahnweiler remarks here he wanted one of Picasso's cubist paintings. This is Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler (1884-1979). His wish here will come true in a more stupendous manner than he thought when Picasso completed a cubist portrait of him in 1910. Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) was an American writer and art collector; Alice B. Toklas was her long-time lover.


When Picasso shoots his pistol into the celling, Indy exclaims that it's like the Alamo. This is a reference to the Battle of the Alamo Mission (February 23 – March 6, 1836) during the Texas Revolution against Mexico, in which the Texan defenders of the Alamo Mission fought a hopeless battle against the Mexican Army for 13 days.


Rousseau begins to tell a story about a ghost in Paris in which he claims Gaugin and Vincent saw the ghost. Gaugin refers to Paul Gaugin (1848-1903), a French post-impressionist painter, and Vincent to Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), a Dutch post-impressionist painter.


Leo Stein is listed in the closing credits, but was not obviously seen in the episode.  Leo Stein (1872-1947) was the brother of the aforementioned Gertrude Stein and together they owned an art gallery in Paris.


Memorable Dialog


that's what I let her think.mp3


her eyes follow you wherever you go.mp3

it's a pretty dangerous place.mp3

no true artist has a choice.mp3

to give spirit a form.mp3

great title.mp3

I'll have to wait until I'm older to get real excitement.mp3 


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