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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


Indiana Jones: Enough is Barely Living Indiana Jones
"Enough is Barely Living"
(Originally TV episode "Florence, May 1908")
(43:04-end on The Perils of Cupid DVD)
Written by Jule Selbo
Directed by Mike Newell
Bookends directed by Carl Schultz
Original air date: October 17, 1993 (Sweden)

The Jones family itinerary takes them to Florence, Italy...where Mrs. Jones is wooed by the great opera writer Puccini.


Read the "November 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 May 1908, in Florence, Italy. (In the The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: The Perils of Cupid TV movie, the events of this episode take place around November 1909 instead, but I am sticking with the original Young Indiana Jones Chronicles timeline for these studies.)


In the episode, Indy says that he and his family were in Florence for a week.


Didja Know?


While this episode was filmed as "Florence, May 1908" for the second season of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, it never aired in the U.S. It was paired with "Vienna, November 1908" to make the TV movie The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: The Perils of Cupid, first broadcast on the Family Channel in September 2000.


I have given this episode the title "Enough is Barely Living" based on a line of dialog by Puccini about the attitude of Italians.


This episode has the credit "Music adapted by Laurence Rosenthal". Though Rosenthal was the regular music composer for the series, he gets an "adapted by" credit here because much of the music is excerpted from Giacomo Puccini's 1895 and 1904 operas La Bohème and Madama Butterfly.


If anyone is able to identify all the architecture, art, and statues seen in Florence in this episode, please let me know so I can update this study (and I'll give you a credit!).


Notes from the Old Indy bookends of The Young Indiana Chronicles


The Old Indy bookends take place in a bar in New Jersey, August 1993.


The female pool player is named Mimi. In the Puccini opera La Bohème seen in this episode there is also a character called Mimi.


In the opening bookend, Old Indy begins his story of Florence, Italy by mentioning the great artists Michelangelo and Botticelli. These were Renaissance artists who lived in Florence.


In the closing bookend, Mimi asks Old Indy if his mother ever saw Puccini again and he says he doesn't think so.


Mimi asks Old Indy if Puccini wrote any more music after that and he tells her he wrote the opera La fanciulla del West, about a woman in the American Old West who gives up her home and friends for the man she loves. This opera premiered in 1910. Indy's story seems to imply that Puccini was inspired to write the opera by his recent infatuation with Anna Jones (though the opera was based on a 1905 play, The Girl of the Golden West, by American playwright David Belasco).  


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

Mimi (female pool player)

male pool player

Helen Seymour

Anna Jones

Henry Jones, Sr.


Professor Reale

Signora Reale

Reale servant

Giacomo Puccini

Elvira Puccini (mentioned only)

Antonio Puccini (mentioned only)

Albina Magi (Puccini's mother, mentioned only, deceased)

Mrs. Schwartz (mentioned only)

Gioachino Rossini (mentioned only, deceased)

Mimi (character in La Bohème)

Marcello/Scharpless (characters in Puccini's operas)

Coline (character in La Bohème)

Mussetta (character in La Bohème)

Schaunard (character in La Bohème)

Rodolfo\Pinkerton (characters in Puccini's operas)

Madame Butterfly (character in Madama Butterfly)

Goro (character in Madama Butterfly)

Suzuki (character in Madama Butterfly)



Didja Notice?


In the Young Indiana Jones: The Perils of Cupid TV movie version of this episode, the train the Jones family takes to Florence has its engine number in mirror-reverse! The film strip was flipped somehow.


At 45:16 on the DVD, the Jones family walks past the La Terrazza cafe in Florence. This seems to be a fictitious restaurant, but la terraza is Italian for "the terrace".


Indy's mother tells him that Florence was considered the center of science and cradle of art during the Renaissance. This is true.


Professor Reale, who hosts Professor Jones in Florence for his lecture, appears to be a fictitious figure.


The Jones family sees a performance of Giacomo Puccini's 1895 opera La Bohème. Writer Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) is seen conducting the orchestra for this performance, but writers do not normally conduct the performances of their operas and there is no record of Puccini having done so. It is particularly unlikely that he would be conducting the performance of this famous play 13 years after its distinguished debut.


Puccini was known as a hopeless womanizer, just as he is projected here.


Puccini takes the Jones family to Ristorante Caronte. This is a fictitious restaurant of the time as far as I can tell.


Indy mentions that most of his family is staying in Florence for the week while his father goes off to Rome to give a lecture.


At 54:27 on the DVD, Miss Seymour tutors Indy in Isaac Newton's first law of motion, that an object at rest stays at rest unless acted upon by a(n outside) force.


Puccini's car is a Horch model, though a mediocre film reproduction of one. Horch was a German automobile manufacturer from 1904-1932 and was the predecessor of Audi.


Puccini says that the first car was invented by Leonardo Da Vinci. Da Vinci (1452-1519) was one of the most noted polymaths of the Renaissance period and he did design an automobile on paper, but it was never built.


   Puccini sings "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" with Indy and his mother. This is a popular American baseball song, but it was only first performed publicly in June 1908 and not recorded until September, so it seems unlikely that the Jones' and, especially, Puccini would know the lyrics in May of that year.

    The song mentions the sweet snack called Cracker Jack


Indy visits the Leaning Tower of Pisa and performs Galileo's experiment of dropping, at the same time, two similar objects of differing weights to see which will hit the ground first, to find that both hit at the same time. Miss Seymour mentions that Aristotle had believed differently. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) is often considered the father of the Scientific Revolution and contributed to astronomy, physics, mathematics, and philosophy. He lived in Pisa from 1589-1592 and is said to have conducted this experiment from the tower with two cannonballs of the same density but differing weights. Aristotle was a brilliant student and then teacher of science, philosophy, and the arts in ancient Greece.


When he learns that Anna was born in Virginia, Puccini remarks that's where the White House is. The White House, of course, is the official home of the U.S. President. The White House is actually located in the federal district called Washington D.C. and not part of any state. The land of the district was formerly part of the states of Maryland and Virginia until 1801 when the district was officially recognized.


Puccini tells Anna that he grew up in Luca, 20 miles from Pisa. This is true.


Puccini mentions that he has a grown son who tries to mitigate the fights Puccini and his wife get into at home. This would be son Antonio Puccini and wife Elvira.


At 1:04:07 on the DVD, Indy, Anna, and Miss Seymour observe a rehearsal of Puccini's Madama Butterfly.


Indy tells Puccini that he took piano lessons from a Mrs. Schwartz who "had a mustache".


At 1:12:22 on the DVD, Indy, Anna, and Miss Seymour visit the Basilica of the Holy Cross, where the great composer Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) is interred.


Puccini tells Anna to meet him at the Boboli Gardens.


    Anna remarks to Miss Seymour that they'll be heading to Paris when her husband gets back from his lecture in Rome. This was probably originally intended as a setup to the next episode, chronologically, "The Perils of Love" ("Paris, September 1908" of The Young Indiana Chronicles) when that episode was originally intended to take place in July 1908. As the known chronology stands, that makes either a long time spent in Paris or the Jones' made two separate visits to that city.


Miss Seymour tells Indy that Galileo, like Copernicus, believed that the earth was not the center of the universe. Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) was a Prussian astronomer and mathematician who postulated that the sun was the center of the universe, which Galileo also subscribed to.


At 1:21:05 on the DVD, a sign in the background at the museum reads Silenzio. This is Italian for "silence".


At the museum, Indy and Miss Seymour walk into Camera 3. Camera is Italian for "room".


At the Caffe del Giglio, Puccini tries to get Anna to go with him to Milan, leaving her husband and son behind for an affair. While there are cafes by that name in Italy, this one in Florence is fictitious as far as I can tell.


At 1:25:45 on the DVD, Miss Seymour tells Indy and his mother she had a splendid supper at a trattoria. A trattoria is a type of casual restaurant in Italy.


The train seen at the station at 1:29:28 on the DVD is engine 423009, which is now in the Czech Railway Museum at Lužná, Czech Republic.


Ironically, Henry arrives back in Florence on the same train that Puccini is boarding to go to Milan. It's a rather contrived way of ending the episode on Anna's decision not to run away with Puccini.


Memorable Dialog


a rather small person.mp3

center of science, cradle of art.mp3

in Italy enough is barely living.mp3

bad habit.mp3

music is a very special language.mp3

who gives up her home and friends for the man she loves.mp3


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