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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


Indiana Jones: Scandal of 1920 Indiana Jones
Scandal of 1920
TV movie
Written by Jonathan Hales
Directed by Syd Macartney
Original air date: April 3, 1993

Indy celebrates his 21st birthday and falls in love with 3 beautiful women.


Read the "June 1920" and "July 1, 1920" entries 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 New York City in June through July 1, 1920.


Didja Know?


This TV movie was technically never a part of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles TV series, instead airing on the Family Channel in 1993 as Young Indiana Jones and the Scandal of 1920.


The title of this movie refers not so much to a scandal as in public embarrassment, but to George White's Scandals, a series of Broadway revues that were produced yearly from 1919-1939 (though Indy's juggling of three girlfriends without each knowing about the others here could possibly qualify as scandalous!). In this movie, Indy works backstage during the production of White's Scandal of 1920. 


Notes from the Old Indy bookends of The Young Indiana Chronicles


There were no Old Indy bookends for this TV movie.


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 events of this episode are not covered in the journal as published. It is possible additional pages from this time were excised from the journal by the FSB for some reason when it was in their possession. 


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 Lost Journal of Indiana Jones book. Here is the slot image for this episode:

The location of Tin Pan Alley in this "journal entry" is accurate.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Indiana Jones

Margaret "Peggy" Peabody

train conductor

cab driver



Kate Rivers

Jacksons (mentioned only)

Peggy's mother (mentioned only)

Peggy's roommate

housekeeper at Victoria Hotel

Sidney Bechet

Goldie Williams

Horseshoe Lounge house band

George Gershwin

Ted Lewis

Irving Berlin



Ann Pennington


George White



Florenz Ziegfeld (mentioned only)

Julian Darcy

Gloria Schuyler

Horton (Gloria's chauffer)

J. J. Schuyler

Vicious Circle

Alexander Woollcott
Franklin Adams
Dorothy Parker
Harold Ross
Edna Ferber
Beatrice Kaufman
Robert Benchley
George Kaufman


hot dog vendor

Gloria's butler


Gloria's father

Peggy's grandmother (mentioned only)

female blues singer

Bonzo's owner


Ernest Hemingway





Didja Notice?


As the movie opens, Indy is travelling by train from Chicago to New York City for the summer break from college, where his friend, Sidney Bechet, has told him he can easily get a summer job as a waiter. The train Indy rides is actually the Savannah & Atlanta #750 on the New Georgia Railroad. Sidney Bechet (1897-1959), was an African-American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, and composer who went on to fame in the 1940s; he previously appeared in "Mystery of Jazz" and "Mystery of the Blues".


At 1:17 on the DVD, Peggy is reading a copy of Motion Picture magazine. This was a real world magazine published 1911-1977. The issue she's reading is #143, the January 1923 issue, about 2.5 years before it was published!


The song Peggy sings for Indy on the train is "Mary's a Grand Old Name" from the 1906 play Forty-five Minutes from Broadway by George M. Cohan.


The train brings Indy and Peggy to Grand Central Station (actually called Grand Central Terminal) in New York City. They appear to actually be exiting from the Grand Central Station-named post office on Lexington Avenue instead of the actual Grand Central Terminal on 42nd Street (a cross street). The scene was actually filmed at the North Carolina Court of Appeals building in Raleigh, North Carolina.


Peggy tells Indy she is staying at the Victoria Hotel until she can find a boarding house. Later, we see its full name is the Victoria Hotel for Women. This appears to be a fictitious hostel. The building was actually the Market Street Apartments, 420 Market Street, Wilmington, NC (now the Carolina Apartments).


The cab Peggy takes to her hotel at 6:31 on the DVD is a 1920 Ford Model T sedan. The fancy blue car that is seen following after the cab is a 1915 Paige 6-46 Touring Car (this car is also glimpsed driving past Grand Central Station earlier at 5:36).


At 6:39 on the DVD, the Martino Funeral Home is seen in the background. There is currently a Martino Funeral Home in Queens, NY, but the one seen here is probably meant to be fictitious.


The truck Indy catches a ride in the back of is a 1917 Ford Model TT.


Indy learns that his friends, the Jacksons, who were supposed to put him up during his summer stay in New York, have gone to Europe instead without telling him. Some friends! His new friend Kate Rivers lets him stay in her apartment instead.


Indy tells Kate that an ancient Egyptian papyrus in the British Museum reads, "For the scribe there are no taxes. He payeth tribute in his writings." I am unaware of this being a truth in Ancient Egypt. The British Museum was established in 1753 and is one of the most prestigious museums in the world. Kate remarks that she loves that idea about scribes in Ancient Egypt and Indy says, "Yeah, tell it to the Internal Revenue." He refers to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the tax collecting agency of the U.S. government.


Kate asks Indy if Ancient Egyptian religion was based on fertility rituals and he responds that most religions are and he begins to tell her about the Ancient Greek myth of Dionysus. Although many religions have elements of fertility tradition among them, it's a bit broad to say that most religions are based on such rituals. In Greek mythology, Dionysus was the god of ecstasy (as well as wine and intoxication).


At 9:30 on the DVD, a sleeping partygoer at Kate's apartment is clutching a copy of the book Cheiro's Palmistry for All. This is an actual book published in 1916 by Cheiro (Irish astrologer and occultist William John Warner, a popular seer among the celebrity class).


Indy tells Kate that his favorite poet is Shakespeare. William Shakespeare, of course, was an English playwright and poet of the late 16th and early 17th Centuries, usually considered the greatest writer in the English language.


Indy tells Kate that he has a friend from Chicago currently playing clarinet in a restaurant in Harlem. He is referring to Bechet. Harlem is a neighborhood in the Manhattan borough of New York City.


Besides being a poet, Kate also does literary reviews for the Sentinel. As far as I can tell, this is a fictitious periodical.


At 14:37 on the DVD, Bechet is seen to be playing at the Horseshoe Lounge in Harlem. This appears to be a fictitious establishment.


When Indy jams with Bechet's band at the Horseshoe, a fellow named George Gershwin joins in on piano. Gershwin (1898-1937) was an American composer and pianist who became known for his Broadway compositions. At this time (1920) he was working on the aforementioned George White's Scandals, from 1920-1924. The song Goldie sings for this jam is "Swanee", a 1919 song composed by Gershwin with lyrics by Irving Caesar.


At 18:38 on the DVD, the restaurant Indy and Gershwin eat at is called Dinty Moore's. This was an actual restaurant chain in New York that Gershwin frequented. Also seen in this shot are the Palace Hotel and Sebastian's (possibly a night club); these appear to be fictitious establishments.


Gershwin tells Indy at Dinty Moore's that they are in Tin Pan Alley. Tin Pan Alley was the nickname name given to the area of West 28th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in Manhattan; this is where a number of music publishers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries had found inexpensive offices for rent. In these offices, piano players and songwriters would bang out new songs for sheet music publication, the cacophonous din of the pianos sounding like tin pans bashed together, according to some.


The lyrics Gershwin sings after Indy tells him about his feelings for Peggy are from his and Lou Palye's song "Something About Love", from the 1918 play Ladies First. After this, Ted Lewis does an impromptu performance of "When My Baby Smiles at Me" (1920) by Lewis, Bill Munro, and Andrew B. Sterling. Then, Irving Berlin performs his 1919 song "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody".


Gershwin gives Indy an in to get a job (assistant stage manager) at the Globe Theatre, where Scandals of 1920 is being put together, starring Ann Pennington, with music by Gershwin. The Globe (now the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre) opened in 1910 and was the actual Broadway theatre on which Scandals of 1920 opened. Ann Pennington (1893-1971) was an American actress, dancer, and singer known for her roles in both George White's Scandals and the Ziegfeld Follies series of revues. 


The shot of the exterior steps of the Globe Theatre at 23:20 on the DVD are actually the Rudolfinum concert hall in Prague. The interiors were shot at Thalian Hall in Wilmington, NC (with some audience-point-of-views shot in the National Theatre in Prague). The real Globe looked little like the exterior seen here.
Globe Theatre in this episode Actual Globe Theatre in 1920


When Mack asks if Indy has any experience in working in theater, Indy tells him he worked in Diaghilev's Russian Ballet in Barcelona as a eunuch. This was in "Espionage Escapades".


George White (1891-1968) was an American Broadway and film producer and director, actor, choreographer, composer, dancer, dramatist, lyricist, and screenwriter. He produced his Scandals revues from 1919-1939 in response to the success of the similar Florenz Ziegfeld's Ziegfeld Follies that ran original revues from 1907-1936. White even appeared as a performer in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1911 and 1915. Florenz Ziegfeld (1867-1932) was a Broadway producer and financier.


Gershwin invites Indy to a Park Avenue party. Park Avenue is a wide boulevard in New York City that is partially merged with Broadway Street.


Kate goes to a poetry reading, looking forward to hearing Julian Darcy read some of his latest poems. As far as I can tell, Darcy is a fictitious persona.


The song Ann Pennington sings at 34:19 on the DVD is "The Man I Love" by Gershwin and his brother Ira, but it wasn't written until 1924. Pennington here rejects performing the song in Scandals of 1920. In reality, the song was written for the 1924 musical Lady, Be Good but was cut from it and then also cut from Strike Up the Band and Rosalie before finally becoming a hit on its own when performed by music stars of the late 1920s.


As Indy talks about his two wonderful girls (Gloria and Kate) to Gershwin, the songwriter starts to play piano and sing what seem to be improvised lyrics about Indy's problem.


Gloria's limousine is a 1920 Cadillac Type 59.


At 37:12 on the DVD, a business front for Manhattan Theatrical Company is seen, selling theatrical property supplies. This appears to be a fictitious company for the time.


Gloria buys a picnic lunch for Indy and herself at Chez Maurice. This appears to be a fictitious restaurant for the time. The exterior was shot at the Caprice Bistro at in Wilmington, NC.


After his noon picnic with Gloria, Indy has a 1:00 lunch appointment with Kate at the Algonquin Hotel's restaurant where he sits in on the Algonquin Round Table. The Algonquin Round Table was a daily lunch meeting at the Algonquin Hotel from 1919-1929 of writers, critics, poets, humorists, etc. where they took part in gossiping, wordplay, and often savage wit against each other and all public figures and their works. They called themselves the Vicious Circle, just as Kate remarks to Indy here. The members they greet at this sit-down were all historical artist figures. The exterior of the Algonquin seen here is actually the Sir Walter Apartments for Seniors in Raleigh, NC (it was once the Sir Walter Raleigh Hotel).


At the roundtable, Alexander Woollcott hands out a first edition of one of his books and Indy makes a joke about it. Woollcott had only published two books at this point, from what I can tell. Presumably, this one would have been his most recent for the time, 1919's The Command is Forward, a collection of his essays and reports for the American armed forces newspaper Stars and Stripes. In this episode, Dorothy Parker refers to the book he's handed out as a "novel" ("This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."), but Woolcott wrote any novels.


To thank him for getting her the job on Scandals of 1920, Peggy tells Indy she's going to buy him dinner at a wonderful diner at 47th Street and Broadway. This is an actual intersection in the Queens borough of New York. The "diner" turns out to be a hot dog stand called Blake's Frankfurters; this appears to be a fictitious business. At the stand, the pair are seen to have used a bottle of Lundy catsup; this appears to be a fictitious brand.


At 48:21 on the DVD, a Comet clock is seen in Kate's apartment. This is/was a real brand, since at least the 1960s. I'm not sure if it's still around or if it existed yet in 1920.


The song Gershwin sings to Indy at 59:37 on the DVD is his "Somehow It Seldom Comes True" from the 1919 Broadway musical 

La La Lucille.


The chimpanzee in the production is said to be named Bonzo. This is probably a wink by the writer to the chimp character of Bonzo in the 1951 comedy film Bedtime for Bonzo starring Ronald Reagan.


At 1:10:50 on the DVD, a copy of the Da Vinci painting Mona Lisa is seen backstage at the Globe in the background.


At 1:11:39 on the DVD, Mack has a bottle of Private Stock Whiskey on his desk. Though many whiskey brands have had a "Private Stock" label, this one appears to be fictitious.


We've been unable to identify whether the opening songs of the revue as heard here are actual songs that were in the original Scandals of 1920.


Here, Scandals of 1920 opens on Indy's birthday, July 1, 1920, but in reality, it opened on July 7. 


We have found no evidence that the production of the real Scandals of 1920 suffered through a large number of setbacks as seen in this episode.


Memorable Dialog


you big city masher.mp3

whose party is this?.mp3

tell it to the Internal Revenue.mp3

a soprano sax in a jazz band.mp3

any monkey can learn it.mp3

I was a eunuch.mp3

open your idiot ears and follow me.mp3

you sure don't waste time.mp3

a symphony for car horns.mp3

she looks edible.mp3

the queen of shimmy.mp3

you're fired.mp3

she's wonderful too.mp3

the dullest state in the union.mp3

if you have to see a burlesque show.mp3

I hope you won't think the worse of us.mp3

it's not a novel to be tossed aside lightly.mp3

welcome to the round table, Indiana Jones.mp3

Broadway is paved with blood.mp3 


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