The Original Indiana Jones

Meet the original Indiana Jones, a small and weasel-faced Nazi archaeologist named Otto Rahn that served as inspiration for Spielberg's hero.

And just like the fictional Indiana Jones, Otto was on a quest to find the Holy Grail:

Very little is certain in the short life of Otto Rahn. But one of the few things one can with any confidence say about him is that he looked nothing like Harrison Ford. Yet Rahn, small and weasel-faced, with a hesitant, toothy smile and hair like a neatly contoured oil slick, undoubtedly served as inspiration for Ford's most famous role, Indiana Jones.

Like Jones, Rahn was an archaeologist, like him he fell foul of the Nazis and like him he was obsessed with finding the Holy Grail - the cup reputedly used to catch Christ's blood when he was crucified. But whereas Jones rode the Grail-train to box-office glory, Rahn's obsession ended up costing him his life.

However, Rahn is such a strange figure, and his story so bizarre, that simply seeing him as the unlikely progenitor of Indiana Jones is to do him a disservice. Here was a man who entered into a terrible Faustian pact: he was given every resource imaginable to realise his dream. There was just one catch: in return, he had to find something that - if it ever existed - had not been seen for almost 2,000 years.

Link - via Ma.tt


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Grail just means cup or bowl or vessel. Christ had a few 'grails' associated with him. One of them the 'holy chalice' used at the last supper and also a cup used to collect his blood while on the cross. Name a gazillion other cups/vessels/bowls used by him etc then that could be a grail also. Thus all the conflicting stories, conspiracy theories, confushtion etc

So which grail you talking about Willis?
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There is a competing version, with another man, Col. Percy Fawcett, as the inspiration for Indiana Jones. I don't particularly buy into this version or the notion that Indiana Jones would be based off of a Nazi...

Here is the write up I did about it on my own site:
http://www.mumbojumbodaily.com/the-real-indiana-jones/
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Also... the holy grail is the cup that Christ used at the last supper - I've never heard anything about it catching His blood while he was on the cross. That doesn't even make sense.

Man the telegraph really needs to step up their journalism...
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Indiana Jones was not obsessed with finding the holy grail, his father was. He only began his quest for the holy grail to go find his father, and only completed it to save his father's life.
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