HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR STEVEN SPIELBERG !
A Christmas season special...
INDIANA JONES and the PYRAMID of FEAR aka The Curse of the African Queen
by David Axtell from the original character creation of George Lucas
(Extracts from a prequel to a sequel of a trilogy...)
We see the familiar fade in of the Paramount logo to Sugar Loaf Mountain of
Rio de Janeiro.
INTERIOR – HOTEL CUMPARSITA - NIGHT
Indiana Jones is located within a Hotel gambling den surrounded by Mafioso types,
sleazy dropouts and hoodlums. Exotic burlesque dancers are the entertainment on
the premises and La Cumparsita (Tango) music is being played.
There is a mean crowd round the Poker table where a big stash of money is being
gambled for an Ivory box inlaid with the famed CLOUD PEARL of Yoshimoto. (A
legendary Samurai warrior). The owner also likes to keep exotic pets - Piranha fish,
Lizards, spiders and snakes in cages and tanks located in the Hotel.
THE TITLE FADES IN – RIO DE JANEIRO 1955
Offered to drink Tequilas Indy is wary and declines the offer. The whole place seems
to make him feel uneasy as if he’s trapped in a lair. He has an old score to settle with
a previous adversary. Throwing caution to the wind and a reckless offer Indy wants to
win back the Cloud Pearl. Among the three players is a German. Albrect Dalfinger is
the latest person to own this artifact (Stolen from Lao Che in the late 20’s). Albrect
Dalfinger is embarking on a ‘vacation’ out of Argentina as the political situation has
deteriorated against Peron. Dalfinger was a Nazi spy who had survived the scuttling
of the German Warship (The Graf Spee) and he is willing at this time to gamble his
stolen treasures to offset the cost of his escape.
Further shady types linked to the niece of Lao Che (Lu Sho Che) are also watching
and waiting outside these premises. Indy’s other partner in this situation is Short
Round. Indy is playing with three of a kind – all Queens…
How times change Dr Jones – our countries were once
sworn enemies. And yet now here we are two old adversaries
waiting to see how the new world order plays out.
Well that just depends on how you play the game Albrect.
I could smell your foul stench – a mile away
Nazi’s always give off a nasty smell.
Come, come Dr Jones. There’s no need for personal
I wasn’t…consider it a compliment.
Having a price on your head can’t be good for business.
Circumstances have changed…life was getting out of hand
in Peron’s Argentina.
The ratlines have all been closed down Albrecht, there’s no
where for people like you to hide.
Nor you Dr. Jones…I’ve heard the story of you and Loa Che.
Yeah; well I’ve got an old score to settle.
…another card is dealt – another Queen for Indy
Old habits die hard eh Dr Jones? (Nervous laughter)
Yeah, I never seem to give them up.
… Short Round moves closer to protect Indy.
You’ve come late to the table to join us.
He’s not here to play Albrect.
Well then why don’t you introduce us
This is Short Round. He’s my insurance policy.
The situation grows tense as Indy has a good hand and …the stakes are raised
Dalfinger wants to see Indy’s cards and takes off his gold cufflinks inscribed with
Maybe the great Yoshimoto Pearl will finally
have a new owner…Herr Jones?
That’s my intention – you reading my mind?
Things slip away from you when you least expect them to.
You wouldn’t stoop to conquer it would you?
....gesturing that there is card cheating going on.
C’mon unlike you? It’s not my style.
Not when there’s money on the table – another thousand
to know for sure…I never like to lose.
…Indy calls to see the cards. Dalfinger has a bad hand – seeking to forfeit the game.
You are much like your Father.
Oh - and what would you know about my Father?
Dalfinger slips in with another card. A Queen of Diamonds falls to the floor.
Short Round alerts Indy
You have much in common…
And what’s that?
….soon you will be dead also.
Indy is incensed ….guns are brought into the open and as he shoots – (hitting
Dalfinger in the shoulder) fireworks are let off outside (It is the annual Rio Carnival)
Not if I can help it.
All hell breaks loose – the Poker table gets overturned and the Cloud Pearl falls into
the injured Dalfinger’s lap – money is strewn all over the floor.
Indy and Short Round have to make their escape from the gambling den but Indy
is accosted by two heavies who are holding his hand over a tank of Piranha fish and
loses his gun into the tank. Short Round comes to the rescue with his Kung Fu.
Dalfinger aims for Indy and misses hitting more of the exotic pet cages as more and
more of the animals are let loose and they are doing Indy’s job for him by getting rid
of the bad guys. The Cloud Pearl box gets flung across the room and like a game of
catch it gets thrown around and lands in a tank of Tarantulas. One of the villains tries
to retrieve it and gets bitten in the process.
The Piranha tank smashes from gunshots and Indy retrieves his gun in the nick of
time and spoons up a deadly fish on a plate up on a foe and shoots Dalfinger again who
ends up crashing into a tank of snakes.
Short Round quit stalling and let’s get out of here.
Sure thing Indy (As he lays another Kung Fu kick on an assailant)
They make their escape through the kitchens spilling over boiling pans of water and
turning a gas dial as they run from the restaurant a rotating fan is brought down on
some unsuspecting diners and everyone exits the Hotel in a mad panic.
EXTERIOR – ROOFTOPS – NIGHT
Indy and Short Round scale the rooftops and balconies dodging bullets. Indy uses his
whip on a telegraph pole cable like a zip wire which causes an electrical fault starting
a fire on the bunting that decorates the Hotel. This ignites the leaking gas which blows
up the premises.
EXTERIOR – THE STREETS OF RIO – NIGHT
Rushing out into the night time scene INDY and SHORTROUND have to navigate
their way through the crowds and flotillas of the Rio Carnival. Indy gets caught up with
more feather clad dancers and soon loses his partner in the melee.
Some of Albrect Dalfinger's hoodlums are attacked by Lu Sho’s men and Indy is
relieved to let them all fight it out. However Short Round is overwhelmed by these
henchmen and is kidnapped. Taken away aboard a Freighter bound for Africa.
STORY OUTLINE - CONCEPT
Indy is on a mission to exchange the Cloud Pearl for his partner. There is a trade in illicit
Elephant Ivory from Africa and Lu Sho Che Enterprises are dealing with the export
overseas to China. En route Indy meets up with a British diplomat/missionary JOHN
COLLIER who unbeknownst to Indy is complicit in the Ivory export too. (Big game is
big business) The Briton is in league with a South African hunter called THEO
INDY’S helper and tracker is TOGO WASILI who is also suspicious of the
British Diplomats true intentions. Togo’s wife PADME is also the Diplomats
Extract from the curse of the African Queen
JOHN COLLIERS young daughter (A Rachel Carson type character – concerned for
the environment) called BETTY COLLIER is a good pilot for the African interior. She is
surprised to learn of Indy’s knowledge of flying. (Her heroine is Amy Johnson).
EXTERIOR – AFRICA – DAY
Indy is preparing supplies for the journey he has to go across Lake Tanganyika and meet
with the British consulate in N. Rhodesia travelling on an old ferry steamer ‘A new Hope’
Hey kid, come over here and give us a hand will ya.
Turning to face Indy the ‘kid’ is a girl she is petite but tomboyish/workmanlike in her
Sure thing mister do you need a hand with your eyes too?
Indy turns around realising the mistake
Hullo! You’ve met my daughter then.
Yeah…she’s quite something for…
Allow me – (handing him his luggage) you must be Dr. Jones
we’ve been expecting you. We received your Telegram.
I’m John Collier Diplomat to the British Embassy here in Rhodesia.
Pleased to meet you.
You’ll have to excuse my daughter – she has a harsh impulsive nature.
Betty has always been a worry for me especially after her Mother’s
I’m sorry to hear it.
We do what we can. Betty keeps herself busy helping to
supply the local villages with aid – there has been a rather bad
drought recently. In fact why don’t you give Dr. Jones here a
ride in Jason?
Father you know I don’t like taking passengers.
She’s quite besotted – Jason is her plane.
Named after Amy Johnson’s Gipsy Moth?
Yeah how did you know?
I know a little about planes.
Have you ever taken the wheel?
On occasion; I’ve had some experiences….
Not really….I did have a few lessons with Edwin Musick.
Hey! I’m no PAN AM Mister Jones!
Call me Indiana.
Well Indiana Jones in your case I’m willing to make an exception.
I can take you as far into the interior as you want for a price (smiling)
Quite the mercenary – I’m not here for the sightseeing honey.
A mystery trip then? I’ve got a drop to do the day after tomorrow
You can climb aboard then
Why thank you.
Not at all.
INTERIOR – THE AMBASSADORS HOUSE – DAY
. JOHN COLLIER
Togo, would you please see Dr. Jones to his room.
And have you fed little pig too?
Yes Mamma Temba.
(Referring to an orphaned elephant that Betty has reared herself)
To be cont...Indiana Jones six on new years day