C8 is broadcasting “Nevada Smith” tonight at 9:05 pm. What indirect consequence did this western with Steve McQueen have on “Indiana Jones”?
In 1966, Henry Hathaway signed Nevada Smith, in which a young cowboy named Max Sand was on the trail of his parents’ murderers. Trained by Jonas Cord, an arms dealer, he becomes a seasoned shooter and wields the colt with precision. After several years of research, under the name of Nevada Smith, he will hunt down each of these three thugs in cities, saloons and even in prison. Unscrupulous, Max is determined to wreak his revenge.
Fifteen years later, Steven Spielberg directed the first part of the Indiana Jones saga, Raiders of the Lost Ark. For the name of this hero inspired by Humphrey Bogart in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, George Lucas, screenwriter and producer of the film, brought together the first name of his dog and a banal surname, worn by millions of Americans, in order to create a contrast with the exceptional character of his adventures. The archaeologist must therefore have been called Indiana Smith. But Spielberg is not convinced, finding the name too similar to Nevada Smith. Lucas, who only wanted a name that sounded deeply American, improvised and suggested Indiana Jones. This is how the name of one of the most popular figures in adventure cinema was found.