The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Travels with Father (1996 TV Movie)
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As they both try to flee from their families across the Russian countryside both Indy and Tolstoy learn from each other and develop quite a touching relationship. In the end they realize that going home is the best thing to do, but not before an interesting trade.
In the second half Indy travels to Athens where his tutor takes ill. His mother whisks her away to a spa leaving Indy all alone with his dad. Not knowing how to deal with the boy on his own, Henry Jones Snr. takes Indy to all the important historical sites Athens has to offer. At first he's strict and hard, as per usual, but as soon as Indy starts to take in all of the lectures he lightens up and they have their own crazy adventure after a flock of sheep eat their clothes while skinny dipping.
I've said it before but Lloyd Owen really does do a good impersonation of Sean Connery and, eye color aside, he convinces as a younger version of the Henry Jones Snr. we saw in The Last Crusade.
It still doesn't have any definitive imagery, unlike the movies, but makes for entertaining viewing on a wet afternoon nonetheless.
As it turns out I am very happy with my viewing experience. Young actor Corey Carrier is Henry "Junior" Jones at age 10, traveling with his father and mother. Roughly the first half of the movie is in Russia and the second half in Greece, both filmed in authentic locations.
In Russia young Henry keeps getting into mishaps (never his fault!!) and with his parents upset he decides to run away. He meets up with an old man in a haystack, who turns out to be Michael Gough as famous Russian author Leo Tolstoy, who it turns out is also running away.
In Greece Junior and dad are going to visit a monastery high on cliffs, with the only transportation being a wooden elevator manually operated with ropes and pulleys. Ont the way down they get stranded, and no one responds, so they have to figure a way to fabricate a ladder.
As I watched the movie I decided to try to visualize this 10 year old boy as the one who would grow up to be Harrison Ford and Indiana Jones, and it worked. The writers and directors of the episode did a good job making this boy have the early characteristics of the future fearless explorer.
There is a good performance from British actor Micheal Gough as a curmudgeonly and almost senile Leo Tolstoy, and George Jackos does not have nearly enough screen time as famed Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis. I would like to have gotten some insight into the man who created "Zorba the Greek".
George Carrier and Lloyd Owen play well enough off each other, but went they're standing in an ancient Greek amphitheatre debating logic you can only balk at the missed dramatic potential in exploring the later fraught relationship between these two characters.
Still good quality, but in other respects a disappointment.