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Raiders of the Lost Archetype
January 24, 2012 10:01 PM   Subscribe

Often cited as a direct inspiration for Indiana Jones, Charlton Heston is Harry Steele. Steele is a treasure hunting gigolo hot on the trail of an ancient Incan artifact in Jerry Hopper's 1954 Secret of the Incas. The film opens with a song featuring the beautiful soprano of the illustrious Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chávarri del Castillo, better known by her stage name of Yma Sumac(previously and previously). The song may be familiar to fans of The Big Lebowski.

Secret of the Incas has never been released on DVD or Blu-ray. For your viewing pleasure in 10 parts:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
posted by AElfwine Evenstar (12 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thank you so much for posting. I was lucky enough to show a clip of this movie at an Yma Sumac tribute event I hosted in 2010, thanks to Damon Devine (her assistant and makeup artist who stayed with her to the end) who was nice enough to send me the clips. It's hilarious in her scenes with Heston where she's mainly trying to blend into the background, and it's impossible because she's oozing SUPERSTAR from every pore, totally upstaging what's-her-face.

Yma's "Mambo!" will always be my go-to party album.
posted by hermitosis at 10:48 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm favoriting this just on principle. Anything that includes Yma's superhuman 5-octave voice can't be all that bad.
posted by scalefree at 10:56 PM on January 24, 2012


Yma Sumac being Amy Camus, from Brooklyn. It's not true.
posted by philip-random at 12:07 AM on January 25, 2012


Everything about this post, from Charlton Heston as the ur-Indy to Yma Sumac: Home. Fucking. Run.
posted by KingEdRa at 12:19 AM on January 25, 2012


Note that the really amazing Yma Sumac action starts at 9:18 in part 6 and continues again at 0:20 in part 7 if you don't feel able to watch the whole movie right now.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 1:51 AM on January 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Charlton Heston inspired Indiana Jones?
posted by thelonius at 4:05 AM on January 25, 2012


no, charlton heston shot indiana jones
posted by kitchenrat at 5:16 AM on January 25, 2012


Note that the really amazing Yma Sumac action starts at 9:18 in part 6 and continues again at 0:20 in part 7 if you don't feel able to watch the whole movie right now.

Was in a hurry but now Yma let her finish.
all the way through till Sumac leaves.
posted by hal9k at 5:25 AM on January 25, 2012


She sounds like a theremin. (<- this is only a value judgement in my own head.)
posted by DU at 5:28 AM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for adding that, Harvey Kilobit, I should have added it to the fpp before I hit post.

Also on the subject of this movie inspiring Indiana Jones, there is a scene where Steele, ala Raiders of the Lost Ark, uses a replica of Machu Picchu to locate the room with the treasure, and then later uses an artifact to create a beam of light which reveals the location of the treasure in the room. Here is a cool video comparing footage from raiders to many different(including Secret of the Incas) early "adventure" films....hey they stole my title.

To me the Harry Steele character is a hybrid of Indiana Jones and Han Solo. He has the look of Indy, but more of the character of Han.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:13 AM on January 25, 2012


Damn you! I'm already on part 3. I thought I'd be getting some work done this morning...

/great post
posted by hamandcheese at 6:44 AM on January 25, 2012


Secret of the Incas was one of the main sources in the "Premake" Raiders of the Lost Ark (1951) trailer. (previously)
posted by fings at 7:25 AM on January 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


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