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Don’t try and mansplain Indiana Jones’ wardrobe to the film’s costume designer

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Amy Swales
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Mansplaining can and does occur across all parts of life; some men, upon seeing or hearing a woman in possession of opinions or information, are apparently unable to resist explaining slowly and carefully exactly why she has no idea what she’s talking about.

But it’s in areas that traditionally inspire wild-eyed passion, such as film, TV, sci-fi, music and gaming, where the condescending knee-jerk response comes into its own.

Thus it was that when discussing the inspiration behind Indiana Jones’ wardrobe in Raiders of the Lost Ark, a man seemingly tried to shout down a woman. A woman who was the actual costume designer on the film in question.

According to screenwriter Max Landis, who tweets under @uptomyknees, his mum is Deborah Landis (also known as Deborah Nadoolman, or Nadoolman Landis), who’s worked on the likes of The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in LondonComing to America and Michael Jackson videos.

He posted a snapshot of a Facebook conversation that took place underneath a screengrab of US quiz show Jeopardy. The show asked contestants to name the 1981 film character that was inspired by the wardrobe of Charlton Heston in 1954’s Secret of the Incas.

A man jumped in to state that the question, and therefore the answer, was “wrong” – prompting Nadoolman Landis to crack out her credibility.

The unnamed questioner insists, “The movie [that served as wardrobe inspiration] was The Greatest Show on Earth.”

“No,” Oscar-nominated Nadoolman Landis states, firmly. “The question was exactly right because I provided it. Raiders of the Lost Ark is almost frame for frame Secret of the Incas.”

The mansplainer refuses to let it lie though, saying that director Steven Spielberg “acknowledges” he was inspired by The Greatest Show on Earth.

Which is when Nadoolman Landis hits him hard.

“I was there,” she points out. “He and I watched Incas together in an empty [movie] theatre. Stanley, you have got to be kidding.”



While the mansplainer is correct in stating that The Greatest Show on Earth is a 1952 film, which means it was indeed released two years before Secret of the Incas, it doesn’t mean that the Indiana Jones wardrobe took its inspiration from that and not a later film.

Especially not when the Indiana Jones costume designer says otherwise, regardless of release dates.

Max Landis now says that by terming the exchange “mansplaining”, he’s been subject to several men patiently telling him what mansplaining is and isn’t.

Image: Rex Features

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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.

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