«The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles» (Florence 1908)

"The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles", Florence, May 1908, Georges Corraface as Giacomo Puccini
“The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles”, Florence, May 1908, Georges Corraface as Giacomo Puccini

Georges Corraface as legendary composer Giacomo Puccini
Also starring: Corey Carrier, Margaret Tyzack, Ruth de Sosa   
Directed by: Mike Newell   
Written by: George Lucas (story), Jule Selbo   
Produced by: Lucasfilm, ABC, Paramount TV   
Associate Producer: (when it’s Georges!)
Distributed by: Paramount TV    
Production Date: 1992   
Photo credits: Keith Hamshere

This series, created and produced by George Lucas, stars Sean Patrick Flanery, Corey Carrier, and George Hall. Each episode sets up encounters between young Indiana Jones and some of the most celebrated personalities in the worlds of art, science, spirituality and politics from the beginning of the 20th century.

Georges Corraface as Giacomo Puccini in "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles", Florence 1908
Georges Corraface as Giacomo Puccini in “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles”, Florence 1908

Florence, May 1908
In the Florence episode, we meet the legendary composer Giacomo Puccini (Georges Corraface), who falls in love with young Indy’s mother Anna Jones (Ruth De Sosa). The story of this passionate romance is loosely based on the period in Puccini’s life when he was madly in love with an American woman. Needless to say that Puccini’s opera music exalts the film’s theme.

“For this role,” George remembers, “in addition to the Italian accent and the claudication of Puccini, I worked on orchestra conducting with my own father, a magnificent chef d’orchestre. To find myself alone in front of an orchestra and singers whose eyes were all focused upon me was beyond a doubt the most terrifying experience of my acting career.””Nonetheless, after a good half hour of failed takes, when I finally came back to my senses, I enjoyed the enivrating experience of leading an orchestra and its singers through the interpretations of a few measures of two sublime operas: ‘La Bohême’ and ‘Madame Butterfly'”.

According to film critic Leonard Hayhurst:
– Corraface gives a pitch perfect performance as Puccini that never casts him as a villain. His emotions are honest and he follows them truthfully.
– Puccini just isn’t the famous person of the week as he is key to the plot of the episode and character development.
– The best episode so far thanks to good writing and acting.

DVD release of “The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones”: Volume One – Disc Four and Five”: This first volume was released as a 12 disc package on October 23rd, 2007, and includes this episode. The set includes seven feature-length episodes as well as 38 in-depth companion documentaries, an historical overview, an interactive game and an interactive timeline.