Secret of the Incas

I don’t think anyone actually understands how psyched I am for the release of the new Indiana Jones film next year. When I was younger and my age was still in single digits, I used to wake up extra early so I could go downstairs and watch all of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom before school. Every day. For about a year. And if I had my copy here with me now, I’d probably be watching it now.

secret-of-the-incas-sm.jpgI came across a film called “Secret of the Incas“, a low-budget adventure movie from 1954 starring Charlton Heston which seems to be Indiana Jones’ most obvious inspiration. Heston plays Harry Steele (fucking awesome name), a square-jawed treasure-hunter who is determined to find the treasure of Machu Picchu in Peru. Like Indiana Jones, Steele walks around in a big brown fedora and leather jacket.

The similarities aren’t accidental either. Rumour has it that before production of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Senor Spielbergo and George Lucas screened this movie (along with China, starring Alan Ladd) for the cast and crew, to give them an idea of the kind of movie they were trying to create.


Youtube – Secret of the Incas (I)
Youtube – Secret of the Incas (II)
Youtube – Secret of the Incas (III)

These clips from Secret of the Incas should give you a good idea of how well Spielberg & co. managed to recreate the tone of the earlier movie. In fact, you could go further and point out specific sequences in Raiders that were influenced even by these three clips.

I’d love to see this movie completely, but it’s impossible to buy Secret of the Incas. Nothing on Amazon, nothing on eBay. Even nothing on Bittorrent. Some conspiracy theorists reckon the movie is being ‘suppressed’ by Paramount because of the similarities to Indiana Jones, reckoning that people would be up in arms if they could see how much this film influenced Raiders of the Lost Ark (although I personally think this is ridiculous: if people can’t that the Indiana Jones movies are nothing but a distillation of classic action movie staples, then these people should be banished to the wilderness immediately).

Whatever the reason, I can’t get a hold of it on the internet. Anyone got a copy of this lying around? I’d be willing to pay good (read: not ridiculous) money for it.


11 thoughts on “Secret of the Incas

  1. J says:


  2. Nick Johnson says:

    I have just procured a copy of Secrets Of The Incas from somewhere in Australia. Very good quality concidering the age of the artifact.. I mean film.

    Anyone interested??

  3. JAMES BYRNE says:

    There will be people shouting from the rooftops with joy when SECRET OF THE INCAS is finally released onto dvd. But will it ever happen?

  4. Lane Marshall says:

    All of you who have discovered the insptration for Indiana Jones in “Secret of the Incas” and “China”, you also need to pick up a copy of “The Naked Jungle”, another exotic Heston vechicle set in South America. The “killer ants” in “Crystal Skull” scene has to be taken directly from this jungle romantic-adventure classic. By the way, there are several places on the net selling both films.

  5. James Byrne says:

    I am looking for a copy of HONG KONG starring Ronald Reagan as an Indiana Jones look-alike soldier of fortune. I have got CHINA starring Alan Ladd on video, but need a dvd copy of that too. Willing to exchange a pristine dvd of SECRET OF THE INCAS for either film.

  6. Phyllis says:

    Not only am looking for the movie Secret of the Incas, but the sound track as well. Of all the movies I remember that is the only one!

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  8. James Byrne says:

    Phyllis, if you want to buy a copy of SECRET OF THE INCAS, take a look at my site: there are details on purchasing the dvd. Regarding the soundtrack to the movie, I suggest you buy the Yma Sumac cd VOICE OF THE XTABAY which has three songs from the movie on it.

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