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Charles Stanforth was the Dean of Students of Marshall College, who succeeded the late Marcus Brody. In 1957, when Indiana Jones was almost fired by Marshall due the FBI's suspicions about Jones being a Communist, Stanforth was one of the few who stood up in Jones' defense until the archaeologist cleared his name.


Working with Indy[]

A old friend of Dr. Jones[2] who sometime named him "Charlie",[1] Charles Stanforth was married to a woman called Deirdre with whom he had two children: Don and Maggie Stanforth. Stanforth was acquainted and friends with Marcus Brody,[3] Dean of Students at Marshall College between 1939-1944,[1] and succeeded him in the position.[4] After the death of Henry Walton Jones, Senior[1] in 1951[5] he became something of a father figure to Jones in absence of his dad[2] and later of his friend Marcus,[1] who died in 1952.[5]

Academic troubles[]

In 1957, the FBI ransacked the American archaeologist Indiana Jones' office due to suspicions he was a Communist due to his run-in with the Spetsnaz in the Nevada deserts days earlier, which scared the administration at Marshall College into pushing for him to be fired. Charles Stanforth succeeded in getting the concession that he be placed on indefinite leave with pay, but to do this, Stanforth had to tender his own resignation, a decision that according to him, had left his wife proud yet concurrently panicked due to the Red Scare suspicions.[1]

After the affair of the Crystal Skull of Akator, and the clearing of Jones' reputation,[1] Stanforth was reinstated back at his old post as Dean,[6] and Indiana Jones became Associate Dean. Stanforth and his family attended Jones and Marion Ravenwood's wedding[1] on October of that year,[7] using Stanforth's Book of Common Prayer in the ceremony, which had to be rushed from its place in Stanforth's office desk.[1]

Personality and traits[]

A loyal friend to the American archaeologist Indiana Jones,[1] Charles Stanforth never refereed to Indy by his chosen sobriquet, but always referred by the name stencilled on his office door: PROFESSOR HENRY JONES JR.[3]

Stanforth was a man of fierce honor and faith for those he considered his acquaintances. When the FBI pressured Marshall College into firing Jones due to mere suspicions of the professor's potential Communist ties, Stanforth did everything at his disposal to have Jones not fully fired in exchange of himself losing his job, a decision both Indy and Charles' wife Deirdre deeply admired.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

Charles Stanforth was played by British actor Jim Broadbent in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.[1] Broadbent was contacted by director Steven Spielberg to offer him the role of Stanforth.[8] The character was developed from Frank Darabont's Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods script, in which Stanforth's name was Carl Stalling as a nod to the Warner Bros. composer of the same name.[9]

According to George Lucas, the character of Charles Stanforth takes the role that would have been filled by Indiana Jones' father Henry Walton Jones, Senior, if actor Sean Connery hadn't opted out of the fourth film,[10] debunking rumors that Ian McDiarmid would fill-in for Connery by reprising his The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles character Professor Jacques Levi.[11] Despite this, his character is similar in function to that of Marcus Brody,[12] the National Museum curator from Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, who was played by the late Denholm Elliott.[8] Broadbent and producer Frank Marshall initially reported his character to be working at Yale University,[13][12] despite his clear ties to Marshall College in the finished film.[1]

In LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues, Stanforth gives both Indy and George McHale their mission to find Mayan artifacts in Mexico before they are captured by the Soviet Special Forces. Stanforth is later seen after the destruction of Doom Town when Indy and the Janitor manage to survive the nuclear blast with the refrigerator, they accidentally destroy Stanforth's car and apparently knock him out when opening the fridge's door.[14]

In March 2017, Broadbent stated that, while he hadn't been contacted so far by Spielberg to return for the then upcoming fifth Indiana Jones picture, he was willing to reprise his role as Stanforth.[15] The finished film, titled Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and directed by James Mangold, was released in 2023, but neither Broadbent or his character returned.[16]



Notes and references[]