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"It's whoever's in the room, isn't it, Mac?"
Indiana Jones on McHale's allegiances.[src]

Colonel George "Mac" McHale was a British companion of Indiana Jones in the 1940s and '50s. Friend to Jones during World War II, he served as a spy for MI6, and later, during the Cold War, an agent for the Soviet Union.

BiographyEdit

World War IIEdit

In the lead up to, and throughout the Second World War, George McHale worked for MI6 when he met World War I veteran Indiana Jones, who had recently joined the Office of Strategic Services. On the time of their meeting, Indy's life was threatened by a luger and Mac somehow saved his life. Indy would owe him the favor ever since.[3] During the war, Mac had a girlfriend named Penelope, and frequently he would give Jones an updated letter to deliver to her in case he was killed in the war.[4] One such letter was written on D-Day (June 6, 1944).[2]

Mac and Indy teamed up regularly during the conflict. They disguised themselves as Nazis to steal the cipher machine responsible for generating Germany's Enigma codes. McHale had to save Jones life again when they traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia when Jones felt the needle of amnesia darts. In 1942, they went on a mission to Flensburg.[5]

In 1943, McHale and Jones got a break from their wartime espionage duties, and went to Haiti in search of a large black pearl known as the Heart of Darkness. While Jones was no stranger to the supernatural, McHale received a swift education in the existence of voodoo and zombies.[4]

With the war's end, the political landscape changed and the height of the Cold War brought the threat of the Soviets replacing the Nazis. Mac was fond of gambling, and eventually racked up a substantial debt, which Soviet agents capitalized on during the Cold War by secretly buying McHale's allegiance.[3]

Journey to AkatorEdit

"I thought we were friends, Mac."
Indiana Jones[src]

In 1957, McHale and Jones were digging in some ruins in Mexico when a group of Soviets led by Antonin Dovchenko kidnapped them. They took the duo to a secret US government facility in Nevada where their team leader, Irina Spalko, wanted to find a mysterious artifact stored somewhere within the warehouse. Spalko believed Jones knew where it was, and threatened to have Mac killed if he did not cooperate. Indy complied and assisted the Soviets in locating the artifact, but he attempted to escape by threatening to kill Spalko and escape with Mac. However, Mac stopped him at gunpoint, revealing where his true loyalties lay. Eventually Indy managed to get away using an underground rocket sled while Mac managed to avoid a gruesome death as he evaded the sled's engine flaring just in time. He left the scene by jeep with Spalko, who congratulated him on his work.[3]

He was present in Nazca, Peru when Jones and Mutt Williams visited the sanatorium where Oxley had been held, and then later found the crystal skull at Orellana's Tomb. Mac tipped the Soviets off to Indy and Mutt's whereabouts, and the two were captured and taken to a Russian camp in Brazil. There Mac tried to convince Indy to join him like back "...in Berlin." Indy refused, and instead promised to break Mac's nose; a promise which he fulfilled shortly thereafter. On their way to Akator, when Indy and his company managed to disband the Soviet convoy, Mac, to save his own life, told Indy that he was in fact a double agent working for the CIA. He explained that the reference to Berlin earlier was a hint, since both Indy and Mac worked as double agents there during WWII,[3] and that he had sent his handler, General Ross to bail Jones out of trouble after the Hangar 51 incident.[6]

Mac accompanied Indy's group, but he hadn't changed sides at all: he was leaving behind transponders so that the Soviets could track them down. Inside the temple, his true allegiance was revealed when Spalko and Soviet troops entered -- Mac was no triple agent, but merely lied about being a double agent. When the Crystal Skull of Akator was returned in place and the unearthly spaceship opened an inter-dimensional portal, Mac attempted to gather gold artifacts before he escaped the fragmenting temple. In his rush to collect the treasure he stumbled and fell. Indy tried to save him with his whip despite the betrayals. Mac insisted that he'd be "alright" and allowed himself to be pulled into the portal.[3]

Personality and traitsEdit

McHale had a cheerful air and a passion for gambling and women. He also suffered from musophobia. The end of World War II saw him take his interests to the extreme, however, and caused his reliability in telling the whole truth to waver.[7] A self-confessed capitalist, the Soviets bought his allegiance and Mac betrayed Jones after his gambling had led to substantial debt.[3] As long as Jones had known him, Mac had always fought dirty. Treacherous personality aside, for which he was unapologetic anyway, it seemed McHale still regarded Indy as a friend to the very end, insisting that the Russians stop exposing Indiana to the skull's power after the archaeologist began to convulse, and let himself be pulled to his doom so Jones wouldn't be dragged along with him.[8]

Behind the scenesEdit

George "Mac" McHale was portrayed by Ray Winstone in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, where character is erroneously credited with the surname 'Michale'. IndianaJones.com also listed the character's surname as Michale as did the DVD's featurettes.[9] Coincidentally, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is set in 1957, the same year in which Ray Winstone was born.

Although the character was created by Kingdom of the Crystal Skull writer David Koepp, McHale seems to be developed from Yuri Makovsky and Porfi, two characters from Frank Darabont's unmade Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods. Like McHale, Makovsky was a spy who betrayed Indiana Jones at the beginning of the story. Also, during the story's climax, Indiana makes an effort to help Makovsky survive the destruction of the lost city of Los Dioses (Akator in the final film). Unlike McHale, however, Makovsky is never redeemed, and after being saved, Indiana hits and "exiles" him from United States. Porfi was an ally of the main antagonist (Peter Belasko in the City of the Gods script) and becomes obsessed with the wealth of Los Dioses, leading to his downfall.[10]

Img445

Mac being threatened in the deleted scene.

In order to shoot the scene where Mac is pulled into the portal, Winstone attached to a harness that swung him away from Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones) with a wind effect later added through CGI, as seen in the featurette Production Diary: Making of "The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull".[9]

There was originally going to be a scene in Crystal Skull where Spalko and her men coerce Jones into helping them search for the Roswell remains by threatening Mac's life outside of Hangar 51. When Jones refuses to cooperate, Mac is placed under the wheel of a truck driven by Dovchenko which forces Jones to comply in order to spare the life of his friend. The scene, despite being filmed, was cut from the finished version of the film.[11] Neverthless, this scene is retained in the Crystal Skull junior novelization.

McHale acts as a spin on René Emile Belloq and Sallah, giving him characteristics of an anti-hero. He is also Jones' World War II counterpart to Remy Baudouin. Mac can also be seen as a male Elsa Schneider, as both were double agents for Jones and his enemies. He's both an anti-hero and an anti-villain.

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Indiana Jones Movie Photo Cards
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  4. 4.0 4.1 Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead
  5. Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide places the Flensburg mission in 1942, while The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones mentions that Jones and McHale were in Flensburg at the war's end for some final action (May 1945), and that Jones hadn't been to Flensburg since World War I.
  6. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull comic adaptation. McHale later revealed that he wasn't a CIA agent, but it is unclear how he knew that Ross had in fact been in Nevada to get Jones out of the FBI interrogation.
  7. Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide
  8. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull novel
  9. 9.0 9.1 Production Diary: Making of "The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull".
  10. The Complete Making of Indiana Jones
  11. Indiana Jones 4 - Deleted Scenes at TheRaider.net

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