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Rhys-Davies dishes on new 'Indiana Jones' Blu-ray treasure

Indiana Jones eyes a golden idol in the

Indiana Jones eyes a golden idol in the remastered Imax version of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Credit: Indiana Jones eyes a golden idol in the remastered Imax version of "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Tons of movies come out on Blu-ray every week, but only a select few are true events.

The release of the best adventure films of all time? Yeah, that qualifies.

The Blu-ray debut of Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford's masterful "Indiana Jones" films arrives Tuesday in the monster collection "Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventure." It features all four films at the finest possible quality, as well as a bounty of special features. You might say that it ... belongs in a museum.

amNewYork spoke with actor John Rhys-Davies, who played Sallah in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," not to mention the dwarf Gimli in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and Professor Maximillian Arturo on the television series "Sliders."

What do the "Indiana Jones" movies mean to you? The first one really was sort of a consolidation of my arrival as a minor international character actor. I was mightily grateful for it, and it was such a joyful experience.

What do you love about the films? Just looking at the behind-the -scenes stuff just reminded me of how extraordinary, how creative on the spur of the moment Steven was all the time. The other thing that comes across to me is how deliberately and carefully Harrison carves this iconic character of Indiana. I never realized it quite before how "Indiana" just isn't a good actor interpreting a character. He is actually defining the character. It's a tour de force.

What do you think about the new Blu-rays? Well, you see, they thought, who should we find who is a real technological wiz, and then they noticed my old 2001 Nokia and thought "Rhys-Davies, there's a sort of chap!" They said, "OK, John, is it really true that you've got an old square box-screen television? Try and see what these big, long oblong things with hi-definition [do] and then add Blu-ray to it." Yes, there is a bit of a difference. [laughs] It's an extraordinary difference. It is unquestionably the best way of seeing "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in your home theater. And my goodness, the clarity and definition, and the extra stuff makes it a very darn good deal.

Who do you get recognized for the most? It varies so much with generations. For some generations, it's Professor Maximillian Arturo and what happened [on] that show. But for so many, it is Gimli and then, definitely, dear old Sallah.

New to Blu: 'Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures' is available on Blu-ray Tuesday. List price is $99.98.

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