Harrison Ford returns to the big screen this weekend in THE AGE OF ADALINE before reigniting fanboy excitement with STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS later this year. Reflecting back on Ford's massive filmography, we decided to handpick our ten favorite performances from the actor. Whittling down the list was a feat unto itself, so if we missed one of your favorite Ford roles, please be sure to mention it in the talk backs below.
Filmed after his star-making turn in STAR WARS but before RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, THE FRISCO KID is one of the rare comedies on Ford's resume and also one of his more unique roles. As Tommy Lillard, Ford was able to pull on his Jewish heritage to play a cowboy paired up with a Polish rabbi played by Gene Wilder. The above scene is a perfect example of their chemistry together.
WHAT LIES BENEATH represents one of Ford's rare villain turns, but it is a twist you don't really see coming. Yeah, if the character were a killer it would be one thing, but Ford brings a layer of deception and menace to the reveal of his crime that is pretty damn chilling.
Harrison Ford's long friendship with George Lucas began in 1973 when the then carpenter was cast as a drag-racing and arrogant guy named Bob Falfa. Part bully and part villain, Falfa showed Ford's range early on and helped cement his iconic roles later in his career.
Ford's collaboration with Roman Polanski is part Hitchock and part THE FUGITIVE which makes for an international thriller that holds up over two decades later. If you add a particular set of skills, you have a higher class version of TAKEN, but I would rather watch Ford traverse Paris in FRANTIC any day.
Ford got the chance to work with another acclaimed director, Peter Weir, for 1985's WITNESS. The concept of a cop going undercover with an Amish community sounds like the plot of a Will Ferrell movie, but WITNESS is driven by Ford's adept ability to play a fish out of water. Somehow, even as an Amish man, Ford still is a total badass.
I would vote for Harrison Ford to be President in a heartbeat, assuming he will kick terrorist ass out of the back of his private plane when they try to take his family hostage. This character feels like a cross between Jack Ryan and Dr. Richard Kimble, and that is not a bad thing at all.
It should say something that Harrison Ford is the only actor to play Jack Ryan more than once on screen. Alec Baldwin played a much different version of the character in THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, but neither Ben Affleck nor Chris Pine were able to replicate the on screen presence that Ford brought to the role of the CIA analyst.
Tommy Lee Jones may have won the Oscar and received the most acclaim for THE FUGITIVE, but the movie would have been nothing without Ford's everyman performance. As a man on the run from the law, you truly feel like he could be your next door neighbor rather than a Hollywood A-lister. A damn fine movie that holds up to this day.
BLADE RUNNER came right in the midst of the original STAR WARS trilogy and represents a much different type of scifi than George Lucas' space opera. But, Ridley Scott's film is a masterpiece and a visual inspiration for countless movies in the last three decades. There was no chance of BLADE RUNNER 2 working without Ford returning to reprise his character.
A stuck up, half-witted, scruffy looking, nerf herder and a damn fine pilot. There is little else to say about this performance aside from the fact it will be remembered as long as the medium of film exists.
Absolute movie perfection. One of the greatest movie characters of all time, Indiana Jones is Harrison Ford at his best. Funny, smart, dashing, and great with a whip or a gun, there is no wrong Jones can do, even when trying to find the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. There are not nearly enough characters like this in movies anymore and no one who could ever match what Ford brought to the role.