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The Good, The Bad & The Badass: Harrison Ford

03.08.2015
Last week, we took at the look at the long, storied career of one of the great icons of the twentieth century, Leonard Nimoy, aka Spock. This week we look at another icon who's escape from a dangerous plane crash this week has his millions upon millions of fans breathing a sigh of relief...
Harrison Ford
Harrison ford indiana jones and the temple of doom

It's scary to think about how close we came to losing Harrison Ford this week. Indeed, the early reports of his plane crash listed him as being in critical condition. Thankfully, Ford's injuries were relatively minor (several gashes and possibly a broken leg) and his skill as a pilot certainly saved him from a premature end – something we can all be grateful for. The fact is, Harrison Ford is the greatest action hero of the last fifty years. Some of your other there reading this may not agree, but think about it. Harrison Ford is not only Han Solo, but he's also Indiana Jones and Jack Ryan. That would be like someone playing James Bond, Batman, and Jason Bourne. It's absolutely nuts, yet Ford managed to make each character distinct.

Harrison ford the empire strikes back

It's a little sad that Ford has never really grown to appreciate Han Solo, despite it being the part that put him on the map. Sure, he's returning to the role at the end of the year, but Ford has openly expressed disdain towards the films and his part in them, and it's a shame he's not able to recognize what a huge impact they've had on fans all over the world. Luckily, his relationship with Indiana Jones is much better, with him constantly going on record saying that it's one of his favorite parts and that he'll throw on the fedora and pick up the bullwhip at a moment's notice. And make no mistake, while guys like Chris Pratt will have their names bandied about as potential new Indy's, there will ever only be one Indiana Jones, and that's Ford.

Harrison ford blade runner

What's also worth recognizing is that Ford has had a great career outside his three franchises. BLADE RUNNER, while a flop in 1982, is a full-fledged classic now, and Ford is even being tipped to step back into the part in a sequel/spin-off to be directed by Denis Villeneuve (although I assume the project is on hold until Ford has completely recuperated). Otherwise, he's proven himself highly proficient at drama (THE MOSQUITO COAST, REGARDING HENRY), romance (WORKING GIRL), and especially thrillers (PRESUMED INNOCENT & THE FUGITIVE) where he was able to play every-man heroes far more down to earth than the larger-than-life franchise figures he's most famous for. Outside of comedy (SABRINA and HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE were rough) Ford has pretty much excelled at any kind of genre he's tried, making him far more versatile than many of his contemporaries, and allowing him a longevity that's nearly unparalleled.

His Best Film
Harrison ford raiders of the lost ark

As a child of the eighties, it's tough for me to choose between Han and Indy, but I have to give the edge to the more three-dimensional Indiana Jones. In the end, the STAR WARS saga was not Han Solo's journey, but the Indiana Jones films were Ford's through and through. Indy is one of the coolest action heroes of all time, with many (myself included) saying that after James Bond he's the greatest ever. While KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL was a lame send-off for the character, the original trilogy is spectacular, with even the much-maligned TEMPLE OF DOOM being a classic. But, for my money, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK stands as one of the greatest action adventure movies ever put to celluloid, and Ford's deeply human, but incredibly heroic Indy is the key to its success. He's the greatest and I sincerely hope the rumors of them rebooting the series without Ford are just that – rumors.

His Most Underrated Film
Harrison ford witness

While it was a box-office hit and landed Ford his only Oscar nomination to date, WITNESS still feels relatively obscure among Ford's films for his younger fans. That's a shame as it's one of the best things he's ever done and his performance as the conflicted John Book, who takes refuge among the Amish, is spectacular. Ford's rarely been this vulnerable, and while it's still effective as an action-thriller, it's the drama and romance that really makes the film resonate so much. Director Peter Weir is on par with Steven Spielberg as one of those guys who really knows how to play to all of Ford's strenghts, and it's too bad they haven't paired up since their WITNESS-follow-up, the poorly received (but underrated) THE MOSQUITO COAST. Also – the scene where he beats up the boorish tourist making fun of the Amish is badass as hell.

His Most Overrated Film
Harrison ford

I was horrified when Warner Bros launched an Oscar campaign for Ford following his turn as Branch Rickey in 42. He wasn't bad, but for me Ford seems to have lost his passion for acting in the last decade or so, and Rickey felt like more of a caricature than a totally legit performance. But then again, the movie was a hit, so what do I know? The thing is, if Ford really threw himself into a part, and worked with a top-notch director like Weir again, I know he could deliver – big-time.

His Most Memorable Scene

When I was putting together this column, I asked our video editor, Nick Bosworth to help me choose between the Han shoots Greedo scene, and the swordsman bit from RAIDERS. I just couldn't pick, so Nick helpfully cut them both together. And yes people, Han shoots first.

His Ten Best Films

10. THE FUGITIVE
9. PATRIOT GAMES/ CLEAR & PRESENT DANGER
8. INDIANA JONES & THE TEMPLE OF DOOM
7. RETURN OF THE JEDI
6. INDIANA JONES & THE LAST CRUSADE
5. WITNESS
4. BLADE RUNNER
3. STAR WARS
2. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
1. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

Up Next
Harrison ford star wars

Naturally, everyone's super-psyched to see Ford back in the Millennium Falcon in STAR WARS – THE FORCE AWAKENS. Hopefully by the time it hits theaters Ford will be back in business health-wise, and will be able to see for himself first-hand just how appreciative fans are of him picking up the blaster one last time. May the force be with you Mr. Ford and get better soon!

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Source: JoBlo.com

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7:02PM on 03/09/2015

The Best

Like a lot here, HF is my favorite actor of all-time. His track record speaks for itself, and the man has been in as many classic films as anyone in the history of film, period. Adding to his underrated flicks, Frantic and Presumed Innocent I think are both classics in their respective genres (wrongfully accused neo-noir for the former, court room drama/mystery for the latter). And unlike a lot of his contemporaries (who came up in the 70's), he's never devolved into doing direct-to-video cash
Like a lot here, HF is my favorite actor of all-time. His track record speaks for itself, and the man has been in as many classic films as anyone in the history of film, period. Adding to his underrated flicks, Frantic and Presumed Innocent I think are both classics in their respective genres (wrongfully accused neo-noir for the former, court room drama/mystery for the latter). And unlike a lot of his contemporaries (who came up in the 70's), he's never devolved into doing direct-to-video cash grab flicks. He's had a staying power that is almost un-paralleled, and with Star Wars 7, Blade Runner 2, etc. it looks like he'll be sticking around for a while longer.
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6:18PM on 03/09/2015
One of the best actors, period. Air Force One and K-19: The Widowmaker were solid movies as well.
One of the best actors, period. Air Force One and K-19: The Widowmaker were solid movies as well.
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2:27PM on 03/09/2015

Fly yes! Land no!

He came a little to close for comfort crash landing his plane just like his Indy character. Harrison Ford has always been my favorite actor growing up with Tom Cruise a close second. Indiana Jones is the most iconic role of all time when I think of action, adventure, and sheer rollicking good time I think of Indy . Han solo and Chewy are the reasons (for me) the originals are and always will be the best. And even though Tom Clancy hated Ford in the role of Jack Ryan he is still the best
He came a little to close for comfort crash landing his plane just like his Indy character. Harrison Ford has always been my favorite actor growing up with Tom Cruise a close second. Indiana Jones is the most iconic role of all time when I think of action, adventure, and sheer rollicking good time I think of Indy . Han solo and Chewy are the reasons (for me) the originals are and always will be the best. And even though Tom Clancy hated Ford in the role of Jack Ryan he is still the best portrayal of the character on screen. Blade Runner is one of the best pieces of contemporary science fiction around. Witness, The Fugitive, Air Force One, What Lies Beneath, Presumed Innocent, and Regarding Henry were all good. I even enjoy The Devils Own and Six Days and Seven Nights is a guilty pleasure I really enjoy. Ford is awesome and truly him and Eastwood are a dying breed of actors that have all around appeal that is often duplicated but never matched being cool, calm, and collected even when they are making it up as they go.
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+1
1:53PM on 03/09/2015
as a kid growing in the 80's we had arnold, sylvester and others, but nothing could compare to Han Solo & Indiana Jones, so Mr. Ford is and always will be my greatest movie hero. I would love to see him working with Tarantino.
as a kid growing in the 80's we had arnold, sylvester and others, but nothing could compare to Han Solo & Indiana Jones, so Mr. Ford is and always will be my greatest movie hero. I would love to see him working with Tarantino.
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+0
1:29PM on 03/09/2015

GET OFF MY PLANE!

One of my fav movie lines ever uttered by the man Harrison Ford. I grew up in the 90s so Star Wars, Indy, The Fugitive, Air Force One, and because I liked him so much I even enjoyed some of the films that weren't as good such as Six Days, Seven Nights and Hollywood Homicide. Can't wait to see The Force Awakens. It'd be nice to see him receive an Honorary Oscar before he passes.
One of my fav movie lines ever uttered by the man Harrison Ford. I grew up in the 90s so Star Wars, Indy, The Fugitive, Air Force One, and because I liked him so much I even enjoyed some of the films that weren't as good such as Six Days, Seven Nights and Hollywood Homicide. Can't wait to see The Force Awakens. It'd be nice to see him receive an Honorary Oscar before he passes.
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12:53PM on 03/09/2015
My all time favorite. When I seen the article about him crashing his plane, I thought the worst but he is a true badass and made it with only minor injuries

BTW, Whats up with you guys not even posting an article about the crash? Not trying to tell you your job but one of the greatest actors of all time almost dies in a plane crash and not one article is posted about it. Not even an update. I come to this site daily and was kinda surprised nothing was posted.
My all time favorite. When I seen the article about him crashing his plane, I thought the worst but he is a true badass and made it with only minor injuries

BTW, Whats up with you guys not even posting an article about the crash? Not trying to tell you your job but one of the greatest actors of all time almost dies in a plane crash and not one article is posted about it. Not even an update. I come to this site daily and was kinda surprised nothing was posted.
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10:02AM on 03/09/2015
Th first guy I ever encountered in movies I would have used the word badass for. While I hated Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I won't edny that even in that movie Indiana Jones showed up (maybe the last time Harrison Ford looked like he was happy to be in a movie, too bad it sucked). But even when he's not trying the man's got Old Hollywood-style presence the likes of which a lot of actors wish they had. Harrison Ford seems to find himself in an inordinate amount of accidents (there was that
Th first guy I ever encountered in movies I would have used the word badass for. While I hated Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I won't edny that even in that movie Indiana Jones showed up (maybe the last time Harrison Ford looked like he was happy to be in a movie, too bad it sucked). But even when he's not trying the man's got Old Hollywood-style presence the likes of which a lot of actors wish they had. Harrison Ford seems to find himself in an inordinate amount of accidents (there was that much-publicized one on Episode VII, just a few months back). Anyway, I'll always have a spot in my heart for Mr. Ford, who was THE action hero of my childhood (as well as one of my sister's first crushes), and as long as he's willing to crack a whip, or fall down well, I will be cheering him on.
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8:56AM on 03/09/2015
As Good, as Bad, as Badass as they come.

I've also think he's underrated in Presumed Innocent and Regarding Henry. And let's not forget Air Force One - great movie.
As Good, as Bad, as Badass as they come.

I've also think he's underrated in Presumed Innocent and Regarding Henry. And let's not forget Air Force One - great movie.
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8:53AM on 03/09/2015
I double dare someone to name just five Harrison Ford movies they like. I know I couldn't do it, I'm glad you expanded it to a top ten.
I double dare someone to name just five Harrison Ford movies they like. I know I couldn't do it, I'm glad you expanded it to a top ten.
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8:12AM on 03/09/2015

Plain and simple...

An icon of icons...nuff said!

An icon of icons...nuff said!

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4:26AM on 03/09/2015
I love his Jack Ryan movies!
I love his Jack Ryan movies!
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4:00AM on 03/09/2015
My fav action hero of them all...i wish him a speedy recovery and hopefully soon we will see him as Doctor Jones again soon....come on Steven dont sell harry out for pratt !!
My fav action hero of them all...i wish him a speedy recovery and hopefully soon we will see him as Doctor Jones again soon....come on Steven dont sell harry out for pratt !!
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3:59AM on 03/09/2015
My fav action hero of them all...i wish him a speedy recovery and hopefully soon we will see him as Doctor Jones again soon....come on Steven dont sell harry out for pratt !!
My fav action hero of them all...i wish him a speedy recovery and hopefully soon we will see him as Doctor Jones again soon....come on Steven dont sell harry out for pratt !!
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2:27AM on 03/09/2015
Truly badass indeed. So many iconic roles for Ford. His best movie is definitely Raiders of the Lost Ark. To me, his most underrated movie is The Mosquito Coast. He was very menacing in that movie. And get well soon, Mr. Ford!
Truly badass indeed. So many iconic roles for Ford. His best movie is definitely Raiders of the Lost Ark. To me, his most underrated movie is The Mosquito Coast. He was very menacing in that movie. And get well soon, Mr. Ford!
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9:42AM on 03/09/2015
The fact you have never sen Witness only strengthens the case for it.
The fact you have never sen Witness only strengthens the case for it.
7:47PM on 03/09/2015
I've seen Witness a couple of times but I chose The Mosquito Coast because it's hardly being mentioned anymore.
I've seen Witness a couple of times but I chose The Mosquito Coast because it's hardly being mentioned anymore.
+1
2:13AM on 03/09/2015
For Most Overrated, I would have gone for Clear and Present Danger. Definitely the most boring Tom Clancy movie ever.

As for Most Underrated, I've never seen Witness so I will instead default to Air Force One.
For Most Overrated, I would have gone for Clear and Present Danger. Definitely the most boring Tom Clancy movie ever.

As for Most Underrated, I've never seen Witness so I will instead default to Air Force One.
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1:47AM on 03/09/2015

One of the great action heroes of the Twentieth Century

And a lot of people were very complimentary of his skills as a pilot; that crash could have been a lot worse than it was.

I think Harrison Ford lost his love of acting when his more serious roles (like MOSQUITO COAST) bombed, and he realized audiences only wanted him to be Indiana Jones or Han Solo. I can see how disillusioning that would make any serious actor. But it looks like he can laugh at his STAR WARS fame and, like Leonard Nimoy with Spock, he can now say, "I am Han Solo."
And a lot of people were very complimentary of his skills as a pilot; that crash could have been a lot worse than it was.

I think Harrison Ford lost his love of acting when his more serious roles (like MOSQUITO COAST) bombed, and he realized audiences only wanted him to be Indiana Jones or Han Solo. I can see how disillusioning that would make any serious actor. But it looks like he can laugh at his STAR WARS fame and, like Leonard Nimoy with Spock, he can now say, "I am Han Solo."
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1:37AM on 03/09/2015
Indiana Jones and Han Solo. Enough said.
Indiana Jones and Han Solo. Enough said.
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