5 Raiders of the Lost Ark
“If adventure has a name, it must be Indiana Jones.” That was the tag line from the first and greatest of the Indy adventures and still holds true today. Since everyone knows the plot I’ll tell you something you might not know. The role almost went to Tom Selleck. Unfortunately for him (but fortunately for us), Selleck had just signed on to do a little show on CBS called “Magnum P.I.”. George Lucas hates using the same actors in his different films and, since Ford has already been in “American Graffiti” and two “Star Wars” films, he wasn’t originally considered. Fortunately, the director of “Raiders” (a guy by the name of Steven Spielberg – heard of him?) convinced Lucas that Harrison would be perfect for the role. Lucky us, my friends.
4 Blade Runner
Ridley Scott’s vision of futuristic Los Angeles remains one of nerd-dom’s favorite peeks at our dystopian future. Set in 2019, the Tyrell Corporation builds androids of sorts called Replicants, which are virtually indistinguishable from human beings. They are banned on Earth and used in dangerous and hostile environments where humans are unable to survive. The Replicants who return to Earth are hunted down and destroyed (“retired”) by special cops known as Blade Runners. Ford plays Rick Deckard, the best Blade Runner of them all, who is unusually adept at distinguishing Replicants from humans. Trying to retire (like Danny Glover in a “Lethal Weapon” movie), he gets pulled back in to hunt down a group of Replicants who are basically killing everyone. Awesome flick.
3 Air Force One
Who doesn’t remember Harrison Ford saying, “Get off my plane!” before kicking Gary Oldman’s terrorist butt out of the cargo hold? This movie has everything and, best of all, Harrison Ford as the President of the United States. How cool is that? If you’ve been under a rock for nearly twenty years, President James Marshall, a war veteran in his own right, is leaving Moscow following a dinner in which the Americans and Russians are celebrating a joint military operation which resulted in the capture of a big time terrorist/general guy. As per usual, he has some friends who don’t like it and they sneak onto Air Force One, killing a lot of the crew and taking President Marshall’s wife and daughter hostage. Naturally, the President decides to take back his plane and begins taking down the terrorist one by one. A thrill ride from start to finish, it’s time to watch it again (or for the first time if you’ve failed at life).
2 The Mosquito Coast
This is one of his most interesting movies. Directed by Peter Weir (who also directed “Witness”), Ford plays Allie Fox, a somewhat unstable yet brilliant inventor (“six patents, nine pending”) who drags his family off to the Mosquito Coast because he is fed up with American consumerism and fears that the end of the country is nigh. He arrives in Panama and arranges the purchase of a small village named Jeronimo, in which he decides to create his own vision of civilization perfected. He also begins to build “Fat Boy,” a big jungle version of an ice machine. Sounds crazy, I know, but it only gets better from there. One of Harrison’s best performances as an actor – highly recommended.
To date, this is the only performance of Harrison Ford’s that has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor (which he lost to William Hurt for “Kiss of the Spider Woman”). The story centers around Ford as Detective John Book who disguises himself as an Amish man in order to protect the only witness (get it?) to a murder committed by two fellow police officers (one of whom is played by Danny Glover). He is shunned by the Amish at first because, well, that’s their thing but he soon finds acceptance and learns to appreciate the hard work and simple life they lead. He also ends up snogging Kelly McGillisbefore Tom Cruise got a hold of her in Top Gun.
That’s our list of the top five best Harrison Ford movies. Since I know most of you will disagree on this because there’s no mention of “The Empire Strikes Back” I offer you this: Harrison was part of an ensemble cast and those movies centered around Luke. In any case, start your argument in the comments below.