It seems like Harrison Ford’s best days are behind him, but that shouldn’t take away from the great body of work he’s given us over the years. Ford is the prototypical rugged anti-hero who was in the spotlight back when leading men were, well, MEN. He’s landed some truly remarkable roles during his celebrated career and helped to create some of the most memorable characters in movie history. Here’s a look at six of the best Harrison Ford movie roles, after the jump:
1. Indiana Jones – Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Let’s forget for a minute, if we can, the raping of Indy by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. And even if we don’t, there’s wasn’t anything wrong with Ford in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it was just, um, everything else. Shia swinging on vines? The nuked fridge? Friggin’ aliens??? Whatever. Indiana Jones is still one of the best movie characters ever. He’s escaped an underground area filled with snakes, dined with natives who enjoy chilled monkey brains, had a book signed by Hitler, and even drank from the Holy Grail. Best of all, he consistently beats up Nazis. Without Harrison Ford, there’s no way Indiana Jones would be as iconic as he is today. Who else could pull off this move so nonchalantly?
Supposedly, Ford wan’t feeling so hot during the day this scene was shot and was orignally going to fight the swordsman. As a joke, he pulled out his gun and fired. Spielberg liked this so much that he decided to film the above scene instead of the original fight. Can anyone verify this? Because you can’t believe everything; I was totally freaked out by the ghost in Three Men and a Baby. (Not really)
2. Han Solo – Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi
If Indiana Jones isn’t Ford’s best role, it is without a doubt Han Solo. Instead of being a whiny, goody-two-shoes like Luke, Han was a straight up hustler. He was down with Wookiees and smuggling and wouldn’t hesitate to break out his piece. Everyone knows that Han Solo shot Greedo before Greedo fired a shot. Simply put, Han was a the only real gangsta in the Rebel Alliance. I can’t really decide who is a better character between Han Solo and Indy, but you really can’t go wrong with either of them.
3. Rick Deckard – Blade Runner
Rick Deckard is a blade runner, and it’s his job to find escaped replicants and kill retire them. Depending on the version of Blade Runner you watch (What are there, like five?), Deckard may be a replicant himself. Anyway, Blade Runner is one of the best science fiction movies of all time. Most of this is because of Ridley Scott, but the character of Deckard is also a factor. When the movie starts, Deckard has a very black-and-white view of replicants, but as the movie progresses, we see Deckard start to question what it means to be human. Without that character growth, the movie doesn’t work. And without Viagra, I don’t work. I’m 93.
4. Jack Ryan – Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger
Jack Ryan is a bad ass. He’s gone up against drug gangs, terrorists, and even the President. Essentially, Ryan was Jack Bauer before Jack Bauer. I think it’s pretty obvious that Ford’s Jack Ryan is better than those of Alec Baldwin and Ben Affleck, but after watching 30 Rock, a new movie with Baldwin back as Jack Ryan would be hilarious. With Tracy Morgan as the President, of course.
5. President James Marshall – Air Force One
President James Marshall is so great because, really, how many Presidents would have been able to thwart terrorist hijackers on Air Force One? Bush would be too wasted to move. Clinton would be nailing a stewardess in the bathroom. Bush I? Well, actually, he probably wouldn’t have stood for that sh*t. The point being, President Marshall is everything we want in a President: brave, clever, and great at delivering one-liners.
6. Allie Fox – The Mosquito Coast
This isn’t one of Ford’s more well-known roles, but Allie Fox is an intriguing character. He’s a genius, cynical inventor, but is also kind of a whack job. Out of disgust for America, Allie moves his family out to Honduras and buys a town. With the aid of the indigenous people and his inventions, Allie builds a thriving village. If you haven’t seen this movie, I don’t want to spoil how it turns out, but it’s definitely worth watching. Allie Fox is a bizzare, memorable charcter who may remind you a little of some stoner Economics professor you may have had at college. On one hand, it’s kind of weird, but on the other hand, it kind of rules.
Honorable Mention: Dr. Richard Kimble – The Fugitive
Who is you daddy, and what does — whoops, wrong Kimble.