As a child of the 70’s and 80’s, I grew up watching Harrison Ford movies. He played some of my favorite characters, from Han Solo to Indiana Jones. Here are his ten best movies.
10. The Mosquito Coast
In between big budget blockbusters, Harrison Ford often involves himself in lower budget projects that he personally connects with. Though a flawed movie, and one that did rather poorly in the box office, Ford’s performance is brilliant.
Allie: Strictly speaking, there’s no such thing as invention, you know. It’s only magnifying what already exists.
9. Regarding Henry
Another character drama, Ford plays an unscrupulous lawyer who survive a shooting only to lose his memory. In the process of rediscovering himself, he finds he doesn’t like who he was and becomes a new man. A thin, predictable plot is overshadowed by an amazing performance by Ford.
Rudy, Lawyer: [Meeting Bruce and Henry after Henry’s recovery] Hi, Henry! I’m Rudy!
[Leans close to Henry’s face]
Rudy, Lawyer: Rooooo-deeee!
Henry: What’s the matter with him?
Bruce, Henry’s Partner: He’s an asshole.
8. Patriot Games
Ok, I actually preferred Alec Baldwin as Jack Ryan because of the quiet geekiness he brought to the part. But of the Harrison Ford Ryanverse movies, this is easily the best. It does a great job of showcasing the technology that makes black ops function, while never losing the human part of the story.
Lt. Cmdr. Robby Jackson: So, you just waded on in like John Wayne. Why’d you do it? What were you thinking, man?
Jack Ryan: I don’t know. I wasn’t thinking.
Lt. Cmdr. Robby Jackson: That’s it? You sound like some of my students.
Jack Ryan: It just pissed me off. I couldn’t just stand there and watch him shoot those people right in front of me. It was… rage. Pure rage… Just made me mad.
Lt. Cmdr. Robby Jackson: Here’s hoping you never get mad at me, man.
7. Air Force One
An engaging action movie with fantastic special effects and just enough story to keep it moving along. While Ford plays his usual confident hero (albeit a bit less cocky than usual), Gary Oldman nearly steals the spotlight as the evil head terrorist.
[Phillips is talking Marshall through dumping fuel with the avionics panel]
Phillips, AFO Chief Mechanic: Hold on, just let me double-check, sir…
President James Marshall: Oh, for Christ’s sakes, man, hurry up!
Phillips, AFO Chief Mechanic: Sir, if you get the wrong wire, you’ll cut the engine feeds, and the plane will crash.
President James Marshall: Then we don’t want to get the wrong wire, do we?
6. The Fugitive
Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones are at the top of their game here, making “The Fugitive” one of the best action movies of the 90’s.
Dr. Richard Kimble: [Holding Gerard at gunpoint] I didn’t kill my wife!
Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard: I don’t care!
5. Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back
The weakest of the original trilogy, “Star Wars V” is more concerned about moving the story along and setting up the next movie than with anything else. Still, it’s a very good movie, and has some of Han Solo’s best lines.
C-3PO: Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.
Han Solo: Never tell me the odds.
4. Blade Runner
In a futuristic Los Angeles, bio-engineered humanoids called replicants are outlawed on the planet. Harrison Ford is a blade runner, a type of law enforcement office tasked with tracking replicants down. Well-paced action (directed by Ridley Scott) and a solid story (based upon a novel by Philip K. Dick) make this one of my favorite action movies.
Deckard: She’s a replicant, isn’t she?
Tyrell: I’m impressed. How many questions does it usually take to spot them?
Deckard: I don’t get it, Tyrell.
Tyrell: How many questions?
Deckard: Twenty, thirty, cross-referenced.
Tyrell: It took more than a hundred for Rachael, didn’t it?
Deckard: [realizing Rachael believes she’s human] She doesn’t know.
Tyrell: She’s beginning to suspect, I think.
Deckard: Suspect? How can it not know what it is?
3. Star Wars VI: The Return of the Jedi
The first half of this movie is as good as anything in “Star Wars IV”. Unfortunately, Han Solo spends most of this part of the movie encased in carbonite. He makes up for it with plenty of screen time in the second half, although I would have liked it more if he had tied explosives to a few ewoks and used them as hand grenades.
Han Solo: Together again, huh?
Luke: Wouldn’t miss it.
Han Solo: How we doin’?
Luke: Same as always.
Han Solo: That bad, huh?
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
The opening twenty minutes of Raiders is some of the best in action movie history. And the rest of the movie doesn’t let up by much.
Indiana: There’s a big snake in the plane, Jock.
Jock: Oh, that’s just my pet snake Reggie.
Indiana: I hate snakes, Jock. I hate ’em.
Jock: C’mon, show a little backbone, will ya?
1. Star Wars IV: A New Hope
Perhaps my favorite movie. Certainly my favorite from the science fiction genre. While George Lucas is sometimes criticized for his drab dialogue, Han Solo’s is always outstanding.
Han Solo: Stay sharp. There’s two more coming in. They’re gonna try and cut us off.
Luke: Well why don’t you outrun them? I thought you said this thing was fast!
Han Solo: Watch your mouth kid, or you’re gonna find yourself floating home. We’ll be safe enough once we make the jump to hyperspace. Besides, I know a few maneuvers. We’ll lose em’!
[the ship shudders as an explosion flashes outside the window]
Han Solo: Here’s where the fun begins!
Obi-Wan: How long before you can make the jump to light speed?
Han Solo: It’ll take a few moments to get the coordinates from the navi-computer.
[the ship begins to rock violently as lasers hit it]
Luke: Are you kidding? At the rate they’re gaining?
Han Solo: Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, boy! Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star, or bounce too close to a supernova and that’d end your trip real quick, wouldn’t it?