Dec 042013
 

Harrison Ford

My first memory of  Harrison Ford was in American Graffiti but it was this little movie set in space in 1977 when I fell head over heels for him.

One of the things that baffles me with him is that despite one nomination for Best Actor (Witness), his Academy Award of Merit shelf still remains empty. He has been a part of some to the highest grossing, most popular films of all time. I’ve always firmly stated that Star Wars would have never been the same success without him. His acting in Regarding Henry was powerful as well.

My whining and complaining aside being his champion always, here is My Top 10 +1 Favorite Harrison Ford Movies. Thank you to Google Images, Wikipedia, IMDB and You Tube of their assistance. And to reiterate always, this post isn’t stating that they are the best but specifically that they are my personal favorites. Of course, some fun trivia has been included to each.

+1  The Fugitive (1993)

Question – What is significant about all of the scenes where Richard Kimble can be seen limping as he runs?

Tommy Lee Jones’ drive and intensity was such a great way to set this entire film. And yet as it continues to unfold we find out that Richard Kimble is in fact innocent. It’s awesome to see his incredible intelligence solve the crime that in turn saves his own life.

Answer – In the woods scene at the start of the movie Harrison Ford damaged some ligaments in his knee. He refused to have surgery until the end of filming so that his character would keep the limp.  Pretty cool, huh?

Harrison Ford – Dr. Richard Kimble
Tommy Lee Jones – Deputy U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard
Sela Ward – Helen Kimble
Joe Pantoliano – Deputy U.S. Marshal Cosmo Renfro
Andreas Katsulas – Frederick Sykes
Julianne Moore – Dr. Anne Eastman
Director Andrew Davis

10 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Question – What happened off camera during the whipping scene?

Albeit it’s definitely the worst of the initial trilogy it’s still Indiana frickin’ Jones! The one that steals away the film for me is Short Round from beginning to start. Kate Capshaw plays the perfect damsel in distress as well.

Answer – While he was chained to a large stone, Barbra Streisand appeared, dressed in a leather dominatrix outfit. She proceeded to whip him, saying “That’s for Hanover Street, the worst movie I ever saw.” She continued whipping him for Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, and making all of that money. Carrie Fisher then threw herself in front of Ford to protect him, and Irvin Kershner chided director Steven Spielberg. “Is this how you run your movies?” This entire sequence was filmed.

Harrison Ford – Indiana Jones
Kate Capshaw – Wilhelmina “Willie” Scott
Jonathan Ke Quan – Short Round
Amrish Puri – Mola Ram
Roshan Seth – Chattar Lal
Philip Stone – Captain Philip Blumburtt
Raj Singh – Zalim Singh
D. R. Nanayakkara – Shaman
Roy Chiao – Lao Che
David Yip – Wu Han
Director Steven Spielberg

9 Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Question –  What did George Lucas do in order to avoid sharing creative rights?

When my friends and I went to see this everyone was wondering if it could even come close to A New Hope.  What was noticeable right off the bat was the technology for what we were seeing on-screen. This was a special film technology evolution we were experiencing in 1980 and all jaws were dropped by the time it was over. Not to mention the endless next three years of chatter as to what the final segment would present us with.

Answer – He bankrolled the $33 million production himself, using a combination of his profits from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope and a bank loan. Although the move was risky, it paid off several times over. Lucas recovered his investment within three months of the film’s release. He then showed gratitude far beyond the Hollywood norm, by sharing the profits with his employees (nearly $5 million in bonuses).

Harrison Ford – Han Solo
Mark Hamill – Luke Skywalker
Carrie Fisher – Princess Leia Organa
Billy Dee Williams – Lando Calrissian
Anthony Daniels – C-3PO
David Prowse – Darth Vader
Kenny Baker – R2-D2
Peter Mayhew – Chewbacca
Fank Oz – Yoda
Jeremy Bulloch – Boba Fett
Alec Guinness – Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi
Denis Lawson – Wedge Antilles
Clive Revill – The voice of Emperor Palpatine
John Ratzenberger – Major Bren Derlin
Treat Williams – Several background characters, including a trooper in the Hoth rebel base and a trooper in Cloud City
Director Irvin Kershner

8 Witness (1985)

Question –  What was significant with the actor playing Moses Hochleitner?

I had heard virtually nothing about the Amish prior to watching this film. So, not only was it an amazingly entertaining film but a huge educational lesson for me at the same time. I love the pure, simple life that they have and not having modern-day problems (so to speak) in their lives. Though, it would take a long hard look in the mirror to see just how much I truly would be willing to give up despite how unmaterialistic I truly am.  No Amish were used in the filming even as extras and Kelly McGillis actually stayed with the Amish ahead of time to learn their ways. That would be an amazing experience I would like to have. I wonder if they allow smart-mouth Golden Retrievers?

Answer – It was Viggo Mortensen’s feature film debut. He was offered the part in the film on the same day that he was offered to play a role in “Henry V” in Shakespeare in the Park in New York.

Harrison Ford – John Book
Kelly McGillis – Rachel Lapp
Josef Sommer – Paul Schaeffer
Lukas Haas – Samuel Lapp
Jan Rubes – Eli Lapp
Alexander Godunov – Daniel Hochleitner
Danny Glover – Det. James McFee
Brent Jennings – Carter
Patti LuPone – Elaine
Angus MacInnes – Det. Fergie
Frederick Rolf – Stoltzfus
Viggo Mortensen – Moses Hochleitner
Director Peter Weir

7  Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

Question – What did the American cast members and crew (inluding George Lucas) do to save money because of a limited budget?

On the early evening of Wednesday May 25, 1977 my father and stepmother gathered my two stepsisters and I into the kitchen told us they had a suprise. Finals were all essentially over (he was a teacher and she was a nurse) and there was only one more week of school left. In a time before the home computer and access to what would be called the Internet. They said they were taking us to see the new movie called Star Wars that night. There was a fever pitch amongst all of us, including my parents, because it was rumored that it would be a fun experience. Yes, “fun”. It was opening night and we got there two hours ahead of time and wound up with really good seats. The previews finished, this great song came on followed by the Imperial Star Destroyer intimidatingly zooming over our heads chasing and firing at a smaller ship. The entire audience gasp and got goosebumps. “Fun” just became a historic moment and I got to witness it and see Star Wars on it’s very first U.S. opening night. At one point I had considered this at #1 on My Top 10 +1 Favorite Harrison Ford Movies list.

Answer
– They all decided to fly coach class to England, rather than first class. When Carrie Fisher’s mother Debbie Reynolds heard about this she called Lucas, complaining about how insulting it was for her daughter to be flying coach. Fisher was in the room with Lucas when he took the call, and after a few minutes asked if she could talk to her mother. When Lucas handed her the phone she simply said, “Mother, I want to fly coach, will you f**k off?!” and hung up.

Harrison Ford – Han Solo
Mark Hamill – Luke Skywalker
Carrie Fisher – Princess Leia Organa
Billy Dee Williams – Lando Calrissian
Anthony Daniels – C-3PO
David Prowse – Darth Vader
Kenny Baker – R2-D2
Peter Mayhew – Chewbacca
Fank Oz – Yoda
Alec Guinness – Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi
Phil Brown – Owen Lars
Shelagh Fraser – Beru Whitesun Lars
Paul Blake – Greedo
Director George Lucas

6 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Question – What was significant about the famous scene in which Indy shoots a marauding and flamboyant swordsman?

With some good films and three mega hits (American Grafitti and two Star Wars films) under his belt Harrison Ford was now a star. No one knew that Raiders would send him into the stratosphere of stardom. It’s still regarded as having one of not only the alltime best opening scenes but the same, a best chase scene. He was the swashbuckling, explorer hero that is a part of many of our alter egos. His continual crafty ability to get himself and others out of danger bring us relief to those white knuckling moments. I remember all the moments but one funny, sexy moment I always refect on. Is in the beginning of the movie in his classroom. And the atractive female student who closes her eyes to reveal “LOVE YOU” on the other side of her eyelids. That is so frickin’ clever!

Answer – It was was not in the original script. Harrison Ford was supposed to use his whip to get the swords out of his attacker’s hands, but the food poisoning he and the rest of the crew had gotten made him too sick to perform the stunt. After several unsuccessful tries, Ford suggested “shooting the sucker.” Steven Spielberg immediately took up the idea and the scene was successfully filmed.

Harrison Ford – Indiana Jones
Karen Allen – Marion Ravenwood
Paul Freeman – Dr. René Belloq
Ronald Lacey – Major Arnold Toht
John Rhys-Davies – Sallah
Denholm Elliott – Dr. Marcus Brody
Wolf Kahler – Colonel Dietrich
Alfred Molina – Satipo
Vic Tablian – Barranca and the Monkey Man
Director Steven Spielberg

5 Presumed Innocent (1990)

Question – Near the beginning, Harrison Ford sits down at a computer to review case files. What is actually on the screen?

Lordy, was Greta Scacchi smokin’ sexy hot and those love scenes with Harrison Ford. Yowsah! Now, where was I? Oh ya, Presumed Innocent. I love great whodunnit films that keep you going and going until the very end. There was a lot of terrific misdirection by the killer and Raul Julia is absolutely riveting in his role. Wow, who would have thunk in the end your wife was loyal enough to you to not only kill your lover but be able to keep it an unsolved crime.

Answer – Most of the defendants listed for various sex-related crimes are actually members of the crew on the film.

Harrison Ford – Rozat “Rusty” Sabich
Brian Dennehy – Raymond Horgan
Raúl Juliá – Alejandro “Sandy” Stern
Bonnie Bedelia – Barbara Sabich
Paul Winfield – Judge Larren Lyttle
Greta Scacchi – Carolyn Polhemus
John Spencer – Det. Dan Lipranzer
Joe Grifasi – Tommy Molto
Tom Mardirosian – Nico Della Guardia
Sab Shimono – Dr. “Painless” Kumagai
Bradley Whitford – Jamie Kemp
Christine Estabrook – Lydia MacDougall
Michael Tolan – Mr. Polhemus
Jesse Bradford – Nat Sabich
Tucker Smallwood – Det. Harold Greer
Director Alan J. Pakula

4 Regarding Henry (1991)

Question – What did John Leguizamo state in his autobiography?

This also could have given a great argument for #1 on My Top 10 +1 Favorite Harrison Ford Movies list. I would be hard pressed to find another Harrison Ford movie that moved me as much as this one did. To first see his progress through therapy and his relationship with Bradley. But, the one that really hits home to me is the evolution of deep love, appreciation and mutual respect that grows between his daughter, Rachel, and him. As so often true in life it often takes a near tragic event to bring about a self-realization and self-evaluation before positive change can be made. Father, mother and daughter all make them in this case and reunite into a happy whole like never before. Of course, the puppy chasing after them in the last scene is absolutely priceless.

By the way, guess who that delivery boy was? J.J. Abrams. Yep.

Answer – That he received hate mail from angry Harrison Ford fans because his character shoots Henry.

Harrison Ford – Henry Turner
Annette Bening – Sarah Turner
Bill Nunn – Bradley
Rebecca Miller – Linda
Bruce Altman – Bruce
Elizabeth Wilson – Jessica
Donald Moffat – Charlie Cameron
Mikki Allen – Rachel Turner
John Leguizamo – Liquor Store Gunman
Robin Bartlett – Phyllis
James Rebhorn – Dr. Sultan
J.J. Abrams – Delivery Boy (as Jeffrey Abrams)
Director Mike Nichols

3 42 (2013)

Question –  Branch Rickey blurts out “Judas Priest!” According to those closest to Rickey, that was the worst profanity he ever uttered. Why did Alan Tudyk deliberately not fraternize with Chadwick Boseman during filming?

I fell in love with baseball at 8 years old through my dad as he taught me how to play catch with baseball mitts from the 1940’s. For real. I still kick myself to this day that he and I let those mitts get lost in our different moves. My dad always wanted me to enjoy reading to “expand your mind son….” but, I often resisted any of his fine wisdom because I was a rebel too much of the time to my own disadvantage. But, The Boys of Summer (a gift from my dad) was a book that I fell deeply in love with and read over and over and over again. A part of that story was about Jackie Robinson and finally getting to see a great tribute to him on the screen in “42” with the support of his amazing owner, Branch Rickey (played by Harrison Ford) was magical for me.

Answer – He felt it was the best way to better convey the animosity between Jackie Robinson and Ben Chapman.

Harrison Ford – Branch Rickey
Chadwick Boseman – Jackie Robinson
Andre Holland – Wendell Smith
Christopher Meloni – Leo Durocher
John C. McGinley – Red Barber
Toby Huss – Clyde Sukeforth
Lucas Black – Pee Wee Reese
Alan Tudyk – Ben Chapman
Nicole Beharie – Rachel Isum Robinson
C. J. Nitkowski – Dutch Leonard
Brett Cullen – Clay Hopper
Ryan Merriman – Dixie Walker
T. R. Knight – Harold Parrott
Hamish Linklater – Ralph Branca
Jesse Luken – Eddie Stanky
Peter MacKenzie – Happy Chandler
Director Brian Helgeland

2 Star Wars: Episode V – Return of the Jedi (1983)

Question – The growls and sounds of the Rancor in Jabba’s Palace were actually made by a dachsund! I knew they could be fierce little ones. Speaking of voices. Ian McDiarmid, a prolific stage actor, based his character’s unusual voice on what?

In A New Hope  I (along with the rest of the world) was introduced to an interstellar mystical journey beyond belief and the good guys prevailed. In The Empire Strikes Back I learned that this might not all be rainbows and unicorns from this point forward. Still with no Internet or spoilers in 1983 I sat down on opening night Wed, May 25th with my buddies completely on the edge of my seat. Nobody knew what to expect with the status of Han Solo nor what would happen to the story as this would be the last one forever (to our knowledge at that time). As in the true progression of the technology, the film trumped the previous film with space scenes and sounds we could not fathom yet were only confirmed that anything was possible. And that became the storyline of the film. Anything was possible and it did end happily ever after.

Answer – On the Japanese method of using your stomach to project yourself. The result was a strange, guttural croak that Lucas decided was perfect for the character of Palpatine.

Harrison Ford – Han Solo
Mark Hamill – Luke Skywalker
Carrie Fisher – Princess Leia Organa
Billy Dee Williams – Lando Calrissian
Anthony Daniels – C-3PO
David Prowse – Darth Vader
Kenny Baker – R2-D2
Peter Mayhew – Chewbacca
Fank Oz – Yoda
Alec Guinness – Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi
Ian McDiarmid – Emperor Palpatine
Sebastian Shaw – Anakin Skywalker
Denis Lawson – Wedge Antilles
Kenneth Colley – Admiral Piett
Warwick Davis – Wicket
Jeremy Bulloch – Boba Fett
Caroline Blakiston – Mon Mothma
Director Richard Marquand

1 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Question – Most of the uniforms worn by the Nazis in the Berlin book burning scene are authentic WW2 uniforms found in Germany and not costumes. For the scene at the Nazi rally in Berlin (where Indy confronts Elsa and steals back the diary), what did Steven Spielberg have all the extras who did the “Sieg Heil” arm salute do?

Truth to be told it was virtually impossible to pick  the #1 position for My Top 10 +1 Favorite Harrison Ford Movies. So, what did I do? I watched all eleven of these movies again the past six weeks prior to this post. He’s one of my alltime favorite actors (though Costner and Hanks are neck and neck right up there) and I wanted to do it justice. Why this one really affected me (and I was leaning towards it being my #1 before I watched them again) was his interaction with his Dad. The scene on the blimp where they come to the mutual conclusion that there truly was never much communication between them. But, that his dad (Sean Connery) gave him a ton of freedom and he (Ford) learned to be self-sufficient because of it was also my dad and I to a “T”! I love you and miss you, Dad.

Answer – He also had them put their other arm behind their backs and cross their fingers. That is so awesome!

Harrison Ford – Dr. Indiana Jones
River Phoenix – Indiana Jones (aged 13)
Sean Connery – Professor Henry Jones
Denholm Elliott – Dr. Marcus Brody
Alison Doody – Dr. Elsa Schneider
John Rhys – Davies as Sallah
Julian Glover – Walter Donovan
Michael Byrne – SS-Standartenführer (Colonel) Ernst Vogel
Kevork Malikyan – Kazim
Robert Eddison – Sir Galahad
Vernon Dobtcheff – the Butler
Michael Sheard – Adolf Hitler (uncredited)
Director Steven Spielberg

What is your favorite Harrison Ford movie?

We wanted to send a hello and thank you to Becc! She has been so very supportive of us always. Also, she writes beautiful, very personal posts about her up and down struggles fighting with health issues. Yet, she is always so resilient and her inner beauty and strength shines ever day! Please check out her blog at Take Charge Now! We hope this gave you a smile, our friend 🙂

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Mike Vogler

I have been told (many times) that I really need to write a book about my life. The past 40+ years have been an exciting ride, and these days I find myself with a great many passions. However, I feel that this website is a much more personal way with which to share my musings, stories, commentary, and (of course) my greatest love... my Golden Retriever, Phoenix.

  28 Responses to “My Top 10 +1 Favorite Harrison Ford Movies”

  1. With the exception of Presumed Innocent I have seen and loved all of your picks. I’ve never seen Presumed Innocent. Oddly I just watched Witness again last Saturday night…still great.
    A few I would consider for my list:
    The Frisco Kid, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, Sabrina, Air Force One, and, even though it go bad reviews, I liked Hollywood Homicide.

    • Thank you, Ed, and I like your honorable mention list. Sabrina came really close to being posted! That’s a fantastic romantic movie and Julia Ormond is soooo yummy 🙂

    • I forgot to mention the trivia that I thought was interesting. I never knew about the ligament problems he had in The Fugitive. The whipping scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom will never be the same to me now. I learned about Viggo Mortensen last week while researching Witness after watching it. And I love Carrie Fisher’s phone conversation.

    • The trivia has become an immensely fun part of researching and writing the Top 10’s now, Ed. Unfortunately it can also be very distracting meaning I just want to read more and more. And nothing gets done on the post lol 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for the mention. It is people like you that keep me writing and hopefully inspiring 🙂
    Harrison Ford is more up my husbands alley, but The Fugitive wasn’t too bad. He has an impressive role call though, doesn’t he?

    • You are very welcome and we are so glad that our paths crossed, Becc! The Fugitive was good and I hope your husband gets a chance to check out the list 🙂

  3. If I had a choice for a boytoy, ( besides Ray ) it would be Harrison. Love everything I’ve seen him in.

    • If I liked guys that way I would want Harrison Ford for a boytoy too, Connie! Great choice 🙂

  4. Hi Mike, wow that list took me along a little nostalgic trip down memory lane … I loved Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones movies – in fact my sister in law back then said my husband looked like him! I think they’ve both changed in the meantime 🙁 As ever, I enjoyed your trivia questions and answers … now I must back to work! By the way thanks for commenting and re-tweeting my post about Buying Local this Christmas on ZigaZag 🙂

    • Thank you for the compliment and enjoying the post, Johanna! Wow, you really need to put up a pic of your husband…nice comparison to have! You are very welcome on the tweet as I really liked your post and it’s a cause I’m huge believer in. Buy and support products from local businesses always folks! 🙂

  5. Interesting top. I’m a Harrison Ford fan too…

  6. You can hate me for that Mike, but unfortunately Harrison Ford is not on my list of favourite actors. For me he is not authentic and I always find him boring. I don’t know why, maybe he’s way too old for my generation, who knows :).

    • You are adorably funny, Agness! No hating going on with this blog! 🙂 It’s a bummer that you find him boring but have you ever seen Star Wars or Indiana Jones? I’ll hopefully rebound with an actor you like on the next one! 🙂

  7. Finally, Ive seen some of these! Well, just the Star Wars ones.
    Thought he was good in those. I would watch some of these others.
    Presumed Innocent, Regarding Henry and The Fugitive look good. Also need to watch 42. Cant forget about that baseball movie!

    • Ah yes, 42 is a must watch my baseball loving friend! I’m suprised you’ve missed the classic Indiana Jones movies though! Maybe on a rainy day sometime 🙂

  8. I love Harrison Ford flicks. The whole “Indiana Jones” series is definitely a fave (I liked the one where he was in Nazi Germany with his dad) and I also love “The Fugitive”. And the “Temple of Doom” off camera whipping scene tidbit is hilarious!

    • Awesome Dana and I would love to see that off camera whipping scene too! The Last Crusade was my fav of his just because of the father/son interaction and dialogue between them 🙂

  9. Great List, Mike! SO interesting.

    Love this about Carrie Fisher: **When Lucas handed her the phone she
    simply said, “Mother, I want to fly coach, will you f**k off?!” and hung up**

    Classic.

    Um, my favorite Harrison Ford movie is probably The Futuitfve. I also LOVE Tommy Lee Jones!

    LOVE, purr, & Kiss for Phoenix!!

    • I really appreciate that, Kim! Thank you for commenting on the trivia as I’m so glad folks are reading them! Yes, The Fugitive was really good and I’m a huge Tommy Lee Jones fan as well. Right back at ya from Phoenix! 🙂

  10. Harrison Ford has just always struck me as such a nice guy. It’s also cool that he owns a place outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Why? Because I used to spend a lot of time in that town and it’s just a really neat place. Great logic, I know….

    • Oh what a small world because I’ve been to Jackson Hole a gazillion times! Have you been there in the winter? It’s absolutely gorgeous! My family and I used to spend every Christmas/New Year’s week snowmobiling in Yellowstone as they own a bunch of land right outside of the park. Thank you for sharing that about you, Jeri! 🙂

  11. I was a huge Hans Solo and Indiana Jones fan. I love Harrison Ford movies and you have a great selection here. I’ve never seen presumed Innocent. Always fun to read through your tidbits and trivia, Mike. Have a great weekend!

    • You and I are on the exact same page there, Mary! Thank you for the trivia compliment. I’ve been soooo appreciating all the positive remarks about them. Have a great weekend as well to you and your family! 🙂

  12. I absolutely loathed Indiana 2, loved Regarding Henry, and eagerly await Indiana 5 (which is trying to get off the ground).

    I still haven’t seen American Graffiti, though.

    • I agree on Regarding Henry as it was awesome, Chris! Indiana 5? Yikes, I wish they would have stopped at The Last Crusade 🙂

  13. Regarding Henry – hands down!

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