Originally written by Jake Dee for Screen Rant
Harrison Ford is one of the biggest movie stars of all time. Indeed, the iconic screen actor has enjoyed a 50-year career, working with some of the most accomplished filmmakers in the process. He's worked for Lucas, Spielberg, Nichols, Polanski, Weir, Ridley, J.J., and many more over the course of his illustrious filmography. And we haven't even mentioned Han or Indy yet!
Of course, Han Solo and Indiana Jones are among Ford's most well-known film roles, but they don't tell the entire story. As Ford sets out on an adventure of a lifetime with The Call of the Wild this month, it's time to take a fond look back. Here is Harrison Ford's 10 Best Movies Roles, Ranked!
10. Henry Turner (Regarding Henry)
Co-written by J.J. Abrams while he was still in college, Ford shows his superb acting chops as the titular Henry, a man whose life is upended following an injurious gunshot wound.
The Mike Nichols film concerns the ways in which Henry picks up the pieces of his shattered life once losing his memory, ability to speak, and agency to move his body around. Ford demonstrates his bodily instrument as he slowly regains his functions and refocuses his feelings.
9. Dr. Walker (Frantic)
Ford gives a thoroughly compelling turn as an American doctor in Paris who is suddenly thrown into a whirlwind of intrigue, espionage, criminality, and downright murder!
Directed by Roman Polanski, Frantic follows Dr. Richard Walker, a sophisticated gent whose wife suddenly disappears while he's taking a shower during a French vacation. Stonewalled at every turn, Walker solely investigates the Parisian underworld in order to find and rescue his wife.
8. John Book (Witness)
In Peter Weir's Witness, Ford plays John Book, a tough-minded cop willing to go undercover to infiltrate a seedy Amish community to solve a murder. Better yet, he offers protection for the witness!
When a young Amish boy witnesses the murder of an undercover cop outside of Philly, John Book takes up the case. Immediately put in danger, Book conforms to the lifestyle of the Amish people and abides accordingly. Along the way, Book begins to protect the child witness from the ruthless murders out to silence them all.
7. Branch Rickey (42)
Ford doesn't often play real-life characters, but when he does, he tends to hit it out of the park!
Take 42 for example, the reverential Jackie Robinson biopic, in which Ford plays the legendary team manager Branch Rickey. Remember, Rickey is the one who stood up for the rights of Robinson and lobbied for his inclusion in Major League Baseball, shattering the color barrier in the process. Ford brings an air of wisdom, compassion, and sophistication to the role.
6. President Marshall (Air Force One)
"Get off my plane!" Few lines have ever been gruffly grumbled in the way Ford commands the highest office in the land in Air Force One!
The bottom line is this. When you play the American President on screen and do it well, odds are it will end up as one of your greatest roles. For Ford, he brings years of onscreen gravitas and built-in audience trust that instantly makes him believable as the U.S. President. Of course, launching Gary Oldman into the ether doesn't hurt!
5. Jack Ryan (Clear and Present Danger)
Ford brought to life the character of Jack Ryan, arguably Tom Clancy's most famous fictional characters in not one, but two big-screen film adaptations!
Indeed, in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, Ford portrayed Jack Ryan, the skilled CIA operative who becomes involved in several perilous global conspiracies. In the former, Ryan takes on the IRA. In the latter, he goes after a Colombian drug cartel. No matter the task, Ford can do no wrong!
4. Richard Kimble (The Fugitive)
Ford typically plays larger than life heroes whose side we remain on from beginning to end. However, what makes his work in The Fugitive so great is the way he evolves from potential killer to heroic avenger by the end!
Framed for murder, Dr. Richard Kimble adamantly claims he did not kill his wife. Why would he? The killer is a one-armed man who Kimble doggedly tracks down and investigates years after escaping from prison and remaining in hiding. Kimble not only proves his innocence, but he also saves the life of the cop hot on his heels for years.
3. Rick Deckard (Blade Runner)
Portrayed twice over the course of 35 years, Ford's depiction of Rick Deckard in the two Blade Runner movies easily ranks among his best to date.
What makes the character so compelling is the ambiguity with which Ford plays Deckard. Is he or is he not a replicant? This is the crux of the movie, played with brilliant uncertainty by Ford as the laconic futuristic detective known for hunting replicants. Nuanced, mystifying, and ultra-cool!
2. Indiana Jones (Indiana Jones)
One could argue the merits of the interchangeable top two roles of Ford's career, but based on the success of each respective franchise, we start by cracking the whip. Indy's whip!
Indeed, few movie characters are as iconic as that of Indiana Jones in the four-part series produced and directed by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. It seems that, if Ford was ever tailor-made for a single role, Indiana Jones is undeniably it. The suave and sophisticated but rough and tumble archeologist globe-trots and makes historical discoveries that put his life in grave danger each time out.
1. Han Solo (Star Wars)
Given the monumental success of the Star Wars saga, likely the most lucrative film franchise ever imagined, it stands to reason that Ford's work as the galaxy-famous Han Solo would rank as number one!
What else needs to be said? Ford brings an immeasurable amount of sheer coolness to the cosmos in the intergalactic space opera. He won our hearts and captured our imagination back in 1977, and damn near brought a tear to the eye of fanatics when reprising his role in the 2015 relaunch.