Harrison Ford emerged from the eighties as the biggest male movie star in the world. Films made by no less than Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Roman Polanski, Ridley Scott, Peter Weir and George Lucas made the actor an international superstar, and an array of fine performances silenced his critics about his abilities as an actor. His first great film work came in the wonderful nostalgia film ‘American Grafitti’ (1973) and then he was cast as space pirate Han Solo in the original three Star Wars (1977-80-83), making him a household name. But incredibly that was not the peak just yet. His bull whip cracking Indiana Jones in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ (1981) put him into the stratosphere of actors. With the fame that came with those films, came offers from international directors to work with them.
He was Oscar nominated as the tough cop John Book hiding among the Amish in Witness (1985) and the following year gave his finest, and most daring performance in The Mosquito Coast (1986). Both films were directed by Peter Weir, who challenged Ford to go where he had not ever gone as an actor. Sequels followed with Ford reprising his role as Indiana Jones, and he continued to explore as an actor. Dabbling in romantic comedy, he was superb in ‘Working Girl’ (1988), gave a smashing good performance as a wrongly accused lawyer in ‘Presumed Innocent’ (1990), and as he got older he seemed to deepen as an actor.
Moving easily between major box office far such as ‘Regarding Henry’ (1991), ‘Sabrina’ (1995), ‘Air Force One’ (1997), and a rare role as the villain in ‘What Lies Beneath’ (2000) and small films that challenged him as an artist, he has remained on top for four decades now. Fine work in ’42’ (2014) as the baseball manager who took a chance on Jackie Robinson and changed history should have earned him another Oscar nod, but he was ignored. He has in the last ten years reprised his most famous roles, as Indiana Jones in ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ (2008), as Han Solo in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)’, and best of all as Deckart in the stunning sequel ‘Blade Runner 2049’ (2017).
He is that rare actor who has returned to the same character many times, three after many years had passed. How many actors can lay claim to so many iconic characters who exploded into pop culture and film history? Very few. He remains a much loved actor who is also a major movie star. With all that said now, here is a list of his 10 best movie performances:
1. The Mosquito Coast (1986)