Cookies notification

This website uses cookies to provide you with a better experience

You can adjust your cookie settings at any time at the bottom of each page. If you do not adjust your settings, you are consenting to us issuing all cookies to you

This notification will be automatically dismissed in , dismiss this countdown.

Happy birthday Harrison Ford! Here are his 9 best movie roles

screen-poster

Harrison Ford is – hold onto something now – an unbelievable 75 years old today. Proving that age is merely a number, he’s showing no signs of slowing down, and in fact has been relishing revisiting some of his most famous roles these past few years.

We’ll next see him back as Replicant hunter Rick Deckard in Blade Runner 2049 this October, but, in the meantime, here are our favourite Harrison Ford movie roles...

Bob Falfa, American Graffiti

Ford was a bit-part actor and part-time chippy when he was cast in the small but pivotal role of the cowboy hat-rocking out-of-towner Bob Falfa in American Graffiti, a character whose need for speed almost ends in tragedy.

American Graffiti was George Lucas’ second movie after the hard SF head-scratcher THX-1138, and was a nostalgic drama set in the 50s Modesto of his youth.

Interestingly, Ron Howard headlined the movie, and it’s he who’s taken over the director's job on the forthcoming Han Solo prequel film (sadly NOT starring Harrison Ford).


John Book, Witness

Peter Weir’s engrossing 1985 thriller stars Ford as a Philadelphia detective who must travel to Amish country to protect the young eyewitness to a brutal murder.

Ford won an Academy Award nomination for his role as the compassionate John Book, while the film itself won a tonne of awards, not to mention critical acclaim.


Jack Ryan, Patriot Games/Clear and Present Danger

Over the years, a number of actors have played Tom Clancy’s CIA analyst Jack Ryan – Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck and Chris Pine – but none have bettered Harrison Ford, who played the part in two gripping, era-defining thrillers.

One of the more cerebral action heroes out there, Ford perfectly captured the intelligence and bravery of the character, and it pains us still that we were cheated out of more Ford-Ryan movies (both Ford and director Phillip Noyce were down to make The Sum Of All Fears, before it was recast with Ben Affleck).


Henry Turner, Regarding Henry

One of Ford’s most underrated roles, this JJ Abrams-penned drama gives him a meaty part to enjoy as a narcissistic, morally questionable Manhattan lawyer who, after getting shot during a robbery, is diagnosed with brain damage.

Essentially playing two contrasting parts, Ford is brilliant both as the former Henry Turner and the post-shooting Henry, who wants to rebuild his shattered relationships and make amends for his pasts sins.


Richard Kimble, The Fugitive

Based on the cult 1960s TV series, The Fugitive starred Ford as Dr Richard Kimble, a man wrongly accused of killing his wife.

In the 1960s, Kimble spent four seasons scouring the country in search of the one-armed man he believed killed his missus, but thankfully the movie truncates that down to 130 minutes.

More action-orientated than the TV version, The Fugitive allows Ford to indulge his action man impulses, while giving him a solid, three-dimensional character to get his acting teeth into.


President James Marshall, Air Force One

Wouldn’t it be amazing if Harrison Ford was a real-life US President? That’s the comforting fantasy at the heart of Air Force One, which has our birthday boy as a kickass POTUS who is forced to fend for himself when his official plane is hijacked by Russian terrorists (headed up by Gary Oldman, in maximum bad guy mode).

We can’t imagine many US Presidents going mano a mano with terrorists in the way Ford does. Not only that, but he manages to fly the plane all by himself as well.

You’ve got our vote, Mr President!


Rick Deckard, Blade Runner

One of Ford’s most enigmatic roles, it’s been a 35-year-old mystery as to whether Rick Deckard, this character from Ridley Scott’s dreamy SF classic Blade Runner, is a Replicant (a synthetic human) or not.

That question looks set to be answered later this year when Ford returns to the role for the first time since 1982. Ford’s subtle, nuanced performance may not be as showy as Han Solo, but it’s every bit as brilliant.


Indiana Jones, the Indiana Jones films

Thank God for Magnum PI, that’s what we say.

Back in 1980 George Lucas and Steven Spielberg had their Indiana Jones and were ready to roll with the filming of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Except the actor they wanted – Tom Selleck – suddenly became unavailable due to his commitments on the CBS crime show Magnum PI.

So it was that Harrison Ford was offered the role of the whip-snappin', hat-lovin' snake-hatin' archaeologist Indiana Jones, and history was made.

Ford has played Indy in four films and a fifth is currently in pre-production, with a planned release date of 10 July 2020, by which time Harrison Ford will be 77 going on 78.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Stairlift, anyone?


Han Solo, Star Wars

Put simply, Han Solo isn’t just the greatest Harrison Ford character, he stands a pretty good chance of being the best ever movie character, period.

Cynical and egotistical – he’s the classic anti-hero, and that’s why we heart him. And despite being the grand age of 73 when he returned to the role in The Force Awakens, he’d lost none of his twinkly, rogueish charm.

And yes, we’re not ashamed to say we wiped away a tear or two when he was (SPOILER ALERT!) ruthlessly cut down by his own son.

Boo to you, Ben Solo!



What’s your favourite Han Solo character? Tweet us @Cineworld.

Blade Runner 2049 opens at Cineworld on 6 October.


Want more?

The many faces of Dunkirk star Cillian Murphy

Steve Zahn: scene-stealer! The greatest roles of the War of Planet of the Apes star