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Readers’ Poll: The 10 Best Harrison Ford Movies

See what film managed to beat both ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back’

Harrison Ford

Paramount; Lucas Films

When Harrison Ford crashed his World War II-era plane onto a Los Angeles golf course last week, our heads were filled with questions: Is he OK? Why is he flying such an old plane? And what happens if he's too injured to film Blade Runner II and future Star Wars movies? Minutes slowly ticked by without any updates, but finally it was announced that he would make a full recovery – the worst wound was a nasty gash on his head.  To celebrate the good news, we asked our readers vote on for their favorite Harrison Ford movies. Here are the results. 

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10

‘Presumed Innocent’

Right after riding his horse into the sunset at the conclusion of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Harrison Ford teamed up with director Alan Pakula for this adaptation of Scott Turow's novel Presumed Innocent. Ford played a prosecutor that gets framed for the murder of a colleague who just so happened to be his mistress. It has the overwhelming feel of a great Hitchcock movie, as the innocent man can't seem to clear his name no matter how hard he tries. The 1990 film grossed $221 million, kicking off a very good decade for Ford. 

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9

‘Air Force One’

It's hard to mark the exact point where Harrison Ford ceased to be one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood. One could argue this period started after his 2000 blockbuster What Lies Beneath, but even that followed the disappointments of Six Days Seven Nights and Random Hearts. Going back further, 1997's Air Force One might have been the last time he seemed truly A-list. In the film, Ford played a president whose problems with the Secret Service make Obama's issues seem like nothing. His plane gets hijacked by Gary Oldman and a bunch of Russian thugs, but they messed with the wrong world leader: Soon enough he's beating up terrorists with his own fists and screaming "Get off my plane!" It was a huge hit, grossing $315 million. 

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8

‘The Mosquito Coast’

Three years before River Phoenix played a young Indiana Jones in Last Crusade, he portrayed Harrison Ford's son in The Mosquito Coast. Based on a best-selling 1981 novel by Paul Theroux, it's the story of a disgruntled American inventor who moves his family to Central America in search of a simpler life. Instead of peace and solitude, he finds conflict, a group of missionaries with a very different agenda and a raging tropical cyclone. Simply put, America ain't so bad.

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7

‘Regarding Henry’

Back in 1991, the 25-year-old son of two producers wrote a screenplay about a hotshot New York lawyer who gets shot in the head during a robbery and emerges from his coma an extremely changed man. Regarding Henry generated very mixed reviews and only grossed $43 million. The screenwriter, J.J. Abrams, soon advanced to bigger projects, but nobody could have possibly imagined that these would eventually include directing Ford in a seventh Star Wars movie. That's about as unlikely as a simple home invasion turning a mean, cheating lawyer into a kind, caring family man. 

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6

‘American Grafitti’

Harrison Ford was a struggling actor-carpenter when when he was hired to build cabinets at the home of George Lucas in 1972. The young filmmaker was working on a coming-of-age story about a group of high school friends, and he cast his cabinet-maker as Bob Falfa. Ford didn't get a ton of screen time, but the movie became a sensation. It helped Richard Dreyfuss land Jaws and Ron Howard land Happy Days, and a few years later when Lucas was casting his new space adventure, he returned to Ford for a slightly bigger role.

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5

‘The Fugitive’

With the possible exception of Die Hard, The Fugitive may be the most compulsively re-watchable action movie ever created. No matter how many times we've seen Dr. Richard Kimble leap out of that train, race through the St. Patrick's Day parade or track down the one-armed man, we still can't change the channel any time it comes on TV. The movie doesn't have a single wasted moment, and the tension manages to last through every frame. They made a sequel a few years later, but the less said about U.S. Marshals the better. 

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4

‘Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back’

If you polled 10,000 Star Wars fanatics and asked them to name their favorite of the six movies, The Empire Strikes Back would likely win in a landslide. The original movie deals with a lot of plot and a rather whiney Luke Skywalker, Return of the Jedi has the Ewoks and the prequels are the prequels. Empire has few faults: The fact it's one of the two movies not directed by George Lucas may have something to do with this, but whatever the reason, it's simply the most thrilling installment.

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3

‘Witness’

Witness is almost two movies in one. It begins as a thriller about a young Amish murder witness and the police detective assigned to protect him. But once the latter arrives in Pennsylvania, it turns into a love story between the detective and the boy's mother, played by Kelly McGillis. The film was a big hit – further evidence that Ford could carry a movie even when he wasn't playing Han Solo, Indiana Jones or a robot detective in the future. 

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2

‘Blade Runner’

The events of Blade Runner take place in 2019. If they come true, the next four years are going to see a remarkable increase in robot technology and a remarkable decrease in Los Angeles' quality of living. Here, human-like replicants work on remote colonies in space but are banned from Earth. Harrison Ford plays a detective tasked with tracking down replicants that have arrived on our planet – but is one himself? The movie wasn't a huge winner at the box office, but it soon became a cult favorite.

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1

‘Raiders of the Last Ark’

After three sequels, a TV show about Indy's younger incarnation and countless parodies and knock-offs, it can be easy to forget just how stunning Raiders of the Lost Ark was when it hit theaters in the summer of 1981. Audiences were so hooked that over 30 years later they are willing to pretend that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was a bad dream and that there is one more great adventure right around the corner. Disney owns the rights to the character, so there will likely be new movies even if Ford is no longer involved.

In This Article: Harrison Ford, Readers Poll

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