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The Most Unforgettable Harrison Ford Moments

Harrison Ford is known for playing all kinds of amazing roles throughout his illustrious career, including Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, Jack Ryan in Patriot Games, President James Marshall in Air Force One, and Norman Spencer in What Lies Beneath. But, c'mon, we all really remember him for his iconic, timeless roles as Indiana Jones and Han Solo. It's time we reflect on some of the veteran actor's greatest moments—the ones that remind us why Harrison Ford has been, and always will be, the man. Here are some of Harrison Ford's most memorable moments.

Unswordsmanlike Conduct

In our favorite part of Raiders of the Lost Ark, we see Indiana Jones confronted by a Cairo swordsman, who showcases his flashy skills with a blade. The scene was originally intended to be an elaborate duel featuring whip versus sword action. But due to Ford's real life bout with dysentery while filming, the fight turned into one of the greatest movie moments of all time, with Indiana Jones giving the ultimate "screw this" look and killing the fighter with his pistol from afar and getting right back to business like nothing happened.

Solo on the Rocks

The first Star Wars sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, ends with the bad guys winning, but that's why we love it so much. Just before Han Solo goes on ice, Princess Leia kisses him and finally speaks her affections aloud, saying, "I love you." In one of the most boss moments ever, Solo simply replies with the words, "I know." The look on Harrison Ford's face as he gets lowered into the carbonite-freezing chamber is priceless. Chewbacca's cries as Solo is frozen reflect what moviegoers were feeling, but didn't want to admit.

'You Wookiee Sack of S---!'

Before the release of The Force Awakens, we hadn't seen Han Solo and Chewbacca on screen together in decades. Before Han Solo reunited with Chewbacca in Episode VII, the duo had to squash the beef that arose after their years of separation. A few years ago on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host brought out Chewie during an interview with Harrison Ford, ending in disastrous results. Ford spewed out some angry comments filled with four-letter-words at his old companion before storming offstage. Nothing beats seeing Han Solo yell, "I'll see you in hell" to Chewie. Recently, Ford and Chewie hugged it out on the rooftop of Kimmel's studio...just in time to get back onto the big screen.

Snake on a Plane

Another one of our favorite scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark, we see Indiana Jones encounter one of his only fears: snakes. This comes full circle during the Well of Souls sequence, but here we see the heroic Indy freak out, Fear Factor-style. If only he knew how many more times throughout the series where he would be encountering slithering reptiles...

Old Man Can't Chute

Easily one of the most badass movie scenes of Harrison Ford's career, Air Force One's climax involves Ford as President James Marshall taking on Russian terrorist leader Ivan Korshunov (Gary Oldman) during an epic fight in the plane's cargo hold. Before breaking Korshunov's neck with a cargo net and parachute, Ford snarls out one of the most iconic lines of his career, "get off my plane." Now just imagine if you were the poor sap to find Korshunov's corpse parachuting into your backyard from the sky.

'They Could Use a Good Pilot Like You'

In an interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor Oscar Isaac revealed what it was like to work with Harrison Ford. Since Isaac plays an X-Wing pilot in the movie, he asked Ford for tips on how to simulate flight in front of the camera, mainly due to Ford's real life experiences as a pilot. Ford's response? "It's fake. And it's in space." The advice was priceless and proof that there's only one pilot in the 'verse as smooth as Han Solo.

Indy Did Not-See a Ticket

This unforgettable scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade showcases everything we love about Harrison Ford in just a matter of seconds. As Indy is disguised as a conductor, his father is approached by an SS officer. The way Indy protects his father, punches out the Nazi, throws him out the Zeppelin window, and sarcastically explains, "no ticket" to all the guests watching in surprise, is one of Ford's greatest moments on the silver screen.

'I Bet You Have'

One of the most iconic Harrison Ford moments takes place in the Mos Eisley Cantina during the original Star Wars. For decades, fans debated who shot first between Han Solo and Greedo during their epic showdown at the cantina table. Years later, Lucas remastered the footage, adding a tiny detail of Greedo missing a blaster shot as Han shoots him a split-second later. Rewind the footage all you want, but we'd still like to think Han shot first in the original version.

Han Solo Loses a Boot (or Two)

During an interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Harrison Ford explained an unfortunate accident that happened while filming Star Wars: The Force Awakens. A door on set fell down and injured Ford's ankle and pelvis. Watching Ford explain the accident to Fallon with the use of a vintage Han Solo doll reminds us how hilarious and crazy he can be. Despite being broken, the figure is probably worth more money now after Ford had his way with the doll of himself. Wait...that sounds wrong.

Stop Bugging Me, Willie

Harrison Ford's repertoire of facial expressions are on full display during this nail-biting, suspenseful sequence in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. As Indy and Short Round are about to be flattened and stabbed by a ceiling trap filled with spikes, it's up to Willie (Kate Capshaw) to save the day. Unfortunately, she's afraid of bugs, and the hallway containing the release mechanism is filled with them. As Willie is reluctant to put her hand into the hole and undo the trap, Indy shouts at her, "we are going to die," with the look of death on his face. Luckily, Temple of Doom wasn't the holiest of Indy's adventures.

Storming the Troopers

No list of great Harrison Ford moments would be complete without a look at the blaster fight aboard the Death Star during the original Star Wars. As Luke and Leia are getting away, Han Solo shoots at and chases a group of Stormtroopers down a hallway, screaming to scare the fleeing soldiers. The soldiers turn a corner and Han found himself in a hangar bay filled with troopers, ready to fight. Solo's reaction—running back the other way—is yet another one of our favorite moments in Harrison Ford history.

'Blade Runner'

Ridley Scott's unforgettable 1982 adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? took sci-fi in a visually distinctive, thrillingly dystopian direction—and paid the price at the box office during the summer of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Although audiences slept on the film during its original release, it's since earned cult classic certification and stands today as one of the more thought-provoking movies of its era...as well as an early glimpse of the more downbeat direction Ford would turn after clearing his obligations to the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises.

For kids weaned on the smart-aleck quips Ford dispensed as Indy and/or Han Solo, his pensive turn as Deckard in Blade Runner might have come as something of an unwelcome surprise. But what it lacks in snappy repartee, it makes up in pretty much every other area. There are also some pretty boss set pieces, including this particularly memorable fight between Deckard and the runaway replicant Pris (Daryl Hannah). The boys who dreamed of giving Hannah her legs when she played a mermaid in Splash a couple of years later might have felt differently if they'd seen what she did to Ford's head with her thighs in this scene.

​'The Fugitive'

As per the title of this 1993 thriller—adapted from the classic '60s series about a guy who goes desperately on the lam to prove his innocence in his wife's murder—Ford spends more of this movie hiding from the cops than he does swashbuckling his way through action sequences. And given the fact that his character has escaped from prison after being unjustly sent up the river for a death that would have left him emotionally ruined even if he hadn't been a suspect, it's no surprise that The Fugitive finds Ford playing stern and determined rather than sarcastic and funny.

Still, even given all that (and the fact that co-star Tommy Lee Jones steals the best line in the movie), we do get a few flashes of vintage Ford—like this scene, which shows him hurriedly ditching his beard and stealing a meal from a hospital patient before waltzing right out from under a clueless cop's nose (with his fly down, natch).

​'Apocalypse Now'

Ford's role in Francis Ford Coppola's nightmarish Vietnam War epic only takes up a few moments, but it's worth noting for a few reasons. First, it gives us a glimpse of the future leading man back when he was still just a skinny little Hollywood greenhorn. He was reportedly such a nervous wreck on the set that Coppola expanded the above scene to allow for Ford's real-life tics. Second, it offers a fascinating example of how films can run roughshod over the most well-intentioned production timetables.

Although Apocalypse Now was one of Ford's earliest screen credits, coming after he'd booked smallish roles in American Graffiti and Coppola's The Conversation, it took years to finish—so long, in fact, that it didn't arrive in theaters until 1979, by which time Ford was known to millions as the dashing Star Wars scoundrel Han Solo. He'd do a lot of things as a result of that film's massive success, but he'd never look this young or inexperienced again.

​'The Conversation'

It takes a special kind of screen charisma to make audiences believe you could ever intimidate Gene Hackman—particularly during the years after he whooped bad-guy butt as Popeye Doyle in The French Connection—so let's just call it something of a small cinematic miracle that, in one of his earliest roles, Ford found himself on the winning end of a big-screen staredown with him.

As was the case with a handful of his first credits, Ford's appearance in The Conversation isn't particularly lengthy, but it still provides a key turning point in the movie—a scene in which Hackman's character, surveillance expert Harry Caul, comes to realize that the gig he's signed up for might be far more dangerous than he'd first believed. "Now look, don't get involved in this, Mr. Caul. Those tapes are dangerous," coos Ford's character. "You heard them. You know what I mean. Someone...may get hurt."


We watched him crack a whip and fire a laser blaster—why would we ever want to see Harrison Ford hang out with the Amish? The answer, as argued by director Peter Weir's 1985 hit thriller Witness, is obvious: he's capable of being a badass no matter where he goes.

Take, for example, this scene, in which Ford's character—a Philadelphia cop who's been living with members of an Amish community while protecting a boy who witnessed the murder of an undercover police officer—fumes with barely contained rage because his companions are being harassed by local ne'er-do-wells who feel safe bullying people they know are sworn pacifists. Unfortunately for them, one of the guys only looks Amish—and he's more than willing to deliver a beatdown where it's deserved. Of all the "noble guy delivering a richly deserved butt-kicking" moments in Ford's filmography, this one is among the most satisfying.


In a substantial portion of his movies, Ford is the guy who saves the day when it seems like all is lost. But for at least part of Roman Polanski's Frantic, he plays against type as an ordinary guy who's hopelessly outmatched and barely keeping it together.

This 1988 mystery thriller wasn't much of a box office hit, but it was well-received by critics, and looking at this clip, it's easy to understand why. Playing a doctor who's vacationing with his wife in Paris when she suddenly disappears, Ford plays the situation pretty much the same way any of us would handle it in real life—which is to say sweaty, trembling, and visibly on the edge of freaking out. As Ford's character pieces together the clues of his wife's whereabouts, he only becomes more desperate; watching one of the more reliable Hollywood heroes of the '80s crumble only raises the dramatic stakes for an already pulse-pounding story.

​'Working Girl'

From the late '70s through the late '80s, Ford seemed to spend so much of his onscreen time in high-stakes adventures that it was easy to forget he was capable of playing a real person. 1988's Working Girl offered a fizzy corrective in the form of an office rom-com about a secretary (Melanie Griffith) who gets stabbed in the back by her shrew of a boss (Sigourney Weaver). The secretary then exacts her revenge by surreptitiously moving up the corporate ladder and falling for a clueless exec (Ford) after Weaver's character is hurt in a skiing accident.

This is obviously far from Ford's most demanding role, but it's still fun to watch. Just look at his face after Griffith tells him she has "a head for business and a bod for sin." Hair product and shoulder pads aside, the chemistry here makes it easy to miss the '80s.

​'Patriot Games'

Alec Baldwin is immensely talented and has made a slew of entertaining films (not to mention his hilarious work on 30 Rock), but he's no Harrison Ford—all of which is to say that when Ford took over the role of Jack Ryan for the Hunt for Red October sequel Patriot Games, it offered a substantial upgrade to a character who was already in pretty good shape to begin with.

In Ford's version of Ryan, we got a guy who wasn't just a lethal weapon. He had the obvious moral authority to take the character all the way to acting director of the CIA—adding up to a popcorn-friendly state of affairs for 1994's Clear and Present Danger, in which he discovers he's being used as a patsy by unscrupulous co-workers and threatens to burn the whole thing down. Would you mess with this guy?

​'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues'

As he's aged into elder statesman status, Ford's lost evident interest in taking on comedic roles (his handful of sly asides in The Force Awakens notwithstanding), so it came as something of a pleasant surprise to find he'd agreed to film a cameo for Will Ferrell's Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

He isn't in the movie for long, but much like Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder, he's the perfect choice to play a Hollywood exec who's both oafish ("What are you...Finnish?") and utterly intimidating. In a movie stuffed with throwaway gags and non sequiturs, this scene stands out as one of the more endearingly weird.

​'American Graffiti'

This George Lucas-directed hit gave Ford his first big-screen role of any real significance—and Ford turned 31 the year it was released. Running out of time to wait for his big break, Ford was actually working as a carpenter until Star Wars saved him from the blue-collar life, and according to Hollywood lore, he only took his American Graffiti part because Lucas allowed him to forgo the buzzcut hairstyle his character was supposed to sport.

In the end, they worked out a compromise, and although it only added up to a few moments of screen time for Ford, it added yet another future superstar to Graffiti's immensely talented cast. And its '60s plot offered early proof that Ford could be cool in any decade (or galaxy), no matter what happened to be on his head.