Harrison Ford turns 78 today.
Scrolling through his filmography, it's hard to find an actor like him who's been consistently relevant in cinema for over forty years and starred in some of the best films in modern cinematic history.
Here now, our Top 5 Harrison Ford scenes.
5. 'THE FUGITIVE' (1993) - "I didn't kill my wife!"
It may have been parodied relentlessly - our favourite's when Milhouse is captured by a Tommy Lee Jones-alike - but it's still a truly iconic scene. For one, it shows Ford's minimalist talents. Without saying a word, you can see every emotion flash across his face before he decides to jump. Not only that, the film itself won an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, Cinematography, Editing, Sound with Lee Jones winning a Best Supporting Actor gong. GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES!
4. 'STAR WARS: EPISODE IV - A NEW HOPE' (1977) - "Over my dead body."
How anyone could realistically look at this scene and think for a second that Greedo shot first is beyond us. This, the original, unedited scene clearly shows Greedo slumped forward and Solo looking on with complete ambivalence. You've got to understand, for what was essentially a kids' sci-fi movie, the idea of the hero shooting a guy down without even giving him a chance to fight was unheard of. Sure, it was a staple of Spaghetti Westerns - but not a major sci-fi film that had this kind of broad appeal. Nobody - and we mean NOBODY - could have pulled off a scene like that. Effortlessly cool.
3. 'RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK' (1981) - The sword fight Scene
The legend surrounding the scene is almost as famous as the scene itself. For those who don't know it, here's what happened. The stuntman / sword-wielder, Terry Richards, had spent weeks choreographing a huge fight scene with Ford that would have taken a few days to shoot properly. However, Ford was suffering from a particularly nasty case of dysentery from eating the local food in Tunisia and asked Steven Spielberg to cut it down. Spielberg, who apparently wasn't a fan of Tunisia himself and wanted to condense the shoot there as much as possible, agreed immediately. Thus, the scene went into cinematic history.
2. 'WITNESS' - "What a wonderful world this would be..."
Peter Weir's 'Witness' is often overlooked when discussing Ford's filmography. People usually point to 'Indiana Jones', 'Star Wars', 'Blade Runner', any of the Jack Ryan movies or 'Air Force One'. For us, we think 'Witness' is up there as his best film. Playing a hardened Philadelphia cop, he investigates corruption in his own department and, in a desperate attempt to hide from the killer cops, he hides out in the Amish community with a mother and child who witnessed the murder. It's a relatively straightforward setup, but what the film explores is so much more - society, violence and pacifism, religion - all weighty stuff. This scene, however, acts as a beautiful little respite from all of it. Dancing with Kelly McGinnis' strict Amish character to Sam Cooke's hit song, What A Wonderful World, we see that unique easy-going charm Ford is famous for.
1. 'BLADE RUNNER' (1982) - "Deckard. B26354."
'Blade Runner' was one of the first films to blend arthouse aesthetics with neo-noir. It's an intriguing concept that worked miraculously well. This scene, however, belongs to director Ridley Scott as much as it does Ford. Deckard hunts a suspected Replicant across a neon landscape and shoots her down in cold blood. What follows is one of the most beautifully choreographed scenes in film history. Vangelis' gorgeous score overlays as Ford approaches the downed victim. Again, we're seeing Ford's incredible talent for saying almost nothing and telling us everything. Was it a Replicant? Or did he just shoot a woman?