Highlights: Harrison Ford

By Jason Barney

December 8, 2009

He got paid quite a bit more for the next Indiana Jones film...and they just wrote him a check.

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As we watch careers rise and fall, it is always fun to measure which films are memorable and earned respect within the body of work of a particular actor or actress. As time passes and more films enter a performer's resume, it's interesting to see how certain films stack up against others. Such discussions are totally based on point of view, but every so often Box Office Prophets will be taking a look at an actor/actress and providing a list of their top five movies.

There is no secret formula. Money earned in the theaters isn't added to critical reception and then divided by how many times people have seen these films. The square root of how many quotable lines a film is not multiplied by how many people own a flick on DVD.

A number of factors are taken into account for each Career Highlights list. First, limited or small roles naturally hold down a film's chances of making anyone's top five. The screen time of a role that merely lasts a few minutes is difficult to weigh against a film where they appeared as the star. In addition, box office success is not major factor. There have been some really awful movies that have made mountains of money. Perhaps the best way to define how a movie makes the Career Highlights list is by acknowledging the"Enjoyment Factor. Please feel free to agree, disagree, and offer a comment or two... and if you disagree, let us know which films should have been included!

Today's debate involves the filmography of Harrison Ford.


1) Raiders of The Lost Ark (1981)

There are very few films that can match the first of the Jones films for energy, action, and memorable scenes. Nominated for nine Academy Awards including best picture, this is simply one of the best films ever made. Ford plays Professor Indiana Jones, an archeologist with a passion for collecting rare relics and getting himself in some very dangerous situations. The start of the film presents one of the most memorable action sequences of all time with Jones in the jungles of Peru attempting to find a golden idol. From using his whip to swing across bottomless pits, to dodging poisonous darts and figuring out booby traps, the first ten minutes of Raiders of the Lost Ark is pure entertainment. The bar fight scene is awesome, the tension filled-but fun romance with Marion is great, and the action just doesn't stop. We feel for Indiana when thrown around by Nazi thugs, pursued by desert mercenaries, and swept up into a historic tale. While watching this film, it is hard for the viewer to not get the misconception that archeology is action packed. It's playful, incredibly entertaining, and Harrison Ford at his best.

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