23 August 2021 444 Views

Second Tier Harrison Ford films

by James Murphy

Basically..they are ALL good..coz Harrison Ford is in them!

 They’re just not Han Solo or Indiana Jones or Jack Ryan or POTUS or a fugitive or protecting an Amish witness.. so tended to get less love..until now!

 

In no special order..

RANDOM HEARTS /HANOVER STREET: Sure they’re slow and the premises a tad melodramatic. The tones jar all over the place. But Harrison still manages to make the small moments cool. Little gestures like getting a bus or buying groceries. That’s why he’s a movie star. Lovely turns from Lesley Anne Down and Kristin Scott Thomas, too and earworm scores to add romantic atmosphere.

SIX DAYS, SEVEN NIGHTS / MOSQUITO COAST: Differing genres (one is an action adventure rom/com; the other a drama) but same skill set. Here you get to see Ford the survival guy / carpenter and above all, ACTOR at work! Anne Heche and Helen Mirren both, divine, too!

 

PRESUMED INNOCENT / REGARDING HENRY: Two back to back Harrison as lawyer movies. Very different animals. Former is a thriller, latter a more sentimental drama. He’s better at man against the odds and system than he is as recovering trauma patient but both show an ambitious range and and a desire to show he’s not just action man academics on screen.

 

WHAT LIES BENEATH / THE CONVERSATION: If you have not watched these gems of cinema? Do so immediately. I won’t spoil quite how it is that Harrison distinguishes himself here but let’s just say he is cast very much against type..maybe..;)

CROSSING OVER /42: Harrison regretted turning down TRAFFIC (2000). That role went to Michael Douglas but would have been a true career boost to Ford at the time who was seeking both bigger hits and creative reinvention. But he more than made up for that. Crossing Over is arguably to immigration on film, what Traffic was to drugs. 42 is a vanity free performance from Ford and a thought provoking history lesson with a star defining turn from Chadwick Boseman.

WORKING GIRL / MORNING GLORY: Two bright, shiny and yet substantial, literate, clever rom-coms. Over twenty years apart. Yet Harrison is great, in both. Similar plot function, too: a kind of mentor to the leading lady, albeit romantic in one and paternal in the other. It’s easily forgotten that Ford is very funny. When he has the right material, played in a casual way that is somehow perfectly timed and precise in delivery: he can make us laugh. A lot. That’s every bit as fundamental to his star power as any action hero expertise and it’s in fusing those qualities that he is at his very best.

BRUNO: Harrison has a great cameo here..(ok that’s enough for now)..

 



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