If there’s one movie you want to watch this year, it’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate, one of the most important movies of 2023 that shouldn’t be missed. In it returns the famous archaeologist and with him of course Harrison Ford. With 80 years, the actor presents the fifth installment of one of cinema’s most important sagas. Plus, Ford can claim to have been immortalized for posterity with not just one character, but three: Star Wars’ Han Solo and ‘Blade Runner’ Rick Deckard with Professor Jones.
However, not everything is glamour, sophistication and ease when it comes to making a name for yourself in Hollywood. Ford also got off to a bad start. It is already known that he worked as a carpenter while seeking a life in the acting world. But everything is not limited to that famous story. Here we review three moments from Ford’s career that not everyone knows about. Other than that legend a model is not born, it is made. And he has achieved it.
First (and least visible) appearance in cinema
It’s hard to believe that the man we know as Han Solo or Indiana Jones in the movies had such obscure beginnings. But it was like that. Ford’s first appearance on celluloid lasted only 40 seconds. His big screen debut was in the 1966 film ‘Thief and Lover’ starring James Coburn. The actor, then just 24 years old, plays a bellboy who delivers a message to Coburn. A minor involvement that was not recognized in the final titles.
He also appeared in “Badnaam” on his second occasion in cinema. It was in the movie ‘Love… Means Love’, starring Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk. Released in 1967, here young Harrison appears in a car (you can see the scene here), with a girl, and they collide with the car containing Lemmon and Elaine May’s characters. Enraged, Ford storms out, walks to another car, punches good old Lemmon, and drives off.
His first credited role would come in the next job, ‘The Ride of the Damned’, where he played Harrison J.J. Used the name Ford. The “J” was inserted to avoid confusion with the silent film actor who has the same name as him.
Like other celebrities in the world of cinema, Ford has a distinctive brand. In his case, it’s a scar on his chin, which his fans will be more familiar with. how it’s made? The brand is the result of a car accident that happened in 1968. While trying to pursue an acting career, Ford worked at a department store in Laguna Beach, California. There he went from casting to casting to earn a salary. On his way to work by car, one day he went off the road and the vehicle crashed into a telephone pole. The actor came out of that accident with multiple injuries, one of them featuring on the chin, which occurred when he hit the steering wheel.
Interestingly, the mark would go on to receive a fictional backstory in the Indiana Jones saga. In ‘The Last Crusade’, we see a young Indy getting her chin slashed by River Phoenix using a whip. Also in ‘Armas de mujer’, Ford’s character remarks that the scar was made in a battle, although he later denies this.
Responsible for one of his most famous scenes
This is one of the curiosities that most intrigues fans of the actor (and is most surprising to those who were unaware of it). The scene in question is one of the highlights of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’. In it, Indiana Jones confronts one of the villains, who begins to juggle a great sword in an attempt to intimidate the archaeologist. However, Ford’s character draws his gun and shoots him. End of conflict.
The resolution of this scene has a very simple explanation. During filming, Ford contracted dysentery, a disease caused by bacteria that causes diarrhea and vomiting. This required him to film in short 10-minute intervals before going to the bathroom. Because of this, instead of doing a lengthy sword fight scene, Ford and Spielberg decided it would be better for Jones to end the confrontation by shooting the villain. And so, without meaning to, he created one of the funniest and most popular scenes in both the saga and the seventh art.
And that there is no one to match ‘Indie’, even with tricks. Exclusive press have witnessed the fifth installment of the thriller at Cannes. The rest of us will be able to see the film in theaters on June 28.
Maria Eller Maria is an expert in film, series and television.