Without even thinking it through it’s my earnest belief that Harrison Ford‘s best performance ever is Jack Ryan in Clear and Present Danger (’94), followed by his Philadelphia detective in Witness (’85 — his only Best Actor nomination), Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back (’80), Ally Fox in The Mosquito Coast (’86), Deckard in Blade Runner (’82), the widower in Random Hearts, the hosthot executive in Working Girl and the TV anchor in Morning Glory.

[Posted two years ago] “Frantic is an example of the kind of film that we used to make in the olden days, and for me [there were certain] directors were really important in the formation of a career. I didn’t actually do it all myself. I got to work with Alan Pakula, Sydney Pollack, Mike Nichols, Phillip Noyce, Roman Polanski, Peter Weir, Ridley Scott, Wolfgang Petersen].

“Those kinds of films are as important on a human level as, uh, those more successful films” — the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. “Which I keep revisiting in interview situations, because they are the most successful films.” [Unspoken: “Most successful” because your basic whiteside and T-shirt-wearing knuckle draggers obsess over these films and seem to need them like babies need their blankies.]

“But [making big franchise movies for the unwashed salivating hordes] is not what makes a life. That’s not what makes a career. That’s not what brings pleasure to the pursuit of something effable.” — Harrison Ford, starting around the 8:26 mark.

Why, then, did Ford turn down the Michael Douglas role in Traffic? And why did he make something so flagrantly non-organic and digitally antiseptic as Call of the Wild? Legend has it that a lot of what Ford agreed to do over the last 20 years was first and foremost about producers meeting his quote. The bottom line (and please correct me if I’m wrong) seems to be that “the kind of films that we used to make in the olden days” are to some extent still being made, but their producers can’t afford Ford.

One my favorite (and all-time funniest) Harrison Ford scenes: