Harrison Ford’s 15 Most Memorable Movie Quotes


Harrison Ford is one of the biggest movie stars of all time. He went from the "cool big brother" in roles like Han Solo and Indiana Jones, then graduated to "America's Dad" in the Jack Ryan movies and "Air Force One." What kid in the '80s didn't want to be Ford, and what kid in the '90s didn't want to be raised (and rescued from terrorists) by him? As an '80s and '90s kid, I'm well-versed in Ford's filmography, having seen almost all of his movies. Yes, even the obscure ones like "The Frisco Kid." Okay, I've missed a lot of his 2000s and 2010s run, but let's be honest, Ford's choices have been pretty inexplicable ("Cowboys & Aliens?"; "Extreme Measures?"; "Morning Glory?"). No, I prefer prime Ford. 

Rather than be smothered by Captain Solo and Dr. Jones, Ford used his most famous roles to craft a sui generis movie star persona as the wise-cracking, smart-assed, everyman action hero. Humphrey Bogart crossed with Gary Cooper; a romantic cynic, or a cynical romantic. Ford also gave us some of the most memorable movie quotes. Whether they were sarcastically spat, sardonically sputtered, or dramatically deployed, Ford's quotes defined his screen persona. Sure "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" quotes dominate, but like the rest of his career, those movies don't overshadow the rest. Take it from a lifelong Ford fan, here are Harrison Ford's 15 most memorable movie quotes.

'Chewie, We're Home' — Star Wars: The Force Awakens

"Chewie, we're home," is the line that sold a million tickets. Okay, it's impossible to quantify exactly how many tickets this line sold, so I'll settle on "a lot." Consider that 2015's franchise relaunch "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" earned more than $2 billion worldwide, $600+ million more than any other "Star Wars" movie. Given the second teaser trailer was bookended by that line, showing us our first new glimpse of Han Solo in more than three decades, I'd say it played a pretty big part. 

You may argue the out-sized performance of "The Force Awakens" was pent-up fan demand, but this only proves my point. "Chewie, we're home" was meant specifically to push moviegoers' nostalgia buttons, and it did so in a record-breaking fashion. Manipulative? The line was clearly powerful marketing, but it works within the context of the movie. Here's Harrison Ford, back with his blaster, Wookiee bestie, and on his beloved Millennium Falcon; Han Solo was home, and so were we.

'You Understand, Captain, That This Mission Does Not Exist, Nor Will It Ever Exist.' — Apocalypse Now

Harrison Ford's role in "Apocalypse Now" is so small I'd classify it a "blink and you'll miss him" cameo, except he wasn't famous enough for a cameo. Sure, he'd starred in "Star Wars" when Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam War epic came out in 1979, but Han Solo was famous, Ford wasn't. No, Ford's role was a small one, plain and simple (even Goerge Lucas didn't recognize Ford in "Apocalypse Now"). This is just as well, for it's Ford's inconspicuousness that adds to the character's menace. 

As the dweeby Colonel Lucas, Ford instructs Martin Sheen's Captain Willard that he's to go into Cambodia to kill Marlon Brando's crazed cult leader Colonel Kurtz. Ford adds this not-so-subtle warning: "You understand, Captain, that this mission does not exist, nor will it ever exist." While the movie's most famous line arguably is Robert Duvall barking "I love the smell of napalm in the morning!" Ford's quote is the key line. It embodies the undercurrent of distrust and paranoia in the film. These are not trained military professionals acting in good faith, but killers secretly plotting to assassinate one of their own. Ford's dispassionate delivery punctuates the horror.

'Never Tell Me The Odds' — Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

As Han Solo, Harrison Ford is best remembered for his chemistry with Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia, and Peter Mayhew's Chewbacca. I submit some of Han's best moments came with Anthony Daniels' C-3PO. In one corner, you have a cocksure space pirate whose shoot-from-the-hip (especially if it's at Greedo) approach consistently puts the group in peril. Then there's C-3PO, the neurotic, worrywart robot who makes Woody Allen look like William Wallace. The comedy writes itself and comprises one of the many little things that made the original trilogy so beloved. 

Take this exchange when Han Solo is attempting to pilot the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid belt. C-3PO: "Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720-to-one!" Solo: "Never tell me the odds!" This moment tells you everything you need to know about C-3PO and Han Solo. One depends on data; the other on intuition. Yet it's not that Solo doesn't care about the odds; he just doesn't want to be distracted by them. For the record, Han Solo got them through the asteroid field alive, odds be damned.

'I Had Your Job Once' — Blade Runner 2049

"Blade Runner 2049" was a great movie that shouldn't have been made, but I'm glad it was. The original was a box office bomb whose film-nerd appeal far exceeds its mainstream success, so spending $185 million on its sequel was a bad idea. Sure enough, "Blade Runner 2049" bombed with $258 million worldwide. But on the bright side, it gave us one of Harrison Ford's last interesting roles. It's ironic that out of Ford's most famous characters, it was his return as Rick Deckard that would be the most compelling. 

"Blade Runner 2049" stars Ryan Gosling as Joe, a blade runner who finds himself tracking down the OG blade runner, Deckard. It's this moment that gives us the movie's signature line when Deckard tells Joe: "I had your job once. I was good at it." It's a simple line but has loads of meta-textual undercurrent. Within the context of the film, it's a callback to Ford's previous performance in the 1982 original. But on another level, it's Ford, the movie star of the past, talking to Gosling, the movie star of the moment. In true Ford fashion, his delivery conveys some measure of respect, but an unstated understanding that he was better in his day. And you know what? He was.

'Don't Call Me Junior!' — Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade

Indiana Jones is many things. Fearless adventurer. Dashing womanizer. Brilliant archaeologist. The one thing that Jones always is? Competent. Even when he's up to his neck in danger, Jones is never in over his head. So, one of the most hilarious parts of the original trilogy capper, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," was seeing Jones be treated like a child by his father. Let that be a lesson to all of us; you can literally be Indiana Jones and your parents are still going to treat you like a kid. That said, when your dad is Sean Connery, what do you expect? 

We learn that "Indiana" is not his actual name -- "we named the dog Indiana" -- but Henry Jones Junior. Yes, junior. It's the "junior" that Indy finds particularly grating, so much so that he finally snaps at his father by saying "I told you, don't call me junior!" It's a moment any adult child can relate to. The fact he does this right after mowing down Nazis with a machine gun is a little less relatable, but that's why we love Indiana Jones.

'I Have A Bad Feeling About This' — Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi

Even die-hard "Star Wars" fans concede that George Lucas' dialogue is so bland it makes Reddit fan fiction sound like Elmore Leonard. Ironically and unintentionally, some of Lucas' dialogue has become beloved specifically because it's so uninspired. Case in point, the phrase "I have a bad feeling about this." Some variation of this quote appears in almost every "Star Wars" film. It's hard to say when it became ironically self-referential, as I suspect Lucas just reflexively deployed it as an easy line to "copy-and-paste" into a moment of tension. 

Similar to "May the Force be with you," it can't be credited exclusively to any one character. However, given Harrison Ford's Han Solo says it twice in the series, it counts as a Ford quote. The first is in "Return of the Jedi" when the group is about to be barbecued by Ewoks. Solo remarks, "I have a really bad feeling about this;" the added "really" emphasizes both their presumed plight and Lucas' evolution as a dialogue writer. The second time was 32 years later in "The Force Awakens" when the Millennium Falcon was under attack by rathtars and Solo opines "I got a bad feeling about this." It's appropriate J.J. Abrams gave the series' signature line to Han Solo, as "I got a bad feeling about this" is the thread that unites the entire "Star Wars" saga.

'How Dare You Sir?' — Clear And Present Danger

Harrison Ford's run as Tom Clancy's signature character in the early 1990s was short but significant. Unlike Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Rick Deckard, all of whom Ford originated (and I believe should only be played by him), Ford inherited Jack Ryan from Alec Baldwin, who played Ryan in 1990's "The Hunt For Red October." Ford took over in 1992's "Patriot Games" and its 1994 sequel, "Clear and Present Danger." Ford was so famous at this point, it's hard to say whether Ford played Jack Ryan, or Jack Ryan played Harrison Ford. It feels like the actor merely applied his 1990s screen persona of "frantic father figure saving the day" onto the character. Whatever, it worked, and Ford remains arguably the best Jack Ryan. 

His best line of dialogue came during an exchange with the president, in which it's revealed the commander in chief was engaged in nefarious activities. When the president barks at Ryan, "How dare you come in here and lecture me?" Ryan barks back, "How dare you, sir?" The line had significance beyond the movie, as it spoke to the blanket distrust in our public institutions codified by the 1990s. While '90s moviegoers were reflexively cynical, Ford was still a Boomer who became famous in the 1970s, so he could express righteous outrage without coming off as naive. Few people had the clout or moral authority to bark orders at the President. Harrison Ford did.

'It's Not The Years, Honey, It's The Mileage' — Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Harrison Ford bucked the trend of youth-obsessed Hollywood by not becoming famous until his 30s. In fact, he was just shy of the big 4-0 when he played Indiana Jones in "Raiders of the Lost Ark." I believe this actually helped Ford's career, as he always seemed like a grown-up because he was a grown-up. We watched other actors grow up on-screen, but Ford was fully formed when he became famous. Thus, Ford retained an air of mystery and maturity because frankly, he'd seemed like someone who'd seen some stuff. 

This was one of the subtle qualities only Ford could bring to Indiana Jones, expressed in an exchange with Karen Allen's Marion Ravenwood in "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Marion says, "You're not the man I knew 10 years ago," to which Indy replies through a strained, pain-stricken voice, "It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage." If other actors said that line, it would've seemed disingenuous, no matter how convincing the performance. When Ford said it, you believed it. Yet, the line also reveals that deep down Indy doesn't think he's "too old" to be adventuring. His aches and pains are simply the consequence of his unorthodox lifestyle. It's a great line and like the best quotes on this list, it's one that only Ford could say.

'Go To Hell!' — Blade Runner

Despite being a massive bomb, Rick Deckard in "Blade Runner" is one of Harrison Ford's signature roles. I credit this to the movie's cult classic status. While mainstream audiences weren't willing to spend money on "Blade Runner" or its sequel, it will be one of Ford's most-remembered movies.

The most famous line in the film is undoubtedly "Tears in rain," uttered by Rutger Hauer's Roy Batty as part of a lengthy monologue. But as the film's star, Harrison Ford gets some quality quotes too. During a fight scene with Batty, the replicant taunts Deckard with a chillingly childish rhyme, "Six! Seven! Go to Hell or go to Heaven!" Deckard replies, "Go to Hell!" and smashes the robot across the face with a pipe. It's a line that works within the context of the scene, showing both Deckard's desperation and his brave refusal to be beaten. However, it's also just a fun line, reminding us that despite being a cerebral Ridley Scott sci-fi film based on a novel by Phillip K. Dick, "Blade Runner" is still an '80s action pic starring the era's most famous star.

'I Know' — Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Han Solo is about to be frozen in carbonite when Princess Leia says, "I love you." We all know what Solo says next: "Just remember that, 'cause I'll be back." Wait, what? This was the line originally written by screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, meaning "I'll be back" could have been Ford's line, not Arnold Schwarzenegger's. More likely though, it would've faded into obscurity, because that line sucks. George Lucas, not exactly Billy Wilder or Quentin Tarantino when it comes to punchy dialogue, pushed for a simple "I love you." This was also gag-inducing, but as the boss, Lucas held sway. Harrison Ford wasn't having it. 

Ford went back and forth with director Irvin Kershner on what Han Solo would actually say. Finally, the two settled on Ford's suggestion: "I know." As in, Princess Leia says, "I love you," and Han Solo replies, "I know." It's the perfect line, and exactly what Han Solo would say at that moment. But he doesn't deliver the line in some off-handed, cavalier way. He says it with a tinge of tenderness (as much as a space pirate can muster), implying he loves her too but doesn't want her to be afraid. The point of the line, as Ford would reveal in an interview with Jon Favreau years later, was to show Han Solo was a badass to the end. Mission accomplished, Ford.

'I Didn't Kill My Wife' — The Fugitive

This is the one line that, while famous, is overshadowed by the response. Harrison Ford plays Dr. Richard Kimble, the titular fugitive on the run for his wife's murder that he didn't commit. The wrongfully convicted doctor escapes into a storm drain that goes out into a dam, when he manages to trap Tommy Lee Jones, in an Oscar-winning performance as U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard, with Gerard's own gun. In a moment of desperation mixed with mercy, Kimble pleads to his prisoner Gerard, "I didn't kill my wife!" to which Gerard responds in the movie's most famous line, "I don't care!" 

Okay, so the latter line is more memorable, but this isn't a Tommy Lee Jones list, it's a Harrison Ford one. Besides, Jones' line only works because of Ford's setup. It's a simple exchange, but sometimes the best movie conversations are. Ford's line speaks to his character's outrage at the miscarriage of justice that has befallen him. Jones' reply shows his character's sole conviction isn't to adjudicate right and wrong but to bring in his man. It's a defining character moment for each and justifies Kimble's decision to swan dive out of the storm drain into the drink more than 100 feet down. Hey, maybe you'd do the same in his shoes.

'Where's My Family?' — Air Force One

We wanted Harrison Ford to be our cool big brother after "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones," and then our dad after movies like "Patriot Games" and "Clear & Present Danger." After "Air Force One," we wanted him to be our president. Hating the president is as American as apple pie, but President Harrison Ford would be pretty sweet. At least I got that feeling watching "Air Force One." The movie -- basically "Die Hard" on a plane with John McClane as president -- works because Ford is so believable. He's not playing a one-man-army, human action figure of the Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone vintage, but simply a dad defending his family. Ford's father-figure screen persona is how we get one of Ford's most memorable quotes -- "Where's my family?" 

Okay, the line may sound inconsequential, but "Harrison Ford rescues his family" is one of the defining tropes of his career, to the point of caricature. If you're thinking about taking a shot every time Ford says, "Where's my family?" (or just "family"), I strongly suggest you don't, because he says it a lot. But that's the point, isn't it? Ford isn't the president, he's a papa bear in a blue suit just trying to protect the ones he loves the most from Russian terrorists. "Where's my family?" shows this in three simple, but unforgettable, words. He certainly gets my vote.

'Why'd It Have To Be Snakes?' — Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Indiana Jones is the intrepid explorer who courageously faces supernatural threats with the same "devil may care" abandon as he does Nazi stormtroopers. Out of his many attributes, Indiana Jones' defining virtue is bravery. And yet, his most famous quote comically contradicts his courage; "Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?" We first find out Jones hates snakes when he discovers his pilot Jock Lindsey's pet Burmese python Reggie in his seat. 

Steven Spielberg loved raising the stakes for his hero, so he traps Jones and Marion Ravenwood in an inescapable underground tomb full of snakes. Upon confronting this grim reality, Indy mutters the famous line not with revulsion or terror but with deflated resignation. Hard to tell whether this was Ford's choice or Spielberg's direction, but either way it was brilliant. The line added much-needed levity to an ultra-tense scene, while also giving us a great character beat. This may have been all the line was meant to be, but it wound up being Indy's signature line, and one of Harrison Ford's most memorable.

'Get Off My Plane!' — Air Force One

"Get off my plane" is perhaps the defining Harrison Ford movie quote, and one of the best "kill the villain" one-liners in action movie history. It'd be a great line no matter who says it, but there's something incomparable about Ford's bestial growling. He sounds like an alpha lion defending his pride. Yet, it almost didn't happen. Kevin Costner couldn't take the role (presumably because he was working on "The Postman" instead) but insisted Ford get the part. Talk about professional courtesy. I can kinda see Costner in the part of President James Marshall, though his soft-spoken whisper couldn't match Ford's pure primal fury.

Ford doesn't say "Get off my plane;" he roars it. Frankly, if he told me to get off his plane, I'd leave of my own accord. The line works for the same reason the movie works; Harrison Ford. It's preposterous to think a sitting, 50-something-year-old president could take back Air Force One from terrorist hijackers ... unless that president was played by Harrison Ford. 

'May The Force Be With You' — Star Wars: A New Hope

"May the Force be with you" is such a monumental quote it's hard to believe there was a time it didn't exist. Uttered with the reverence of sacred writ, it has been so etched into our collective cultural consciousness that even people who haven't watched "Star Wars" know it. Yet, even fans of the franchise may forget who said it first -- Rebel General Jan Dodonna (so don't @ me nerds).

Okay, Ford wasn't the first, but Solo's "May the Force be with you" was the most memorable precisely because it was so unexpected. For Han Solo -- the cynical space pirate who didn't believe in "mystical energy" -- to say "May the Force be with you" gave the quote weight. It also foreshadowed his own return to save the day by rescuing Luke Skywalker from Darth Vader. While this list isn't a ranking, "May the Force be with you" is the clear number one. Ironic, because while this may not be the most defining Harrison For movie quote, it is the most iconic.

Read this next: Star Wars Deleted Scenes That Could've Changed Everything

The post Harrison Ford's 15 most memorable movie quotes appeared first on /Film.

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