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The Fate of Harrison Ford’s Film Fems
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The Fickle Fate of Harrison Ford's Female LeadsLooking back at the history of Harrison Ford‘s leading ladies, you’ll see that if the movie is not a romantic comedy, the odds are in favor that these women are not safe. The suffering these ladies must endure range from inconveniences like breaking a nail or being harassed, to being abducted (and/or held captive, bound, gagged, tormented). It’s far worse for others, who get shot at, thrown into lava pits, or even murdered. To top it off, no matter what Ford’s loves must suffer through, there’s also the possibility they’ll be dealing with his infidelities, too.

So you’re the female lead in a Harrison Ford action movie, you might want to hire a bodyguard because peril surely awaits you. Here’s a look at some of the dangers Ford’s previous fems faced and the fate they ultimately met.

Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981) – In his most iconic role, Ford plays archaeologist/adventurer Indiana Jones. Karen Allen stars as Marion, Indy’s old flame who is — thanks to Indy — threatened with a hot poker, kidnapped by Nazi soldiers, sexually harassed by Indy’s rival Belloq, tossed into the snake-filled Well of Souls, and tied to a poll during the deadly unveiling of the title Ark.

Carrie Fisher in the ubiquitous Slave Leia bikiniReturn Of The Jedi (1983) – Ford returns for the third time as Han Solo, though he begins this one frozen in carbonite at Jabba the Hut’s palace. When his lady love Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) arrives at the palace in disguise to save him, she’s then taken captive and made to don the infamous golden bikini as Jabba’s new palace slave girl. She later gets chased by imperial scout troopers and is shot in the arm.

Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (1984) – Kate Capshaw stars as niteclub singer Willie Scott, who is first threatened by Indy then forced out a window and into a car being pursued by pistol-shooting thugs. At this point, Willie thought breaking a nail was the worst that could happen to her, but after surviving a fall from a plane in a life raft and the subsequent plunge over a waterfall, she later suffers many indignities in the jungles of India, is captured by Thuggee cult leader Mola Ram, and is lowered into a lava pit to be a sacrifice to the goddess Kali Ma. Even after surviving all that and a wild ride in a mine cart that ends with a mad dash from a roaring rapid, Willie is forced onto a rope bridge above a canyon that’s surrounded by Mola Ram’s Thuggee henchmen. When the bridge is cut in half, Willie must hold on for dear life or plummet far down below to the crocodile-infested waters.

Frantic (1988) – Ford plays a doctor who’s away in Paris at a medical conference along with his wife (played by Betty Buckley), who is later kidnapped from their hotel.

Presumed Innocent (1990) – As prosecutor Rusty Sabich, Ford’s mistress Greta Scacchi is tortured and murder. Ford’s wife is played by Bonnie Bedelia of Die Hard, who becomes depressed and suicidal over her husband’s affair and ultimately go off the deep end.

Patriot Games (1992) – Ford plays author Tom Clancy’s most famous fictional creation — CIA Analyst Jack Ryan. In this film, when Ryan interferes with an IRA assassination, the terrorists then come after Ryan’s family, including his wife (Anne Archer), for revenge.

Sela Ward takes the Harrison Hit in the FutigiveThe Fugitive (1993) – Based on the TV show of the same name, Ford plays Dr. Richard Kimble who’s on the run from the law after he’s accused of murdering his wife (Sela Ward) and must find the one-armed man who really committed the crime.

Devil’s Own (1997) – Brad Pitt is an IRA terrorist who comes to America to smuggle missiles back home and ends up staying with Irish NYC cop (Ford), who’s unaware of Pitt’s true identity and motives. Ford’s wife Sheila, played by Margaret Colin, gets assaulted by masked gunmen who invade their home, has a gun put to her head, and is then taken by the gunmen.

Air Force One (1997) – Ford stars as the President of the United States whose family (including the First Lady played by Wendy Crewson) is taken hostage by hijackers aboard Air Force One.

Random Hearts (1999) – After his wife (Susanna Thompson) is killed in a plane crash, Police Sergeant Dutch Broek (Ford) discovers the truth that his wife had been having an affair. In this one, while it was Ford’s character that had been wrong, the fact remains that his lady love did not survive this film.

What Lies Beneath (2000) – Michelle Pfeiffer stars as Claire, the wife of a professor (Ford) who is haunted by the ghost of the student her husband had an affair with. Claire is drugged and nearly drowned in her bathtub, then nearly drowns again when the car she’s drives off a bridge.

Virginia Madsen is victimized in Firewall thanks to her relationship to FordFirewall (2006) – Virginia Madsen plays the wife of a computer security specialist (Ford) who is held captive by high-tech bank robbers. She’s bound, gagged, manhandled, and threatened at gunpoint, while Ford tries to find a way to rescue her.

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (2008) – In this fourth Indiana Jones film, Indy’s old love Marion (Karen Allen) returns only to get kidnapped yet again, this time by the evil Communists of the Soviet army. She had it worse in Raiders, but in this one, she takes multiple dives off a waterfall and has to dodge plenty of machine-gun fire.


  1. Hey, maybe you didn’t notice on one of Harry’s first appeareance on cinema: In “American Grafitti” he raced with a girl in his car.

    I’m not sure but i think that girl was Cindy Williams.


    Comment by amukeke — May 28, 2008 @ 4:20 pm

  2. Not the most optimistic outlook for, well, any woman.

    Comment by Chris McQuillan — May 28, 2008 @ 5:20 pm

  3. In Firewall, Virginia Madsen just looked really bored, but happy to be in a film that didn’t go straight to video.

    Comment by Jerry — May 29, 2008 @ 9:08 am

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