Harrison Ford

Go down

Harrison Ford

Post  BoG on Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:32 pm

Harrison Ford in Stable Condition After Plane Crash
BY MICHAEL MILLER @write_miller UPDATED 03/05/2015 AT 08:40 PM EST •ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 03/05/2015 AT 06:55 PM EST

Harrison Ford is in stable condition, an LAPD spokeswoman confirms to PEOPLE, after the small plane he was piloting crash-landed at an L.A. golf course. The vintage yellow fighter plane crashed at about 2:24 p.m. at Penmar Golf Course, not far from the Santa Monica airport, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said on Thursday.

Ford, 72, was the only person on board the craft, and the LAFD confirmed on Twitter that he had been taken to a hospital. "I arrived after Mr. Ford had been transported but I know he sustained a head injury and there were two doctors who had been at the golf course who first attended to Mr. Ford and the Santa Monica Fire Department was the first to arrive," Santa Monica City Commissioner Phil Brock told PEOPLE. "That's all the information I have." Ford's son Ben, a chef, Tweeted on Thursday night that he was at the hospital with his father, who was "battered, but ok! He is every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man. Thank you all for your thoughts and good vibes for my dad."

An eyewitness, who identified as a plane enthusiast, was on the scene of the crash and told PEOPLE: "He had engine failure during takeoff from the Santa Monica Airport. He was on the west side of the golf course and tried to get back to the airport, so he started going east, but then he clipped a tree and fell on the east side of the golf course. During takeoff, the engine blew. You could hear it go silent, and then he banked to the left, clipped the tree and fell on the number 8 tee." Howard Tabe, an employee at the Penmar Golf Course, told NBC News: "There was blood all over his face ... Two very fine doctors were treating him, taking good care of him. I helped put a blanket under his hip."

Assistant Chief Patrick Butler of the L.A. Fire Department confirmed in a press conference that Ford was out of the plane when emergency services arrived. "The patient was in moderate condition, alert and conscious and breathing and was transported to a local hospital," Butler said. He noted that the plane had avoided residential areas that closely surround the golf course. "I would say that it is an area that probably presented the least amount of impact to the community," Butler said. The FAA and NTSB will be investigating the crash, Butler said.

In air traffic control audio, Ford can be heard reporting his emergency, saying "Engine failure, requesting immediate return." Air traffic controllers responded, "Clear to land." Later, a controller reports: "It looked like it was short of the runway." Locals who noticed the World War II-era plane could tell something was wrong. "It sounded like it was sputtering," says J. Ryan, who lives nearby. "The plane was unusually low to the ground, even for a plane that had just taken off." This is not the first time Ford, an experienced pilot, has been in a plane crash. His six-passenger plane took a hard landing in Lincoln, Nebraska, in the summer of 2000, but the actor was not hurt. Ford also crash-landed a helicopter in October 1999 while he was practicing emergency landings with a flight instructor.

We almost lost Harrison Ford today, but much like his movie counterpart Indiana Jones, he keeps surviving these little airplane crashes. Ford is probably best known as Indiana, first appearing in  Raiders of the Lost Ark (81) and then several sequels, even more than his Star Wars character, Han Solo, because he was just one part of the big machine that makes up the huge Star Wars saga, while he was the central figure of all the Indiana movies. It was not always so, of course. When the first Star Wars film came out in 1977, it was soon revealed to all the many new fans that Ford was not a new, overnight star that many assumed him to be (part of the reason for this assumption is that Ford had not been seen in any films for several years prior to the 1st Star Wars, just in a little TV).

No, Ford began his Hollywood career a full decade before the 1st Star Wars (1977) was cast by George Lucas, an uncredited bit part as a bellboy in the James Coburn comedy-thriller, Dead Heat on a Merry-go-Round (1966). Ford was officially introduced in the next year (as perhaps a future star) in an episode of The Virginian western TV series, "The Modoc Kid" - he played the youngest member of a bank robbing gang who might go straight. I finally watched this episode on TV only a couple of years ago and it struck me then that Ford was pretty much the same in this as he was in his later starring roles in the late seventies and the eighties. His film screen persona was already stuck in place at this early stage and audiences either went with him or not - it reminds me of Heston, who similarly presented his well known star persona as early as in Dark City (1950).
But, things didn't go as smoothly for Ford: he was featured in a couple of westerns - A Time For Killing & Journey to Shiloh (68) - again seeming to be the new rising young star with many possibilities, but things went backwards for him from there... or they just went nowhere. He guested on a few TV series, but film roles were far and few in-between, and even then very small parts: a small role in Getting Straight (1970) and then nothing until Lucas cast him as an obnoxious racer in American Graffiti (73); even there, the stars were Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard and Paul le Mat; Ford was far down the cast list. He also got a small part in the Gene Hackman thriller, The Conversation (74). It was sometime during this period that Ford was forced to become a full time carpenter to make ends meet; the film career seemed all but over.

But, Lucas ended up picking the now-35-year-old Ford for the Han Solo role in Star Wars - Ford was brash, still obnoxious and flamboyant as the roguish smuggler in the western-styled space adventure, probably the biggest film - sci-fi or otherwise - in film history. This time, audiences went with him - his was the most entertaining role and he did what most of the biggest stars in Hollywood history have done, that is make all the viewers either want to be him or be with him. It's that old saying, either you have it or you don't. It's less about actual acting talent and more about a persona that people admire. But, he did try to prove his acting chops - about that same time he played a Vietnam vet, a supporting role, in Heroes, a quirky dramedy starring Henry Winkler. He went for old-fashioned action - the WWII adventure sequel Force 10 From Navarone (78) with Robert Shaw and Hanover Street (79). He supported Gene Wilder in a strange comedy-western, The Frisco Kid.

These did nothing for his career and he returned in the 2nd Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back (80), an expected huge hit. Then Lucas and Spielberg picked him for Indiana Jones (Tom Selleck almost got the part but was contracted to stay with his TV series, Magnum P.I.).  Raiders of the Lost Ark was another runaway hit, the biggest film of the year, and solidified Ford as one of the most popular actors of all time.  Though ostensibly a recreation of old-time cliffhanger serials, it's no secret to many film fans, such as the board members here, that the conception of Indiana - especially his appearance, but even his attitude - was influenced by Heston's Harry Steele, of Secret of the Incas (1954) fame.  This was the concept of the leather-jacketed iconic adventurer taken to an ideal level. Ford played him again in  Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (84) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (89).
Not all his other eighties roles were successful - though considered a science fiction classic now, Blade Runner (82) was a box office failure. Audiences at the time perhaps didn't like the more morose Deckard character, a future cop/hunter, which Ford played here. After the Star Wars finale, Return of the Jedi (83), Ford tried more dramatic roles - Witness (85) was a success, but Mosquito Coast (86) was a puzzlement; Ford played an eccentric father who dragged his family around to different locales. It just wasn't Ford-like, in the eyes of many. I also noticed that his roles in other standard thrillers such as Frantic (1988), Presumed Innocent (90) and dramas like Regarding Henry (91) were problematic for me; Ford seemed too nervous in half his scenes, as if he was trying too hard to play the everyman in these, the modernized Jimmy Stewart, rather than the stalwart Heston/John Wayne hero. These just didn't work very well with me. In dramedies like Working Girl (88) and Sabrina (95), he was serviceable, not much more - now he sort of was stepping into the Cary Grant shoes and he just wasn't much like Grant.

He still seemed too nervous to me in the big action thrillers - the two Jack Ryan adventures, Patriot Games (92) & Clear and Present Danger (94), and also The Fugitive (93) and Air Force One (97) - acting too tensed up, lip trembling, as the average man faced with spectacular danger, but these were all big hits, especially the latter two. It just showed me that Ford was best suited for confident, unapologetic hero archetypes - even if they're mostly getting by on bluff (Han Solo) - it's that brash, almost insolent personality that suits him best and which is most enjoyable, the Harry Steele/the Duke/Burt Lancaster template. And, maybe that's one reason he returned to the Indiana Jones role - a few years too late - in 2008's Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, after a string of box office failures (his last hit was What Lies Beneath in 2000, in which he played somewhat sinister, helped by Michelle Pfeiffer).
And, that may also be why he's returning in yet another Star Wars film (supposedly coming out late in the year) - there's no getting away from the kinds of roles that he is almost obligated to do. I recently saw him in his latest - a small role in Stallone's retro-eighties action redux Expendables 3 - and even though he is looking most of his age, he was still acting tough and taking no prisoners. That's not bad for a 70+ year old.
Galaxy Overlord
Galaxy Overlord  Galactus

Posts : 3265
Join date : 2010-02-28
Location : Earth-1


Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum