HARRISON FORD by Minty Clinch


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Inexplicably overpriced but always absorbing star bio that is given buoyancy by its somewhat cynical, quietly amused, buddingly noble leading man. That Ford sat for several interviews with Clinch and is quoted at length is the book's greatest strength and keeps it above average: every word Ford says on these pages is welcome. As a child in Chicago, Ford was a silent loner--and still conceals details of his early years. His father was an Irish Catholic, his mother a Russian Jew. Ford, Sr., was a pioneer of TV commercials and this encouraged young Ford never ""to want a real job."" He was a nonachiever in school, studied literature and philosophy half-heartedly, got the acting bug in college plays, married very early and left with his wife for Hollywood at 21 to try to break into movies. He was ""cannon fodder"" as a bit-playing studio contract actor for six years, then dropped out and took up carpentry for a living. His earliest success was in George Lucas' smash hit American Graffiti, which was followed by more lean years before he bloomed in the Star Wars Trilogy as Han Solo, the intergalactic mercenary turned good guy, a character in rich part fashioned by Ford's own input. During this period, trying to stretch his image, he made a string of flops. And then came Spielberg, and Indiana Jones, which clinched Ford's immortality as long as films will be shown. As part of the pressure of working abroad, Ford divorced his first wife Mary, married writer Melissa Mathison (who wrote the E. T. script), then entered what might be thought a darker period of serious work. His duds fade from mind while the often scornful humor of his line-readings remains vital and charges his image. Ford's interviews, his sense of being a technician, and his dismissal of ego-fluff keep Clinch solidly on course and her page steadily aglow.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1988
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton--dist. by David & Charles