published Friday, April 12th, 2013

The Visionary

Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson and Harrison Ford in “42.”
Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson and Harrison Ford in “42.”
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Harrison Ford

Introductions are probably not needed for Harrison Ford.

Most of the world recognizes the 71-year-old Ford as Indiana Jones in the films of the same name or as Han Solo from “Star Wars.”

But he’s been in plenty of popular movies, just look at the figures from the total U.S. grosses of all his films. As of 2011, Ford was fourth on the list of highest-grossing U.S. stars with total domestic grosses hitting about $3.56 billion. Only Tom Hanks ($4 billion), Eddie Murphy ($3.8 billion) and Samuel L. Jackson ($3.6 billion) are ahead of Ford.

His other famous roles include Rick Deckard in “Blade Runner,” John Book in “Witness,” Jack Ryan in “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger,” as well as starring roles in “The Fugitive,” “Presumed Innocent,” “Air Force One” and “Working Girl.” His last film was 2012 “Cowboys and Aliens” and he’s in the upcoming science fiction movie “Ender’s Game.”

Three of his movies — the original “Star Wars,” “Revenge of the Jedi,” “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” — are among the Top 50 highest-grossing movies of all time.

Despite his 47-year career, Ford has only received one Best Actor Oscar nomination, for 1985’s “Witness.”

BRIAN HELGELAND (Director/Writer)

Director

“42” — 2013

“The Order” — 2003

“A Knight's Tale” — 2001

“Payback” — 1999

Writer

“42” — 2013

“Robin Hood” — 2010

“Green Zone” — 2010

“Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant” — 2009

“The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” — 2009

“Man on Fire” — 2004

“The Order” — 2003

“Mystic River” — 2003 (nominated for Oscar)

“Blood Work” — 2002

“A Knight's Tale” — 2001

“Payback” — 1999

“The Postman” — 1997

“Conspiracy Theory” — 1997

“L.A. Confidential” — 1997 (won Oscar)

“Assassins” — 1995

“976-Evil II” — 1988

“A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master” — 1988

Brian Helgeland, director of “42,” has the special honor of winning both the highest and the lowest film awards in the same year.

In 1997, he took home the Oscar for Best Screenplay for the film “L.A. Confidential.” That same year, he won Worst Screenplay from the Razzies for “The Postman,” the apocalyptic film starring Kevin Costner.

At the Oscars, he was asked about winning the two prizes and said he planned to display them on his mantle side by side as a reminder that working in Hollywood can be a daily combination of huge highs and sinking lows.

Did You Know?

Three movies starring Harrison Ford — “Star Wars,” “Revenge of the Jedi” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” — are in the Top 50 list of highest grossing movies of all time.

In the early 1900s, Branch Rickey spent a couple of lackluster seasons as a player in the Major Leagues — as a catcher he once let 13 men on the opposing team steal bases in a single game, a still-standing record — but his greatest achievements came from inside an office.

“Problems,” he once said, “are the price you pay for progress.”

In 1919, he helped create baseball’s minor-league farm system and later created the first spring training facility in baseball. In the 1940s, he helped get batting helmets introduced into the league and, when he was general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1953, it became the first team in baseball to permanently adopt helmets (although Rickey also owned stock in the company making the helmets).

He also was a big fan of statistics — now called sabermetrics and an integral part of baseball — hiring a full-time statistician in 1947.

His name is synonymous with the integration of baseball since he drafted the first black player in the Major Leagues — Jackie Robinson. But he also drafted the Pirates’ Roberto Clemente, the first Hispanic superstar in baseball, in 1955.

According to the book “Giants of Baseball,” after drafting Robinson, he told the ballplayer: "Jackie, we've got no army. There's virtually nobody on our side. No owners, no umpires, very few newspapermen. And I'm afraid that many fans will be hostile. We'll be in a tough position. We can win only if we can convince the world that I'm doing this because you're a great ballplayer, a fine gentleman.”

Rickey died in 1965.

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