In Air Force One, Wolfgang Petersen Gave Harrison Ford One Of His All-Time Great Movie Moments

Harrison Ford is and has been one of the world's most recognizable and beloved actors for decades. His work as Han Solo in "Star Wars" and as the man behind Indiana Jones alone would cement his legacy as an icon. But Ford also had an outstanding run in the '90s that included hits like the Oscar-winning "The Fugitive" and "Air Force One."

The latter film, released in 1997, was directed by the late, great Wolfgang Petersen and is actually Ford's biggest movie not connected to a franchise. More than that, it gave the legendary actor one of his greatest cinematic moments, and arguably his most quotable line.

"Air Force One” sees Ford playing the President of the United States which, in itself, says a lot about the way the public viewed him at that time. The bulk of the movie takes place aboard the plane in question, with terrorist extremists led by Gary Oldman highjacking the vessel. Thus, it's up to Ford's President James Marshall to save the day. 

If I may? F*** yes.

The scene in question

Petersen leads us through a lean, mean, '90s-action-filled thrill ride, with Ford contending with Oldman's Ivan Korshunov every step of the way in the hopes of saving his family. The whole thing naturally leads to a climactic battle between the two, with President Marshall's skills that he learned in the military coming into play. Ford plays so much of the film like a natural-born leader, and as far as '90s on-screen presidents go, this performance may only be rivaled by that of Bill Pullman as President Whitmore in "Independence Day."

The big moment comes right at the apex of the climactic battle between Korshunov and Whitmore. Just as Ford's POTUS is about to kindly eject the terrorist from the aircraft, he delivers a one-liner for the ages that really isn't for anyone other than the audience watching along, which is part of what makes it so great. The line? A simple yet effective one: "Get off my plane!"

Is the line a little obvious in some ways? Yes. Does it feel like something that would actually be said in a real-life situation such as this? No. But villains probably wouldn't monologue before killing the hero, either. That's why we love movies. In this case, Petersen directed the hell out of the scene and Ford delivered the line so pitch-perfectly that it became an instant classic. It is arguably right up there near the likes of "Yippee ki yay mother f******" and "I'll be back" in action movie history. Maybe not quite on that same level, but it's certainly not far behind. '90s cinematic perfection.