Harrison Ford and the Conversation

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In the 1974 production of Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation, Gene Hackman and John Cazale take center stage in a film about a paranoid surveillance expert who has a change of conscience when he suspects that a couple he is spying on will be murdered. While this was a great movie in my opinion, It was definitely a movie that brought together a cast full of newer actors that would go on to become even bigger names in Hollywood. One of these rising stars in particular was a young Harrison Ford. Ford was born July 13, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois, to an Irish Catholic father and a Russian Jewish mother. Growing up in the Illinois suburb of Des Plaines, young Harry (as he was referred to as a child) did not share the rugged, adventurous, heroic characteristics that he shares with most of his onscreen characters. While his high school years at Maine Township High were better, Ford was the scrawny, nerdy little boy that was a common target of neighborhood bullies. (Wills, n.d.) Ford attended college at Ripon College in Wisconsin, where he took an acting class to try raising his low grade point average. This didn't help much at all, since Ford was kicked out of Ripon just a few weeks before graduation. However, the acting classes did serve Ford with another purpose...they gave him a sense of direction as to where to go with his life. Following this series of events, Ford married his college sweetheart Mary Marquardt, and the two left for Los Angeles. (Wills, n.d.) Once in LA, Ford received small "bit parts" in television series such as Ironside, but this was enough to live on, and Ford took up carpentry as a career. It was only while building a studio for Brazilian compiser Sergio Mendes five years later that Ford met and began his relationship with acclaimed director and producer George Lucas. (Wills, n.d.) Ford became more known when Lucas offered him a part in the 1973 classic film American Graffiti, which Ford took only after his meager salary was raised. This...
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