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HENRY WINKLER & SALLY FIELD IN 'HEROES' WITH HARRISON FORD

Harrison Ford in HEROES Year: 1977 Rating: ***

Wanna see Henry Winkler beat up a barroom full of bikers without the use of his magical leather jacket? In HEROES he plays a goofy, manic, troubled Vietnam Vet who, after escaping from a mental institution in New York City, travels across country, energized by bizarre plans to build a worm farm in Eureka, California, with the (hopeful) help of his fellow vets...

Along the way, via bus, while pestering put-upon driver Val Avery, Winkler's Jack Dunne meets lonely, single, soon-to-be-wed Sally Field as Carol (the same year she'd be a reluctant fiance in SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT), and the first of his "Nam " cronies played by soon-to-be-famous Harrison Ford, the same year he'd help The Rebel Alliance rescue a princess, here basically rehashing his AMERICAN GRAFFITI "Bob Falfa" character: but with issues, and zero backbone...

Harrison Ford in HEROES with Henry Winkler

Despite time being spent (with the trio) on his family's rural, white trash farm, and getting to see Ford shoot a machine gun, down Budweisers and drive a hot rod — it all merely serves as a catapult for the second half, when the inevitable romantic element between Henry and Sally sets in...

Alas, Ford's Ken "Ace of Diamonds" Boyd could've been played by anyone. And the fact he's bullied and is afraid to compete on the race track, perhaps another actor would have fit better: for legacy's sake... 

Harrison Ford in HEROES with Henry Winkler and Sally Field

Who knew that that incredible science-fiction fantasy he'd appear in would take off, and wimpy roles like this would suit him no longer... but it's Henry's vehicle anyway...

As he weaves in and out of craziness whenever the story runs out of stream, which is most of the way through, his mental illness serves as a platform to not only ham it up with what feels like improv to bust up the surrounding cast and crew, but to charm Field, whose rudimentary annoyance eventually turns to love: Not sure, though, if the audience feels the same way...

Harrison Ford in HEROES with Henry Winkler and Sally Field

His sometimes grating bouts with innocently optimistic lunacy is often much too "cute" to be taken seriously, and Winkler as a veteran of any war is extremely difficult to believe. But most of any actor's genuine strength are in the intensity of their eyes, and when called for, he wields a pretty nasty glare...

So for road movie fluff you could do much worse. And word has it that HEROES was much better when the Kansas anthem "Carry On My Wayward Son" closed the curtain. Well it is true that in any picture, one song can make a difference. 

Harrison Ford and Henry Winkler in HEROES
Harrison Ford Heroes Sally Field Heroes Harrison Ford
Henry Winkler Sally Field Harrison Ford Heroes
Ron Rifkin with a perhaps no-so-odd cameo by John Cassavetes... There are several JC actors in HEROES...
Henry Winkler with one of John Cassavetes most used actors, and friend, Val Avery... in Heroes
Al Rubin, who is a John Cassavetes partner, in Heroes Henry Winkler, and another JC regular, John Finnegan, also appears later
Henry Winkler Harrison Ford Heroes Henry Winkler Harrison Ford
HEROES can be seen, twice, at the bottom left paragraph of the Empire Strikes Back booklet from the Star Wars sequel's Soundtrack LP
Henry Winkler Harrison Ford Sally Field Heroes
Seventies car porn of Harrison Ford's car The Ace of Diamonds that Henry Winkler winds up racing
Harrison Ford's previous vehicle, in which he drove fast, but... not so well... still though, HE drove it...
But it's during the same year as HEROES, Ford's Han Solo would have the greatest hot rod of all...

Harrison Ford in HEROES
Henry Winkler and Al Rubin in HEROES
Henry Winkler and HARRISON FORD in HEROES
HARRISON FORD in HEROES

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