Harrison Ford Ignored All Advice To Star In The Mosquito Coast

Harrison Ford’s excitement for the project was not, however, shared by his agent, Patricia McQueeney, who, according to Lee Pfeiffer’s “The Films of Harrison Ford,” believed “The Mosquito Coast” would bomb. She wasn’t wrong about this, but Ford was right to disregard her concerns.

There were only a handful of stars working in Hollywood at the time who could’ve secured a $25 million budget for Peter Weir’s fascinatingly downbeat drama –- and one of them, Jack Nicholson, had already turned the part down. It’s not hard to understand their apprehension. Allie comes on from the start as a mentally-unwell prophet, and only grows more unstable as the story proceeds. He isn’t completely full of it, of course. He’s a brilliant engineer who creates a machine that can generate ice deep in the rainforest of Belize. But he hasn’t thought through how this invention will benefit the Indigenous people of the area.

Allie goes further off the rails when he encounters Reverend Spellgood (Andre Gregory), a Christian missionary doing the Lord’s work, which runs directly contrary to Allie’s hatred of organized religion and Western civilization in general. He’s determined to undermine Spellgood, but with only his family to support him, his crusade is doomed to fail. When his ice machine is destroyed, he lies to his family that they cannot return to the U.S. because it’s been destroyed in a nuclear war. His zealotry ultimately proves every bit as dangerous as Spellgood’s, and it brings him to a tragic end.

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