The 80-year-old actor was in attendance for the premiere of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny on Thursday (18 May).
Reports from the festival say Ford was greeted with thunderous applause as he arrived for the premiere, with a highlights reel of Ford’s biggest performances playing on a screen behind him.
“They say when you’re about to die, you see your life flash before your eyes,” Ford quipped. “I just saw my life before my eyes.”
The actor then thanked his wife Calista Flockhart, 58, for “enabling” his dreams and his creative collaborators. “To have the opportunity to work with artists like [director James Mangold], Phoebe [Waller-Bridge]... even Mads [Mikkelsen],” he said, poking fun at the Danish actor.
He concluded: “I’m very moved by this… But I got a movie you ought to see. It’s right behind me. So let me get out of the way and thank you again for this.”
The New York Times reporter Kyle Buchanan tweeted a clip of Ford’s speech with the caption: “Presented with a lifetime-achievement clip montage and an honorary Golden Palme, Harrison Ford is on the verge of tears at Cannes.”
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is released on 28 June in the UK – two days earlier than in the US. Ford co-stars opposite Waller-Bridge as the adventurer’s goddaughter and Mikkelsen as the main antagonist, a former Nazi official.
It’s the first Indiana Jones film not to be directed by Steven Spielberg, who handed the reins over to Mangold. Spielberg revealed recently that he’d already had a chance to watch Mangold’s effort and gave his verdict.
Dial of Destiny is also the first instalment of the franchise since 2008’s critically derided Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Ford has confirmed that Dial of Destiny will be his last performance as the character.
The film is mostly set in 1969, but a 25-minute opening sequence will go back in time to 1944, with Mangold using de-ageing technology on Ford to make him look decades younger.
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