20 Facts About The Fugitive That Might Have Escaped You

These days, new movie releases need to have something extra if they’re going to tempt us to get off our comfortable sofas and venture away from the comforts of Netflix, Amazon Prime or Now TV and into our local multiplex.


But while we have a vast array of viewing choices as adults, back in the 80s and early 90s the cinema was the only place to go to see the latest releases, and a movie about a man on the run from the law was just as exciting as the effects laden superhero flicks that fill our local cinema screens today.

We remember being extremely excited watching Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones in 1993’s The Fugitive, so much so that we returned to our local cinema to view it for a second time! So we’ve searched every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse to bring you the following 20 things that you might not have realised about this brilliant cat and mouse crime thriller.

20. There were about 25 drafts of the screenplay

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In spite of the film having become a stone cold classic, production for The Fugitive was infamously difficult. According to The Fugitive’s producer Arnold Kopelson, developing the movie’s screenplay was a lengthy process which took about five years and involved nine different writers penning around 25 different drafts. In one of the drafts, it was revealed that Tommy Lee Jones’s Agent Samuel Gerard hired the one-armed man that killed Dr Richard Kimble’s wife!

Walter Hill – best known for The Warriors (1979) and Hard Times (1975) – and the Alien franchise’s David Giler had penned a script that could have started filming in 1990. Hill would have been in the director’s chair. With the future of the film uncertain, however, Hill eventually left the project, and the The Fugitive wouldn’t hit cinemas for another three years.

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Interestingly, once director Andrew Davis was attached and filming began, the process smoothed out. In fact, the film took a mere 73 days (or just under two and a half months) to shoot. In particular, the film’s post-production went far more smoothly than scheduled, and the film’s release date was pushed up to August.

Part of what allowed filming to be so condensed – once it eventually took off – was that filming began before the script had even been completed. While it might sound mad to start shooting without knowing every detail, the film’s half decade in development hell had at least contributed to solidifying the film’s themes and characters, enough to begin principal photography.

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Andrew Davis’ influence on speeding up production is hard to overstate. Harrison Ford was one of the first actors to sign on to the film, having been impressed by Davis’ work on Under Siege (1992), starring Steven Seagal and, coincidentally, Tommy Lee Jones. However, Davis was speedy, not hasty, and after getting the green lit from executives to go ahead with the final cut he presented, he insisted on as many as 1,600 further edits in order to make the film as tight and pacy as possible.

19. Neither Harrison Ford nor Tommy Lee Jones were first choice for their respective roles

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Given the film’s original behind-the-scenes issues, it’s not too surprising that several big names were attached to the film before Ford and Jones were cast. What’s interesting, however, is the sheer variety of talent that might have made The Fugitive a very different film. A number of actors auditioned for the role of Dr Richard Kimble – Ford’s eventual role – including Nick Nolte, Alec Baldwin, Michael Douglas and Kevin Costner.

Particular interest was shown in Nolte, who had then recently shown his box office draw and ability to lead a film with The Prince of Tides (1991), for which he was to be nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. He had also recently finished production on 48 Hrs. (1982) alongside Eddie Murphy, and it’s likely that director Walter Hill was keeping Nolte in the frame.

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Nolte himself, however, was less enthusiastic about starring in such a demanding action film. While he had some relevant experience from adventure film The Deep (1977), Nolte reportedly said he was tired with the genre, and felt too old to play Kimble. At the time of filming, Nolte would have been in his early fifties, though Harrison Ford is only a year younger!

For the role of Deputy US Marshal Samuel Gerard – which eventually went to Tommy Lee Jones – Gene Hackman and Jon Voight had been considered. Both actors later played similar roles, a politician and a government agent hunting down a whistleblower, in 1998’s Enemy of the State alongside Will Smith.

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Another actor that studio execs were keen to include was Mel Gibson, who had then recently completed the third instalment in the Lethal Weapon franchise. Why Gibson was passed over is unknown, but it could be related to Gibson instead spending time on the production tangles involved in what would become 1995’s Braveheart.

18. None of the main actors had ever seen the TV show it was based on

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As much as it might seem like the film released only yesterday, The Fugitive is actually more than 25 years old. So you’d forgiven for not even realising that it’s based on a TV series that from the 1960s. Airing between 1963 and 1967, it starred David Janssen as itinerant physician Richard Kimble who – much as in the film – is wrongly convicted of his wife’s murder, and escapes from custody after the train transporting him derails.

The show lasted for a total of four seasons, with episodes featuring Kimble on the trail of the One-Armed Man, attempting to rally famous lawyers to his cause, and implicating himself in other criminal cases and facing the dilemma of helping others (and perhaps thereby ending his run from the law) or doing nothing.

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As evidenced by its four seasons, each with 30 episodes, the show was a success, and featured guest stars such as Kurt Russell, Leslie Nielsen and Robert Duvall. While the rocky path for the show’s film adaptation was strewn with difficulties, it never strayed too far from the original winning formula.

What’s shocking, however, is that none of the film’s stars – as well as director Andrew Davis – had never watched a single episode. “You know, it was 60s,” said Davis, “and I was into other things besides watching television.”

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That said, there are still Easter eggs to be found in the film that reference the original TV show. For example, David Janssen’s mother, Berniece, stars in the film. She can be seen at the beginning of the film sitting in the courtroom behind Harrison Ford as the guilty verdict is delivered.

17. They really crashed a train into a bus for the film

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Remember the scene where Dr Richard Kimple narrowly escapes his crashed prison bus, mere moments before it is ploughed into by a train? Well, in the days before photo realistic computer generated effects, a real train (with its engine removed) was used for the scene.

While the original plan was to replicate the crash using miniatures, the production team discovered it would be cheaper to use full size locomotives (costing around $20,000 each). However, this meant they would have only one chance to get the take exactly right.

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Multiple engineers and stunt professionals were consulted to make sure filming went off as smoothly as possible. Yet during the shoot itself, things didn’t exactly go to plan.

The train was expected to crash into the car at 35 miles per hour, but actually approached at 42 miles per hour, resulting in a much more brutal crash. Thankfully, Davis got the shot he was looking for, and that single take is the one that appears in the film.

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Amazingly, the wreckage can still be viewed today, and is a popular tourist spot in Dillsboro, North Carolina. Filmed on part of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, the rusting shells of the vehicles can be easily viewed by passengers travelling eastbound from Bryson City.

16. It’s the only TV to movie adaptation to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar

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At time of going to press, The Fugitive is the only movie based on a regular TV series that has ever been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, a remarkable achievement in a year that also featured The Piano, The Remains of the Day, and the eventual winner: Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List.

It’s a distinction that comes with a few notable points, however. Whip these details out at your next dinner party and you’re sure to come across as a true cinephile! First of all, broadly speaking, The Fugitive isn’t the first TV-to-film adaptation to be nominated for Best Picture: that accolade belongs to Marty (1955), a romance about a butcher who falls for a schoolteacher, which was a remake of an earlier made-for-TV film.

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A film with a better claim to The Fugitive’s title is Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic (2000), which stories a number of perspectives on the illegal drug trade, and was adapted from the 1989 British Channel 4 series of (almost) the same name: Traffik.

Interestingly, 20th Century Fox, who financed the film, had demanded that Harrison Ford play a leading role, which eventually went to Michael Douglas; Ford removed himself from consideration after the studio couldn’t meet his usual fee of $20 million. Another TV series, based on the film and the original, was developed in 2004.

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The important distinction is that Traffic was developed from a mini-series, rather than a regularly airing program like The Fugitive. It might seem like a nitpick, but when it places one of your films in a category of cinema all unto itself, you can imagine the actors and crew are keen to make that little difference known.

15. They filmed during a genuine St. Patrick’s Day parade

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You may remember the scene where Kimble and Gerard engage in a cat and mouse chase through a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago, but you may not have realised that the parade was a genuine one and not staged.

The inclusion of the parade scene was a last minute change to the film that Andrew Davis, a Chicago native, pushed for. Davis was granted permission by the mayor’s office to film during the parade, but there still wasn’t a concrete rubric for what would happen. “We didn’t stage anything,” Ford later said. “I just inserted myself in the middle of the parade.”

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Ford marched alongside the Plumber’s Union while Tommy Lee Jones – and a gaggle of camera crew – attempted to fight their way through the crowd from behind.

Remarkably, Ford – still at the height of his stardom – lasted several minutes before being recognised, a fact he attributed to his character attempting to keep a low profile, and acting as such meant he didn’t stand out as much. Furthermore, the shots of Ford were filmed entirely with a hand-held steady cam, which would have blended better into the festivities.

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The sequence features a brief cameo from then Attorney General of Illinois Roland Burris, who was in 2009 – controversially – picked to fill the Senate seat recently vacated by then President Barack Obama.

14. It was the first NEW US movie to be screened in China for decades

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The Fugitive made history by being the first major US movie to be shown in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for decades, after the country lifted its restriction on foreign movies.

Looking at a film industry that is now squarely aimed at the Chinese market, with several projects flopping in the West but earning billions overseas (Pirates of the Caribbean V and the irritative Transformers films come to mind), it’s hard to imagine an era in which all Hollywood films were banned by Beijing. Yet that’s exactly what was in place for the four decades prior to the Fugitive’s release.

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The PRC, a one-party state, has been notoriously protective against what it sees as the malignant influence of Western culture, which promotes consumerism, individuality and freedom of expression. Until the mid-80s, the foreign film market in China was restricted to older American films like Spartacus (1960) which, while a classic, was certainly dated.

However, after significant demand from the people, and the near collapse of China’s cinemas, restrictions were loosened and The Fugitive became the first major US film in several decades to receive a contemporary release in China, where it became a huge hit.

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Film censorship continues in China to this day, with a recent example being the banning of Christopher Robin (2018) after the Chinese leader Xi Jinping was unfavourably compared to Winnie the Pooh.

13. It was a massive commercial and critical success

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The Fugitive was a massive success with both critics and cinema goers, going on to make over $368 million worldwide, which made it the third highest grossing movie of 1993. Desson Howe from the The Washington Post described it at the time as “a juggernaut of exaggeration, momentum and thrills … pure energy, a perfect orchestration of heroism, villainy, suspense and comic relief.”

The film’s high demand in China certainly contributed to this success, with than 700,000 people viewing the film in the first month of its release and scalpers outside theatres selling for double the standard ticket price.

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As for the US release, the film managed to make back more than half its budget in only the first weekend in theatres, and held the top spot at the box office for six weeks.

As Roger Ebert noted, “like the cult television series that inspired it, the film has a Kafkaesque view of the world. But it is larger and more encompassing than the series: Davis paints with bold visual strokes so that the movie rises above its action-film origins and becomes operatic.”

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While the film holds an impressive 96% consensus on Rotten Tomatoes, it was criticised from some corners for being a formulaic action flick with a hard to follow twist, but though “the film “has holes in its plotting that are easy to pick apart and characters that are pretty thin, bolstered by the performances of seasoned vets who know how to lend heft to their roles.”

12. It was nominated for seven Oscars and won one of them

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Most critics singled out Tommy Lee Jones for his performance as a wise-cracking cop who is the tactical equal to Harrison Ford’s non-stop doctor, so it was no surprise when the Oscars came calling for a Best Supporting Actor nod. Drawing inspiration from Les Miserables’ Javert, an inspector fatally in pursuit of Jean Valjean, Jones’ performance is intense when necessary and breezy when relief is needed.

More surprising is that the film was nominated for an incredible total of seven Academy Awards, including the aforementioned Best Picture, as well as Best Cinematography, Best Original Score and Best Sound Editing.

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The Fugitive was also nominated for Best Editing, an accolade shared by all six of the film’s editors. To speed up production, Davis and the editors used an AVID editing machine to assemble the film. Two machines, each with three editors operating them, were in use throughout.

Of all the nominations, only Tommy Lee Jones won, beating out the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Ralph Fiennes and John Malkovich. Jones improvised much of his dialogue for the film, including his famous response to Harrison Ford protesting his innocence. In the script, Jones was meant to say “That isn’t my problem.” When shooting, however, Jones changed it to the much frostier “I don’t care.”

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On a lighter note, Jones is also credited with the line “Think me up a cup of coffee and a chocolate donut with some of those little sprinkles on top.”

11. There was a spin-off movie in 1998

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It seems like everything is getting a sequel these days, even cinematic stinkers like Angry Birds (2016) and Peter Rabbit (2018) – enigmatically subtitled ‘The Runaway’ – but in the early 90s endless sequels were far from guaranteed. Especially since the plot had resolved so neatly, it would have been difficult to pick up exactly where the film had left off.

But given that The Fugitive was the third most financially successful film in all of 1993, and Tommy Lee Jones had won gold for his performance, enough executives smelled success to put a spin-off film into production: US Marshals (1998), focused squarely on Jones as US Marshal Samuel Gerard.

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With Ford’s Richard Kimble having been proven innocent, Gerard is instead pursuing another fugitive – played by Wesley Snipes, the first film of whose iconic Blade franchise would hit cinemas the same year.

Aided by a number of Marshals who reprise their role from The Fugitive, and featuring other stars such as Robert Downey Jr., the film was a mild commercial success, grossing $102.4 million worldwide from an initial budget of $45 million, premiering second at the box office behind James Cameron’s Titanic.

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Critically, however, the film received mostly negative reviews. One of the most important factors is that the film delays telling the audience whether or not Snipes is guilty, and thus the core thrill of the film – watching a man you know is innocent attempting to avoid the law – is undermined by a lack of empathy for the fugitive and an enduring loyalty to Jones’ character.

10. The villains have very specific names

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You might think that the villains in action movies are just given generally evil-sounding names, but in the case of The Fugitive there are very specific reasons why the villains are called what they are.

Charles Nichols, the traitorous doctor who employs the One Armed Man, is named for the Walter Matthau character in the Howard Zieff comedy-drama House Calls (1978). Like Richard Kimble in The Fugitive, Nichols is a widower, but one who’s propositioned by a number of woman and isn’t sure who to choose.

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The One Armed Man, on the other hand – who’s actually known as Freddie Sykes – is named after a character from Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch (1969), an old-timer bandit played by Edmond O’Brien.

It’s not entirely clear why these names have been carried over, especially given the vastly different genres from which they derive. However, there might be a clue as to why in the careers of The Fugitive’s screenwriters.

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Jeb Stuart, who heavily reworked David Twohy’s originally screenplay during the course of filming, was also the lead writer for Die Hard (1988). Hans Gruber, that film’s villain, shares a name with the villain of the James Coburn-starring thriller Our Man Flint (1966). Perhaps Jeb Stuart likes to leave little Easter eggs in names.

9. There was an Indian remake

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As the writer Charles Caleb Cotton once said, in a quote often misattributed to Oscar Wilde: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In which case, the team behind The Fugitive must have been immensely flattered that there was an Indian remake of their film that released only two years later.

Nirnayam, which means ‘Determination’, is a Malayalam language medical thriller (yes, you read that right) co-written and directed by Sangeeth Sivan. It isn’t an exact replica of the original film, which is easy enough to guess from its genre, but all of the key themes remain.

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Dr Roy falls in love with and marries his apprentice at his hospital, but when she discovers an illicit organ-smuggling operation she is killed and Roy is framed for the murder. After an accident while he is being transported to prison, he escapes, and finds his wife’s killer and brings him to justice.

In an interesting departure from the original, it is Dr Roy who confronts the criminal and kills him. Part of this elevated passion in the role might be due to the actor, Mohanlal Viswanathan.

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Viswanathan, commonly known by the mononym Mohanlal, is considered one of India’s finest actors and a titan of Malayalam cinema. He is best known for Vanaprastham (1999), which won him India’s prestigious National Film Award for the second time and screened at Cannes.

8. The hospital is a real place

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While the hospital in The Fugitive isn’t as prominent as that of Nirnayam, Harrison Ford sneaking around and rifling through confidential medical records is nonetheless memorable. What might surprise you is that the hospital in the sequence is set is a real place.

Richard Kimble is on the trail of the One Armed Man, and is searching for records of recent prosthetics repair. His search takes him to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, which first opened in 1857. While the original hospital is no longer in use, and is being privately renovated, the hospital has a number of other claims to fame.

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In 1986, it was the first major medical institution to appoint an African American woman to the position of medical director: Agnes D. Lattimer. Additionally, the hospital is thought to be the inspiration for the setting of serial medical drama ER.

Although external shots of the hospital can be seen in the film, interior shots were in fact filmed at Harris Regional Hospital, Sylva, North Carolina. However, prop medical records were altered so that any visible dates would coincide with the date of the St Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago.

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Harrison Ford spent time shadowing doctors to become truly invested in the role of Richard Kimble, and credited the process with helping him truly embody a doctor: “[shadowing] allows you to move and act as if you’ve done things hundreds of times before.”

7. An entire parody film was made

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Parody films were all the rage in the 80s and early 90s, with classics like Airplane! (1980), This is Spinal Tap (1984), and of course the Naked Gun series (1988-1994). By the late 90s, however, the cinema-going public’s appetite for parody had lessened, though this didn’t stop Hollywood from making more. One of these later productions, often regarded as the death knell for the genre, is Wrongfully Accused (1998), a direct parody of The Fugitive.

Starring Leslie Nielsen as Ryan Harrison – a play both on Ford’s performance as Jack Ryan in Patriot Games (1992) and his first name – the film follows his hi-jinx as a professional violinist wrongfully accused, naturally, of the murder of his millionaire sponsor.

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The real killer, Harrison discovers, is a man missing not only an arm, but also an eye and a leg, and so begins Harrison’s attempts to bring the killer to justice while evading law enforcement.

While the film is, by its very nature, unoriginal, it’s interesting for having Nielsen in the lead role, who had guest starred in two episodes of the original TV series before turning his focus to comedic roles. It also includes minor parodies of what were then current films, including Titanic.

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Wrongfully Accused went down like a lead balloon with critics, and earned only $9.64 million at the box office. Still, releasing in the same year as US Marshals, it only goes to show how popular The Fugitive remained in the public consciousness half a decade later, a sign of the film’s enduring popularity to this day.

6. Julianne Moore almost played a bigger role

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Julianne Moore is a versatile actor now best known for her roles in Boogie Nights (1997) The Big Lebowski (1998), Magnolia (1999), as well as her Oscar-winning performance in Still Alice (2014). But earlier in her career, Moore was still struggling to establish herself on the silver screen. Step forward, The Fugitive.

Searching the prosthetics department at Cook County Hospital, Kimble discovers that a young boy has been misdiagnosed – as easy as it is to forget among all the action, Kimble is a doctor – and alters his medical records to save his life. It’s a moment that gives the character more heart and establishes him as someone who wants to put things right, but lingering gives away his illicit presence. Kimble is confronted by Dr Anne Eastman (Moore) who, when she realises Kimble’s identity, alerts the authorities.

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It’s not a tiny role by any means, but you get the feeling it could have been bigger, especially since Moore is credited as one of the major stars of the film – and that’s because it was.

Originally, Kimble would have later sought out Eastman for help and fallen in love with her. These scenes were filmed but eventually cut, both to keep the focus on the action and because producers worried that having Kimble fall for another woman so soon after the death of his wife – whom he was still trying to avenge – might have come across as tasteless.

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Despite her role being significantly reduced, rumour has it that Steven Spielberg was so impressed by her performance that it led to an interview that secured Moore top billing in one of the biggest franchises of the day, starring as Dr Sarah Harding in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997).

5. Richard Jordan was originally the villain

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Richard Jordan is known for roles in Les Misérables (1978) and Dune (1984), but for none more so than the seminal sci-fi classic Logan’s Run (1976) in which he plays the villainous Sandman Francis 7. He delivered acclaimed performances for both stage and screen – and, originally, he was in the frame to star in The Fugitive.

In fact, Jordan had filmed several scenes with Harrison Ford before his diagnosis of brain cancer worsened, forcing him to withdraw from filming. Jordan died on the 30th of August 1993. He was only 56.

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Jordan’s final role was in Gettysburg (1993), a film which clocks in at a leviathan 4.2 hours, and which was a huge commercial flop (probably for reasons you can guess). A sad and unfortunate end to a stellar acting career.

The role Jordan had been filming for, Dr Charles Nichol, was filled by Dutch actor Jereon Krabbé, who had recently starred in the fifteenth Bond film, The Living Daylights (1987).

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For eagle-eyed viewers, the fact that Jordan had to be replaced can be spotted in the film: Harrison Ford’s beard looks different in some early scenes with Krabbé because it had to be regrown for out of sequence reshoots.

4. Joe Pantoliano made sure he was in the sequel

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Tommy Lee Jones is obviously the most memorable US Marshal in the film, but spare a thought for Joe Pantoliano starring as his deputy, Cosmo Renfro. Now knowing that Kimble is innocent, and that he has been framed, the marshals advance on Nichol.

In a last minute twist, however, Nichol knocks out Renfro, steals his gun, and attempts to shoot Tommy Lee Jones’ Samuel Gerard. But if everything had gone as director Andrew Davis had wanted, things could have been much worse for Pantoliano.

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According to the original script, Nichol is meant to kill Renfro, providing a moment of drama at the climax of the film and solidifying Nichol as irredeemably evil. The safety of Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones is all the audience really cares about, and someone must be sacrificed to show that they’re truly in danger.

However, Pantoliano wasn’t happy with this state of affairs, and revealed on Gilbert Gottfried’s podcast (Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast) that he lobbied Davis to keep his character alive, and even added extra groans and leg movements to show that he definitely survived and could be in a potential sequel.

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Pantoliano got his wish – not only did his character officially survive the film, but he was able to reprise his role in the spin-off US Marshals, which he also survives.

3. There was a TV remake in 2000

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After the tepid response to US Marshals, you might think that Fugitive fever had finally come to an end. US Marshals screenwriter Roy Huggins had other ideas, and created a remake of the original 1960s TV series that aired on CBS.

The new TV series follows the same tried-and-tested plot of a man wrongfully convicted of his wife’s murder on the run from the law. Tim Daly, known for his roles in the sitcom Wings (1990-97) and The Sopranos (1997-07), picks up the torch from Harrison Ford.

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The initial response to the show was warm. After the pilot was shown to 3,500 CBS affiliates, it was greeted with a seven minute standing ovation, and once the series premiered it garnered a fan following.

Many of the scenes in the pilot pay direct homage to the film – which, depending on your level of cynicism, is either a wonderful homage or an attempt to capitalise on the film’s popularity.

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Unfortunately, likely due to the high production costs of the show – the pilot alone is estimated to have cost $6 million – the remake was cancelled after only one series. This not only left a smaller cliffhanger unresolved, but also the core conflict of the show: the pursuit of the One Armed Man.

2. Unlike the TV show, Kimble might have been guilty

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Given the shorter runtime of TV shows compared to films, it was common practice in the 50s and 60s to include narration over the opening credits. The most famous example of this practice is The Twilight Zone, with Rod Serling’s eery voice and an iconic spinning door. Similarly, The Fugitive’s original TV series also included a voiceover across the opening credits.

“The name: Dr. Richard Kimble. The destination: Death Row, state prison. The irony: Richard Kimble is innocent. Proved guilty, what Richard Kimble could not prove was that moments before discovering his murdered wife’s body, he saw a one-armed man running from the vicinity of his home. Richard Kimble ponders his fate as he looks at the world for the last time, and sees only darkness. But in that darkness, fate moves its huge hand.”

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The important point to note here is that the narration is unambiguous: Richard Kimble is innocent.

By contrast, the film reserves its judgement for a remarkably long time, given the eventual outcome of the story. The initial flashbacks in the film do not show the One Armed Man, which means that Kimble could indeed be guilty. The film’s marketing reinforces this, carefully avoiding stating outright that Harrison Ford’s character is innocent, mentioning only the crime and that the law is in pursuit.

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We only learn that Kimble is innocent after he escapes from custody. Of course, even in the myriad drafts of the script Kimble is never the killer, and the joy of the film comes from Kimble’s underdog spirit as he evades the long arm of the law, but it’s an interesting artistic divergence nonetheless.

1. Harrison Ford gave Jane Lynch some great advice

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The Fugitive is filled with actors, like the aforementioned Julianne Moore, who are under-appreciated and go on to bigger things. Another is Jane Lynch, who plays Dr Kathy Wahlund, a friend and colleague of Kimble who refuses to give him up.

Similar to Julianne Moore’s character, Wahlund was also considered as a love interest for Kimble, and discarded for the same reasons. It’s clear there was a significant push for Harrison Ford to have a love interest somewhere in the film.

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As for Ford himself, he was reportedly unhappy with his dialogue with Lynch. He took her aside, and they worked out their lines on their own, under an umbrella in the rain.

Lynch recalls that Ford, true to form, was “kind of a cranky guy,” albeit loveable all the same. According to Lynch, Ford would often demand a scene be shot a certain way, and normally his ideas would get the go-ahead from the director. What Lynch remembers most of all, however, is an immortal piece of advice that Ford gave her while on set.

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“It doesn’t matter how smart you are, you look stupid if your mouth is agape.”