Jump to: Spoilers (12)
Harrison Ford damaged some ligaments in his leg during the filming of the scenes in the woods. He refused to take surgery until the end of filming so that his character would keep the limp. The limp can be seen in any subsequent scene where Richard Kimble is running.
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The scene where Kimble is running through the St. Patrick's Day parade was not scripted. This was a later addition by Andrew Davis. Davis, a native of the city, really wanted to capture the parade and was granted permission from the mayor's office to film the day of the parade. The entire sequence was shot with a hand-held steady cam. Without rehearsal, Ford and Jones just went out into the crowd and did their thing, with camera operators running around trying to keep up. Ford observed that since his character was keeping a low profile, it meant he himself didn't stand out much and lasted several minutes in the crowd before being recognized.
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According to producer Roy Huggins, Gerard's line in response to Richard Kimble's claim of innocence ("I didn't kill my wife") was originally written as "That isn't my problem." At the request of Tommy Lee Jones, it was changed to "I don't care."
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Harrison Ford was the first actor to sign onto the film in September 1992 and personally agreed with Andrew Davis directing the film after seeing "Under Siege (1992)," and being very impressed with the results.
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Originally, Julianne Moore's character had a bigger role in the film, even after she exposes him briefly. Kimble was to have sought her out for help and eventually fall for her. These scenes were filmed and deleted from the final cut of the film. This is the reason that her name is still credited as one of the main stars of the picture.
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The wrecked train and bus remain a tourist attraction in Dillsboro, North Carolina.
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Wax bullets were fired at the glass door at the same time Tommy Lee Jones was firing his blanks.
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According to the DVD commentary, the scene in which the Chicago police interrogate Richard Kimble was improvised. Harrison Ford had no idea what questions he would be asked.
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Andrew Davis only had one chance to crash the train in the train scene and had to get it right, so he consulted an array of engineers, stunt doubles and the insurance company to predict what would happen. The train was expected to crash into the bus at 35 miles per hour, but the director was in error - the train came at 42 miles per hour. Nevertheless, the scene went exactly as planned.
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Tommy Lee Jones reportedly told Joe Pantoliano, "It's not like anyone is going to win any awards for this film." However, Tommy Lee Jones won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for this film.
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Kimble's apartment is modeled after that of an actual doctor Harrison Ford and Andrew Davis met in a Chicago bar shortly before filming. Ford felt that the doctor, somewhat eccentric and reclusive, was exactly how he wanted to portray Kimble and sent the art department to see his apartment. The doctor was also treated to a drink by Ford.
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Harrison Ford shadowed doctors at the University of Chicago Medical Center to prepare for his role. He said, "It allows you to move and act as if you've done things hundreds of times before."
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Richard Jordan, who was originally cast as Dr. Nichols, actually filmed some scenes with Harrison Ford before he became ill and had to drop out of the picture. These scenes had to be re-shot with Jeroen Krabbé. If you look closely at Krabbé's first scene, Ford's beard looks different because he had to regrow it for the re-shoot.
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Rather than having to come up with a disguise for Richard Kimble, Andrew Davis had Harrison Ford start the film with a beard, then shave it off.
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It proved to be cheaper to use full size locomotives, at around 20,000 dollars each, rather than creating the crash scene using miniatures. As the budget was quite tight, it was impossible to rehearse this key scene, and it was a one-shot deal.
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A train was actually crashed for the movie, although Kimble jumping free was a superimposed image.
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This was the first American movie shown in Chinese theaters in over 40 years. Audiences accustomed to local movies were blown away when they saw it and it became a huge hit there.
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To date, the only remake of a regular television series to be nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. Earlier winner Marty (1955) was a remake of a television movie. Later nominee "Traffic (2000)" was adapted from a television miniseries.
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Dr. Kathy Waylund (played by Jane Lynch) was considered as a love interest for Richard Kimble during production. However, their relationship remained platonic, as it would have looked bad for Dr. Kimble to take a new lover while avenging the death of his wife. In addition, it was thought the love scenes would have added considerable length to the film and may have ruined the pacing and tension of the story at that juncture.
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Neil Flynn later appeared on Scrubs (2001), in which his character doesn't like to tell people that he appeared in this film.
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The train scenes were filmed in Dillsboro, North Carolina. The engine used (which was not destroyed) now pulls a dinner train. During a ride on that train, props from the making of the film can be seen, including the prison bus and the shell of the engine that crashed into the bus. Dillsboro is next to the town of Sylva, where the local hospital was used for filming the hospital scenes in the beginning of the film and the ambulance get-away.
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Julianne Moore's brief role landed her an interview with Steven Spielberg, who would later cast her in "The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)."
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Richard Kimble was played by David Janssen in the original television series "The Fugitive (1963)." His mother, Berniece Janssen, is an extra in the courtroom scene. You can spot her behind Harrison Ford's head while they play the 911 call, and when he is declared guilty. She is whispering with another woman.
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Alec Baldwin was first choice to play Dr. Richard Kimble. When he dropped out, Andy Garcia was considered for the role, but later worked with Andrew Davis on "Steal Big Steal Little" (1995). Harrison Ford had previously played a role that was first offered to Baldwin, in Patriot Games (1992), which happened to be the role of Jack Ryan. This character was played by Baldwin in The Hunt for Red October (1990), which incidentally, marked the first big screen appearance of Jack Ryan.
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Harrison Ford and producers argued over whether Kimble should be sentenced to death or life in prison. They filmed the scene both ways. In the end, the producers won out.
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The parade chase was improvised, but Harrison Ford did get permission to walk with the Plumbers' Union. "We didn't stage anything. I just inserted myself in the middle of the parade."
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The film was shot in 73 days, and had one of the fastest turn around post-production schedules, as the film was pushed up to a release date in August 1993.
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A lot of the film's dialogue is improvised. Jeb Stuart was the final credited writer on the film and was on set during production making up new scenes as needed.
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The picture of Richard Kimble on the composite from medical school is actually Harrison Ford's yearbook picture from Ripon College. He almost graduated in 1964, nine years before the picture was said to have been taken.
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The studio and the producers were extremely happy with Andrew Davis's cut of the film (before he edited it down to its final running time of 2:11) and told him "It's perfect - don't touch a thing." Davis still made another 1,600 edits to the film for pacing, tightening up scenes that needed to be stronger.
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As of 2017, holds the record with the biggest number of film editors nominated for the Oscar with a total of six editors. Usually, one or two (three tops) are nominated.
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According to the director, Tommy Lee Jones originally argued that his character, being concerned for the welfare of innocents around him, would not fire after Kimble inside a crowded building such as the courthouse. The dispute caused a brief delay in filming, but the director finally convinced Jones to do it as scripted.
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While filming this movie, Harrison Ford also filmed a cameo appearance on "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992)." This gave George Lucas the idea of making another "Indiana Jones" film with Ford, set in the 1950s. The beard he had grown for this film resulted in Indy being bearded in that episode as well. Appropriately, the resulting film, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)" also ended up featuring Neil Flynn, who played a subway cop in this film.
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As of 2018, it is the last film starring Harrison Ford to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
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There wasn't enough room for the cameraman to be inside the helicopter with Tommy Lee Jones. He had to be strapped to the outside of the chopper in order to get clean footage of Jones.
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During the St. Patrick's Day Parade, the smiling black man in the hat is Roland Burris, then Attorney General of Illinois, who later became the Junior Senator from Illinois, filling the seat vacated by President Barack Obama.
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The credits run over the first 14 minutes of the film.
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When Kimble is taking the injured boy to surgery, he signs off on the papers. The papers are dated March 15, which line up accurately with the St. Patrick's Day parade scene, two days later.
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According to Harrison Ford, "The studio was not happy with the beard. They figured they paid for the face they wanted to see, so they were concerned about that."
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Filming began before the script was completed.
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The screenplay spent five years in development hell, going through 9 writers and 25 drafts.
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NBC NIGHTLY NEWS anchor Lester Holt is one of the reporters outside the hotel at the end of the movie.
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Andrew Davis used helicopter aerials to give a "needle in a haystack" feel to the movie.
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The young boy Kimble treats at Cook County Hospital is played by Joel Robinson. His real name is used in the film, as Kimble refers to him as "Joel," and his full name can briefly be seen when Kimble inspects his chart.
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The weather was so cold when the crew filmed some of the scenes that Tommy Lee Jones recalled that "the batteries on the camera kept freezing."
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The idea to film in Chicago was Andrew Davis's. The studio gave him their blessing and left him alone for the duration of the shoot.
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Walter Hill wanted to direct, with Nick Nolte starring, but Nolte reportedly said he was tired with action movies, and too old.
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Harrison Ford had never seen a single episode of the television series The Fugitive (1963), upon which the film was based.
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A destination indicator on an EL train reads "Kimball" and the next shot tracks over a building that has a sign reading "Harrison" (These are two actual Chicago locations; in addition, there are both subway and EL stops on a Harrison Street).
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The river was cold, so the crew kept tubs of hot water off camera to keep Harrison Ford warm.
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The producers wanted Gerard's office high above the city to emphasise his authority.
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The only film that year nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and not in Best Motion Picture Drama at the Golden Globes.
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Some of the newscasters interviewing Gerard are actual newscasters in Chicago.
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Christopher Reeve and Mel Gibson were considered for the role of Richard Kimble. Gibson was also considered for the role of Samuel Gerard.
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3rd highest grossing film of 1993.
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The dam used in the exterior shots is Cheoah Dam, Tapoco, Graham County, North Carolina. The dam can be viewed clearly from North Carolina State Highway 129, just north of Tapoco.
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Andreas Katsulas once said he was glad he didn't watch "The Fugitive (1963)" as a child, "I would have been much too afraid of the one-armed man. He was a scary guy."
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In the final bit of comedian John Mulaney's stand-up special "The Comeback Kid," he frequently breaks from the story he is telling in order to also explain the finale of "The Fugitive," as the story took place in the same location the scene was shot.
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A feature that is often seen in the old buildings that Kimble encounters are brick walls with a wide assortment of browns, including many that are almost black. This type of brick is referred to as "Chicago used." This is because after the great fire of Chicago in 1871 many of the brick buildings encountered so much heat that the bricks were singed and in some cases, burned. After the buildings were demolished the brick was reused in new buildings. Decades later, when many of those new buildings were condemned and torn down, the brick was used with even newer buildings, many of which still exist, including some of those seen in the film.
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The helicopter chase was twice as long in the original preview cut and was edited down about 97 different times for time and pacing.
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The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to not be nominated for Best Director.
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After the movie came out, the Hilton offered tours to show where the movie was filmed.
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The "I don't bargain" speech Gerard gives to Newman after rescuing him from being taken hostage was written by Tommy Lee Jones. Jones did not like the way it was written in the script and thought it didn't sound natural enough for a conversation two men, both coming down from an adrenaline rush and one of which was shell-shocked, would have. Director Andrew Davis agreed and let Jones reword the dialogue as he saw fit.
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Kimble's house is modeled after a real doctor's house, in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park. Everything from the paintings on the walls to the architecture was duplicated for the movie.
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During flashbacks to the fund raiser early in the film, a sign for the pharmaceutical company Devlin McGregor mentions their work in pediatric care. In the original The Fugitive (1963), Dr. Kimble had been a pediatrician.
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Academy Award-winning actors Jon Voight and Gene Hackman were both offered the role of Sam Gerard. Both of them later worked on "Enemy of the State (1998)."
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An earlier script featured an ending where Kimble was fleeing on a train and Gerard jumps a car onto the tracks and chases after him. When Andrew Davis came aboard the idea was scrapped as it would have skyrocketed the budget and gone against his mandate of trying to keep things "real".
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Andrew Davis tried to avoid using artificial movie light whenever possible.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
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Ron Dean and Joseph F. Kosala, who play Detective Kelly and Detective Rosetti, worked together in three other Andrew Davis films: Code of Silence (1985), Above the Law (1988) and Chain Reaction (1996).
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Andrew Davis shot a lot of material during production. With a tight deadline between filming, editing, and release, six editors were hired to quickly assemble all the footage that was shot. To speed up the process, Davis and his team used an AVID editing machine to piece together the film. There were two machines used with three editors at each one, under the supervision of Davis.
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In both her scenes, Jane Lynch (Dr. Kathy Wahlund) is wearing "Hate is Not a Family Value" and other LGBT-inclusive pins on her lab coat, including an AIDS ribbon.
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Kevin Costner, Alec Baldwin, Richard Gere, Jeff Bridges, Michael Douglas, and Al Pacino were considerd for the role of Richard Kimble.
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When Biggs tells Gerard that Kimble is heading across the square, "towards the Picasso." This is a giant steel sculpture in Daley Plaza designed by the cubist artist Pablo Picasso. It was commissioned by the City of Chicago with the instruction that it represent the spirit of the city. The final result was Picasso's impression of the in-your-face directness of the culture, which he interpreted to be a big red baboon.
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Michael Douglas was considered for the role of Richard Kimble in the film's early pre-production stages. He worked on Falling Down (1993), which was produced by Arnold Kopelson and scored by James Newton Howard as well. He also worked with Andrew Davis and Arnold Kopelson on A Perfect Murder (1998).
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Kimble tells his lawyer he is in St. Louis, on the phone at an El station. When Renfro is discussing the El train with Sam Gerard and colleagues, he states that St. Louis doesn't have an El. This movie was released one week after St. Louis' light rail system, the MetroLink, first began operation. However, the St. Louis train is not elevated.
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When Gerard announces to Sheriff Rawlins that he's taking over the investigation, Rawlins sarcastically calls Gerard "Wyatt Earp". The famed gunfighter and lawman was appointed a Deputy U.S. Marshal after the infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
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Andrew Davis is a native of Chicago, where much of the film is set.
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The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year not to be nominated in either of the lead acting categories.
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Ron Dean later appeared in The Dark Knight (2008). Both films won an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, for Tommy Lee Jones and Heath Ledger. Both of their characters were based on characters inspired by Victor Hugo. Gerard was based on Inspector Javert from Les Misérables, the Joker on Gwynplaine from The Man Who Laughs (1928), the silent film adaptation of Hugo's novel of the same name.
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The project was in turnaround at Warner Brothers when the script found its way into Harrison Ford's hands.
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The director stated at a recent appearance in Chicago for the movie's anniversary that Harrison Ford objected to the character of Renfro surviving his injuries. He says that he finally shot the scene having Ford and Tommy Lee Jones drive away first, then brought the stretcher with the still-living Renfro out.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 2001 list of the top 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies.
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Devlin-McGregor Pharmaceutical is the same name as a company involved in a lawsuit on Boston Legal.
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Kevin Costner was considered for the role of Dr. Richard Kimble. He did star in "A Perfect World (1993)," which was also about a fugitive.
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Tommy Lee Jones previously worked with Andrew Davis on "Under Siege (1992)." However, Jones was on the opposite side of the law, (unlike in this film) playing a terrorist named William Strannix.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered to play Dr. Richard Kimble.
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The real "Dr. Kimble", Dr. Sam Sheppard, actually lost his medical license and became a professional wrestler, using the mandible claw as a finisher.
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U.S. Marshall Gerard tells his colleagues "Andiamo, bambini" when they get a lead, an Italian phrase translates to "Let's go, kids."
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Gene Hackman was offered the role of Sam Gerard, played by Tommy Lee Jones. Hackman and Jones co-starred in The Package (1989), also directed by Andrew Davis, and was also a conspiracy thriller set in Chicago with the musical score composed by James newton Howard who composed for this film.
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Andreas Katsulas (Sykes) was in Murder, She Wrote: A Killing in Vegas (1991) as casino manager Jerry Pappas. He is presented to Jessica Fletcher as "the boss of the one-armed bandits".
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The locomotive wrecked was former Norfolk & Western EMD GP30 536, c/n 27369. It was purchased out of the deadline of retired engines in the former Virginian Railway South Yard in Roanoke, Virginia, where it had been stored by 1992. It was repainted into the scheme of the fictional Illinois Southern Railroad but kept its original road number. The crash was filmed on the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad near Dillsboro, North Carolina.
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Dr Kimble boards a bus near the hospital bound for Kimball and Belmont.
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This movie shares many actors with Chain Reaction (1996), with both being filmed (in part) in Chicago, IL; Joseph F. Kosala, Ron Dean, Turk Muller, Neil Flynn, Allen Hamilton, Joan Kohn, Joe Guastaferro, Ken Moreno, Eddie Bo Smith, Jr., Danny Goldring, Michael Skewes, John Lee Davenport, Afram Bill Williams, Ann Whitney, Pam Zekman, Juan Ramírez, Miguel Nino, John Drummond, Gene Barge, Dick Cusack, and Nicholas Kusenko. Many of them play similar roles in both movies, most notably the two detectives (Joseph F. Kosala and Ron Dean), and Neil Flynn, who plays a law enforcement officer, and is shot, in both films.
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Walter Hill and David Giler both collaborated on a script that was ready for filming in 1990 with Hill slated to direct, but the project was then put into turn around and Hill eventually dropped out of the project altogether soon after.
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The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year not to be nominated in any of the writing categories.
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After the train wreck, the local sheriff is upset after Deputy U.S. Marshal Gerard assumes command of the investigation. He tells the assembled crowd that "Wyatt Earp" is taking over. The character of Sheriff Rawlins is played by Nick Searcy who later played Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Art Mullen on the television series "Justified" (2010). Composer James Newton Howard also composed "Wyatt Earp" (1994), the following year.
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The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be nominated for Best Sound Effects Editing.
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Joe Pantoliano (Cosmo Renfro) and Neil Flynn (Transit Cop) also appeared in Baby's Day Out (1994), with Flynn playing a Chicago cop in both films.
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Many plot elements of this film later appeared in the film Minority Report. Kimble, like Anderton, is accused of a crime he didn't commit, and had to go on the run from a federal agent (Witwer/Gerard). Both are at one point recognized on the subway by another passenger who sees his picture in the newspaper. Both need false identification (fake work ID, replacement eyes) to break back into their place of work for crucial information. While obtaining these fake IDs, both are nearly caught in a raid. Both are also nearly caught by their pursuers while breaking into their place of work. Both discover a conspiracy and cover-up by a colleague, and both confront that colleague at a banquet held in his honor. Fittingly, Minority Report was directed by Steven Spielberg; with whom Ford worked on the Indiana Jones films; and was adapted from a story by Philip K. Dick, as was Blade Runner.
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Second film in which Harrison Ford plays a Doctor Richard who takes matters into his own hand when his wife is targeted by villains. The first one was Frantic.
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L. Scott Caldwell (Marshal Poole) and Daniel Roebuck (Marshal Biggs) both portrayed castaways on Lost (2004). Caldwell played Rose Nadler and Roebuck played cranky science teacher Dr. Leslie Arzt.
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Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) mentions "That's a big fish" looking at the picture. In Men In Black 2, his character K says a similar line, "That is one hell of a fish", looking at a similar picture.
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Cinematographer Michael Chapman was brought on when the original DP was fired after the first week of production. Chapman recalled that he didn't want the job, but since the studio had been good to him in the past, he didn't want to say no when Warners approached him. Instead, he proposed a hefty salary that he was sure they would turn down; they accepted. He did not enjoy the shoot and his relationship with director Davis was tempestuous, but in retrospect he was proud of his work on the movie.
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Joseph F. Kosala (Detective Rosetti) was in Above the Law with Steven Segal, where he also played a Chicago police officer. Ron Dean (Detective Kelly) played one of Steven Segal's relatives in that movie.
Nick Searcy portrayed the local sheriff who has no respect for the U.S. Marshals who show up after the train crash. He later played Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Art Mullen for five seasons on the TV series Justified (2010).
Harrison Ford also played a surgeon from San Francisco named Dr. Richard Walker in Frantic (1988), also from Warner Brothers.
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In The Fugitive (1963), Barry Morse played Lieutenant Philip Gerard. No reason was given for the character's name change to Samuel Gerard.
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Andreas Katsulas had previously appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). The Fugitive (1963) series features appearances by William Shatner, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, and Clint Howard, who all later appeared on Star Trek: The Original Series (1966).
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This is Andrew Davis fourth film in Chicago. The first three Films are 1985 Code of Silence with Chuck Norris, 1988 Above the Law with Steven Seagal, and 1989 The Package with Gene Hackman.
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Harrison Ford's name is slipped into the background of the movie in two different scenes. As Gerard arrives at the train crash at 20:23, you can see a Ford truck in the background. At 1:01:24 there is an aerial shot of the Harrison Hotel. Harrison Ford, of course, is the star of the Fugitive.
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Had Gene Hackman played Sam Gerard and Kevin Costner played Richard Kimble in this film, they would have reunited after appearing together in No Way Out (1987). However, it was Tommy Lee Jones and Harrison Ford who played the respective roles instead. Hackman and Costner reunited in Wyatt Earp (1994) instead. Costner also worked with Jones on JFK (1991) and Criminal (2016).
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Stephen Frears was considered by the studio to direct this film in the early 90s.
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Tommy Lee Jones, Ron Dean, Michael Skewes, Johnny Lee Davenport, Juan Ramírez, Cody Glenn, Danny Goldring and Miguel Nino also starred together in another Andrew Davis movie, The Package (1989), which also took place in Chicago.
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At 1hr 0mins 20secs, Kimble falls asleep holding a copy of the book "Atlas of limb prosthetics", second edition. The book was first published in 1992, the year before the release date of the film.
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Includes numerous cast members who also appeared in The Package (1989).
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At the time of the film's release, the rights to the original series were held by Spelling Entertainment Group, which had recently launched a film production arm, Spelling Films, which ultimately was not involved in the film's production, nor would Spelling Television (as its flagship property was then called) be involved in the 2000 TV remake (by which point Spelling's holdings had been acquired by Paramount). CBS Television Studios, owners of the television side of the Spelling Entertainment library since 2006, would likewise not be involved in the 2020 remake for Quibi.
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The film is classified 'U' (Unrestricted Public Exhibition) all ages in India.
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Director Andrew Davis and Cinematographer Michael Chapman share a birthday, 21st November.
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The character of Cosmo Renfro was supposed to die in the finale of the film. However, Joe Pantoliano successfully lobbied for his character to be spared so that he may appear in a potential sequel. Pantoliano indeed got to reprise the role of Renfro in the sequel "U.S. Marshals (1998)." A similar request by Sela Ward to have her character beaten into a coma instead of being killed, however, was not honored.
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Just before Nichols attempts to open fire on Gerard, Richard assaults Nichols with a metal pipe and saves Gerard's life in the process. Such is the polar opposite of the series finale of the original television series The Fugitive (1963). In the final episode, Kimble and the one-armed man (the only villain responsible for Helen Kimble's death) were fighting in an amusement park. The one-armed man pointed a pistol at Richard only to be gunned down by Gerard just before firing. However, Richard Kimble saved Gerard's life multiple times throughout the series, before Gerard repaid the favor.
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Before filming began and work was continuing on the script, Andrew Davis consulted his sister (a doctor) as to what Kimble would do to get himself sent to jail. Her answer was a drug protocol. This was the essential part of the plot that is revealed briefly during the opening sequences prior to the murder of Helen Kimble (Sela Ward), as Ford meets one of the pharmaceutical moguls (MacGregor) involved with the project. Devlin, the other mogul involved, is only seen in photographs. This is finally brought to light once Kimble discovers the identity of the one-armed man and eventually to his friend.
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One of the few action films Harrison Ford is in, but doesn't kill anyone.
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Joe Pantoliano (Cosmo Renfro) admitted in an interview on Gilbert Gottfried's podcast that he wanted to be sure his character lived in case there was a sequel and he even did additional groaning and leg movements to showcase that he survived at the end. It worked and was in the sequel, U.S. Marshals.
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Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones only share four scenes in the entire film where they exchange dialogue: in the tunnel, in the laundry, on the phone, and in the car.
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At the start of the film, the various flashbacks to the murder do not show the one-armed man. They leave open the possibility that the doctor is indeed guilty (unlike in the television series on which the film is based). Only after the doctor escapes do you see flashbacks confirming his version as true.
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When Renfro and Gerard are discussing the trainwreck around the 21st minute, Renfro asks what happened to the engineer (train driver), and Gerard responds "I bet he did a Casey Jones". This references the American folk legend, Casey Jones, who was a railway engineer known for his speed, and whom died when his train crashed into a stalled freight train.
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The resolution of the mystery differs from the original television series on which the film is based. In the film, it is revealed that the one-armed man was a hired assassin and that Richard himself was the target, not Helen. This was part of an elaborate conspiracy surrounding a deal with a pharmaceutical company. The final episode of the television series has a much simpler conclusion: there was never a plot behind the murder. The one-armed man was a common burglar. Although, he is revealed to have a secret ally who helped him evade the authorities for all those years that Richard tried to prove his innocence.
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In real life, even after having proven he was not guilty of the murder of his wife, Richard Kimble would likely still face prosecution for, among other crimes, robbery and identity document forgery. Even his escape from custody would not be automatically invalidated by his innocence.
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When Kimble calls Nichols to tell him that Devlin-McGregor is behind his wife's murder, Kimble is phoning from the lobby of the University of Chicago's science library (John Crerar Library). Crerar is known for its extensive biomedical texts collection.
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The villainous characters of "Charles Nichols" and "Freddie Sykes" take their names from characters in previous films - "Charley Nichols" is also the Walter Matthau character in House Calls (1978) (another doctor), whilst "Freddie Sykes" is the Edmond O'Brien character in The Wild Bunch (1969).
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