Film poster for The Fugitive
|Directed by||Andrew Davis|
|Produced by||Arnold Kopelson|
|Written by||Jeb Stuart
Tommy Lee Jones
|Music by||James Newton Howard|
|Editing by||Dennis Virkler|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release date(s)||August 6, 1993|
|Running time||130 minutes|
|Followed by||U.S. Marshals|
The Fugitive is a 1993 American film based on the television series of the same name. The film was directed by Andrew Davis and stars Harrison Ford as Dr. Richard Kimble, and Tommy Lee Jones as Deputy United States Marshal Samuel Gerard. Jones won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. The supporting cast includes Andreas Katsulas as a one-armed man, Sela Ward as Kimble's wife, Jeroen Krabbé (who replaced Richard Jordan), Julianne Moore, Neil Flynn and Joe Pantoliano. The film was one of the few movies associated with a television series to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Dr. Richard Kimble, a successful vascular surgeon in Chicago, comes home one night to find his wife Helen fatally wounded by a man with a prosthetic arm, and though he attempts to subdue the killer, the man escapes. The lack of evidence of a break-in, fingerprints being found on the gun and the bullets, being the beneficiary of Helen's lucrative life insurance and a misunderstood 9-1-1 call lead the Chicago Police Department to charge Kimble with first-degree murder, and he is sentenced to death by lethal injection.
On his way to death row via bus, the other prisoners attempt an escape, setting off a chain reaction which wounds the guards and kills the driver, causing the bus to fall into the path of an oncoming train. Kimble barely escapes the bus' destruction and flees into the night. The United States Marshals arrive, led by Samuel Gerard, to locate and round up the escaped convicts while the injured are taken to a nearby hospital. Kimble sneaks into the hospital to dispose of his prison uniform, shave his beard, and treat his wounds. While leaving the hospital, he is recognized by one of the injured guards, but quickly drives away in an ambulance. After being informed of Kimble being detected, Gerard orders a blockade of a tunnel through a nearby dam to stop Kimble's escape, but Kimble abandons the vehicle and climbs into the storm water system. Kimble is eventually cornered by Gerard above the outlet of the dam spillway. Kimble dives over the edge, surviving the fall, and swims away downstream, leaving no trail for the Marshals to follow. While Gerard's teammates argue that Kimble had drowned, Gerard doggedly refuses to quit the search until he has proof of Kimble's death.
Kimble then returns to Chicago to find the murderer and receives a small amount of money from his friend and associate, Dr. Charles Nichols. Kimble rents a basement of a home of Polish immigrants, but trouble soon comes when his landlord's son is arrested for dealing drugs and gives police information on Kimble in exchange for leniency. Kimble falsifies an ID card to get into the Cook County Hospital prosthetic department, posing as a janitor, to obtain a list of people who had their prosthetic arm repaired shortly after his wife's murder. After obtaining the list, he is recruited into helping with a mass influx of injured people. After seeing a mistaken diagnosis of a young boy, Kimble corrects the orders and sends him to emergency surgery instead. The boy's doctor, however, was suspicious of a janitor looking at the boy's x-rays. Upon discovering that the boy did not show up where she told the janitor to send him, she confronts the janitor and calls security. The Marshals arrive at the hospital shortly after Kimble leaves having found his residence and evidence of his creating of a fake ID card for the hospital. Gerard is informed that Kimble posing as a janitor, saved the young boy's life, but is still unsure as to why he would risk going to such a heavily-populated place. As Gerard sees a man walk by with a missing arm, Gerard determines that Kimble must have been searching for information on the murderer, and orders his men to perform a similar search hoping to anticipate Kimble's next move.
Kimble goes to the Cook County Jail to investigate a one-armed man accused of armed robbery, but finds that person is not the murderer. Gerard and his team also head to the jail thinking Kimble may try to confront the one-armed armed robber and Kimble and Gerard run across each other as Kimble is leaving. Gerard chases Kimble into Chicago's St. Patrick's Day parade where Kimble barely escapes. At the home of the next person on his list, a former police officer named Frederick Sykes, Kimble finds pay stubs addressed to Sykes from a pharmaceutical company that was working on a new drug called Provasic. Kimble had investigated the drug previously and found that it caused liver damage in several test subjects, which would have prevented it from being approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Kimble also finds pictures of Sykes and doctors from Kimble's hospital, as well as one of his prosthetic arms. Kimble suspects the connection between the drug and Helen's murder, with Nichols having hired Sykes as a hitman with easy access to Kimble's home, having his keys due to Kimble allowing Nichols to borrow his car some time before. It turns out that Nichols tried to have Kimble killed from what Kimble found out about the danger of Provasic, thus threatening Nichols's career. Kimble calls Gerard from Sykes's home knowing Gerard would trace the call. Since a known fugitive was in the home, Gerard doesn't need a search warrant to enter. Gerard is suspicious of Sykes and has surveillance placed on him, aware that Kimble has led them to a serious clue. Kimble obtains liver function tests from the Provasic drug study and convinces a former colleague to review the Provasic trial results and discovers that the results have been altered by Nichols to show no ill effects, and that Nichols is presenting the drug at a reception that evening on the eve of its approval.
Kimble encounters Sykes on an L Train; a fight ensues between them that ends with a transit cop dead, murdered by Sykes, who is incapacitated and then handcuffed to a handrail by Kimble. Kimble flees the train and heads to the hotel where the presentation is occurring. The Chicago Police pursue him with orders to shoot him on sight should he refuse to surrender, believing Kimble to have killed the transit cop on the train. At the reception, Kimble publicly accuses Nichols of falsifying the drug's side effects, and Nichols nervously leads Kimble out of the reception area into a side room where Nichols attacks Kimble, followed by Gerard who now is aware of the full truth. Nichols and Kimble's fight leads to the roof, down an elevator shaft to the laundry floor of the hotel. Gerard and deputy Renfro then silently pursue Kimble in the laundry floor. Kimble remains elusive, but then Gerard announces to Kimble that he now knows he is innocent and asks Kimble to come silently before the police kill him. Nichols spots Renfro and knocks him unconscious with a laundry transport rail, steals Renfro's gun, and attempts to shoot Gerard from behind. Kimble spots Nichols with the gun cocked, sneaks up on him from behind, and hits him in the spine with a length of pipe, incapacitating him and saving Gerard's life. As the police take away Sykes, Gerard arrests Kimble until he can be acquitted, but unlocks his handcuffs as they are driven away.
Although almost half of the film is set in rural Illinois, a large portion of the principal filming was actually shot in Jackson County, North Carolina in the Great Smoky Mountains. The famous scene involving Kimble's prison transport bus and a freight train wreck was filmed along the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad just outside of Dillsboro, North Carolina. Riders on the excursion railroad can still see the wreckage on the way out of the Dillsboro depot. Scenes in a hospital after Kimble's escape were filmed at Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva, North Carolina. Cheoah Dam was the location of the scene where Kimble jumped. In one scene, a road sign pointing to Murphy can be seen.
The rest of the film was shot in Chicago, Illinois, including some of the dam scene, which were filmed in the remains of the Chicago Freight Tunnels (and also at Deals Gap, North Carolina). The "one-armed man" lived in the historic Pullman neighborhood of Chicago (see Pullman, Chicago). Harrison Ford used the pay phone in the local bar (the Pullman Pub), at which point he climbs a ladder and runs down the roofline of the historic rowhomes toward the one-armed man's house. There are several other scenes that show the rowhouses of the historic neighborhood George Pullman built in the 1870s for his factory workers. During the St Patrick's Day Parade chase scene, Mayor Richard M. Daley and then Illinois Attorney General Roland W. Burris are briefly, but prominently, shown as participants in the parade. One night scene under the "El" tracks showed Kimble exiting an alley by 130 N. Wells St., with "Chicago Memorial" covering the then-Illinois Bell Building sign.
The Fugitive opened strongly in the United States box office, grossing $23,758,855 in its first weekend and holding the top spot for six weeks, before Striking Distance supplanted the record the seventh week of release. It eventually went on to gross an estimated $183,875,760 in the US, and $368,700,000 worldwide.
The film was nominated for the following seven Academy Awards:
Jones also received numerous other awards for his role, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture. Director Andrew Davis received "Best Director" nominations at that year's Golden Globe and Directors Guild of America Awards (but was not honored with a similar nomination at the Academy Awards).
It also received enthusiastic reviews from film critics. As of July 2009, it received a 94% score and has been certified "Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 86 or "universal acclaim" from Metacritic. Roger Ebert gave it 4 out of 4 stars, calling it "one of the year's best films". A few reviewers said it was marred by the ending, which introduced conspiracy and political elements to the film.
Jeanne Kalogridis wrote a mass-market paperback novelization of the film. She worked from the original screenplay, which eschews most of the humorous wisecracks spoken on film. Her novel looks more closely at some of the film's leading characters, especially Gerard and his newest subordinate. The film was also made into the Telugu film Criminal. and into Malayalam film Nirnayam.
Jones returned as Gerard in a spin-off released in 1998, U.S. Marshals, which also featured Wesley Snipes, Robert Downey Jr., Joe Pantoliano and Tom Wood. While the second film also features Gerard's team of marshals hunting down an escaped fugitive accused of murder, it does not involve Kimble or the events of the first film. However, the fictional hospital at which Kimble works, Chicago Memorial, is featured.