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Trivia / The Fugitive

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  • California Doubling: Used for most episodes, leading naturally to It's Always Spring and occasional instances of Misplaced Vegetation and The Mountains of Illinois.
    • Averted in The Remake, in which episodes (or the exteriors, at least) were filmed wherever they were set—New Orleans, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, etc. This unfortunately made the show very expensive to produce and this is believed to have been a factor in its cancellation.
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: The show's associate producer/co-producernote  George Eckstein liked season 3's two-parter "Landscape with Running Figures" because it was the only script which came in, other than his ownnote  that could have been filmed with no rewrites needed, but Eckstein asked Anthony Wilson to expand it.
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  • Directed by Cast Member: Barry Morse directed Season 4's "The Shattered Silence".
  • Disabled Character, Disabled Actor: Bill Raisch, who played the One-Armed Man, had lost his right arm in World War II.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • Lt. Gerard was played by the English-born Canadian Barry Morse. A good thing, too, since any time a person on the street got too threatening to him for being mean to Kimble, he could switch to his native accent and say, "Blimey, guv, I ain't who you think I am! Must be that bloke on the telly who looks like me."
    • "A Clean and Quiet Town" has Eduardo Cianelli as Viktor Lucheck.
    • In "The Last Oasis", Puerto Rican Jaime Sánchez plays a Native American.
    • Not a single member of the Hungarian Karac-family in "The Blessings of Liberty" is actually played by a Hungarian actor (instead it's one Austrian and three Americans).
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    • "Shadow of the Swan" catches British-born Joanna Pettet early in her decades-long run playing Fake Americans on TV.
    • "No Strings Attached" sees American Rex Thompson plays a Fake Brit as virtuoso violinist Geoffrey Martin. It's especially when he's in a scene with Donald Pleasance (as his manager).
  • Friday Night Death Slot: Where the remake was stuck, dooming it to poor ratings despite mostly good reviews.
  • I Am Not Spock: Barry Morse had said that on more than one occasion, he was accosted by elderly ladies in supermarkets, telling him to "leave that nice Dr. Kimble alone", telling him that a one-armed man is the true killer.;
  • Name's the Same: Looking at all the aliases Kimble had, he posed as some pretty interesting people...he was Florida-based soul singer Paul Kelly in "Tug of War", famous newspaper columnist Jack Anderson in "Second Sight", Fugs co-founder Ed Sanders in "Death is the Door Prize", My Little Margie co-star Charlie Farrell in "Dossier on a Diplomat" and, if Richard Clark went by the nickname 'Dick', then Kimble posed as him as well in "Nicest Fella You'd Ever Want to Meet".
    • Patricia Smith played a character named Amy Adams in the episode "Man On a String".
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Kimble's brother-in-law, Leonard Taft, was played by several different actors.
    • Also Gerard's wife. She appeared briefly in two episodes, each time played by a different bit actress (one of them was even uncredited). The one time she had a major role to play was in a rare two-parter where she was played by Special Guest Star Barbara Rush.
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  • Playing Against Type: Brian Keith, who usually played good guys, played a mentally unstable wife beater in the pilot.
  • Real-Life Relative: Jill Janssen, David's younger sister, has a small part in the episode "The Ivy Maze". David's mother, Berniece Janssen, also made appearances in bit parts.
    • In The Remake, Amy Van Nostrand, Tim Daly's Real Life wife, guest-starred in the episode "And In That Darkness" as Grace, a psychiatric patient Kimble befriends and assists.
  • Recycled: The Series: Despite technically being a remake of the original series, the 2000 edition was created by those who produced the movie and is therefore far more based on it, with elements such as the Kimbles being Happily Married, Helen being wealthy, hints of a huge conspiracy being behind Helen's murder, etc.
    • Writer Arthur Weiss is credited with one episode of the new series and three of the old series. Lou Antonio, who appeared as an actor in three episodes of the original series, directed an episode of the new series. William Graham directed two episodes of the new series, and seven of the old series.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: The series shares several plot and thematic elements with the novel and film Dark Passage, to the point where the novel's author (unsuccessfully) sued the show's producers for copyright infringement.
  • Trolling Creator: David Janssen and Barry Morse concerning the series's ending. A few examples:
    • Janssen liked to joke that Kimble killed his wife because she talked too much (most prominently, he stated this when asked about the ending in Joey Bishop's late night talk show, shortly before the finale was due to air).
    • Barry Morse and David Janssen also made up an alternate epilogue to the finale for fun: In it, Kimble wakes up in bed next to his wife, saying that he just had the most horrible nightmare.
    • There's a persistent rumour that an alternate ending, revealing Kimble with a false arm and therefore as the real killer, had actually been planned. In "The Fugitive Recaptured", Barry Morse suggests that this may stem from a plan he and Janssen had to pull some kind of false-arm gag at public appearances, even though they never went through with it. Either that or...
    • In an interview with TV Guide given around the time of the series finale, Janssen stated that his idea for the ending was to have Richard Kimble sitting on the beach, reading about the execution of the One-Armed Man in the newspaper. Then he would get up, detach his prosthetic arm and walk off into the sea. It's hard to say now, but he was probably kidding...
  • What Could Have Been: Robert Stack turned down the role of Richard Kimble.
    • "Landscape with Running Figures" was written as a hour-long episode; associate producer George Eckstein felt it could be a two-parter.
  • You Look Familiar: Lots of actors will guest star in more than one episode in a different role. Perhaps the best example is Richard Anderson, who played Kimble's brother-in-law, Len Taft in the last 2 episodes. Anderson guest starred in 6 episodes total. The last 2 are the only ones where he played Len.


  • Billing Displacement:
    • Julianne Moore is billed fourth in the film, although she wasn't a well-known actress at the time of its release and her character only has a few minutes of total screen time. This initially wasn't the case; Moore's character was originally written to have a much larger role as an ally and a love interest for Kimble.
    • Sela Ward, as the doomed Helen Kimble, doesn't get much more screen time, and she's billed third — though this is justified, as her character is also an example of Small Role, Big Impact.
  • Banned in China: Inverted. 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.
  • Cast the Expert: Joseph F. Kasala, who played Detective Rosetti, is a retired Chicago police detective. He helped script the interrogation scene based off of his experiences.
  • The Danza: Joel Robinson as Joel (the injured boy in the hospital whose life Kimble saves).
  • Deleted Scene: Plenty. If you read the finished script or the novelization, you'll have an idea of what was cut. Although you can find stills with a Google image search—Kimble testifying at his trial, Kimble in a convenience store, Kimble eating in a diner—overall, they appear to have been lost forever; unlike many other movies, there's been no "Director's Cut" released, nor were any deleted scenes included as extras on the Blu-Ray or 20th Anniversary DVD.
  • Development Hell: There had been plans to make the film five years before it finally came to fruition. At least nine different writers worked through 25 different screenplays.
  • DVD Commentary: The commentary with Andrew Davis and Tommy Lee Jones is probably one of the most disappointing ever. Davis spends most of the time simply talking about shooting locations and praising ever actor on screen while Jones' is quiet most of the time and when he does speak his comments amount to things like "I liked this part" and "it was cold that day".
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Harrison Ford shadowed doctors at the University of Chicago Medical Center in preparation for his role as Dr. Richard Kimble.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • Done by Harrison Ford to himself. He deliberately did not study the script for the scene where Kimble is being questioned by the police, since he wanted his responses and reactions to be as realistic as possible.
    • Then, he injured his knee during filming, but postponed surgery until the movie was complete. The result? A limp, which turned out to work perfectly because it emphasized Kimble's vulnerability, added even more tension to the chase scenes, and seemed completely realistic in light of all the physical things Kimble was doing.
  • Fake American: Dutch actor Jeroen Krabbé as the presumably American Dr. Charles Nichols.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: Subverted. While the official trailer is of Gerard's famous "—-house" speech, one will note that his tone and inflection are somewhat different from that in the movie, as are the scenes of Kimble running through the woods and Helen struggling with the one-armed man.
    • Another has a slightly more explicit love scene between Helen and Richard. (At about 1:10)
  • The Other Marty: Richard Jordan was originally cast as Dr. Charles Nichols, but he was extremely ill (he ended up passing away a few weeks after the film was released), thus being replaced with Jeroen Krabbé.
  • Referenced by...: As one AV Club article mentions, it's quite hard post 2015 to remember the movie's ending without thinking of John Mulaney's story in his The Comeback Kid Netflix special about a Bill Clinton rally that begins with him explaining it happened at the same hotel ballroom as the ending and continually getting sidetracked to explain and then critique the film... also the story itself is pretty great.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: The chase through the St. Patrick's Day parade only happened because the parade was occurring at the same time as filming.
  • Spiritual Successor: David Twohy, one of the screenwriters for the film, went on to create The Chronicles of Riddick... a franchise solely about a Fugitive set in the distant future on absurdly inhospitable extrasolar planets.
  • Star-Making Role: After several decades of minor or supporting roles, this was the film that gave Tommy Lee Jones a huge career push.
  • Those Two Actors: Ron Dean and Joseph F. Kosala, who play Detective Kelly and Detective Rosetti, worked together in two other films previously that involved the Chicago Police Department: Code of Silence (starring Chuck Norris) and Above the Law (1988) (starring Steven Seagal).note  They did so again in Chain Reaction (also directed by Andrew Davis). Altogether, they were paired (often in the same scene) in six Andrew Davis films.
  • Throw It In: Jones ad-libbed his famous "I don't care!" line (the scripted version was "It's not my problem") as well as many other comments his character makes. It was nominated, though not ranked, for AFI's "Quotes" list.
    • As cited above, Kimble's limp is the result of a genuine injury Ford sustained during filming.
    • Kimble seeking cover in the St. Patrick's Day parade wasn't scripted either. The parade just happened to be running at the same time as filming and someone thought it would be a great idea.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The official, completed script (which was filmed) before director Andrew Davis decided to trim a handful of scenes.
    • Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Costner, Michael Douglas, Andy García, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Michael Keaton, Nick Nolte, Al Pacino, Christopher Reeve, and Arnold Schwarzenegger were considered for Richard Kimble. In fact, Baldwin was cast, but dropped out over a salary dispute.
    • Gibson, Gene Hackman and Jon Voight were considered for Samuel Gerard.
    • There were plans to make either Dr. Kathy Wahlund (Jane Lynch) or Dr. Anne Eastman (Julianne Moore) a love interest for Kimble. This was nixed as (a) it would have been distateful for Kimble to take a new lover while trying to solve the murder of his wife (whom he was clearly still grieving for), and (b) such a story would have distracted from the "chase" aspects of the film.
    • An early draft of the script had a movie that was much more similar to the original series:
      • The Kimbles' marriage would have been unhappy.
      • Kimble traveling cross-country to find his wife's killer (presumably, this film would have taken place over a longer time period than the finished product).
      • Kimble finding love with Helen's sister (again, the longer time period would have made this more palatable).
    • Non-natives:
      • The movie would have started out in Philadelphia rather than Chicago.
      • It would have begun with Kimble's sentencing, with the story of their marriage and her murder taking place via numerous flashbacks.
      • The killer would have been a hit man hired by Helen's father to stop her from revealing that he'd sexually abused her and her sister.
    • Cosmo was originally written to have died after being hit by the I-beam. Joe Pantoliano had a different idea in mind: Merely be injured, so that if they made a sequel, he could be in it. Sure enough, there was a sequel.
    • Two sentencing scenes were filmed—one sentencing Kimble to death, the other to life in prison, which Ford preferred.
    • At least one early version of the script had Gerard as the one who had hired the one-armed man to kill Kimble's wife as revenge for a botched surgery on his wife.
    • Barry Morse (the original Gerard) was offered a cameo appearance as Dr. Lentz, but turned it down.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: The movie was largely made this way, on the fly—although one would never suspect by watching it, as it looks very carefully planned.
  • You Might Remember Me from...: Sela Ward (Helen Kimble) was known for her role as second-oldest sister Teddy on Sisters at the time the movie was released.


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