The Fugitive (1993) – Andrew Davis

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Andrew Davis has back to back entries in the 101 Action Movies list, first Under Siege, and now the big screen version of the classic television show, The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford, as Doctor Richard Kimble, and Tommy Lee Jones as U.S. Marshall Sam Gerard.

This film, is inextricably tied to a point in my life when I was working at Jumbo Video in Kingston. Having seen the movie in the theater, I had loved it, and was more than happy when Tommy Lee Jones won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his turn as the had-nosed, uncompromising pursuer in what could quite possibly be the ultimate chase movie.

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Taking a page from the original series, Kimble is tried and found guilty for the murder of his wife, Helen (Sela Ward) despite his insistence that she was murdered by a one-armed man. After he escapes in a tense sequence involving a prison bus and a train, he’s off on foot to try to track down his wife’s murderer with Gerard and his team in hot pursuit.

Great fun! It’s a tightly crafted film, and I watched it over and over again, and I was allowed, because in our store, The Fugitive was one of our first Guaranteed Rentals! But it didn’t end there, my friend Tara and I fresh from our college courses on Advertising and Public Relations were intent on doing a contest, something to tie in with the fun of the film, and get our customers involved.

Thus was born “Find The Fugitive.”

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Each week, there would be a new clue leading you around Kingston, in search of Richard Kimble. I honestly don’t remember what the prize was, but it was fun, and we got to cut a video ad together with the trailer. A lot of fun.

But I hadn’t watched the film itself now in years, because we had played it so often in the store, so I was quite happy to sit down and take a look at it again. The film has an all-star cast including Julianne Moore, Jeroen Krebbe, Joe Pantoliano, Nick Searcy, Daniel Roebuck and Andreas Katsulas.

One of the things I’ve always loved about the film, is not only Jones portrayal of Gerard, but the way he interacts with, and the way his team interacts with him. It really is a lot of fun watching the dialogue, and a lot of little throwaways get shot around when he and his unit share a scene.

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Harrison is of course at the top of his game, and this is probably my favorite portrayal of his outside of any of his recurring characters that he’s played. His interrogation scene, when he clues into the fact that the Chicago PD think he killed his wife, and his disgust and anger at it is one of my favorite bits.

And lord knows how many times I wandered around saying Gerard’s speech, “Alright, listen up, people. Our fugitive has been on the run for ninety minutes. Average foot speed over uneven ground barring injuries is 4 miles-per-hour. That gives us a radius of six miles. What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area. Checkpoints go up at fifteen miles. Your fugitive’s name is Dr. Richard Kimble. Go get him.”

What did you think of it?

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