Nobody should ever go to the movies to see history
The Fugitive was one of the biggest hits of 1993, and remains one of the seminal suspense/adventure thrillers of all time. The Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones adaptation was nominated for 8 Academy Awards and won 4, including a Best Supporting Actor statue for Tommy Lee Jones. Here are 12 things about the film you may not have known…
1. The most famous scene in the film was the train/bus crash that frees Dr. Richard Kimble. The site of the train wreck is still a tourist attraction in Dillsboro, North Carolina. The engine used 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.
2. Director 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, the insurance company, to try to ascertain exactly what would happen. The train was expected to crash into his bus at a speed of 35 miles per hour, but the director was in error. The train came at a speed of 42 miles per hour. Nevertheless, the scene still went exactly as planned.
3. Kimble’s apartment is modeled after an actual doctor that Harrison Ford and director 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.
4. 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 who is 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. All shot with a hand held steady cam.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. The film was shot in 73 days and had one of the fastest turnaround post-production schedules as the film was pushed up to a release date in August 1993.
8. Alec Baldwin was first choice to play Dr. Richard Kimble. When he dropped out, Andy Garcia was considered for the role. Baldwin also declined to return as Jack Ryan in Patriot Games, which Ford took as well.
9. 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.
10. Jon Voight and Gene Hackman were both offered the role of Sam Gerard before it ended up in the hands of Tommy Lee Jones.
11. Harrison Ford was the first actor to sign on the film in September 1992 and personally agreed with Andrew Davis directing the film after seeing his Steven Segal action film Under Siege, and being very impressed with the results.
12. Rather than having to come up with a disguise for Richard Kimble, director Andrew Davis had Harrison Ford start the film with a beard, then shave it off.