The Fugitive (1993)

9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Strong TV adaptation, Tommy Lee Jones

Dam dummy

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Fugitive

Studio:  Warner Bros.

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):  August 6, 1993

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Aw, man…I was all set to join a chain gang!

Dr. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) has been accused of murdering his wife Helen (Sela Ward).  Claiming that a one-armed man killed his wife, Kimble is convicted and sentenced to death for the crime.  When an accident during a transport allows Kimble to escape, Kimble goes on the run to find the one-armed man and prove his innocence.  Unfortunately, Kimble is dogged by a U.S. Marshal named Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) who has vowed to get his man.  Can Kimble uncover the truth before Gerard catches him?

Directed by Andrew Davis, The Fugitive was an action thriller based on the classic TV series which ran from 1963 to 1967.  The movie was a critical and financial success.  Tommy Lee Jones won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role and the film received nominations for Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Effects—Sound Effects Editing, and Best Music—Original Score.


Sam “I don’t care” Girard

The Fugitive is just a good story.  The original series was based on the real life murder of the pregnant Marilyn Reese Sheppard whose husband Sam Sheppard claimed “bushy-haired intruder” was responsible.  The series’ format served as the basis for other TV series like Kung Fu and The Incredible Hulk with a wandering character helping the people they encounter.  The Fugitive is one of the best TV adaptations to date because it kept to the feeling of the show but provided a solid rounded story and the resolution that people needed.

The story of The Fugitive has all the elements of a good action movie.  It has exciting sequences, a mystery, and two strongly written characters.  The movie manages to keep themes of the show alive without them being blatant or out of character.  Kimble saves officers in danger, a boy, and even is the type to say “excuse me” if he bumps into someone while running from the authorities.  The movie is quite long, but it actually goes quickly as opposed to other long winded films.


I’m going to rip off that fake arm and beat you with it!

The acting also is very good.  Harrison Ford is Harrison Ford and plays Harrison Ford in this movie.  He doesn’t have a lot of range, but he doesn’t need it for this role.  The real scene stealer is Tommy Lee Jones as Gerard.  The role is perfect for him and he eats up every scene.  In addition to Jones and Ford, Sela Ward plays his wife with a small role by Julianne Moore as a doctor.  The heavies of the movie are played by Andreas Katsulas as the one-armed man and Jeroen Krabbé as his “frenemy”.  The movie also features Joe Pantoliano and has an early performance by Jane Lynch as a doctor friend of Kimble.


Come on…even 1993 this looked bad.

The movie also solid when it comes to its style and shooting.  It isn’t flashy, but you understand what is going and that is a big thing for me in action movies.  I hate scenes where you don’t understand the path or direction of the movie…this movie doesn’t fall into that trap and excels as a result.

The Fugitive is a great action movie and holds up over the years.  It doesn’t rely on heavy computer animation or digital tricks (ok the dummy off the dam looks kind of weak).  This is one of the best TV adaptations you will see.  The Fugitive was the basis for a spin-off film for Tommy Lee Jones who starred as Gerard again in the less successful U.S. Marshals in 1998.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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