CATEGORIES Features, Movies

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Twenty years ago, "The Fugitive" debuted in theaters. It was a solid big-screen adaptation of the '60s TV series and made major bank at the box office with $369 million. It was also a critical smash and an awards-getter, a surprise for a movie based on a TV series.

Star Joe Pantoliano later recalled "I remember one day, me and Tommy Lee [Jones] were driving back to the airport after shooting, and he said something like 'It's not like any of us are going to win any Oscars for this!'"

How wrong you were, Mr. Jones! The film not only earned Jones a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, but it was also nominated for Best Picture and five other Academy Awards.

Though "The Fugitive" is a movie most of you have probably watched repeatedly, here are a few things you might not have known about the film.

1. Harrison Ford was not the first choice to play Dr. Richard Kimble. The role was first offered to Alec Baldwin (whom Ford had replaced as Jack Ryan in "Patriot Games"), who apparently turned it down over a salary dispute.

2. Nick Nolte and his "48 Hours" director Walter Hill almost reteamed for this, but Nolte reportedly said he was too old. (He is only a year older than Ford, who was 51 at the time of the film's release.) Hill later dropped out as well.

3. Other actors considered for the role of Dr. Kimble: Kevin Costner, Andy Garcia, and Michael Douglas.

4. While the role of Inspector Gerard won Jones an Oscar, both Jon Voight and Gene Hackman were also considered for the part.

5. Jones improvised much of his dialogue in the film, including the famous "I don't care" line. According to producer Roy Huggins, Gerard's scripted response to Richard Kimble's saying "I didn't kill my wife" was "That isn't my problem."

6. Kimble's limp in the film is genuine: Ford tore a ligament in his knee during his escape scenes in the woods and decided to postpone surgery until after filming was wrapped. "The hobble is real," he told an interviewer in 1993.

7. The role of Dr. Nichols had to be recast after Richard Jordan, who died soon after, became too ill. Dutch actor Jeroen Krabbé was cast, which required reshoots. Ford had to regrow his beard for his first scene with Krabbé.

8. The picture of Richard Kimble in his med school days is actually Ford's yearbook picture from Ripon College. He nearly graduated in 1964, nine years before the photo is supposed to have been taken in the film.

9. The train crash cost $1 million to film. It was a real train and it was all done in one take. According to IMDb, the shot of Kimble jumping clear of the oncoming train was superimposed. Director Andrew Davis used 13 cameras to film the scene; three were destroyed.

10. The train scenes were filmed in Dillsboro, North Carolina. The prison bus and crashed shell of the engine became tourist attractions, and the engine itself, which was not destroyed, now pulls a dinner train.

11. The dam scenes were shot at two different locations -- the exterior of Cheoah Dam in Deals Gap, North Carolina, is where Kimble jumps. The rest of the scenes were shot in Chicago.

12. Six dummies, at a cost of $12,000 each, took that impossible plunge from the dam.

13. David Janssen, who played Richard Kimble in the original TV series, died in 1980. His mother, Berniece, is an extra in the courtroom scene where Kimble is declared guilty. She is whispering with another woman.

14. Harrison Ford had never seen a single episode of the original TV series before starring in "The Fugitive."

15. Where did Kimble get the hair dye he uses after his escape? In a DVD commentary, Davis said they cut a scene where Kimble buys it from a drug store.

16. You may know that Julianne Moore's doctor character was originally supposed to be a new love interest for Kimble (her scenes were cut after it was decided it wouldn't be right for a man seeking vengeance for his wife's murder). But did you also know that the researcher played by a pre-"Glee" Jane Lynch was also considered (and dismissed) as a possible love interest?

17. Despite having most of her scenes cut, the role was still a big break for Moore: Her performance got her an interview with Steven Spielberg, who cast her in "The Lost World: Jurassic Park."

18. Kimble joining the St. Patrick's Day parade was not originally scripted -- Andrew Davis added it later and got permission from the mayor's office to film, although several people are visibly surprised to see Ford walking alongside them.

19. If you know your Chicago politics, you would've spotted Mayor Richard M. Daley and Roland Burris, then Attorney General of Illinois in the film. (Burris later became the Junior Senator from Illinois who filled the seat vacated by President Barack Obama.)

20. Without "The Fugitive," we might never have gotten a fourth Indiana Jones film. Ford filmed an appearance (with his Dr. Kimble beard) on "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles," which planted the idea with George Lucas to make a film with Indy set in the '50s.

21. Joe Pantoliano's character, Cosmo Renfo, was supposed to die in the film's finale, but the actor successfully convinced the director to let him live. He appeared in the Ford-less sequel "U.S. Marshals," where a different member of Gerard's team was killed off.

22. Joseph F. Kosala, who plays Detective Rosetti, is a retired Chicago police detective. He based the interrogation scene, which was largely improvised, on his experiences in the Major Crimes unit.

23. Dick Cusack plays Kimble's lawyer. He's father to actors John and Joan Cusack, who all hail from Chicago.

24. The helicopter scenes had to be postponed because vice-president Al Gore was in Chicago. (Bonus: Jones and Gore happened to be roommates at Harvard.)

25. There is supposedly a "ghost," aka a man who shouldn't be in the shot, visible in the smoke after the train crash scene that was only noticed during the DVD transfer. He's since been digitally removed.

Sources: IMDb, TV Tropes, AMC, TNT, MovieMistakes

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