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mdtinney's Movie Reviews (315)

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Fugitive, The (1993) 
In Search of the One Armed Man!!
4/4 stars

Of all the old TV shows that have become big-screen movies, THE FUGITIVE must be one of the very few that actually works. A transfer to the big screen of a fine TV series that starred the late David Janssen and ran on ABC-TV from 1963 to 1967, THE FUGITIVE had all the earmarks of a great film, and it does not disappoint.Taking over for Janssen, Harrison Ford stars as Dr. Richard Kimble, a prominent Chicago surgeon who is convicted for the brutal slaying of his wife Helen (Sela Ward)--a crime he did not commit. While on his way to meet his fate in an Illinois prison, the bus he and other prisoners are riding in suffers an accident, and is literally crushed by a freight train. Ford manages to make it out of the wreckage and escapes into the woods. Now, however, he not only has the whole Illinois state police and the Chicago P.D. on his trail, he also has a phalanx of U.S. marshals, led by the tenacious Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones).With all the odds stacked against him, Ford constantly has to change his appearance to avoid detection while at the same time going after the one-armed man who actually killed his wife. The result is a gripping cat-and-mouse game through the streets of the Windy City, a literal battle of wits between Ford and Jones that made for some of the best movie-making of the Nineties. Superbly directed by Andrew Davis (UNDER SIEGE; CODE OF SILENCE), THE FUGITIVE is not only a brilliant big-screen translation of a fine TV show from the past, it also echoes a theme familiar to Alfred Hitchcock--a man on the run for a crime he never committed. Ford is the man in that position. Jones won a well-deserved Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Gerard, but as Jones himself readily admitted, it is Ford's portrayal of Richard Kimble that is at the heart of this great thriller. Not nearly as violent as a lot of action films have tended to be, THE FUGITIVE is one of the finest in its genre, well worth seeing.


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