The Fugitive

Question: At the very end, what was in the plastic bag that Tommy Lee Jones' character gives to Harrison Ford?

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Answer: It's a cold compress. You squeeze it, and the inner bag breaks mixing chemicals and it gets very cold. It helps to minimize swelling. He gave it to Kimball for all the bruises he had.

Grumpy Scot
8

Question: Again, was the Polish woman's son really a drug dealer? A little piece of me thinks that it could have been a ruse by the Chicago PD to get him in and let Kimble think he was safe for the moment. Or, did he tell the cops that Kimble was living in his mother's basement as leverage to get out of being arrested for drug dealing?

4

Answer: Why on earth would the Chicago PD leave Kimble to think he was safe if they knew his location? He's a convicted killer - they find him, they grab him, they throw him in prison, end of story. No requirement to lull him into a false sense of security. They busted the Polish woman's son for drug dealing - he turned Kimble in to try to buy some leniency.

Tailkinker Premium member
9

Question: Lentz knew that the RDU-90 protocol drug Provasic was causing liver damage and was going to report it which is why he was murdered, but why try to kill Richard? At what point in the film was Richard trying to find out how the failed attempt on his life tied-in with Provasic and did he know that it was causing liver damage before his wife was killed or while searching for the one armed man? If it was while searching for the one armed man, then why try to kill him at all?

3

Answer: Richard had investigated Provasic and saw that it caused liver damage, including the man he had to perform emergency surgery for on the night of the murder. He spent most of the film trying to find his wife's killer and when he does, he discovers that he was the original target and the reason behind it. Lentz was a neutral party in the film and Nichols framed him as the one who planned the murder attempt.

4

Question: Towards the end, before the confrontation with Kimble and Nicholls, the guy who was tracing Kimble's phone records tells the Marshalls that Kimble telephoned Sykes on the night of his wife's murder. But obviously it wasn't Kimble calling Sykes, it was Sykes using Kimble's phone. But why would Sykes be calling himself?

jenn_s_h85
2

Chosen answer: He didn't. A key plot point is that Nichols borrowed Kimble's car on the night of the murder. The call to Sykes, which is expressly stated by the marshals as being on Kimble's car phone, was from Nichols, presumably arranging to meet so that he could give Sykes Kimble's keys to get into his house to lie in wait for him.

Tailkinker Premium member
6

Thank you for explaining it. I've seen it several times and never realised how it went down.

4

And Tommy Lee Jones tells Kimble that they knew Nichols called Skyes from his car, but how? Wouldn't the more logical answer have been that the US Marshals thought that Kimble called Sykes from his car to tell the killer his wife was home alone? There is no way the US Marshalls would have known that the Kimble let Nichols borrow his call - that's the mistake in the movie! It actually should have made the Marshalls suspicious of Kimble, not exonerate him.

The Marshals know Kimble let Nichols borrow his car because Kimble told the police when he was initially interviewed following the murder. He gave a detailed account of his actions and whereabouts that night and mentioned that Nichols had borrowed his car. It didn't seem suspicious to the police at the time because Richard claimed he fought with a one armed man he didn't recognize; a story the police did not believe because there was no evidence of this and Kimble's wife "identified" her attacker as Richard. Gerard puts everything together when he realises that Nichols lied about knowing Lentz.

BaconIsMyBFF

How did Sam figure out that Nichols borrowed the vehicle and made the call to Sykes and gave him keys, etc? I know in the laundry he reveals that he knew this but when/how did he figure it out?

Answer: This is more of a question really. What kind of defense attorney did this high dollar, Dr. Kimble hire who do not show their defendant pictures of the one-armed men the police question? How do his attorneys not ask him "OK, which of these one-armed men did you fight with in your house?"

The prosecution is not required to inform the defense of every person the police interview or question. They are only required to give the defense whatever evidence they have against the accused. Simply questioning someone in a perceived dead only counts as evidence against the accused if the prosecutor mentions it in court. If the prosecutor were to say "We interviewed a one-armed man named Sykes and he says he doesn't know you", then Kimble's defense would be required to be given access to Sykes. We can assume this never happened.

BaconIsMyBFF
1

The Chicago police DID question Sykes after the Kimble murder. Review the scene where Sykes returns to his apartment after Kimble has been there. Girard starts asking Sykes questions, at first Sykes says he doesn't know anything about Kimble but then "remembers" that he had been interviewed by the police right after the Kimble murder. However, Sykes says that he gave the police an alibi, with 15 people supposedly confirming that Sykes was on a business trip and not in Chicago. The movie then implies that Sykes had been a Chicago cop and lost his arm "in the line of duty." Remember that the Chicago police focused on Kimble pretty quickly. Their investigators may have interviewed Sykes, but they likely didn't even come close to considering him as a potential murderer. Even with Sykes likely matching Kimble's description of the one-armed man, the police likely saw Sykes as a former cop... A former cop who had an alibi confirmed by 15 people. As I understand it, prosecutors don't have to tell defense attorneys about everyone that the cops question. They only have to tell the defense about potential witnesses that might be called in connection to the criminal trial. In this scenario, Sykes wouldn't have been part of the criminal trial (Again, supposedly on a business trip confirmed by 15 people on the night of the murder) and thus Kimble and his lawyers would never have known about his existence.

Question: When Kimble got his foot stuck in the door and was trying to escape, Gerard shot him in the chest several times. A little excessive and unnecessary, but Kimble was convicted of murder and was running the streets, so to Gerard he could've posed a severe threat. But then once Kimble fell down and was apparently subdued, why would Gerard shoot him in the head? He was supposed to take him in, not kill him. If the glass wasn't bulletproof, surely Gerard would've gone to jail himself. I know in action movies the characters have the right to kill whoever they want whenever they want, but this just seems way too far-fetched and actually rather comical in a really dark and sadistic way. I'm not talking about Gerard repeatedly shooting the glass after it's clear it's bulletproof, I'm talking about before that. Gerard shoots Kimble repeatedly in the chest thinking he actually got him, Kimble fell over in shock and Gerard thought it was because of the bullet wounds, but then while Kimble's on the floor, Gerard points his gun at Kimble's head and shoots.

Answer: Kimble doesn't fall from shock, he falls because his foot is caught in the door and he loses his balance. And Girard never thought he'd hit Kimble, which is why he keeps firing after Kimble is on the ground; he's still trying to incapacitate him. He's not aiming for Kimble's head per se, it's just that on the ground, Kimble presents a much smaller target, so his head is just as likely to be hit as the rest of him (his still-vulnerable foot, for example). Perhaps if the glass had not been bulletproof and Girard had, in fact, killed him, Girard would have been in trouble, but since Girard did not intend to kill Kimble, he probably wouldn't have been punished too severely.

It is fairly clear that Gerard is shooting to kill. Police officers and U.S. Marshals do not discharge their firearms unless they intend to kill. Upon observing that the bullets were stopped by the glass and Kimble was unharmed, Gerard shoots again, hoping that he would be lucky enough to breach the glass. Gerard is justified in shooting to kill. A convicted murderer (i.e., suspected armed and dangerous) who is fleeing arrest, has been given a lawful order to stop, and does not stop, is liable to be shot due to the risk they pose to other citizens. That he had entered and was fleeing from a penitentiary is even greater incentive for shooting. Kimble is innocent, but that is something that the audience knows and that Gerard does not. When Kimble claimed that he hadn't shot his wife, Gerard replied "I don't care!", suggesting he didn't believe Richard was innocent - at least, not at the time. (Tommy Lee Jones even insisted that his line "That's not my problem" be changed to "I don't care", because not-caring implies disbelief rather than willful blindness).

Question: Why don't the US Marshalls also go after the other escaped prisoner that was on the bus? He was the one who helped Harrison Ford escape and told him not to follow him. Why wasn't it as important that he be caught too?

1

Answer: He's the one whose house they storm (he gets shot).

3

Question: In real life, when are cops allowed to shoot people? I find it hard to believe Samuel Gerard would have been allowed to shoot Richard repeatedly in the torso just for running away from him. I know the glass was bulletproof in that scene, but Gerard didn't know that.

MikeH
1

Chosen answer: Richard is a convicted murderer on the run. A police officer would be justified in shooting him to prevent him from injuring anyone or taking a hostage.

Jason Hoffman
2

Question: Originally, the plan was to kill Richard himself rather than his wife in order to keep him quiet about Provasic causing liver damage. But wouldn't Devlin MacGregor eventually have had to deal with the side effects anyway, especially when the wrongful death lawsuits began pouring in? I know some suspension of disbelief is required, but this still seems like a stretch.

1

Answer: Not really. If anybody raises a wrongful death lawsuit against them, Devlin MacGregor's high-priced lawyers can just point to their battery of "successful" test results to show that no side-effects occurred during their comprehensive testing. If they then dig deeper into the case, then, lo and behold, it's revealed that the tests were all faked, with the fake results signed off on by Dr Alexander Lentz, who was, rather conveniently, tragically killed in a car accident. It would be easy to cast Lentz as the villain, faking the test results for his own reasons, which gets Devlin MacGregor off the hook. In all probability, the original idea was to frame Kimble for the fraudulent testing - with Kimble killed in a "burglary gone wrong", he could easily be used as a scapegoat. When things went awry and Kimble's wife was killed instead, this gave them the perfect angle to completely discredit Kimble, taking him out of the equation, and they switched to a replacement plan of using Lentz as their scapegoat, forging his signature on the test results and arranging the car accident that killed him.

Tailkinker Premium member
5

Question: How does Kimble get the new set of clothes after leaving the "Men Only" hotel (after the St. Patrick's Day parade)? Is this an allusion to some inappropriate activity?

1

Answer: While it is not specifically shown how he got the clothes, the "inappropriate activity" would likely be that he had stolen them. They could also have been donated clothing that was available to those in need.

raywest Premium member
1

Question: At one point, Kimble steals an ambulance. We then cut to the U.S Marshals, who say "An ambulance has been spotted...". They then run off to intercept it. But surely there's more than one ambulance in that area, and surely more than one person has seen an ambulance in that time?

1

Answer: True, but if they cannot contact this one or it is seen driving eratically or out of it's designated area, that is sufficent to cause suspicion.

David Mercier
1

Question: What does the woman ask her son in Polish? with my limited Russian and Serbo/Croatian skills, I believe she started with, "What do you think..."

Answer: She says: "What do you think? I think he is going like it." (Or "he is going to be satisfied").

3

Question: How much time does this movie cover? I ask because when Sykes is being interrogated, he says he was questioned about Helen Kimble's murder a year ago. And Nichols says that Lentz died last summer, but Richard saw him at the fundraiser the same night his wife died. Is this a mistake or is there something I'm missing?

Brad Premium member

Chosen answer: Murder investigations are not, as a rule, speedy processes; it's quite plausible that a year could have passed between Helen Kimble's murder and her husband's conviction for the crime. The police have to gather evidence, question witnesses, put their case together and so forth. The main body of the film, from Kimble's escape onwards, probably only covers at most a few weeks, but Helen Kimble would undoubtedly have died some considerable time prior to that. The time periods stated in the film are quite reasonable.

Tailkinker Premium member
4

Answer: Sam Gerard and his team question the one armed man in his residence, they show him a picture of Richard Kimble and suspect him of murdering his wife. He replies, he went over this a year ago with the police.

Question: When Kimball's dying wife calls 999, why does she say "Richard is trying to kill me?"

Answer: She said "Richard, he's trying to kill me" refering to the one armed man. It sounded like "Richard is trying to kill me".

SanDiegoDeputy
4

Question: Why wouldn't Nichols just alert authorities right away if he was behind this whole thing the whole time? Made no sense. Good plot twist, but in real life, you would think the mastermind would get Kimball tossed in jail ASAP to avoid being revealed like he was.

Israel Joffe

Answer: One, the authorities are already on Kimball's trail, literally one step behind him the entire film, so Nichols wouldn't gain much by alerting them. Two, he knows that if Kimball finds out he (Nichols) alerted the police, it would pretty much prove to Kimball that Nichols was the one behind everything; safer for Nichols to appear innocent and, more important, cooperative, so that if and when Kimball is recaptured and tells his story, he has nothing on Nichols to tell the authorities. This backfires, of course, but it is the most logical course of action.

6

Question: Wouldn't Dr. Kimball lose his medical license for changing the boy's orders in the hospital and signing the form, forging someone else's identity?

Answer: He's a convicted murderer, he's already lost his license. If you mean after he's been exonerated, the other doctor admitted he saved the boy's life. I doubt the AMA would prosecute him for doing that.

Brian Katcher
3

Also, as he was wrongly convicted of murder, he was wrongly deprived of his medical license.

raywest Premium member

Question: If they were after Kimble, why did they kill his wife? She wasn't in the way because he wasn't in the house.

Answer: Kimble was called at the last minute for an operation at the hospital unbeknownst to Sykes and Nichols. Even so, it was likely that they would kill his wife to tie up loose ends. Their plan was to kill Kimble, possibly his wife, and stage the crime as a robbery.

2

Question: When Dr. Kimball gets his foot stuck in the security door, the Marshal looks at him and mouths the words "Tilt it" to Kimball. Does the Marshall want Kimball to get away?

Answer: He does not want Kimball to get away. Although you can't know for sure what Gerard is saying, it looks like he may be mouthing a silent expletive because he knows Kimball is escaping.

raywest Premium member
2

Question: Since Lentz was really the mastermind behind the entire thing, why did Nichols have him killed?

Answer: Lentz was not the mastermind, Nichols was. Nichols had Lentz killed to tie up a loose end.

BaconIsMyBFF
2

Question: At what scene in the movie does Deputy Gerard know Richard was innocent?

Answer: I don't think Gerard absolutely knew about Kimble's innocence until much later in the film when he is informed Nichols and Lentz knew each other. Kimble's visit to Sykes' house obviously was a significant moment, however there's also a short scene where Gerard mentions how much money Devlin MacGregor makes in a year and thus that makes them a "monster." At that point, I consider it likely that Gerard thought there was probably some kind of conspiracy to frame Kimble involving Devlin MacGregor, he just didn't quite know how it all came together. Gerard isn't going to run around accusing a major company of fraud, conspiracy, murder, etc., unless and until he has everything lock down solid. When he learns that Lentz died during the previous summer, but then even more importantly also is told that Nichols and Lentz knew each other (This was after the U.S. Marshals visited Nichols and he denied ever having known Lentz), then Gerard finally puts all the pieces together in his own mind. Unfortunately, on the way to arrest Nichols (At the very least for obstruction of justice, as Gerard states that Nichols "lied to me") they learn that Kimble has been spotted heading toward the hotel and reportedly has already shot a cop on a train (The audience knows Kimble is innocent of that act, but the characters in the movie don't). Gerard quickly deduces that Kimble has figured out that Nichols was involved in the conspiracy and that's why Kimble is going to the motel, in order to confront Nichols.

2

Answer: He appears to be convinced that Kimble is innocent right after he and the other agents break into Sykes house and find incriminating evidence. Gerard realises that Kimble sent him there to prove his innocence.

raywest Premium member
1

Question: Where does Kimble's money come from? We only see him get whatever pocket money Nichols had on him at the time, but the next thing we see, he's renting an apartment and living his life and starting his investigation. Is the assumption that the wealthy doctor had a stash of cash at home or something?

applejackson

Answer: The assumption is actually that Nichols gave him quite a bit of money. When asked about how much money he gave Kimble, Nichols downplays the amount as just "pocket change, whatever I had on me" but in reality it was probably a few hundred dollars. Renting the room was probably only a few dollars a day, it was in an un-finished basement in a bad neighborhood. He also didn't live there for very long.

BaconIsMyBFF
1

Continuity mistake: Kimble dyes his hair very dark to escape detection and dyed hair fades over time. For the rest of the movie his hair noticeably goes from darker shades to lighter shades and back again showing that the scenes were shot non-sequentially on different days with a fair amount of time in between.

More mistakes in The Fugitive

Richard Kimble: Do you remember what I told you in the tunnel?
Sam Gerard: Um, yeah. It was noisy, I think you said something like you didn't kill your wife.
Richard Kimble: Remember what you told me?
Sam Gerard: I remember you pointing my gun at me.
Richard Kimble: You said "I don't care."
Tracing tech: He's on the south side.
Sam Gerard: Yeah. Yeah, that's right, Richard. I don't care. I'm not trying to solve a puzzle here.
Richard Kimble: Well, I *am* trying to solve a puzzle.
Cosmo Renfro: Five seconds to location.
Richard Kimble: And I just found a *big* piece.

More quotes from The Fugitive

Trivia: Director Andrew Davis had Harrison Ford start the film with a beard, and then shave it off, rather than using a disguise for Richard Kimble throughout the film.

More trivia for The Fugitive

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