Harrison Ford damaged some ligaments in his leg during the filming of the scenes in the woods. He refused to take surgery until the end of filming so that his character would keep the limp. The limp can be seen in any subsequent scene where Richard Kimble is running.
The wrecked train and bus remain a tourist attraction in Dillsboro, North Carolina.
According to producer Roy Huggins, Gerard's line in response to Richard Kimble's claim of innocence ("I didn't kill my wife") was originally read in the script as, "That isn't my problem." But at the request of Tommy Lee Jones, it was changed to, "I don't care."
The train scenes were filmed in Dillsboro, North Carolina. The engine used (which was not destroyed) 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. Dillsboro is next to the town of Sylva, where the local hospital was used for filming the hospital scenes in the beginning of the film and the ambulance get-away.
While filming this movie, Harrison Ford also filmed a cameo appearance on The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992). This gave George Lucas the idea of making another Indiana Jones film with Ford, set in the 1950s. The beard he had grown for this film resulted in Indy being bearded in that episode as well. Appropriately, the resulting film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) also ended up featuring Neil Flynn, who played a subway cop in this film.
Alec Baldwin was first choice to play Dr. Richard Kimble. When he dropped out, Andy Garcia was considered for the role. Harrison Ford had previously played a role first offered to Baldwin in Patriot Games (1992).
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.
A train was actually crashed for the movie, although Kimble jumping free was a superimposed image.
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 (1998). A similar request by Sela Ward to have her character beaten into a coma instead of being killed, however, was not honored.
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.
According to the DVD commentary, the scene in which the Chicago police interrogate Richard Kimble (Ford) was improvised.
Richard Kimble was played by David Janssen in the original TV series The Fugitive (1963). His mother, Berniece Janssen, is an extra in the courtroom scene. You can spot her behind Harrison Ford's head while they play the 911 call and when he is declared guilty. She is whispering with another woman.
Harrison Ford had never seen a single episode of the TV series The Fugitive (1963), upon which the film was based.
To date the only remake of a regular television series to be nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. Earlier winner Marty (1955) was a remake of a television movie of the week. Later nominee Traffic (2000) was adapted from a television miniseries.
The picture of Richard Kimble on the composite from medical school is actually Harrison Ford's yearbook picture from Ripon College. He (almost) graduated in 1964, nine years before the picture was said to have been from.
During the St. Patrick's Day Parade, the smiling black man in the hat is Roland Burris, then Attorney General of Illinois, and later became the Junior Senator from Illinois who filled the seat vacated by President Barack Obama.
As of 2012, The Fugitive holds the record with the biggest number of film editors nominated for the Oscar with a total of six editors. Usually, one or two (three at the tops) are nominated.
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.
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.
Dr. Kathy Waylund (played by Jane Lynch) was considered as a love interest for Richard Kimble during production. However, their relation remained platonic, as it would have looked bad for Dr. Kimble to take a new lover while avenging the death of his wife. In addition, it was thought the love scenes would have added considerable length to the film and may have ruined the pacing and tension of the story at that juncture.
Richard Jordan, who was originally cast as Dr. Nichols, actually filmed some scenes with Harrison Ford before he became ill and had to drop out of the picture. These scenes had to be re-shot with Jeroen Krabbé. If you look closely at Krabbé's first scene, Ford's beard looks different because he had to regrow it for the re-shoot.
The helicopter chase was twice as long in the original preview cut and was edited down about 97 different times for time and pacing.
Michael Douglas was considered for the role of Richard Kimble
The dam used in the exterior shots is Cheoah Dam, Tapoco, Graham County, North Carolina, USA. The dam can be viewed clearly from North Carolina State Highway 129, just north of Tapoco.
During flashbacks to the fund raiser early in the film, a sign for the pharmaceutical company Devlin McGregor mentions their work in pediatric care. In the original The Fugitive (1963), Dr. Kimble had been a pediatrician.
Kevin Costner was considered for the role of Richard Kimble.
Walter Hill wanted to direct with Nick Nolte starring, but Nolte reportedly said he was tired with action movies and too old.
Walter Hill and David Giler both collaborated on a script that was ready for filming in 1990 with Hill slated to direct, but the project was then put into turn around and Hill eventually dropped out of the project altogether soon after.
After the train wreck, the local sheriff is upset after Deputy U.S. Marshal Gerard assumes command of the investigation. He tells the assembled crowd that "Wyatt Earp" is taking over. The character of Sheriff Rawlins is played by Nock Searcy who later played Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Art Mullen on the television series Justified.
Robert Mark Kamen, David Newman, David Giler, and Walter Hill all contributed to the script.
Since you guys are so cool and we love you all, here are four bonus facts!
When Kimble is taking the injured boy to surgery, he signs off on the papers. The papers are dated March 15th, which line up accurately with the St. Patrick's Day parade scene 2 days later.
Neil Flynn later appeared on 'Scrubs (2001)(TV)', in which his character proudly tells people that he appeared in this film.
Before filming began and work was continuing on the script, Andrew Davis consulted his sister (who happens to be a doctor) as to what Kimble would do to get himself sent to jail. Her answer was a drug protocol. This was the essential part of the plot that is revealed briefly during the opening sequences prior to the murder of Helen Kimble (Sela Ward), as Ford meets one of the pharmaceutical moguls (MacGregor) involved with the project. Devlin the other mogul involved is only seen in photographs. This is finally brought to light once Kimble discovers the identity of the One-Armed Man and eventually leads to his friend.
When Kimble calls Nichols to tell him that Devlin-McGregor is behind his wife's murder, Kimble is phoning from the lobby of the University of Chicago's science library (John Crerar Library). Crerar is known for its extensive biomedical texts collection.
The Fugitive (1993)
PG-13 | 2h 10min | Action, Crime, Drama | 6 August 1993 (USA)
Dr. Richard Kimble, unjustly accused of murdering his wife, must find the real killer while being the target of a nationwide manhunt lead by a seasoned US Marshall.
Director: Andrew Davis
Writers: Jeb Stuart (screenplay), David Twohy (screenplay)
Stars: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward