The Fugitive

Question: Who is the actor that got arrested with the landlady's son? Not Lonnie Sima, who played the son - who's the person with him?

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

Question: When Kimble is in the hospital with the boy he changes the diagnosis to what? I have tried to look but it cuts away as he's writing it down on the boy's file.

Answer: When Richard changes the diagnosis, the first thing he writes down is "AO" which is medical shorthand for aorta. Many people who have medical degrees and saw the movie speculate that Joel had an aortic tear. This would cause blood to flow into the chest cavity making it difficult to breathe and with the impact from the crash it could have caused the fatal injury. An aortic tear requires immediate surgery and by changing Joel's diagnosis, Kimble was able to save his life.

Answer: Kimble is watching as the doctor, Al, looks at the chest film and states "possible fractured sternum, he's stable," and we can see Kimble's bothered by that. Then Kimble is told to take the boy to observation room 2. When Kimble questions the boy and looks at the chest film, Kimble ignores what he was told, and instead heads directly for the surgical OR. In the elevator he draws a line over the incorrect essential diagnosis: "depress chest w/ poss fr" (possible fracture), and begins to write "Ao," then he scribbles a signature on the Patient of Dr line. The essential diagnosis Kimble writes is presumably an Aortic trauma, which is a life-threatening critical injury and requires immediate attention. So when Kimble brings the boy to the OR (instead of observation room 2) for the emergency medical procedure, he tells the doctor the boy was sent up from downstairs. The child is then taken to operating room 4, STAT, saving the child's life.

Super Grover

Its a pneumothorax, is air trapped between the lung and the ribcage and it's very common.

Answer: The presumption is the boy was misdiagnosed and he changed the chart to the correct diagnosis. The doctor says later that he saved the boy's life. Most likely he changed the charge to order specific tests.

Answer: It's never specified what he changed the orders to, nor is it important to know. This was done only add to the plot where the other doctor noticed him looking at the X-ray, arousing her suspicion, then creating suspense as Kimble barely escapes from the hospital.


We know it isn't important know, it's just a point of curiosity.

True and if you notice that's the always reliable Julianne Moore as the other doctor. This was the first movie that she did that was lampooned in Mad magazine, the next would be Mocking Jay Part 1.


"The Lost World: Jurassic Park" and "Hannibal" were both lampooned by Mad before "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1."


I totally get that you're curious about it. Just saying that filmmakers usually aren't concerned with showing small details like that. They use broader strokes to tell the story.


A lot of film makers do put in small details into their work. Yes, some are lazy, for example, repeating 1 or 2 paragraphs in a news article too look like they whole page is filled. Others take time to have the whole thing filled out, even adding funny things for the viewer who paused the video to read. This is why there's a lot of trivia entries and questions about what something small was or meant. A casual viewer wouldn't know if what they saw meant something or was the film makers being lazy.


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?


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.


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

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.


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.


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: Why don't the US Marshals 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?

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

Answer: They do. He's called Copeland - the guy who's "shacked up with a babe over at Whiting." But the cops think they're going after Kimble.

The cops don't think it is Kimball, the audience is supposed to think that. Time has passed, and they have figured out there is another escapee. In one of the previous scenes we see Kimball get into a car with a woman only to make the audience think they are going after Richard. We know this because just before the raid they talk about tracking the fugitive. We are supposed to think it is Kimball only to be surprised it is Copeland.

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?

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.

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?

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.


Question: How did the police not come across the fact that Nichols drove Richard's car, meaning he had access to the keys to the house or that a phone call was made from the car while it was in his possession? Surely this would have been known or mentioned to the investigators since they had a timeline of Richard being at the fundraiser?


Answer: Yes, but as is shown in the film, the police investigation was incompetent at best. They decided very early on that Richard was guilty, and did only the most rudimentary of legwork to prove their theory, while not following up on leads like this one that would just muddy the waters. Definitely a misstep on behalf of Richard's defense not to bring it up at trial, of course.

For sure, the Chicago PD thought they had an easy open and shut case and did no real investigation. That's why they are still mad at the end because they were jerks who didn't want to admit how lazy they were.

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.

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.


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: In this whole scene what bugs me (and I consider this a major error in the character development) that by the time of the attempted head-shot (because it was one), Gerard had already started second guessing himself. It was obvious that something's not right about Kimble's guiltiness even for this non-negotiating old dog and it was beautifully portrayed throughout the movie including the touching ending scene. However, at the above moment, everything fell out of character and all of a sudden, the Marshal wants to kill the man and let the mystery never to be solved.

Watch the scene again. He mouths something to Kimble after shooting at him when he is down, like "get out of here". He is trying to help Kimble and pretending to shoot at him towards what knows is impenetrable bulletproof glass.

That is not what happens. Gerard mouths "son of a..." because he's constantly a step behind Kimble.

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: 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.


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.

Answer: The Supreme Court case Tennessee v. Garner affirmed that law enforcement officers have the right to kill fleeing felons if they have a reasonable belief that allowing the subject that they're pursuing to escape would possibly cause more harm to others.

Answer: Samuel Gerard was not a police officer. He was a U.S. Marshal, and they are not governed by the same rules as police. Also being a U.S. Marshal Gerard would surely have known that any glass in any government building would be bulletproof for just such an occasion.


Question: How did the Marshalls know Kimble had been picked up by the lady when he was hitchhiking? (00:45:20 - 00:46:00)

Answer: They didn't. When Cosmo tells Sam that, "He's shacked up with some babe over in Whiting," they were actually talking about Copeland, who had also escaped and was with his girlfriend. Although the line was meant to let people watching the movie think they had found Richard, as eventually shown. It was really Copeland they had found.

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.

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.


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?

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

Also, this was a rural part of Illinois where there was likely often only 1 or even no ambulances driving somewhere around in the vicinity at one given time. That's something which of course would be very different in the Chicago city area.

Question: When interviewed by the police, why did none of the doctors provide Kimble with an alibi, stating he'd been doing the operation at the time of his wife's murder? They all state how much of a great doctor Kimble is, but not once do they say he was doing an operation.

Answer: Because the surgery wasn't much of an alibi, the police and the prosecution are arguing that Richard killed Helen after the surgery. The time of Mrs. Kimble's death does line up with Richard coming home after the surgery and fighting Sykes. Since nobody but Richard and Sykes know the exact second Helen died, the police theorized that Richard came home from the surgery and killed his wife so his colleagues mentioning the surgery is meaningless.


Question: As a janitor, when tending to the boy in the lift, the boy tells Kimble his chest hurts. Why does Kimble write the notes on the board - while pressing on his chest? He could've held the board in his hand.

Answer: I just watched the clip on YouTube. The paperwork is in a manilla (paper) folder, not on a clipboard, so it is practically weightless. Kimble places the folder on the boy's lower abdomen rather than the chest and opens it. He is holding the left-hand side of the folder with one hand, slightly lifting as he writes new instructions. He is not pressing on the boy's body at all. Because the folder is flimsy, Kimble could not have written on it efficiently if he was completely holding it up.


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").

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?


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.


Answer: The timeline of events is Fundraiser, Emergency surgery, Helen killed, Richard arrested/held in jail for trial, Sykes questioned, Lentz dies in car crash, Richard convicted, Richard escapes. Lentz was alive when Helen was killed, he was killed while Richard was in prison which is why Richard doesn't realise until closer to the end that Lentz is dead. With Sykes saying he was interviewed about Helen's death over a year ago it leads us to believe the timeline of the movie is 12-18 months.

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 handing the nurse Joel's file, why didn't she question Richard as why Joel's original diagnosis was crossed out and a new one in its place?

Answer: She assumed another doctor had done it and Richard was merely the messenger. In the chaos of the aftermath of the car wreck, it would be reasonable that a doctor had changed the initial diagnosis.

Answer: She did. That's what she's asking when she demands "Who changed those orders?"

Not the nurse who confronted Richard about looking at Joel's file. The nurse who said to get Joel into ER immediately.

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?

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.


Answer: He stole them from someone who had taken them off because it was a brothel.

Answer: He got cash from Nichols when he stopped him outside of the tennis club. That is how he was able to buy clothes, etc. but it wasn't something that was shown on-screen - was basically assumed based on events.

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: When "Richard" starts to limp it wasn't planned, Harrison actually hurt a ligament in his knee shooting a promo for the movie, a promo that wasn't even part of the movie. He refused to receive treatment until filming was finished and ended up needing surgery.

More trivia for The Fugitive

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