The fugitive director remembers an awful script, chaotic shooting, and Harrison Ford’s irritating beard

    Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones proved to be an amazing pair of headliners in the fugitive. While celebrating the 30th anniversary of the thriller about a man wrongly accused of killing his wife, the film’s directorAndrew Davis To some of the moments that made working on the movie unforgettable.

    Based on the 1960s TV show, fugitive It tells the story of Dr. Richard Kimble (Ford), who is on the run after being found guilty of killing his wife. While trying to bring the real perpetrator to justice, Kimble is pursued by Deputy United States Marshal Samuel Gerard (Jones), who wants Kimble back behind bars. While the movie became an instant box office smash, the sequel spawned US MarshalsIt wasn’t always destined to be like this, as Davis states that the first film’s screenplay is “terrible”. Explaining how the script, which was through 9 books at the time, ended up with Jones’ Gerard being the film’s villain, he told Empire magazine:

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    “The script was terrible. He hired the gunman to kill Kimble, after Kimble botched an operation on Gerard’s wife. It makes no sense. But Harrison was committed to the movie, and his point was, ‘Hey—we’ll fix the script.'” I said, “Josie, what’s the point?” Could a doctor do it and get him into a lot of trouble?” She spoke to some brilliant young resident at her hospital, who said, “What if there’s a dangerous new drug on the market — and the doctor says this drug is rubbish?” So, that became the conspiracy.”

    Harrison Ford’s beard almost caused problems for the movie.

    Harrison Ford with a beard
    Warner Bros.

    in fugitiveHarrison Ford has been seen in some movies wearing a beard. We’ve recently been treated to Warner Bros. issues with Henry Cavill’s facial hair, but it appears the studio also had an issue with Ford’s beard when it came time to shoot the movie. As someone who was usually seen with nothing but a bit of a stubble on screen, Ford’s appearance is something Davis remembers causing a stir. He said:

    Harrison had a beard at the time, and he wanted to keep a beard. The studio was furious. [Ex-Warner Bros. chairman] Bob Daly said, “I’m paying for Harrison Ford’s face, I want to see Harrison Ford’s face!”

    Eventually the issue was resolved, with a compromise agreed that Ford would keep his beard until the point his character needed to change his appearance, and then shave it off. However, as filming began, it turned out that Ford’s fuzzy face wasn’t the biggest problem, as the script kept changing and this resulted in much of the dialogue being changed – including the addition of one line that would become the most iconic from the movie.

    70 percent of the dialogue was improvised. Every morning I would go over scenes with the actors, we would improvise, rehearse, and then shoot. I’m sure the studio was thinking, “What’s going on? Is he controlling this thing? They couldn’t keep up with the changes we were making!” The marketing guys came up with [“warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse or doghouse”] To say Tommy in the trailer. It was a great streak, so we took it.”

    fugitive It still stands as a great movie, and after a number of attempts to remake it, as well as the short-lived Kiefer Sutherland TV show, it seems to prove the point that is sometimes hard to beat.

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