Old Lady Movie Night Old Lady Movie Night: "The Fugitive" Anne T. Donahue

Alright, it’s time to put the cards on the table: I love The Fugitive. I love it more than you can possibly know. And not “love” the way I love Spice World or the way I love The Sound Of Music, but in a way that’s so exclusive to The Fugitive that it’s probably easiest if I tell you that I used to spend the  majority of my grade seven babysitting money on renting The Fugitive because I could not believe how great it was. (And it was a movie that had already been out for five years by the time I finally watched it.)

Even now – and this is full disclosure and I don’t even know WHY – I will watch The Fugitive if I’m sick or if I’m tired or if I just need to feel like everything’s right in the world. Actually, I do know why: because it is SO GOOD. It is so good that if you’ve seen The Fugitive, you will probably be nodding along right now watching it and thinking, “Oh my GOD, FINALLY someone has articulated just how much this movie means.”

I will tell you that when my friends ask where to go in Chicago – and I’ve never been – I will always say “wherever The Fugitive was filmed.” I want them to take the L-train. I want them to live in a Polish lady’s basement apartment. I want them to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. I want them to jump down a waterfall and tell somebody that they didn’t kill their wives. I don’t even care if they’re married – I want them to GET IT.

If you don’t get it, hear me out. DO NOT RUN AWAY FROM ME. We have a lot of things to talk about, and I think we’re all about to really become better friends because of The Fugitive. Because at the very least, when I make a bad joke on your “I’m going to Chicago!” Facebook status, you will totally understand what I mean and not be inclined to delete me because you don’t know why I keep talking about stealing somebody’s eggs from the hospital. (Actual breakfast eggs, guys. Come on – what do you think this is?)

It’s Fugitive time.

1. Harrison Ford should never, ever grow a beard

HARRSION, I LOVE YOU, IF YOU ARE READING THIS. And if you are not, could somebody here please relay a message reminding him that when he doesn’t have a beard, everything else is just better. But I bet that’s exactly what the director had in mind. Like, “Ah – he’ll SHAVE IT OFF AS A DISGUISE!” Because I will tell you that when I first saw this, I was like “Oh… why does he look so old?” but then the movie continues to happen, and it’s like HARRISON. This is why I think we would actually be a terrific team as a couple DON’T RULE IT OUT THINK ABOUT IT DON’T ANSWER ME YET.

Okay, but seriously, Harrison, you’re hysterical, calm down.

2. I HATE THAT ONE GUY

Okay, I don’t know how to describe the guy other than by doing this:

But I can’t. HIM.HIM, GUYS.  I HATE HIM. Not the actor, obviously, I’ve never met the man. I’m sure he’s the greatest! But his character! Those glasses! That voice with those questions! You’re the worst cop ever, buddy. And you know who I wish was on the case instead? Elliot Stabler. UGH, and then this guy’s all, “What colour was his eyes? What colour is his hair? Blah blah blah YADDA YADDA YADDA.” You don’t even care, dude. Why are you EVEN asking.

3. WELL I won’t lie to you, there is still 0.0001% of me that doesn’t TOTALLY understand why Harrison Ford’s wife was killed

SPOILER ALERT: Harrison Ford is framed for murder. BUT here is the thing. The bad guy MEANT to try and kill Harrison Ford, but then the dude just kills his wife instead? Why didn’t he just wait for Dr. Kimble to come home? Did the murderer just improvise? Like, he was supposed to kill Harrison Ford, and then he’s like “OH I AM AN IMPROVISOR” and he killed the wife instead and thought, “OKAY I’ll kill the wife, and THEN I will make her call the police and say her husband did it!” I mean, QUICK THINKING, bud. A little TOO QUICK if you know what I mean. (I don’t even really know what I mean.) (But I am genuinely asking how this murderer could possibly be so fast-thinking under the gun (no pun intended!) like that.) Or was this a previously discussed plan B? WHO KNOWS. Not me! That is for damn sure.

4. And then these guys! On the bus!

God, we’ve got some Einsteins in the mix this week! So NOW the prisoners have planned and choreographed a very terribly-yet-well thought out escape plan, where Jerry O’Connell (is it Jerry O’Connell?) foams at the mouth (HOW) and then the guard gets attacked by a prisoner? But then everyone is so surprised that the guards have guns. Like, DUH HI THEY HAVE GUNS BECAUSE THEY’RE GUARDS. This is a very perfect example of when a plan is not well thought-out. “I know!” they all said, probably in passing, quickly, over their trays of food. “We will attack ONE of the guards and the other guard will be afraid even though all of us have our hands and ankles in cuffs.” No. Guys, this is not how you carry out anything. Especially not escaping a moving prison bus on the highway in the dead of night. (Not that I’ve been there.) (Oh my God, I’ve said too much.)

5. Remember when The Simpsons spoofs the train scene? And also the waterfall scene?

I do! I remember it! And I hadn’t seen The Fugitive yet but I STILL thought it was hilarious BECAUSE IT IS (Homer running from a moving train/bus/etc. – not this movie) (until Tommy Lee Jones starts speaking). Also, Leslie Nielson in Wrongfully Accused. Just a comedic pot-o-gold up in here! Unless you have been on a prison bus that has been hit by a train because in that case, I will assume this was probably very traumatic.

Also, I couldn’t find a photo of Homer Simpson jumping off the train, so here is a fun spoiler alert Simpsons reference instead:

But we’ll get to THAT part in a minute.

6. AND SPEAKING of Tommy Lee Jones

I mean, WE HAVE A WINNER, am I correct? (I am.) Not to say that I’ve had a crush on Tommy Lee Jones since I first saw him in Volcano, but I did, and I do and I always will because I am a human being. The accent! The charm! The fact that he gives not one single eff about anything or anyone (lies – he cares SO MUCH). Imagine working for Tommy Lee Jones (as Deputy Gerard)? I will. I will imagine it. What a bona fide delight. We are really in for a treat, you guys.

7. What is wrong with that nurse?

I have a few feelings about the scene where Harrison Ford breaks into the comatose patient’s room, drinks all his water and then eats all of his food. First, WELL DONE, Harrison Ford. I wouldn’t have thought about that at all let alone if I had just stitched myself up from being shot (or something), so 10 points to you for going into “survival mode.” Second, REALLY nurse? The COMATOSE PATIENT drank all the water? He’s not answering you! He obviously hasn’t been awake in days! And you’re not surprised that the GIANT CUP OF WATER is completely empty? This is the worst nurse in the world. Maybe I’ve just seen The Fugitive too much, but an escaped prisoner would be the FIRST THING I’d think of.

8. “I don’t care!”

YOU GO, GLEN COCO AND TOMMY LEE JONES. You DON’T care! And you are about to follow Harrison Ford to the ends of the earth, and maybe even kind of over a waterfall to bring justice to the world. And so SMART! Checking through sewers, draining the lake, not believing anyone. These are the makings of a good U.S. Marshall, I think, and even if it isn’t, give Tommy Lee Jones all of the promotions because if there IS a box, the man thinks outside of it.

Shout-out to the angry guy in traffic, though: “What the hell’s going on here!” Pretty sure that should be the last thing you say/do/ask when a bunch of police officers swarm the tunnel you’re currently trapped in. PRETTEH SURE INDEED.

9. But I would actually really like to know why and how Harrison Ford survived that fall

Did Howie Do It become a show to answer this question? Because if it didn’t, it has failed each and every one of us as citizens of this globe. HOW. HOW DID HE SURVIVE. You “Peter Pan” right off a dam, and you will probably die a terrible death. But not Harrison! No! Not even a scratch! Not even a “my homemade surgery I gave myself is ruined now”! Just got up, slept in some leaves and carried on with his day. Peter Pan? More like SUPER Man! (HI-Oh! Here all week! Please tip your server!)

10. Easily, Harrison Ford’s dreams are the scariest part of this movie

Those, and the sound during the opening credits. That weird, crashing sound. You know what I’m talking about. But the dreams! Oh my GOD. First, he’s dreaming about the night in question, but then when he moves into the European lady’s house (or as I like to call her, “probably related to me”), he has a dream that ends with his dead wife standing in the closet looking at him and whispering “Richard!” WHAT THE HELL. No! Don’t! Don’t do that! I couldn’t sleep FOREVER because of that terrifying image. I do not want to see Sela Ward as a ghost. But now Harrison Ford’s dreams have ruined me, and I really can only still watch The Fugitive with the lights on and/or in the day. And I am an adult woman.

11. Another concern: where is Harrison Ford getting his money?

An important thing to consider when running away from the police is how on earth do you DO anything? First, though, who is that random woman that picks him up when he’s walking on the road? SECOND, and probably more importantly, how is Harrison Ford doing anything? Where is the money coming from?! He dyes his hair (a little something I couldn’t afford even though I have income), then he GETS AN APARTMENT, and then he’s on the pay phone drinking a beer? Also, the changes of clothes! FROM WHERE?! Are we missing a crucial shopping and/or robbery montage or are we just supposed to assume that money just … happens. If that’s the case, give me some! I want to dye my hair and have an apartment and drink beer! All things I can’t technically afford right now! But on an actual serious note, Harrison Ford, that hair dye job looks FANTASTIC on you.

12. Hands up if you thought the house they were going to break into was somehow connected to Richard Kimble!

So we have a scene where Harrison Ford is walking on the road and some random woman pulls up in her car and is like, “Need a ride?” And we are given absolutely NO CLOSURE on that whatsoever. Fine. But then the next scene we see the guys talking about how “he” just “shacked up” with some woman who “gave him a ride after work.” And BOOM they’re talking about the OTHER criminal that got away! SHOCK OF THE CENTURY, I AM PRETTY SURE, DO NOT QUOTE ME, I CAN’T PROVE IT. But still! Surprise! And who was that woman for real, though, I’m really not done worrying and/or thinking about this.

WHO.

13. I will say that on a handsome men level, The Fugitive truly succeeds

Like, we’ve got Harrison. We’ve got Tommy. We’ve got the guy who played Cypher in The Matrix. And now we’ve got THIS GUY. I do not know his name, nor am I about to Google him, but I am really impressed with his handsomeness and his accent. Okay, fine, I am going to Google him. [Googles] Alright, his name is Jeroen Krabbe, and he is Dutch. Congratulations, sir. You truly are a terrific actor and a handsome man.

14. Call me a coward, but I would escape the country and probably not solve anyone’s murder

And maybe this is the biggest difference between Harrison Ford and I. While he risks his life to find out who killed his wife (RHYMES), I would probably head for a number of borders, OR a different area of the country where I would be left alone. Maybe an island? Who knows. But not Harrison! Into the hospital he goes, into areas with prosthetic limbs, into areas where there should probably be security.

Which actually brings me to my next point . . .

15. Is Cook County Hospital angry that they have been depicted as the worst hospital in the world?

I am sure that Cook County Hospital is an amazing hospital. I also know that it has been renamed. HAS it been renamed because it was depicted in The Fugitive as the worst hospital in the world? First, we get to see how easy it is to trespass all through this place. Then, we learn that absolutely anyone can hack into the computer database. THAT’S how easy it is to use. Are you a janitor? Better hide your ID because someone is going to take it and use it to hack into the computer database! Are you a kid with a broken lung? Congratulations! Unless a convicted felon is there to help, you will die. I am sure that Cook County Hospital is NOTHING LIKE THIS in real life. But man oh man I bet these guys were pissed.

16. OHHH PSYCH YOUR LANDLORD IS A DRUG DEALER, HARRISON

UGH, the whispered “Richard!” just happened. UGH x 2, we all thought for a second that Harrison Ford was BUSTED, but no! Relax, it is JUST the landlord’s son who enjoys “stringing out 12-year-old girls.” Yikes. And UGH x 3, that cop I’ve got beef with is now interviewing said drug lord, and I just can’t with this guy, STILL.

17. Julianne Moore and Jane Lynch in the house!

DOCTOR DOCTOR GIMME THE NEWS I GOT A BAD CASE OF LOVING JULIANNE MOORE AND JANE LYNCH IN THESE ROLES. Congratulations, you guys! You did it. Jane Lynch especially because she’s got Richard’s back for real. Julianne Moore less so because she’s got it out for Richard Kimble, my personal hero. I will tell you, though, that she doesn’t age. Straight up. Neither of them, actually! NO ONE  IN THIS MOVIE COME TO SPEAK OF IT. The Fugitive, everyone: it is the fountain of youth.

18. So now Tommy Lee Jones has found Harrison Ford’s apartment, but Harrison still gets a change of clothes and looks rested?

And I only bring this up because all of his stuff was there, and now he’s stuck wearing a janitor’s outfit – yet he’s in a different outfit in the next scene? WHERE IS HE GETTING THESE CLOTHES? Also, where is he sleeping? Also, shout-out to the bowl of fruit on his dining room table. Like, imagine Harrison Ford the fugitive just going grocery shopping; perusing the aisles for some marked-down fruit. “I need my vitamins!” he says to himself. And maybe he does! But still. Whaaaaat is happening.

Also, mistake and disclaimer: Harrison Ford is still wearing his janitor clothes. So… success for continuity, then, congratulations everybody.

19. “There’s a man with a gun, screaming, at a woman!”

HARRISON FORD FOR THE COMEDIC WIN. I really thought Tommy Lee Jones had it in the bag with either “I don’t care!” or the deadpan, “You had a break-in, Mr. Sykes” but the classic cop fake-out? Be still my heart and laughter muscles! I also can’t keep it together when he just joins the parade. Just joins it! With the fellow Irishmen. MY PEOPLE ARE TRULY BEING REPRESENTED IN THIS FILM. And you know what? We WOULD let Harrison Ford march in our St. Patrick’s Day parades. Start spreading the news! Chicaaaago, Chicaaaaaago. JAZZ!

20. Well it’s time to be honest about something pretty embarrassing

I’m still a little lost at the whole Sykes/other guy with the one arm connection. Let me get this straight. Sykes does security for that pharmaceutical company who made the drug that was making people ill. Harrison Ford finds out, and to keep him quiet, there’s a hit put out on him. BUT the guy kills his wife instead. THAT I get. But what – how does Sykes come into all of this? He just like, arranged for the other one-armed man to do the hit? And what about the Dutch doctor? Are they just all in on this together? And wait, the one guy died? I AM CONFUSED. I really need and/or needed this to be explained to me like I was six, but that failed. I have seen this movie more times than I have seen certain members of my family and I STILL can’t 100% explain it to you like a normal human being. Why can’t I just think like Harrison Ford?

21. “KIMBLE!”

They’re on a train! And I haven’t watched Scrubs, but scrolling through Tumblr has led me to believe there is a Scrubs episode where Zach Braff knows the guy who plays the cop who shouts, “Kimble!” Is that correct? Either way, ALL of the pop culture references!

And man, I really hope Jane Lynch made it to nationals in time after saving the day.

22. But seriously AS IF the guy on the train would recognize Harrison Ford and also WHERE DID SYKES COME FROM

Maybe I am a terrible person/observer, but buddy’s reading a paper on the train, and looks up and sees a thinner, non-bearded Richard Kimble and is like OH THAT’S HIM.I don’t know, you guys. They’re on a train, it’s kind of dark . . . I mean, already this is not the most realistic movie I’ve seen in the world, but it’s certainly more realistic than Sykes being able to put up an amazing fight when he’s about 400 years old and has only one arm and is on a moving train. But I didn’t come here to watch a realistic movie. I came here to watch The Fugitive.

23. But if you ARE going to bust someone for attempted murder, DEFINITELY do it in the middle of his keynote speech

I mean, WHAT A WAY to do it. If you’re going to bust someone, you miiiiiight as well do it in front of a room of his peers on the eve of something he was working really, really hard to make happen. I really don’t ever want to be in this situation, but I DO want to have the power to one day really ruin someone’s scheme when they thought they’d escaped justice. Like, when I used to work at the retail chain I coined the Generic Bird. SO MANY TEEN CUSTOMERS STOLE. And I could never prove it because I could never ask to look in their bags. But I would really love to one day just walk up to one of them during their university graduation and say, “You think you got away with it, didn’t you?!?!” and they’ll be like, “Who IS that?” and I’ll say, “That halter top. I’ll never forget.” And then I will leave because I will have been escorted out. BUT I will have at least made them think.

24. How do these guys know how to fight so well?!

So maybe it’s pretty normal for middle-aged men to know how to fight so well. But I’ve seen a lot of doctors and a lot of humans, and a lot of middle-aged men (I worked at the mall, you know? I helped them buy jeans) and I don’t think any of them were trained in mixed martial arts like Harrison Ford and Dr. Nichols are. I don’t even know any teenage or 20 or 30-something men who could fight like these people. Or women! Oh wait, one of my best friends is a black belt. So okay. I know ONE WOMAN. Literally one who could fight like Harrison Ford and his ex-BFF. The rest? The first punch would be thrown and everyone would be tired and there’d probably be some way to just kind of tap out and say, “Can we just solve this in the court of law?” AND THEN WE WOULD.

25. AHH AND THEN THEY ARE BEST FRIENDS

Can we all please just pretend the sequel, U.S. Marshalls doesn’t exist? I want to sleep at night knowing that Tommy Lee Jones and Harrison Ford became best friends and maybe began fighting crime together. Then they had barbecues and drinky-poos and thought, “AHH remember how much fun we all had? Remember when you thought I killed my wife? Remember when you tried to kill ME?” and they would laugh and joke and be the godfather of each other’s children. They would also invite me over, and because I am a little too young to date them, we would also just be friends, and smile at each other JUST. LIKE. THIS.

This is also how I assume they will look once they read this. (“That Anne! Our friend! So candid!”) So feel free to give me their emails if you are friends with Harrison Ford and/or Tommy Lee Jones and/or have their emails. I can totally pass this article along and they can give it a read.

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  1. Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd now I must go watch The Fugitive for the 200th time. Immediately. Thank you!

  2. I love this so much. I love all of these.

  3. I’m with you so hard on this! And Newman – who doesn’t love a deputy who brings you donuts with sprinkles??

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