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Posted October 1, 2010
Finally after years of lobbying for it 'The Fugitive' has finally been released on DVD. And it was well worth the wait. The Casting is from heaven. David Janssen, in his greatest and most definative role, is perfect as the wrongly accused but noble Richard Kimball [better even than Harrison Ford], and English born Barry Morse is marvelous as the obsessed American, Mid-westerner Jarred [much better than Tommy Lee Jones in his Oscar winning role], even the casting of the stentorian voice of William Conrad as the invisible narrator is perfection as is much of the plots and the writing. One is drawn in wonderfully to Kimball's moral decency and his desparation as he endures the many odd jobs beneath his considerable skills and great intelligence, endures the many threats of recapture and execution, endures the slander and the false belief that he is a killer, endures the anxiety of his noble and desparate hunt for the real murderer of his wife as well as his hopes of eventually clearing his good name. One identifies with him and with his plight. One can easily imagine 'There but for the grace of God go I'. You never stop rooting for this underdog. Fantastic - Bernard Tanner Jr.
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In 1993, TV Guide named it the best dramatic series of the 1960's...David Janssen's* sensitive, involving performance as Kimble, Barry Morse's inspired borrowings from Dostoevsky, a galaxy of guest stars (often cast against what became their types: very early Duvall, Klugman, Nielsen, for example), superb b&w photography, hugely-varied, state-specific settings (although CA actually did yeoman work as its fellow states) and locale-specific characters all contributed to a more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts classic (often nail-biting) weekly suspense experience... the scripts were fascinating and focused on character motivation, often by suggestion rather than sledgehammer...most subtle of all, however, was Janssen's ability to combine a stoic mask with his one-of-a-kind slightly twisted wry smile, often at the same time...watch the first five (including the first 2-parter**), and I guarantee you'll want the other 115...Not to be missed
*-Janssen was an army buddy of Clint Eastwood and Martin Milner in the early 50's...Milner & Janssen were instrumental in Eastwood's becoming an actor...during The Fugitive's first year, both Milner (Route 66) and Eastwood (Rawhide) also were starring in their own TV series...what did they feed them at Fort Ord?
**-in which Janssen does a priceless 15 second Tony Curtis as Cary Grant imitation on a sailboat...(Some Like It Hot came out 4 years before...) Janssen's cleft chin makes me think he had been told of the resemblance many times...