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Monday June 18th 2018

The Fugitive | 1993

The Fugitive filming location: Cheoah Dam, North Carolina
The Fugitive filming location: the leap from the dam: Cheoah Dam, North Carolina | Photograph: wikimedia / Dantripphoto

Big screen version of the long-running TV series, set in, and largely filmed around, Chicago. Dr Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford), before being accused of the murder of his wife Helen (Sela Ward), attends a charity fundraiser at the city’s deluxe Four Seasons Hotel, 120 East Delaware Place, at North Michigan Avenue on the Magnificent Mile.

The Kimble house is 336 West Wisconsin Street in Lincoln Park. The Ron Ysla-designed modernist home is at $3.699M. The dramatic interlaced glass-floored catwalks and floating stairs were the perfect enhancement.

The hospital he works at is the University of Chicago Hospital, on the campus of the University of Chicago between East 57th and East 59th Streets and South University and South Ellis Avenues in the Hyde Park-South Kenwood district.

The breathtakingly staged train crash, which sets Kimble free, was filmed on the Great Smoky Mountains Railway at Dillsboro, about 40 miles west of Asheville in the far western tip of North Carolina.

A further 30 miles west at the Tennessee border is the Fontana Dam on the Little Tennessee River at Lake Cheoah, where Ford makes his spectacular dive into the white water (the drainage pipe was constructed for the movie). You can see the same dam in Monte Hellman’s excellent 1971 road movie Two Lane Blacktop.

Kimble checks out prosthetic limbs at Cook County Hospital, Harrison Street at South Wood Street, and makes a narrow escape from Chicago’s City Hall-County Building after visiting a prisoner in the lock-up.

The building, which also figures in the climax of The Blues Brothers, is on the block bounded by North Clark, North LaSalle, West Randolph and West Washington Streets. Ford escapes across the plaza outside, past the Picasso sculpture, to lose himself in a (real) St Patrick’s Day Parade on Dearborn Street.

Ford calls the one-armed man from a payphone in Pullman’s Pub, since closed, which stood at 611 East 113th Street in Chicago’s Pullman district, the historic area seen also in The Untouchables and Road To Perdition.

The climax of the movie, with Kimble finally confronting the real villain, occurs in the plush Grand Ballroom of the Chicago Hilton and Towers, 720 South Michigan Avenue at East Balbo Drive in the South Loop.