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The movie

  • Plot Hole: Any decent defense attorney should have been able to get Richard Kimble acquitted. Granted, there would be no movie. . . Kimble wasn't abusing his wife, wasn't cheating on her, and was a wealthy doctor with no financial problems, eliminating most motives for killing her. But the most notable screw-up is when the prosecution plays a tape of Helen Kimble's 911 call, where she says, "Richard. . .he's trying to kill me." Fair enough, although she was actually calling TO her husband, begging for help, NOT naming him as the killer, as the prosecution claims. However, the first thing she clearly says to the 911 operator is "There's someone in my house". As in an intruder. How the prosecution fails to notice this, as well as the defense, is beyond me. If nothing else, it provides the jury with reasonable doubt, if not outright proof of Kimble's innocence.
    • It all depends on how dumb the jurors and defense attorney are. It's not the least bit unrealistic to think they could do much worse than that. *cough*O.J. trial*cough*
    • The recording should never have been presented to the jury in the first place as it would be considered circumstantial evidence.
      • I don't think you know what "circumstantial" means. Whether either side would choose to admit it is one thing, but it is clearly admissible.
    • It is at least brushed upon when Gerard speaks with the Chicago police department:

 Gerard: So why did Richard Kimble kill his wife?

Police Chief: He did it for the money.

Gerard: What do you mean he did it for the money? He's a doctor. He's already rich.

Police Chief: She was more rich.

    • It is also possible that the Police in this case were corrupt and knew more than it appears. If they had discovered that the real killer was a former cop, they might have framed Kimble to cover up the crime.
    • Though Word of God apparently denies it, it's entirely possible that the movie (and the TV series it was made from) were loosely based on an actual case of a doctor named Sam Sheppard who was accused of killing his wife. He didn't escape, though was later acquitted because the Supreme Court told Ohio to either let him go or give him a new trial.
  • Jumping from a spillway overflow pipe into water at the base of a dam and surviving? Several hundred foot jump into water and not being even slightly injured? REALLY?
  • After his escape from the dam, we see Kimble dying his hair--but it's also much shorter than before. When did he get a haircut?
    • A deleted scene shows him swiping a pair of scissors along with the hair dye, so he probably cut it himself before or after coloring it.
  • Helen Kimble was shot. Wouldn't a residue test on Kimble have shown that he DIDN'T fire a gun? Giving the jury even MORE reasonable doubt as to his guilt?
    • Residue tests aren't 100% effective. Finding the residue goes a much further way to proving you fired the gun than not finding it goes in the opposite direction.
  • The villain and the motive: Nichols tried to have Kimble killed because he knew Provasic caused liver damage. But when the drug hit the market people would find that out anyway. Granted, Nichols got on the Board of Directors of the drug company and there would be shitloads of profit until the jig was up.
    • Not quite. The drug tested out as dangerous only for a small percentage of subjects, and perfectly efficient for the rest.
    • Also, if memory serves, part of the plan was to pin the coverup on Kimble and then murder him so that he couldn't spill the beans. If the plan was uncovered later, Devlin-MacGregor could plausibly claim that Kimble had falsified the relevant data before his untimely death, undoubtedly amid much "regret" over such a tragedy. Of course, his escape wasn't part of the plan, but that's what you get for hiring a killer with only one functional arm; had Kimble not been able to fight off Sykes, the plan would have gone off without a hitch.
    • Nichols could have also assumed that they could have fixed the drug given time, but that Kimble or the FDA would have shut it down before that happens.
  • Idiot Ball: Kimble making his escape from the hospital by stealing an ambulance, a highly visible vehicle, then pulling several stunts (crossing gated railroad tracks) that are bound to get him noticed. Granted, it kicks off a great chase scene, but it's still a highly stupid move on his part.
  • Why didn't Dr. Nichols simply pull a Wounded Gazelle Gambit after Kimble interrupted his speech? "Chicago PD? This fugitive you're after is right here, and has gone off the deep end, blaming me for his wife's murder. Oh, you're right outside? Well, gee, I'd hate for you to kill him, since he used to be my friend, but he is dangerous, and I don't want to contradict your orders or anything. So yeah." Granted, this might not have worked out in the end; Gerard at least is aware of Kimble's innocence, and he's in charge of the case, and Kimble's accusations caused quite a stir among the audience, but the situation shouldn't be completely unsalvageable from Nichols' perspective. Considering he initially tried to act surprised and innocent when Kimble first showed up, it seems sudden and more than a little out-of-character for him to suddenly decide, "Well, jig's up. Might as well just drop the charade completely and expose myself, even to those who wouldn't have reason to suspect me of anything yet."
    • Ironically, the original script has him doing just that. During the fight in the hotel room, Nichols says, "I always knew I'd have to kill you. But now, I must thank you for giving me a room full of people who will support me when I say it was self-defense.
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