Norton of Morton

Read a new instalment of Norton of Morton every Saturday at 4 o'clock

Saturday 24 June 2017

The running men

In which G.M. Norton hears a penny drop.

As regular readers of this periodical will know, I do enjoy sitting down to watch a film or three.

Last week, I found myself in the rare circumstance where I was home alone for a couple of hours. Naturally I didn't waste this opportunity and settled down with early 90s thriller, The Fugitive.

I'm yet to watch a film starring Harrison Ford that I've not enjoyed. For me, his name is a quality mark.


I watched The Fugitive at the cinema when it first came out. The volume was far too excessive, so by the time Mr Ford jumped for his life as a train screeches towards him, it all got a little much. Thankfully, another cinema-goer left to ask the overzealous volume knob twiddler to go easy.

Then this week, my beloved had a book that she wanted to read so I reached for the 2002 caper, Catch Me if You Can.

It was then that the penny finally dropped; I am extremely fond of plot premise that involves a man being on the run.

Other personal favourites of course include The 39 Steps (the Donat version is the best, but I do enjoy both the Kenneth More and to a slightly lesser degree, the Robert Powell effort), and North by Northwest with Cary Grant as mad man, Roger Thornhill.

As a frustrated writer, convinced that there is a novel in me, lurking something deep inside, I rather think this kind of story would work well for my future bestseller.

What I especially enjoy about The Fugitive and Catch Me if You Can are the relationships between the runner and the chaser.

Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones make a wonderful pair. Harrison plays Richard Kimble, an esteemed surgeon who was wrongly convicted for his wife's murder as he searches for the one armed man that was responsible. Jones is the dogged FBI fellow who is relentless in trying to capture his prey.

Over on the Steven Spielberg directed film romp, it has Leonardo DiCaprio as the young man who forges million dollars worth of cheques as he masquerades as a teacher, pilot, doctor and lawyer. The role of chaser is ably filled by Tom Hanks as once again, an FBI agent that will not give up.

I recommend both films extremely highly. Catch Me if You Can is worth watching for the title sequence alone, which is homage to Saul Bass (who did on a lot of work on Hitchcock pictures, including North by Northwest).
These things do have a habit of coming full circle.

G.M. Norton
Protagonist of 'Norton of Morton'

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  1. Yes to all of these! I rewatched the Fugitive over and over, it's a fantastic film. I also do adore The 39 Steps (the comedic stage play is particularly good!) and have seen Catch Me If You Can only once but would like to see it again. I can't think of very recent man-on-the-run films I like, but Double Jeopardy with a woman on the run comes to mind as another older film with similar plot (great stuff also, recommend it if you haven't already seen it, and nice to see a female lead. Tommy Lee Jones appears again as the hunter!)

    1. Double Jeopardy - I will look that up! I've been impressed by Ashley Judd in other films.

  2. I like all those films (the ones I've seen). I was quite surprised to like Catch Me If You Can, but then di Caprio is like tom Cruise for me - I always think he seems quite unlikeable in life, but he's great on screen.

    1. I've not really seen much of Di Caprio in interviews but always enjoy his films. I agree on Tom Cruise - not somebody I imagine I would like very much but I do enjoy a few of his efforts.


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