Taglines: They rob banks. She steals hearts.
Lucas (Nick Nolte) has been in prison for armed robbery. On the day he is released, he gets taken hostage by Ned Perry (Martin Short), an incompetent, novice criminal who robs a bank (to get money for treatment for his ill daughter, Meg) at the moment Lucas just happens to be there.
Detective Duggan (James Earl Jones) assumes they must be in it together and sets about tracking them down. Several chases, an accidental shooting, treatment from a crazy vet who thinks he’s a dog and other capers follow, all the while Lucas trying to ditch his idiotic companion and prove his own innocence.
Whilst avoiding the law, the two form an unlikely partnership to help cure the silent Meg and make good their escape. They rescue Meg from the care home she’s in (with Perry nearly ruining the whole affair with his clumsiness) and flee for Canada, pretending to be a married couple with a son.
All appears to end well. However, in the closing scene, Perry enters a Canadian bank to change some currency only to find himself taken hostage by a different bank robber in the same manner he originally kidnapped Lucas. Because of this unexpected development, Lucas does not need to say goodbye to Meg, with whom he has formed a bond.
Three Fugitives is a 1989 crime-comedy film written and directed by Francis Veber, starring Nick Nolte and Martin Short, and featuring Sarah Rowland Doroff, James Earl Jones and Alan Ruck in supporting roles. It is a remake of Les Fugitifs, a 1986 French comedy starring Gérard Depardieu and Pierre Richard also directed by Veber. The movie was popular at the box office, grossing more than $64 million against a budget of $15 million, despite receiving a general negative reception from critics.
Three Fugitives (1989)
Directed by: Francis Veber
Starring: Nick Nolte, Martin Short, Sarah Rowland Doroff, James Earl Jones, Alan Ruck, Kenneth McMillan, Bruce McGill, Lee Garlington, Rocky Giordani
Screenplay by: Francis Veber
Production Design by: Rick Carter
Cinematography by: Haskell Wexler
Film Editing by: Bruce Green
Costume Design by: April Ferry
Set Decoration by: Richard C. Goddard
Art Direction by: Margie Stone McShirley
Music by: David McHugh
Distributed by: Buena Vista Pictures
Release Date: January 27, 1989