Three Fugitives
A man holding a smaller man in his arms, with a little girl sitting on the smaller man.
Promotional film poster
Directed byFrancis Veber
Written byFrancis Veber
Produced byLauren Shuler Donner
CinematographyHaskell Wexler
Edited byBruce Green
Music byDavid McHugh
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures Distribution (United States)
Warner Bros. (International)[1]
Release date
  • January 27, 1989 (1989-01-27)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$15 million
Box office$40.6 million [2]

Three Fugitives is a 1989 American buddy crime-comedy film written and directed by Francis Veber, starring Nick Nolte and Martin Short, with supporting roles by Sarah Doroff, James Earl Jones, Alan Ruck, and Kenneth McMillan in his final film appearance. 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 $40.6 million[2] against a budget of $15 million,[citation needed] despite receiving a general negative reception from critics.


Daniel Lucas has been in prison for armed robbery. On the day he is released, he gets taken hostage by Ned Perry, 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 Marvin Dugan assumes they must be in it together and sets about tracking them down. Several chases, an accidental shooting, treatment from a senile vet who thinks Lucas is 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 is in (with Ned nearly ruining the whole affair with his clumsiness) and flee for Canada, pretending to be a married couple with a son.

Ned later 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.



The film received negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 14% based on 14 reviews as of May 2016.[3]


  1. ^ "Three Fugitives (1989)". BBFC. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  2. ^ a b[bare URL]
  3. ^ "Three Fugitives - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.