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Three Fugitives
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Three Fugitives More at IMDbPro »

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21 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Three Fugitives is an excellent comedy movie

Author: nadir_k04 from Sydney, Australia
29 June 2004

This movie is just great, its really funny & original for its time. Martin Short & Nick Nolte really make this movie work, I would say this is Martin Shorts best role in a movie where he's actually really hilarious throughout the movie. The casting for this movie is also good too, movie keeps traveling at a fairly consistent pace. In my own opinion this is a great family comedy movie. Its extremely funny & touching all at the same time, I recommend this to all comedy movie lovers, the bank scene is just simply hilarious. This is my favourite Nick Nolte movie, i haven't seen too many of his movies but his acting was great in this movie. I give this 8.5/10 for being a very under estimated movie.

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Perfect for a jovial mood

Author: 1excitedskwirl from misery, missouri
18 November 2004

If you're that "god, I'm a serious movie rater and this better impress me" kind of movie watcher then go find another. But If you are in the mood to laugh and think odd pairs are funny then go for it. It helps to know the history of Martin Short's style of comedy. Nick Nolte's a pretty big guy and Sarah Doroff is really little. So Nolte just got outa prison and is supposed to be this big bad bank robber with a reputation. Martin Short is this nervous jobless dad that robs a bank just as Nick Nolte is there and takes Martin takes 'Nick' as a hostage.

Nick gets SHOT! Martin has a senile old friend that takes care of Rover(Nick). James Earl Jones does a belly-laugh. Sarah overcomes her trama to change gender. Martin Changes Gender! There's a Happy Ending Such a sweet movie- after its over put A Nightmare on Elm Street in for the contrast!

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

No need to run away from this one

Author: Geofbob from London, England
17 November 2001

This is not as bad or as unfunny a movie as some IMDb posters make out. The central situation of Lucas (Nick Nolte), a tough, professional heist-meister, being taken hostage by Perry (Martin Short), a bungling first-time bank robber, is pleasingly ridiculous. In particular, Perry's antics in the early bank robbery scenes are laugh-out-loud funny; as is Lucas's later violent entry into the bar where Perry is being held prisoner. The section towards the end, when Perry is disguised as a woman is also reasonably amusing. The scenes between Lucas and Perry's daughter (Sarah Rowland Doroff), are quite touching, when they could easily have been been sickly sentimental. (It helps that the little girl is supposed to have a psychological problem, so she hardly speaks.)

On the downside, there are undoubtedly soggy patches in the middle of the film, including the scene where James Earl Jones and Alan Ruck, as the two policemen leading the chase for Perry and Lucas, find it hilariously funny that Lucas was treated for a gunshot wound by a crazy vet who thought he was a dog. Another defect is the whiny music, which is repetitive and irritating.

All in all, this may not be a film to spend much money on, but is worth watching if it turns up on TV.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Exquisite comedy which deserves to be seen more often

Author: Balthazar-5 from France
30 September 2009

While being a great enthusiast of French cinema, I hadn't heard of Francis Veber when I saw this magnificent comedy in 1989. Unfortunately his wonderful films were never released in the UK, until 'Le Dîner des Cons'. So I came to it fresh... and WOW. Here we have Nick Nolte in a perfect role as the tough former bank robber and Martin Short as the perfect nerdish but determined sidekick. The opening bank robbery sequence, that sets up the film is magnificent and hilarious. The sub-plot involving the little girl is sweet and moving - almost worthy of Chaplin. The loopy vet is amazing and one of his scenes had me crawling on the floor with laughter. I could start analysing the structure or the mise en scène, but such sophistry is irrelevant - just see it and laugh out loud like you will rarely have done so before. (Amazingly I haven't seen the original with Depardieu and Pierre Richard... why don't they release a subtitled version?????)

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Unfairly forgotten 80s charmer.

Author: oneguyrambling from Australia
14 November 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is the kind of 1980s film that Hollywood never seems to make anymore. Unassuming, low key and charming without a big budget or a labyrinthine plot, it simply tells a simple story and then finishes.

Nowadays low budget films must have a hook, which generally means they are extremely art-housey or plain horror flicks, there aren't many little family-friendly flicks. Marketing and a lack of cross-promotion opportunities wouldn't allow it.

This is a bit of a shame, as Three Fugitives is the kind of film that you can all sit in front of the TV and kill 100 minutes without anyone in the room whining unnecessarily. Nick Nolte plays Lucas, who is being released from prison after a 5 year sentence earned by holding up 14 banks. (It was amazing seeing how fit Nolte looks here, he's still gruff and weathered but he is actually in really good shape, something he couldn't say for anything since the early 90s.) Now Lucas claims he is going straight, something that his arresting officer (played by James Earl Jones) gravely doubts. When Darth Vader stops Lucas as he leaves prison to tell him "I've got my eye on you", Lucas asks for a lift to the local bank so that he can rob it, and this is where the fun starts… After entering the bank to open a new account, Lucas unwittingly becomes embroiled in a hold up perpetrated by the bumbling Ned, played by Martin Short, (who these days turns me to tears but who is fitting here, as his character is required by the plot to be pathetic and annoying, something he is in spades).

Ned ultimately screws up big and takes Lucas hostage for some reason, even though at 6 foot plus and a good 50kg heavier than Ned he could snap him like a twig. The cops, thinking Lucas really held up the bank, tell him to give up and he yells back that he has nothing to do with it, a gun accidentally goes off, Lucas is shot in the leg and off they go on the lam. (That's cops & robbers shop talk for run away.) Initially Lucas tries at the first opportunity to turn Ned in at the local cop shop to absolve himself from guilt and clear his name, he quickly realizes that Ned has no intention of giving himself up, but a lack of blood caused by the bullet in his leg removes a bit of his get up and go, so Ned takes him to a Vet for treatment.

Enter the reason for Ned's robbery and desire to remain free: 6ish year old Meg.

Meg is Ned's daughter, who hasn't spoken for years since the sudden death of her mother. Ned is unemployed and attempted the hold up to keep afloat so that Meg wouldn't need to go to a home or a special needs facility, and his desire to care for her is evident.

Lucas initially wants nothing to do with Meg and gives Ned the address of a guy who can forge him some papers so that he can at least safely skip town.

Without going into detail or the Spoiler-iffic zone, the three fugitives of the title band together through the various impediments and pitfalls that beset them in order to cross the border to Canada, with the cops on their tail the whole time.

This is very light and fanciful stuff, and a great deal of the amusement comes from watching Lucas brutalise Ned in an off-handed way, as if he does it all the time (and he probably does).

The second half of the film is Run. Escape. Run. Escape, with more and more unlikely near misses each time, all wrapped in a neat bow with a hokey 80s movie ending.

This doesn't mean the film is not entertaining though, it is a fluff piece that never seems dated despite being in its 20s, and while never scaling great heights it remains amusing throughout.

If nothing else it proves that if you try to entertaining you don't need to aim for greatness to achieve, after all for some reason it has given Robbie Williams a career.

Final Rating – 7 / 10. You won't be breathlessly describing it to mates the next day but while it is running you will enjoy yourself.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Fun but nothing special

Author: Steve Dorsett ( from London, England
17 November 2001

This is a light 80's style comedy with heavy doses of schmaltz. The plot revolves around Lucas (Nick Nolte) who's been released from jail after 5 years for armed bank robbery. On his first day of release, he gets taken hostage by Perry (Martin Short), who tries to rob a bank in order to continue to care for his ailing daughter Meg. We've seen it many times before, Perry is completely inept, knowing only that he has to care for his daughter, Lucas is the tough ex-con with the heart of gold, oh you can almost picture the buddy-buddy hilarity to come.

Unfortunately, this movie completely under-utilises one of the great American comedic actors in Martin Short. These scenes that revolve around him just drag, and you end up longing for Nolte returning to the screen. The most poignant scenes revolve around the relationship formed between Lucas and Meg. Both of these two are fantastic in these scenes, and it's that which keeps you drawn to the film longing to see how it plays out.

The Three Fugitives is a fun little movie that won't bore you, is worth watching if you see it on TV. I wouldn't bother going out of you way to view it though.

All in all 6 out of 10

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not so much on the run. More like a slow crawl.

Author: DAVID SIM from United Kingdom
5 November 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have a personal bias against American remakes of foreign films. They seem to exist to be made only because an American/English audience doesn't relish the idea of having to read subtitles while watching a film. And not many of these remakes work anyway. Look at the dire likes of True Lies and Three Men and a Baby.

Three Fugitives was no doubt inspired by the recent success of TMAAB. They're both American remakes of French comedies, and Touchstone have even taken the precaution of importing the director and writer of the original version, Francis Veber. I haven't seen Les Fugitifs so I can't debate how close Veber sticks to his own material, or if he makes any drastic changes, but as it is, Three Fugitives is an amiable caper, if one that never bursts out with gut busting laughs.

Lucas (Nick Nolte) is an ex-con who's decided to go straight. But on the day of his parole, he walks into a bank and right into the middle of a hold-up. Ned Perry (Martin Short) is an incompetent bank robber who wears a nylon stocking for a balaclava. And when the robbery takes much longer then planned, that gives the police enough time to surround the place. In desperation, Ned takes Lucas hostage. But the police, who know of Lucas' track record for armed robberies think he's the robber. Meaning these two mismatched men must go on the run together.

I admit to enjoying Three Fugitives far more then Three Men and a Baby. They are quite similar films at heart. Both Touchstone financed American remakes of French originals, and the plots both revolve around a youngster. In this case Ned's mute six-year old daughter Meg. It turns out Ned pulled the robbery because he needed money to send Meg to a special school after being laid off from his job as a sales manager. Meg hasn't spoken a word since her mother died two years ago.

Three Fugitives has its funny moments. Ned's bank robbery is so hopeless it gets funnier just watching it all go wrong around him. Like when he shoots the ceiling he gets showered in plaster. His disguise splits open. And when a bank teller throws him the bag full of money, it lands in a ceiling fixture. I also liked the scene when Lucas gets accidentally shot by Ned, and Ned has to take him to a vet to get treated (like a dog!).

Its the bits in between that don't really work. All the funny parts come in isolated moments. And Francis Veber's direction isn't fast and frantic enough. So the film moves in fits and starts. It seems to take too long for the film to get to anything good. The inclusion of Meg to the plot also seems a bit of a miscalculation, and suggests something of the tweeness that capsized Three Men and a Baby.

It never really boils over. Even if it lacks credibility. But its not helped by Sarah Rowland Doroff's rather flat performance. Even as she begins to open up, she's just as blank in the second half as she is in the first. Nick Nolte and Martin Short have they're amusements, even if they don't exactly have cracking chemistry. They're only paired up together just to play off of each other's obvious differences. So in other words you're typical buddy movie.

Three Fugitives still feels a bit shapeless. It just moves from one spot to the next. Some funny (like Lucas getting a job as a locksmith!). Some cringeworthy (like Ned dressing up as a woman to avoid border checks). And the film doesn't end. It just sort of stops without any real attempt at an ending. Sporadically funny. Forgotten the next day.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A great little 'chuckler' !

Author: liamlagreat2006 from United Kingdom
6 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One of the very best! This movie defines the word genius. It is a very clever comedy. It has some many side splitting moments you'll have to buy it!

It doesn't seem to work as a certificate 15 however, i think it would have been a fantastic family film. Saying that, i watched it as a young kid with my family, so it brings back the good old days. This is the type of film where it is almost 'innocent' laughter, it doesn't rely on sexual jokes to make audience laugh, it doesn't really rely on anything , it's just naturally funny!! It's the type of film that your chirpy Grandad enjoys!

But it should bring out the kid in you !



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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Truly, truly underrated.

Author: Rich Wright
14 May 2015

Watching Three Fugitives is like traveling back in time to a bygone era, when there was no Internet, only four TV channels and John Major was prime minister. But hey, it wasn't all bad... We got films like this, where the focus is purely on the relationship between a grumpy, fresh out of jail bank thief portrayed by Nick Nolte, a mute six year old girl and her well-meaning but accident prone father, played by Martin Short.

Caught up in a heist-gone-wrong with a case of mistaken identity thrown into the bargain, the trio (as the title suggests) go on the lam together. Ever cop in the district is looking for them, Short is a walking disaster area, the kid wanders off at every given opportunity and Nolte just wants to ditch the other two and go straight. Easier said then done, when Short lands them in non-stop trouble, and Nolte begins to form a connection with the little girl...

It's not a laugh-a-minute split-your-sides experience, but what it IS is a perfect fusion of pathos, understated action and amusing character moments. It's easy to predict the hate-love arc of the Nolte/Short friendship, and some of the punchline are visible from miles off. But frankly, I didn't care.

All the cast play their roles so well, they transform what could have a humdrum script into something quite special. Of course, it also helps to have one of the cutest screen children around as their co-star. Makes their ongoing struggle more believable when we sees what's at stake, ya see? One to watch every few years from now on, I think. I'll never get tired of it, that's for sure. 8/10

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Light comedy is good fun

Author: gcd70 from Melbourne, Australia
9 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Enjoyable, light film about an ex-con who is taken hostage in a botched bank robbery the day he gets out of jail. Francis Veber's film is yet another remake of a successful French hit, and one that works quite well.

The plot doesn't amount to much but fortunately the comedy does. Martin Short is once again very funny and teams well with the gruff Nick Nolte. Together they wreak havoc, and a fair amount of hilarity, as they flee from the police with Short's adorable young daughter.

"Three Fugitives" is a comedy that will surely make you laugh, and possibly smile too. Good fun.

Saturday, May 1, 1993 - Video

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