Nerves Of Steel. Body Of Iron. Brain Of Stone.

When Harry, the last of the great sleuthing Crumb - and the last person in the firm to ever get an assignment - finally gets a shot at a frontpage kidnapping, it's only because his beady-eyed boss Eliot Draisen (Jeffrey Jones) doesn't want the case solved. At stake is the gorgeous daughter of multi-millionaire P.J. Downing (Barry Corbin), a $10 million ransom, and Eliot's hot-to-trot mistress (Annie Potts). Attired in a bizarre array of goofball disguises, from a Hungarian hairdresser to a hefty housewife - Harry is bound, gagged and determined to crack the case and prove that when it comes to crime, he's one Crumb that won't be swept under the carpet.


P.J. Downing. Barry plays a multi-millionaire who hires sleuth Harry Crumb (John Candy) to rescue his kidnapped daughter.  Downing is a sedate, emotionless person. Even while Crumb nearly destroys his house and vintage car, he continues tying fish flies despite his daughter's ordeal. Downing is so self absorbed, he doesn't even suspect his new and beautiful wife (Annie Potts) might be having an affair with her tennis instructor.


P.J. : We still haven't heard anything.
ELIOT : Well, it only happened yesterday. The kidnappers are probably as scared as you are.
P.J. : I don't care what they want. I'll pay anything.
ELIOT : You've alerted the police. Detective Casey's good. Very good.
P.J. : We want you.
ELIOT : Look, she's your daughter. And I can understand your wanting to rely on a private investigator but I simply don't have anyone who can give it the kind of attention it needs.
P.J. : It's not what I wan to hear, Eliot!
ELIOT : There is one possibility: Harry Crumb.
P.J. : Who's Harry Crumb?

CRUMB : Mr. Downing.
P.J. : Oh, Harry Crumb. It's nice to --
CRUMB : Oh, please, sit down. Continue what you're doing.
P.J. : Thank you. Ordinarily, this is one of my great pleasures (sigh). Today, it's just a way to keep my mind off Jennifer.
CRUMB : A sad situation. Kidnappings always are. But they're less sad to me because I have yet to meet a kidnapper I could not outwit.
P.J. : Eliot Draisen says you're the best.
CRUMB : Oh, indeed! He sounds like a smart man. I'd like to meet him someday.
P.J. : Didn't he send you here?

P.J. : I was thinking this morning about the kidnappers. About how much more respect a sportsman has for his quarry.
CRUMB : Exactly.
P.J. : I'd do anything to get her back. Money means nothing, Mr. Crumb, when it comes to your own child.
CRUMB : Yes, I met Nikki on the way in.
P.J. : Nikki? Oh, yes. She--she's wonderful, but Jennifer was my first little girl.

P.J. : You certainly know your bamboo.
CRUMB : my business.

P.J. : You all right, Mr. Crumb?
CRUMB : Yes, I'm fine. The girls' mother --ooh-- how's she holding up?
P.J. : She's their stepmother, actually. We married a couple of years ago in a moment of weakness, perhaps. She's an attractive woman...a very attractive woman, but to tell you the truth, Mr. Crumb, she and the girls have never been that close (chuckles). You know how it is.

NIKKI : They won't really kill her, will they?
P.J. : Of course not. That's why Mr. Crumb's here.

P.J. : It makes me wonder if the criminal mind is actually human at all. I believe that there's a reason mankind has been lifted beyond the level of the animals. Human nature, is man's greatest triumph, but also the source of his undoing. We all aspire to our noblest instincts, and yet all too often we indulge our basest desires.
HELEN : Mm-hmm. Just like those animals that took our Jennifer.

P.J. : Please, these-these things can be so easily misinterpreted. I think this is a good time for...uh, coffee.
TIM : Oh, great. Now I suppose everyone will want some.

HENRY : We'll be taking the canyon drive today, Mr. Downing?
P.J. : Yes, I can't stand this waiting around, Henry. Sitting in the house. I thought, perhaps, a drive alone might help.

P.J. : You're certainly a font of knowledge, Mr. Crumb.

P.J. : Mr. Crumb, I have news! My mechanic says the brake fluid was deliberately drained.
NIKKI : Harry already figured that out, Dad.
CRUMB : In that case, the kidnappers have made one fatal mistake.
P.J. : What's that, Mr. Crumb?
CRUMB : They're making me mad.
NIKKI : Dad, we're going to set up a -- um...surveillance operation.
P.J. : Oh, I'm sure Mr. Crumb doesn't need you interfering with his work.
CRUMB : On the contrary, P.J., Nikki's been invaluable to me.
P.J. : I'm sure she means to be helpful, Mr. Crumb. But --
CRUMB : No buts about it. Perhaps you haven't realized. Nikki has given me information I couldn't have gotten on my own. You shouldn't underestimate her.
P.J. : Yes. Well, I'll take that into consideration. You're an insightful man, Mr. Crumb. A man of many talents.
CRUMB : It's a burden, yes, but one that I can live with.

P.J. : I'm forever in your debt, Harry. I don't know how I can ever repay you.
CRUMB : Your kind words are enough, P.J., not to mention this enormous check.
P.J. : (Chuckles) You've earned it, Harry. You've given me back my daughter. Both of my daughters.



Release Date
  • Thursday, February 2, 1989.
  • Comedy.
Directed By
  • Paul Flaherty.

Executive Producers

  • John Candy.

Produced By

  • Arnon Milchan.


  • TriStar Pictures, Inc.

Running Time

  • 1 Hour 29 Minutes.

DVD Special Features

  • Digitally Mastered Audio & Video.
  • Production Notes.
  • Interactive Menus.
  • Audio:
    - English 2-Channel (Dolby Surround).
    - Spanish.
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese,  Korean, & Thai.
  • Talent Files.
  • Scene Selections.



Main Cast

  • John Candy as Harry Crumb.

  • Jeffrey Jones as Eliot Draisen.

  • Annie Potts as Helen Downing.

  • Tim Thomerson as Vince Barnes.

  • Barry Corbin as P.J. Downing.

  • Shawnee Smith as Nikki Downing.

Filming Locations

  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

MPAA Rating

  • PG-13.

At Work Gallery

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