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A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

R | | Comedy, Crime | 5 August 1988 (USA)
TV Program
3:17 | TV Program
In London, four very different people team up to commit armed robbery, then try to doublecross each other for the loot.

Directors:

Charles Crichton, John Cleese (uncredited)

Writers:

John Cleese (story), Charles Crichton (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,152 ( 101)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Cleese ... Archie Leach
Jamie Lee Curtis ... Wanda Gershwitz
Kevin Kline ... Otto
Michael Palin ... Ken Pile
Maria Aitken ... Wendy
Tom Georgeson Tom Georgeson ... Georges Thomason
Patricia Hayes Patricia Hayes ... Mrs. Coady
Geoffrey Palmer ... Judge
Cynthia Cleese ... Portia (as Cynthia Caylor)
Mark Elwes Mark Elwes ... Customer in Jeweler's Shop
Neville Phillips ... Manager of Jeweler's Shop
Peter Jonfield Peter Jonfield ... Inspector Marvin
Ken Campbell Ken Campbell ... Bartlett
Al Ashton Al Ashton ... Warder
Roger Hume Roger Hume ... Locksmith
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Storyline

In London, George Thomason, his seductive American girlfriend Wanda Gershwitz, and their associate Ken Pile are planning their latest crime, a diamond heist that should net them £13 million. They plan on leaving the country with the goods after the heist. On Wanda's recommendation, they enlist the help of her brother, Otto, a weapons expert, for this heist. In reality, Otto is not Wanda's brother, but her latest lover, a dimwit who gets off on his own body odor, who believes he's an intellectual because he reads Nietzsche, and who does not tolerate being called stupid by anyone. Wanda has one weakness in men which is how Otto was able to get her to be his lover: speaking Italian in seduction. Wanda and Otto plan to double cross George by having him arrested for the heist, while they abscond with the jewels. Wanda further plans to triple cross Otto by eliminating him from the picture after she has the jewels. They are able to get George arrested with him not knowing who tipped the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A tale of murder, lust, greed, revenge, and seafood. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Italian | Russian | French

Release Date:

5 August 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Fish Called Wanda See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$115,418, 17 July 1988

Gross USA:

$62,493,712

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$62,493,712
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The poem Archie Leach recites in Russian for Wanda Gershwitz is Molitva (1839) by Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841). See more »

Goofs

The position of Wanda's hands on Archie's shoulders and face as she kisses him in the apartment. See more »

Quotes

Wanda: [after Otto breaks in on Wanda and Archie in Archie's flat and hangs him out the window] I was dealing with something delicate, Otto. I'm setting up a guy who's incredibly important to us, who's going to tell me where the loot is and if they're going to come and arrest you. And you come loping in like Rambo without a jockstrap and you dangle him out a fifth-floor window. Now, was that smart? Was it shrewd? Was it good tactics? Or was it stupid?
Otto West: Don't call me stupid.
Wanda: Oh, right! To call you stupid...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the closing credits is the word FIN -- which is how French films say THE END, but in English a "fin" is a part of a fish. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Special Edition DVD has a bunch of deleted scenes including Otto's secret hobby and alternate scenes making the film more darker comedy.
  • There are two alternate endings. Both feature Otto dying and covered in blood in the cement but have different scenes on the plane, both imply that Wanda is going to run off with the money.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Deutschlandlied
Written by Franz Joseph Haydn and August Heinrich Hoffman von Fallersleben
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Kevin Kline Show!
30 April 2005 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Brief and simple: this movie is terrific entertainment! With its uniquely eccentric characters and delightfully absurd storyline, 'A Fish Called Wanda" unquestionably is one of the funniest films ever made. The exhilarating screenplay works on so many level (a diamond heist gone wrong, Brits vs. Americans, romantic comedy...) and the top-notch cast obviously had an excellent time doing this film-job. There's not a dull moment throughout the entire movie and every sequence contains at least two or three hilarious moments. The humor is very over-the-top at times but, what the hell, it remains a joy to behold. The cast is nearly perfect with John Cleese, Michael Palin and Jamie Lee Curtis at their absolute best. Still, there's one actor who deserves extra praise for his role here and that's Kevin Kline. His hyperactive, deranged and extravagant character Otto is one of the most brilliant roles in comedy cinema ever! His moves, grimaces and monologues will make you fall off your seat laughing. Kline won an Oscar for his role and, everybody who has seen "A Fish Called Wanda" will agree on the fact that this was a well-deserved price.


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