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A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  5 August 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 103,177 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 185 user | 89 critic | 17 from

In London, four very different people team up to commit armed robbery, then try to doublecross each other for the loot.


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Title: A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Georgeson ...
Patricia Hayes ...
Portia (as Cynthia Caylor)
Mark Elwes ...
Customer in Jeweler's Shop
Neville Phillips ...
Manager of Jeweler's Shop
Peter Jonfield ...
Ken Campbell ...
Al Ashton ...
Roger Hume ...


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


A New Comedy About Sex, Murder and Seafood. See more »


Comedy | Crime


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| | |

Release Date:

5 August 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los enredos de Wanda  »

Box Office


$7,500,000 (estimated)


$63,493,712 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the robbery scene, it really was Kevin Kline who shot the crossbow at the sensor. Kevin got the shot off correctly on the second take. See more »


While Ken is on the phone with George making final arrangements, a camera shadow falls across him. See more »


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 »


References First Blood (1982) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Excellent caper comedy with a perfect cast
28 August 2003 | by (Oakland CA) – See all my reviews

This is one of the best, if not THE best, caper comedies of the modern era. The writing is very witty and at the same time sometimes turgid. The cast is absolutely perfect; Cleese makes a great subdued lawyer who wants to be a bad boy, Curtis is wonderful and just keeps you guessing (as perhaps her own character is guessing, as to what it is SHE wants), and Kline is perfectly annoying as the Nietzsche-quoting American. This movie has strong shades of "The Big Sleep" and other Howard Hawks comedies, even going so far as to name Cleese's character "Leach" in honor of Cary Grant.

This film should appeal to those with no classic movie knowledge, but for those who have seen "To Catch a Thief" and other caper classics, this is even more of a treat. Romantic, funny, and slick.

Also big ups to Michael Palin for another memorable supporting performance.

30 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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