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A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

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

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

5 August 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Fisch namens Wanda  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$63,493,712 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Cleese has said in interviews that Patricia Hayes was the only cast member not to have any material deleted during editing. See more »

Goofs

When Wendy and Portia see the flat tyre it is broad daylight. In the scene after John Cleese is seen in his house at night. Then the whole Wanda scene is played out before Wendy and Portia return to the house. Where did they park their car? See more »

Quotes

Otto: [to Ken about Mrs Coady] What does he want you to do? Send her flowers? Do her shopping? Show her a good time? Rub her out? Rub her out?
Otto: [gleefully] HE'S GOING TO KILL HER! HA HA HA!
Ken: Shut up!
Otto: [shows his gun to a group of onlookers] Fuck off or I'll kill you. LIMEY FRUITS! So the old lady's gonna m-m- meet with an accident, eh K-K-Ken?
Ken: Shh!
[Otto laughs]
Ken: What's - what's so funny?
Otto: Nothing, it's just that wasting old ladies isn't NICE!
Ken: [angrily] Well it's better than b-b-buggering people!
Otto: I'll bet you ...
[...]
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 »

Connections

Referenced in My Time with Terror with Jamie Lee Curtis (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the best (and most underrated) comedies of all time
8 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Before I review this film, I want to mention that I've seen it about ten times and have yet to stop laughing at any of the jokes. This is one of the best written and acted comedies that I've ever seen. The plot is airtight, and the jokes are perfectly timed and delivered. This is due in large part to the spectacular cast of the film. Jamie Lee Curtis, Johh Cleese, Michael Palin, and my personal favorite Kevin Kline as Otto the moronic ex-CIA agent who's too stupid to realize that he's stupid. The film centers around the four aforementioned actors who are involved in a bank robbery, and the conniving and backstabbing by each that takes place afterwards. A large portion of the comedic material in this film comes from the mixture, or more precisely clash, of British and American cultures. Kevin Kline's portrayal of Otto the red-blooded American with entirely too much ego and confidence is contrasted perfectly by John Cleese's reserved and in Otto's words "sexually repressed" English gentleman who is too scared to go out and live his life. Jamie Lee Curtis is also great as the title character who is determined to back-stab and cross anyone and everyone in order to get what she wants. Finally, there's Michael Palin as Ken the hit-man/animal lover/severe stutterer who must kill a key witness in order to protect his boss. If there are any funnier scenes than the ones where Ken must kill this witness, I haven't seen them. Palin is absolutely brilliant, easily one of the best comedic performances ever. The film is close to 2 hours long, but the plot is so clever and well structured that it's over before you know it. To me, that is one of the trademarks of a great film. You don't want this movie to end, and you're disappointed when it does. Do yourself a favor and watch A Fish Called Wanda and you will wonder why you haven't seen (or in many cases even heard of) this film before.


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Jamie Lee Curtis attractive? deathbyanxiety
This movie wasn't funny... tedious_toad-1
kevin deserved the oscar poetic_dreams
Why is the title = a fish called wanda? siidheart
17 children and a leper colony?! krdement
Easter egg - seen this film HOW MANY TIMES? and never noticed! simontopple
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