Top 5000
Up 426 this week

A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  5 August 1988 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 103,119 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.


, (uncredited)


(story), (story), 1 more credit »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


Fall TV: 15 Returning TV Shows Worth Binge Watching

Which returning shows do we recommend binging on? We've picked out 15 great options for you. Read this and more lists in our Fall TV section.

Read our list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 31 Jan 2011
a list of 41 titles
created 10 Oct 2011
a list of 23 titles
created 10 Mar 2013
a list of 37 titles
created 13 Jun 2013
a list of 36 titles
created 3 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

A Fish Called Wanda (1988) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Fish Called Wanda.

User Polls

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



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Zookeepers struggle to deal with the policies of changing directors.

Directors: Fred Schepisi, Robert Young
Stars: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline
Clockwise (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An obsessively punctual comprehensive school headmaster sets out to give an important speech at the annual Headmasters' Conference.

Director: Christopher Morahan
Stars: John Cleese, Penny Leatherbarrow, Howard Lloyd-Lewis
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An anthology of Monty Python's best sketches from their 1st & 2nd seasons of their original TV show.

Director: Ian MacNaughton
Stars: John Cleese, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The comedy team takes a look at life in all its stages in their own uniquely silly way.

Directors: Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam
Stars: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle
Life of Brian (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Brian is born on the original Christmas, in the stable next door. He spends his life being mistaken for a messiah.

Director: Terry Jones
Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Incompetent cop Frank Drebin has to foil an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II.

Director: David Zucker
Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, O.J. Simpson
Dave (1993)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

To avoid a potentially explosive scandal when the U.S. President goes into a coma, an affable temp agency owner with an uncanny resemblance, is put in his place.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Frank Langella
Airplane! (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A man afraid to fly must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick.

Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two con men try to settle their rivalry by betting on who can swindle a young American heiress out of $50,000 first.

Director: Frank Oz
Stars: Steve Martin, Michael Caine, Glenne Headly
In & Out (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A midwestern teacher questions his sexuality after a former student makes a comment about him at the Academy Awards.

Director: Frank Oz
Stars: Kevin Kline, Joan Cusack, Tom Selleck
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many very silly obstacles.

Directors: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires.

Director: John Landis
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Ralph Bellamy


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?


When the film was aired on TV in the U.S., many stations deleted the "chips up the nostrils" scene, deeming it insensitive to individuals with mental impairments. See more »


When Wanda is talking to George in prison, you can see crew equipment bobbing up and down over their heads. See more »


Wanda: I looked at the clock... because I was saying to myself... It's five to seven, where could he be going with that sawed off shotgun?
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 »


Referenced in Very Important Pennis: Very Important Pennis: Part 2 (1996) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Funniest Movie Ever Made
31 May 1999 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is the only film I ever paid to see two days in a row. I missed too much of it the first time because of my own hysterical snorting laughter.

This is a work of comic genius. And, like any good film, the screenplay is at the heart of the belly laughs. Every character is given a detailed personality quirk or two, and then it is shamefully exploited for laugh after laugh. Note for example, John Cleese's speech to Jamie Lee Curtis about how awful it is to be British - the eternal fear of embarrassment. Moments later, he is caught buck naked in a marital tryst in some else's flat by the people to used to live in his own home. Also, the funny-offensive envelope is pushed to the limit when K-K-K-Ken (Michael Palin), the passionate animal lover inadvertently kills three innocent dogs in his attempt to murder an old woman who would otherwise be a prosecution witness. Now that's funny!

Cleese's character, Archie Leach (Carey Grant's real name) is a likable buffoon of a lawyer, happy in his banal existence until he meets the sexy American, Wanda (Jamie Lee). I cannot even being to describe the plot beyond that point without doing it a grave disservice. It twists and dangles about in a world of double-cross and goldfish-eating for no other reason than to set up a joke.

You cannot speak of this film without mention of Kevin Kline as Otto, a role that won him a richly-deserved Oscar. Otto is the ex-CIA "weapons man" who makes it his business to read philosophy but would be more at home with Curious George. An obsessive, self-indulgent, painfully stupid, violent, deceitful, gullible egomaniac, the character of Otto is amongst the best comedic performances ever delivered.

The film's funniest scene takes place at Leach's (Cleese) house. In a scene that rivals anything that has ever hit the screen for laughs, the film and its scripts looks deep enough into itself to even give Cleese's dry-as-toast wife a laugh or two. Then, later on, this scene proves to be the set up for even more jokes. A Fish Called Wanda is pure comedy and every scene either provides a laugh or sets one up - it graciously does not waste our time trying to be moral or turning into a formula car-chase flick.

My comments are choppy but so is this movie. If you see it and don't laugh, check your pulse. We have only been given a handful of good comedies in the last decade. A Fish Called Wanda is a treasure. **** out of ****.

NOTE: TBS and some other TV networks show this film with the "offensive language" edited out. It kills the movie - if you can't hack the language, pass this one over.

100 of 116 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Jamie Lee Curtis attractive? deathbyanxiety
This movie wasn't funny... tedious_toad-1
Hey, can someone explain to me... Genia1
kevin deserved the oscar poetic_dreams
Missing scene? CountessDuckula
Jamie Lee Curtis 'slightly miscast'? liddygally
Discuss A Fish Called Wanda (1988) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: