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The Fisher King (1991)

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A former radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake.


2,755 ( 327)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Adam Bryant ...
Radio Engineer
Paul Lombardi ...
Radio Engineer
Lou Rosen (as David Pierce)
Limo Bum
Warren Olney ...
TV Anchorman
Frazer Smith ...
News Reporter
Sitcom Actor Ben Starr
Sitcom Wife
James Remini ...
Bum at Hotel
Mark Bowden ...
John Ottavino ...
Father at Hotel


After hearing a popular DJ rail against yuppies, a madman carries out a massacre in a popular New York bar. Dejected and remorseful, the DJ strikes up a friendship with Parry, a former professor who became unhinged and then homeless after witnessing his wife's violent death in the bar shooting. The DJ seeks redemption by helping Parry in his quest to recover an item that he believes is the Holy Grail and to win the heart of the woman he loves. Written by Jim Sanders and Determined Copy Editor

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Some called him a hero. Some called him the most dangerous man in America See more »


Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 September 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fisher King  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$311,662, 22 September 1991, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


At college, Mercedes Ruehl had done a thesis about T.S. Eliot's poem "The Wasteland", in which the Fisher King features. Consequently when she received a script entitled "The Fisher King", she knew that this was the right project for her. See more »


When Parry is in the hospital and Jack comes to visit him Jack approaches the bed. To the right of the frame is a man wearing shorts with a walkie talkie clipped to them. See more »


Jack Lucas: Jack Lucas: I can't believe I'm on a first name basis with these people!
See more »


Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Patch Adams (2012) See more »


Rose's Turn
Written by Stephen Sondheim & Jule Styne
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

This movie should be on everyone's "must-see" list
23 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

A touching yet humorous tale, THE FISHER KING brings together amongst the best performances given by Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges, as well as Terry Gilliam's finest directorial effort. Solid supporting performances by Amanda Plummer and Mercedes Ruehl round out a great film that ranks among my personal favorites.

Bridges portrays an arrogant radio shock-jock, who's big mouth and flippant comments send a disturbed listener on a murderous rampage, thus ending his career. Enter Ruehl as his new enabler girlfriend, waiting patiently for him to drag himself up from the dregs, hoping to catch a ride to the top. Just when Bridges seems to have hit rock bottom, he encounters Williams, a crazed vagrant who thinks he is a knight in shining armor.

What ensues is a tale of remorse, redemption and rebirth which is made all the more magical by Gilliam's magnificent vision. Most notable is a scene which takes place in Grand Central Station where the hustle and bustle of the busy commuters dissolves into a spectacular waltz as Williams follows Plummer, the woman of his dreams. Gilliam's style makes Williams delusions come alive as the character makes the slow journey from trauma-induced insanity to stark, yet hopeful, reality.

Every character in this film undergoes a metamorphosis, each learning from the others along the transformation. It is a beautiful film to watch, and an achievement to all involved that subject matter of such depth can come across with such humor and with such beauty.

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