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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.


3,113 ( 358)
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


A good, old-fashioned story of guilt, poverty, love, madness and free video club membership. (vv) 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 »


Parry has a bruise on his forehead for most of the movie. When he is in the hospital, it and his other injuries are gone. In the last scene, in Central Park, the bruise is back. See more »


Parry: It begins with the king as a boy, having to spend the night alone in the forest to prove his courage so he can become king. Now while he is spending the night alone he's visited by a sacred vision. Out of the fire appears the holy grail, symbol of God's divine grace. And a voice said to the boy, "You shall be keeper of the grail so that it may heal the hearts of men." But the boy was blinded by greater visions of a life filled with power and glory and beauty. And in this state of radical ...
See more »


References Hook (1991) See more »


Hit The Road Jack
Written by Percy Mayfield
Performed by Ray Charles
Courtesy of Ray Charles Enterprises, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Robin Williams should have won an Oscar for this movie
20 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

"The Fisher King" is one of those movies that shows how, although we can't get over certain incidents, they may end up leading to our redemption. Jeff Bridges plays Jack Lucas, a New York radio talk show host. One day, he makes a mean remark to one of his listeners, and the listener murders some people. When it gets reported that the man had done this after a remark by Lucas, Jack knows that his career is over, but also realizes how he has been affecting people.

Some years later, Jack is wondering the streets and meets Parry (Robin Williams), a homeless man whose mind is gone. Parry believes Jack to be a sort of hero and Jack can't get him to think otherwise. So, the two accompany each other from then on.

Probably the movie's most interesting aspect was how director Terry Gilliam shows what is happening in Parry's imagination, contrasting it with reality. The Red Knight and Holy Grail make for some unusual scenes. This may be Robin Williams' best performance ever.

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