7.6/10
119,995
198 user 110 critic

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:

Charles Crichton, John Cleese (uncredited)

Writers:

John Cleese (story), Charles Crichton (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,977 ( 706)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Cleese ... Archie Leach
Jamie Lee Curtis ... Wanda Gershwitz
Kevin Kline ... Otto
Michael Palin ... Ken Pile
Maria Aitken ... Wendy
Tom Georgeson Tom Georgeson ... Georges Thomason
Patricia Hayes Patricia Hayes ... Mrs. Coady
Geoffrey Palmer ... Judge
Cynthia Cleese ... Portia (as Cynthia Caylor)
Mark Elwes Mark Elwes ... Customer in Jeweler's Shop
Neville Phillips Neville Phillips ... Manager of Jeweler's Shop
Peter Jonfield Peter Jonfield ... Inspector Marvin
Ken Campbell Ken Campbell ... Bartlett
Al Ashton Al Ashton ... Warder
Roger Hume 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Italian | Russian | French

Release Date:

5 August 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein Fisch namens Wanda See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$115,418, 17 July 1988, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$63,493,712
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Charles Crichton's last film. See more »

Goofs

Reflected in a mirror in an early scene in George's flat. See more »

Quotes

Wanda: I'll be right back, take your clothes off.
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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 »

Alternate Versions

The Special Edition DVD has a bunch of deleted scenes including Otto's secret hobby and alternate scenes making the film more darker comedy.
  • There are two alternate endings. Both feature Otto dying and covered in blood in the cement but have different scenes on the plane, both imply that Wanda is going to run off with the money.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Comedy (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Nel blu, dipinto di blu
Written by Franco Migliacci and Domenico Modugno
Performed by Domenico Modugno
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Excellent caper comedy with a perfect cast
28 August 2003 | by funkyfrySee 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.


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