7.6/10
120,028
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 »
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Popularity
2,099 ( 122)

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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 New Comedy About Sex, Murder 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

Archie and Wendy sleep in separate beds, just like Basil and Sybil in Fawlty Towers (1975), also co-created by John Cleese. See more »

Goofs

While Ken is casing Mrs Coady's flat and she approaches with her dogs, when he reaches down to pet one of the dogs and it nips at him, he jumps back and his hat falls off behind him. He hurries out of the room without retrieving the hat. Then in the next shot the hat is back on his head. See more »

Quotes

Otto: Pork away pal. Fuck her blue.
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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

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: I'll Be Home for Christmas (2016) 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 Film! Very Funny!
26 December 1998 | by Dale86See all my reviews

A Fish Called Wanda is my favourite movie of all time and always will be. John Cleese has written this masterpiece very cleverly, his best best writing piece since Fawlty Towers. Kevin Kline, who won an Oscar for his role in the film, is excellent as the looppy, arm pit sniffing Otto, and is my favourite in the film. Michael Palin is also brilliant as the stuttering Ken. John Cleese, in a role rather different to Basil Fawlty and his Monty Python characters, plays the lawyer Archie Leach fantastically. But the movie is all around Jamie Lee Curtis' Wanda, who is an American thief, after diamonds that she, Otto, Ken and George (Tom Georgeson) stole. In order to get the diamonds, Wanda has a fling with just about everybody. The movie will leave you in suspense wondering who will get the diamonds. Along the way, there are plenty of funny lines and gags, especially from Kline. A top movie. Watch A Fish Called Wanda, don't skip it. A++++


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