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A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

R | | Comedy, Crime | 5 August 1988 (USA)
TV Program
3:17 | TV Program

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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
2,335 ( 573)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

A Fish Called Wanda See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$115,418, 17 July 1988

Gross USA:

$63,493,712
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

In 1989, when this film was shown in the theaters in Denmark, a Danish man named Ole Bentzen, a Danish audiologist, literally laughed himself to death during the scene where Ken gets the chips up his nose. Bentzen's heart rate went between 250-500 beats per minute and he eventually succumbed to cardiac arrest. The story behind this is that the man had made a joke a few years earlier with his family during dinner, where he put a piece of cauliflower up his and every family members nose as a joke and made a bet with them on who could eat up their carrots without the cauliflower falling out. When the scene with Ken and the chips came up, he started thinking about this dinner-incident and laughed so hard that his heart stopped. This story is well known in Scandinavia and spread around as almost an "urban legend" shortly after it happened. It was confirmed by his son, who also told the dinner-story as an explanation to why his father laughed so hard during the chips-scene that he died. See more »

Goofs

Archie already has a big lipstick kiss mark on his right cheek before Wanda kisses him. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Otto: Asshole!
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 »

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 In Living Color: Bigger Brother (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Nel blu, dipinto di blu
Written by Franco Migliacci and Domenico Modugno
Performed by Domenico Modugno
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
something's fishy (in a good way)
24 October 2006 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Portraying a heist gone awry, "A Fish Called Wanda" goes all out in every way possible. Maybe the whole thing is little more than an excuse for a bunch of silly situations, but they have some great ones here. Whether it's John Cleese's dance, Kevin Kline's rips at England, Michael Palin's stuttering, or Jamie Lee Curtis's deadpan performance, they know how to do everything here. I can't describe how funny the movie is; you just have to see it. And you may very well die laughing - or if nothing else, you'll want to take a trip to England. Kevin Kline definitely deserved his Oscar. And of course, the cast teamed up again for the equally funny (maybe even better) "Fierce Creatures". This is a comedy classic in every way.

Oh, and in case Kevin Kline is reading this: Happy birthday! You're my favorite actor!


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