7.6/10
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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
2,960 ( 102)

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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:

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

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

John Cleese claims that this is Charles Crichton's movie. He merely took a co-director credit to reassure studio execs who were worried about Crichton's advanced age and the fact that he had not directed a theatrical movie for 23 years. The only major work Cleese did as director was near the end of the shoot, when he handled various scenes mostly involving Michael Palin, to allow Crichton to start overseeing the editing. See more »

Goofs

When Ken shoots the piece of wood that keeps the giant block of cement from falling, the rope/wheel slides down in the incorrect counter-clockwise direction. See more »

Quotes

Otto: [practicing his apology] Oh, I'm so very, very, very ssssssssssss... FUCK YOU!
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Film '72: Episode dated 19 November 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Deutschlandlied
Written by Franz Joseph Haydn and August Heinrich Hoffman von Fallersleben
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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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