A Fish Called Wanda ()

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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.

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Cast verified as complete

Archie Leach
Wanda Gershwitz
Ken Pile
Tom Georgeson ...
Georges Thomason
Patricia Hayes ...
Mrs. Coady
Portia (as Cynthia Caylor)
Mark Elwes ...
Customer in Jeweler's Shop
Manager of Jeweler's Shop
Peter Jonfield ...
Inspector Marvin
Ken Campbell ...
Al Ashton ...
Roger Hume ...
Roger Brierley ...
Llewellyn Rees ...
Sir John
Copper (as Robert Cavendish)
Andrew MacLachlan ...
Roland MacLeod ...
Mr. Johnson
Pamela Miles ...
Mrs. Johnson
Child Johnson (13)
Katherine John ...
Child Johnson (10)
Sophie Johnstone ...
Child Johnson (8)
Kim Barclay ...
1st Junior Barrister (Defence Counsel) (as Sharon Twomey)
Patrick Newman ...
2nd Junior Barrister (Defence Counsel)
David Simeon ...
Clerk of Court (Old Bailey)
Imogen Bickford-Smith ...
Tia Lee ...
Junior Barrister (Prosecutor Counsel)
Police Officer (Old Bailey)
Waydon Croft ...
1st Prison Officer
John Dixon ...
2nd Prison Officer
Anthony Pedley ...
Irate Driver
Hotel Clerk
Clare McIntyre ...
Airline Employee
Charu Bala Chokshi ...
Indian Cleaner
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Clerk of the Magistrate's Court (uncredited)
Chris Chering ...
Prisoner (uncredited)
Terence Conoley ...
Airline Passenger (uncredited)
Street thug (uncredited)
Man at Airport (uncredited)
Aidan Harrington ...
Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Rebecca Moore ...
Jury member (uncredited)
Mike Reynell ...
Man in Street (uncredited)
Peter Roy ...
Man in Street (uncredited)
Jeweler (uncredited)

Directed by

Charles Crichton
John Cleese ... (uncredited)

Written by

John Cleese ... (story) and
Charles Crichton ... (story)
John Cleese ... (written by)

Produced by

Steve Abbott ... executive producer
John Cleese ... executive producer
John Comfort ... associate producer
Michael Shamberg ... producer

Music by

John Du Prez

Cinematography by

Alan Hume

Film Editing by

John Jympson

Editorial Department

Kevin Phelan ... unit projectionist: Mercury Theatres, London
William Webb ... assistant film editor
David Barrett ... assistant editor (uncredited)
Jonathan Lucas ... assistant editor (uncredited)

Casting By

Priscilla John

Production Design by

Roger Murray-Leach

Art Direction by

John Wood

Set Decoration by

Stephenie McMillan

Costume Design by

Hazel Pethig

Makeup Department

Lynda Armstrong ... makeup artist (as Lynda Armstrong-Lawlor)
Paul Engelen ... makeup supervisor
Barry Richardson ... key hair stylist

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Jonathan Benson ... assistant director
Melvin Lind ... second assistant director
David Skynner ... third assistant director

Art Department

David Allday ... set designer
Leon Apsey ... head of construction
Bruce Bigg ... property master
Roy Evans ... construction manager
Dougie Lankston ... props
Kevin Phipps ... assistant art director
Brian Read ... production buyer
Alfie Smith ... stand-by property supervisor
Micky Swift ... stand-by propman (as Mickey Swift)
Gill Andrae-Reid ... portrait artist (uncredited)
Michael Law ... carpenter (uncredited)
Bill Stallion ... storyboard artist (uncredited)

Sound Department

Jonathan Bates ... sound editor
Charlotte Haupt ... sound editor
Gerry Humphreys ... re-recording mixer
Chris Munro ... sound recordist
Andrew Sissons ... sound maintenance engineer
Colin Wood ... boom operator

Special Effects by

George Gibbs ... special effects supervisor
David Watson ... special effects technician (as Dave Watson)
Terence J. Cox ... special effects technician (uncredited)
Alan Poole ... special effects technician (uncredited)

Visual Effects by

Alan Church ... optical camera (uncredited)
Simon Margetts ... director of photography: main title sequence (uncredited)


Romo Gorrara ... stunt coordinator

Camera and Electrical Department

Neil Binney ... camera operator
Bob Bremner ... gaffer (as Bobby Bremner)
Graham Hall ... clapper loader
Simon Hume ... focus puller
David James ... still photographer
Bill Thornhill ... best boy
Jimmy Waters ... grip
Jimmy Worley ... electrician (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Stephen Cornish ... wardrobe assistant (as Steve Cornish)
Jenny Hawkins ... wardrobe assistant
Ray Usher-Cooper ... wardrobe master (as Ray Usher)

Location Management

Nick Daubeny ... location manager: Oxford
Christopher Knowles ... assistant location manager: London
William Lang ... location manager

Music Department

Peter Holt ... music editor
André Jacquemin ... music producer
Luis Jardim ... musician: percussion
Dick Lewzey ... orchestral recordist
John Williams ... musician: solo guitar
John Du Prez ... conductor (uncredited)
George Hamer ... orchestra contractor (uncredited)

Script and Continuity Department

Diana Dill ... continuity

Transportation Department

Mark White ... production driver / transportation
Roy Clarke ... driver: Jamie Lee Curtis (uncredited)

Additional Crew

Andy Birmingham ... production accountant
Peter Byck ... assistant: Mr. Shamberg, USA
Sophie Clarke-Jervoise ... assistant: Dr. Cleese
Pauline Clift ... animal supplier
Robert Conway ... legal advisor
Wayne Docksey ... Fish Supplier
Bill Edwards ... unit publicist
Yvonne Heeks ... assistant accountant
Ralph Kamp ... production assistant
Liz Lehmans ... production assistant
Ian Miles ... financial controller
Janine Modder ... production coordinator (as Janine Lodge)
Alexandra Stone ... assistant to producer
Mark Birmingham ... production assistant (uncredited)
John Cleese ... unused stand-by director (uncredited)
Robin Demetriou ... catering supervisor (uncredited)
Yvonne Eastmond ... assistant production accountant (uncredited)
Alan Ladd Jr. ... presenter (uncredited)
Richard Morrison ... title designer (uncredited)
Kimberley Vashiell ... choreographer (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

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Plot Summary

In London, Georges Thomason (Tom Georgeson), his seductive American girlfriend Wanda Gershwitz (Jamie Lee Curtis), and their associate Ken Pile (Sir Michael Palin) are planning their latest crime, a diamond heist that should net them thirteen million pounds sterling. They plan on leaving the country with the goods after the heist. On Wanda's recommendation, they enlist the help of her brother, Otto West (Kevin Kline), 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 Georges 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 Georges arrested with him not knowing who tipped the Police off, in the process, Georges being implicated by an elderly eyewitness named Eileen Coady (Patricia Hayes). With Georges in jail, Wanda and Otto discover that he in turn has protected his investment by moving the jewels from their agreed location to a hidden one, he not telling anyone except Ken some hint of where they are. Ken, an animal lover with an extreme stuttering problem, is given a task by Georges: kill Mrs. Coady before she is able to testify against him, as she is the crown's primary witness. Meanwhile, Wanda has a plan of her own to reach her end goal: seduce George's defense lawyer, Archie Leach (John Cleese), and find out any and all of Georges' secrets concerning the heist, including the location of the jewels. Archie may be easy prey for Wanda's seduction, as his wife, Wendy (Maria Aitken), is a self-absorbed woman who pays Archie little attention. Otto may throw a wrench into Wanda's plans if he finds out what she's doing, only feeling that she being solely his lover trumps all else. Written by Huggo

Plot Keywords
Taglines A tale of murder, lust, greed, revenge, and seafood. See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Fish Called Wanda (India, English title)
  • Un poisson nommé Wanda (France)
  • Ein Fisch namens Wanda (Germany)
  • Un peix anomenat Wanda (Spain, Catalan title)
  • Un pez llamado Wanda (Spain)
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  • 108 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $7,500,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend United Kingdom GBP147,607, 16 Oct 1988

Did You Know?

Trivia Sir Michael Palin's father stuttered, so Michael used a lot of his real-life experience when playing Ken Pile, including the fact that Ken's stutter is less pronounced around people he trusts (Georges Thomason and Wanda Gershwitz) and worse around people with whom he is uncomfortable (Otto West). See more »
Goofs When Otto fires his gun on the safe in the hideout the gun makes the sound of a silenced weapon, but his gun is not equipped with a silencer. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in Big Top Pee Wee/Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear/A Fish Called Wanda/Mr. North/Bambi (1988). See more »
Soundtracks Nel blu, dipinto di blu 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 »
Quotes Wanda: [after Otto breaks in on Wanda and Archie in Archie's flat and hangs him out the window] I was dealing with something delicate, Otto. I'm setting up a guy who's incredibly important to us, who's going to tell me where the loot is and if they're going to come and arrest you. And you come loping in like Rambo without a jockstrap and you dangle him out a fifth-floor window. Now, was that smart? Was it shrewd? Was it good tactics? Or was it stupid?
Otto West: Don't call me stupid.
Wanda: Oh, right! To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people! I've known sheep that could outwit you. I've worn dresses with higher IQs. But you think you're an intellectual, don't you, ape?
Otto West: Apes don't read philosophy.
Wanda: Yes they do, Otto. They just don't understand it. Now let me correct you on a couple of things, OK? Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." And the London Underground is not a political movement. Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked them up.
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