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Fletch Lives (1989)

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After receiving an inheritance in Louisiana, Los Angeles reporter Irvin Fletcher heads to the Belle Isle plantation where he gets himself into hilarious trouble.

Director:

Michael Ritchie

Writers:

Gregory McDonald (character), Leon Capetanos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chevy Chase ... Irwin 'Fletch' Fletcher
Hal Holbrook ... Hamilton "Ham" Johnson
Julianne Phillips ... Becky Culpepper
R. Lee Ermey ... Jimmy Lee Farnsworth
Richard Libertini ... Frank Walker
Randall 'Tex' Cobb ... Ben Dover
Cleavon Little ... Calculus Entropy
George Wyner ... Marvin Gillet
Patricia Kalember ... Amanda Ray Ross
Geoffrey Lewis ... KKK Leader
Richard Belzer ... Phil
Phil Hartman ... Bly Manager
Titos Vandis ... Uncle Kakakis
Don Hood ... Tom Barbour
Dennis Burkley ... Joe Jack
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Storyline

Ailing Los Angeles newspaper reporter Irvin "Fletch" Fletcher, in debt, inherits from a aunt "Bell Isle", a sprawling 80-acre Louisiana plantation estate, quits his job and moves east expecting to live like a Dixie king. But he failed to inspect the run-down inheritance, leaving him only a shabby mansion with a shifty caretaker instead of reliable staff. Having celebrated anyway with an attractive lawyer in bed, he wakes up finding her mysteriously murdered and himself jailed, soon to be bailed, as prime suspect. Undaunted by a neighborly lawyer's warning to leave town, he waves foxy real estate agent Becky Culpepper's persistent offer well above the apparent value from a third party and starts snooping why with Becky. That proves a dangerous activity for him and almost anybody around, everything pointing to local magnate Hamilton "Ham" Johnson and his 'Confederate' circle of friends; including TV preacher Jimmy Lee Farnsworth and a dodgy chemical plant. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When there's more trouble than one man can handle...there's more than one man for the job.

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery | Crime

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 March 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fletch Saved See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,045,760, 19 March 1989

Gross USA:

$35,150,960

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$39,450,960, 31 December 1989
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene when Fletch hides in the morgue's refrigerator from Ben Dover (Randall "Tex" Cobb), the chalkboard in the background has names for the other corpses in storage. Names include those of Wally Cox, Carol Wayne, Allen Ludden, and Paul Lynde, all of whom made appearances on The Hollywood Squares (1965). Most likely, this was done because of the 3 x 3 grid of the refrigeration units. See more »

Goofs

When Fletch pulls over at Becky's office he uses a parking meter to stop. You can clearly see that the parking meter is already cut to break away easier, and does so when he hits it. See more »

Quotes

Fletch: Becky was a good girl and didn't need to be spanked... dammit.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nikita: Doublecross (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Fletch Lives Theme (Instrumental)
Performed by Harold Faltermeyer
See more »

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User Reviews

 
My fave film when I was a kid

Peggy-Lee Zorba, Nostradamus, The Colonel, Victor Hugo, Billy-Jean King, Claude-Henry Smoot, Peter Lemonjello, Ed Harley, Elmer-Fudd Gantry and Bobby-Lee Schwartz II. Not to mention Fletch himself. Has Chevy Chase ever played so many people in one film? I love Fletch Lives, it is so damn funny and cackles with hilarious dialogue. It's a bloody shame that the critics were beastly, when it first came out. Chevy Chase, once again, nails the role of Fletch and only he can deliver the deadpan sarcasm in a way no other actor can.

Fletch quits his job as an investigative reporter after he inherits a plantation mansion in Louisiana. But he stumbles upon another mystery and does his best to unravel it. Compared to the first the plot may be a little weak but it works fine. The focus seems to have shifted to Fletch's disguises and working set-pieces and gags around them rather than working on layers of mystery. And why the producers commissioned a brand new screenplay instead working from one of Gregory MacDonald's novels is beyond me.

His disguises will, however, make you grin from ear to ear (Claude Henry Smoot steals the show) and they way he comes out with the most ridiculous of things when he's talking to people makes you wonder why they ever believe it. As Peter Lemonjello, Fletch tells a studio camera operator that his house is on fire. The guy believes him! I do wish that they had used more of the Bibleland sets as it seems so much for so little screen time but the presence of R. Lee Ermey as the eccentric TV Evangelist makes up for it.

And to any of you who are puzzled why Mr. Underhill is credited in the cast of characters but not actually in the film, he IS. Look closely at the Zipedee Doo-Dah sequence and you can see him as one of the dancers.

Had the producers treated Fletch like James Bond we might have a new Fletch mystery every two years since 1985 if they followed the order of MacDonald's books (not chronologically, of course, as they're all over the place). It could have turned into Chase's signature roll.

There's been talk of a sequel for years and with various names attached as Chase seems to have been ejected from the role. Though he is the ONLY Fletch in my opinion. At the very least, if a sequel IS made, they cannot dispose of Harold Faltermeyer's brilliant score, which I found to be nothing short of awesome when I was a kid, and little has changed since then.


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