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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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When the man Fletch is about to interview turns up dead, Fletch takes it upon himself to figure out who killed him.

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

During the opening scene, as the camera is zooming in on the men sitting at the table, Richard Belzer is facing the camera, and its movement causes him to look directly at it. He then immediately looks away, realizing his mistake. He also does it again very briefly as the camera is about to pass by his shoulder, again looking away almost immediately. See more »

Quotes

Fletch: All I needed now was a computer. And a ten year old kid to teach me how to use it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Fletch Suite (Instrumental)
Performed by Harold Faltermeyer
See more »

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User Reviews

 
They should have adapted another one of the books...
6 January 2012 | by dave13-1See all my reviews

This movie for me epitomizes the arrogance of Hollywood. The first Fletch movie was a hit, thanks in large part to the fact that it was a fairly faithful adaptation of the first book in the Fletch series by Gregory MacDonald. The book was a tightly woven, well-plotted mystery in which a smart character solved the crime by buffaloing less clued-in types. However, when time came to make a sequel, the studio decided that none of the other dozen or so Fletch novels would be suitable and Instead put together a generic comedy mystery with a plot right out of Scooby-Doo. This is dumbed down generic 80s action junk of the worst sort, partially saved by Chevy Chase's deadpan use of the trademark Fletch trick of disguising himself and impersonating people to get information. To be fair, Chase and the writers manage a few genuine laughs with this, so the gimmick still works, but it's in service of much inferior story, and this simply shouldn't be. A hit book series produces an original hit movie, so why mess with something that works? Simply put, Hollywood studios are staffed by people who think they know better but don't. A comedy-mystery, like any other hybrid, has to work effectively in both genres to be a success and the mystery plot line is just too weak to carry the film.

This movie for me was a special disappointment, as the Fletch series ended here, when Chase could easily have made a career out of starring as Fletch in adaptations of several books before Chase-as- Fletch wore out his welcome. It was a great fit of an actor to a role and should have gone on much longer.


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