A Fish Called Wanda


(out of 5)

Americans  and  participate in a London jewel robbery with two other people, then stiff their companions in an attempt to run off with the loot.  After they’ve turned in their main accomplice (), they discover that he moved the jewelry they stole before he was picked up by the police and is the only one who knows where it is. The fourth member of their team, an animal lover with a problematic stammer ( in a hilarious performance) isn’t able to give the couple the information they need, so Curtis decides to go straight to the source. She makes friends with Georgeson’s barrister (, who also wrote the screenplay) and seduces him, all the while trying to keep mentally unstable Kline’s jealousy from ruining her every attempt to achieve her goals. Upon its release this film was highly celebrated as a pinnacle of comedy achievement, with much praise for Kline’s capricious, heavily-improvised performance, the script and the direction by Charles Crichton, here making his first feature in years after decades working on television. It has staled a bit in the years since, however, with Kline coming off a bit too mannered, while the rest is fun and easy to watch but hardly extraordinary. Curtis comes off the most enjoyable, with Cleese doing wonderful work (and enjoying some sexy chemistry with the lady), while  steals every scene she’s in as Cleese’s priggish, painfully British wife.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Prominent Features, Star Partners Limited Partnership

USA/United Kingdom, 1988

Directed by

Story by , Charles Crichton, Screenplay by John Cleese

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 1988

Golden Globe Awards 1988


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