A Fish Called Wanda

A tale of murder, lust, greed, revenge, and seafood.

This is a work of comic genius and like any good film, the screenplay is at the heart of the laughs. Every character has been given a detailed personality quirk or two, and then been shamefully exploited for laugh after laugh.

American crooks Wanda and her lover Otto (Kevin Kline) along with their British contact George and a stuttering animal-lover, Ken (Michael Palin), have successfully stolen millions of dollars worth of diamonds from a bank in London. Following the robbery, the search is on for the key to a safety deposit box in which the leader of the gang, fearing that he might be double-crossed, has hidden the goodies. Only Ken, complete with speech impediment knows where the key is...

After this point the plot twists and tangles about in a world of double crosses and goldfish eating.

In A Fish Called Wanda even cruelty to animals and putting the frighteners on old ladies is hilarious.

Kevin Kline was never better than in his Oscar-winning portrayal of Otto, the philosophy-quoting psychopath. Michael Palin is brilliant as stammering creature-comforter Ken and Jamie Lee Curtis displays surprising comic talent as triple-crossing seductress Wanda. And then there's Cleese as the superbly pompous defence barrister Archie Leach (which, as an interesting aside, is the real name of one Cary Grant).

A Fish Called Wanda is pure comedy and every scene either provides a laugh or sets one up - it graciously doesn’t waste time trying to be moral or turning into a typical car-chase.

Without question this is the most successful feature film to emerge from the splintered Monty Python group. By bringing together a team of two Hollywood stars, two Pythons, and the director of some of Ealing's finest and most memorable comedies, John Cleese has created one of those marvellous and rare occasions when absolutely everything was just right.

If you see it and don't laugh, check your pulse.

With Help From www.metacritic.com

Rotten Tomatoes Score:



Comedy, Crime


John Cleese


Charles Crichton


John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin, Maria Aitken, Tom Georgeson


John Du Prez


108 minutes






English, Italian, Russian


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