In London, four very different people team up to commit armed robbery, then try to doublecross each other for the loot.
Release Year: 1988
Rating: 7.7/10 (62,852 voted)
Critic's Score: 80/100
Stars: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline
Sexy American diamonds lover Wanda and her boyfriend Otto are in England to plot alongside George and Ken the robbery of a diamond collection. Wanda and Otto want the stolen diamonds for themselves, and inform the police about George not knowing that he has already moved the diamonds to another secret place. Wanda thinks the best way to find out is by getting close to George's lawyer – Archie Leach.
Writers: John Cleese, Charles Crichton
Jamie Lee Curtis
(as Cynthia Caylor)
Customer in Jeweler's Shop
Manager of Jeweler's Shop
A tale of murder, lust, greed, revenge, and seafood.
Release Date: 15 July 1988
Filming Locations: Bermondsey, London, England, UK
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $115,418
(17 July 1988)
Did You Know?
The poem Archie Leach recites in Russian for Wanda Gershwitz is Molitva (1839) by Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841).
Errors in geography:
The garage with the safe is in an archway under a very wide railway viaduct. But dialogue between Wanda and Ken places it in Fulham, which has no such viaduct.
[Ken drives at Otto with a steamroller. Otto laughs, until he realizes his feet are trapped in cement, and his gun is empty]
Ken! Ken! Wait, wait, Ken! Kenny! I… may I call you Kenny?
I got the deal of a lifetime! Fifty-fifty, you and me, what do you say! Okay, okay, okay, sixty-forty! That's my final offer!
Wait, I got an idea! You take it all! Yeah, here's my boarding pass, Ken!
I'm gonna, I'm gonna k-ka, kill you!
Okay, fine, Ken! Come at me, give me your best shot! Go on, Ken! You don't have the guts, admit it!
[the steamroller bears down on him]
Okay, you have the guts, good… wait!
One of the best (and most underrated) comedies of all time
Before I review this film, I want to mention that I've seen it about
ten times and have yet to stop laughing at any of the jokes. This is
one of the best written and acted comedies that I've ever seen. The
plot is airtight, and the jokes are perfectly timed and delivered. This
is due in large part to the spectacular cast of the film. Jamie Lee
Curtis, Johh Cleese, Michael Palin, and my personal favorite Kevin
Kline as Otto the moronic ex-CIA agent who's too stupid to realize that
he's stupid. The film centers around the four aforementioned actors who
are involved in a bank robbery, and the conniving and backstabbing by
each that takes place afterwards. A large portion of the comedic
material in this film comes from the mixture, or more precisely clash,
of British and American cultures. Kevin Kline's portrayal of Otto the
red-blooded American with entirely too much ego and confidence is
contrasted perfectly by John Cleese's reserved and in Otto's words
"sexually repressed" English gentleman who is too scared to go out and
live his life. Jamie Lee Curtis is also great as the title character
who is determined to back-stab and cross anyone and everyone in order
to get what she wants. Finally, there's Michael Palin as Ken the
hit-man/animal lover/severe stutterer who must kill a key witness in
order to protect his boss. If there are any funnier scenes than the
ones where Ken must kill this witness, I haven't seen them. Palin is
absolutely brilliant, easily one of the best comedic performances ever.
The film is close to 2 hours long, but the plot is so clever and well
structured that it's over before you know it. To me, that is one of the
trademarks of a great film. You don't want this movie to end, and
you're disappointed when it does. Do yourself a favor and watch A Fish
Called Wanda and you will wonder why you haven't seen (or in many cases
even heard of) this film before.