The Fisher King

September 20th, 1991


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Still of Terry Gilliam in The Fisher KingStill of Jeff Bridges and Terry Gilliam in The Fisher KingStill of Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges and Terry Gilliam in The Fisher King

A former radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake.

Release Year: 1991

Rating: 7.5/10 (34,366 voted)

Critic's Score: 61/100

Director: Terry Gilliam

Stars: Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Adam Bryant

A madman carries out a massacre in a popular New York bar, after hearing the popular DJ Jack Lucas rail against Yuppies. Dejected by remorse, the DJ strikes up a friendship with Perry, former professor who became unhinged and then homeless after witnessing his wife's violent death in the bar shooting. Jack seeks redemption by helping Perry in his quest to recover what he believes is The Holy Grail, from the private Library of a New York Socialite and to win the heart of Lydia, the girl Perry has fallen in love with.

Jeff Bridges - Jack
Adam Bryant - Radio Engineer
Paul Lombardi - Radio Engineer
David Hyde Pierce - Lou Rosen (as David Pierce)
Ted Ross - Limo Bum
Lara Harris - Sondra
Warren Olney - TV Anchorman
Frazer Smith - News Reporter
Mercedes Ruehl - Anne
Kathy Najimy - Crazed Video Customer
Harry Shearer - Sitcom Actor Ben Starr
Melinda Culea - Sitcom Wife
James Remini - Bum at Hotel
Mark Bowden - Doorman
John Ottavino - Father at Hotel

Taglines: A good, old-fashioned story of guilt, poverty, love, madness and free video club membership. (vv)

Release Date: 20 September 1991

Filming Locations: 101 Park Avenue, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $24,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $311,662 (USA) (22 September 1991) (10 Screens)

Gross: $41,895,491 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The first film directed by Terry Gilliam to not feature any other members of Monty Python.

Revealing mistakes: After the double date dinner at the Chinese restaurant Anne unlocks the door to the apartment and puts her keys in her purse. The next scene she is hugging Jack and you can clearly see the keys still in her hand.

Parry: Come back, we'll rummage.

User Review

This movie should be on everyone's "must-see" list

Rating: 10/10

A touching yet humorous tale, THE FISHER KING brings together amongst the best performances given by Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges, as well as Terry Gilliam's finest directorial effort. Solid supporting performances by Amanda Plummer and Mercedes Ruehl round out a great film that ranks among my personal favorites.

Bridges portrays an arrogant radio shock-jock, who's big mouth and flippant comments send a disturbed listener on a murderous rampage, thus ending his career. Enter Ruehl as his new enabler girlfriend, waiting patiently for him to drag himself up from the dregs, hoping to catch a ride to the top. Just when Bridges seems to have hit rock bottom, he encounters Williams, a crazed vagrant who thinks he is a knight in shining armor.

What ensues is a tale of remorse, redemption and rebirth which is made all the more magical by Gilliam's magnificent vision. Most notable is a scene which takes place in Grand Central Station where the hustle and bustle of the busy commuters dissolves into a spectacular waltz as Williams follows Plummer, the woman of his dreams. Gilliam's style makes Williams delusions come alive as the character makes the slow journey from trauma-induced insanity to stark, yet hopeful, reality.

Every character in this film undergoes a metamorphosis, each learning from the others along the transformation. It is a beautiful film to watch, and an achievement to all involved that subject matter of such depth can come across with such humor and with such beauty.