A fish called wanda

A  fish called wanda
A fish called wanda

Movie Details

A fish called wanda
Director-Charles Crichton
Cast-John Cleese,Jamie Lee Curtis,Kevin Kline
Movie type- Comedy/Drama
Producer-Michael Shamberg
Release date- 15 th September 1988
IMDB Rating-7.5
Languages-French English.,Spanish
Duration-1 Hour 49 Minutes



“A Fish Called Wanda” was born in the mind of John Cleese in the early 1980s. He came up with a scene in which a person who stutters must quickly convey important information. He shared his idea with Charles Crichton, who later directed the film, and he added a sequence of the villain being crushed by a road roller. As a result of subsequent brainstorming sessions, lasting a total of five years, the gentlemen wrote a script for a comedy about a jeweler’s robbery and its unforeseen consequences. The whole thing was directed by Crichton, despite the producers’ fears that he would not be up to the task due to his advanced age. He was assisted by Cleese in some scenes.

Nowadays, a film like “A Fish Called Wanda” could not be made. At least not in the broadly understood mainstream and not without problems. Almost everything appeared on the screen, which was characteristic of Monty Python’s work, which included two cast members – the previously mentioned Cleese and Michael Palin. So we have scenes mocking stuttering and homosexual people, and the English are criticized for their stiffness and pomposity. The blade of satire is also aimed at Americans, symbolized here by the not very volatile Otto (the great Kevin Kline), naive men in midlife crisis, women “looking for money”, haughty English housewives and self-important retirees in love with small dogs. Negative human traits such as greed, vanity and stupidity are shown in a distorting mirror. It’s scary to think who might feel offended if the film was released in today’s politically correct times.

Despite all this, the whole thing is genuinely funny. The script contains elements of a comedy of errors, a romantic comedy, a heist movie and a crime story, and despite simplifications where necessary, it holds together, and the entire main cast “feels” their roles very well. Jamie Lee Curtis (whom Cleese decided to hire after seeing her in “An Unexpected Trading of Places” by John Landis) is seductive and at the same time not devoid of romantic character traits, Cleese’s hero is struggling in an unsuccessful, tiring marriage, suppressed by his bored wife and capricious daughter ( played by the actor’s real child) and tempted by Wanda, who, at least at first, just wanted to get information from him. However, the show is stolen by Kevin Kline in the role of a hot-tempered and completely inept criminal who tries to read the classics of philosophy, but does not understand anything of them (no, Aristotle was not Belgian). The audience liked the character of Otto so much that the creators decided to change the fate planned for him. And Kline himself was honored with an Oscar for a supporting role. Stuttering Michael Palin, in love with his fish, only completes the picture of a joyful collection of individuals.

Apparently, one of the viewers laughed so much during the interrogation scene (the one with the fries) that he had a heart attack, which clearly brings to mind the Monty Python skit about the funniest prank in the world. And although I don’t think anyone else would be in danger by watching “A Fish Called Wanda,” it’s definitely worth the risk and giving this English comedy a chance. It guarantees great fun, and is also a trip to simpler times, when creators didn’t have to be so careful with their words, and viewers approached pop culture products more casually, simply expecting entertainment (if possible, at a high level), instead of look for a hidden message in every scene or dialogue. John Cleese still considers “The Fish…” to be the best film in which he appeared.

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