Turner Classic Movies
A Fish Called Wanda DVD
Written by Mariyln Forstot   

afishcalledwanda-poster240.jpgAh, Kevin Kline. His voice can wash over you like a bubble bath. Or he can create an accent that grates like a rusty hinge. His incredible acting skill was recognized with a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for A Fish Called Wanda (1988), one of the few awarded for comedic acting and also starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin.

Jamie Lee Curtis & Kevin Kline
A Fish Called Wanda is peopled with a cast of greedy, selfish, stupid characters. There's Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis), the American con artist. Ken (Michael Palin) is the stuttering, animal loving hit man, and George (Tom Georgeson) leads this inept gang of thieves. Wanda brings her boyfriend Otto (Kline) into the group. Masquerading as Wanda's brother, Otto is a narcissistic buffoon, and he evokes laughter with just his facial expressions.

After the group of criminals steals a fortune in jewels, double and triple crosses lead to mayhem. George is arrested, and in order to find out where he's hidden the loot, Wanda seduces George's straight-laced lawyer, Archie (John Cleese). What happens next is what keeps the audience laughing throughout the ever escalating ridiculous situations and escapades the characters engage in. The "yew" factor is high, but so are the laughs.

Anyone looking for a couple of hours of escape into silliness, will find A Fish Called Wanda worth another look. The film has become a cult classic to generations in the know!

Special Features

The 2-Disc Collector's Edition is loaded with special features.

  • Audio Commentary by Actor/Write John Cleese
  • Deleted and Alternate Scenes; a Trivia Track where pop-ups during the movie offer tidbits about cast members, the film, and British court procedures; and a photo gallery.
  • Something Fishy Documentary: Interviews provide a glimpse into the mind of John Cleese, who along with director Charles Crichton wrote A Fish Called Wanda. Michael Palin briefly explains how Monty Python got its start, and he talks a bit about Crichton who was 77 at the time the movie was made.
  • A Message From John Cleese is a silly piece in which Cleese tells what the film is basically about - Americans, violence, and sex.
  • John Cleese's First Farewell Performance gives a behind the scenes peek at the making of the film. Cleese explains how the material came about and offers a look into the creation process. One of the funniest scenes in the film is when Otto is flattened by a steamroller, and in this documentary, we're shown how the deed was accomplished. Cleese shares his philosophy about how much blood and guts can be put on the screen.
  • Kulture Vulture takes us on location with Robert Powell to the real places where A Fish Called Wanda was shot.

Director: Charles Crichton

Screenplay: John Cleese; story by John Cleese & Charles Crichton

Cast: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin

Rating: MPAA - R for violence, nudity, adult situations, not for children, adult language, sexual situations

Classic Movie Guide Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

DVD Release Date: 11/21/2006

Run Time: 108 minutes

Studio: MGM Home Entertainment

Format: Color/Widescreen

Languages: English, French, Subtitled in French and Spanish, and captioned

Photo credits: MGM Home Entertainment




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