A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

From the Monty Python stable, an English caper-comedy with a complex plot involving a gang of hopeless misfits who pull off a successful diamond robbery in London.

afishcalledwanda_009The female member of the gang is an American gun moll named Wanda (Curtis). Her jewel-thief boyfriend Otto (Kline) is ex-CIA and a psychopath.

The duo are assisted by stuttering Cockney crook and animal lover Ken (Palin), and the mastermind of the entire robbery is George (Georgeson).

Wanda (the human one) decides she wants all the diamonds to herself and tips the cops off about George – only to discover she doesn’t know where George stashed the loot.

She sets out to seduce George’s lawyer, an uptight, inhibited clod called Archie Leach (Cleese), in whom George may have confided. Cleese is hysterical as he does a seduction scene in Italian – and even gets a nude scene.

A complex double-crossing caper then ensues, during which Archie falls in love, Otto becomes dangerously jealous, George stays safely out of the way and K-K-K-Ken’s heart is broken when Otto eats his tropical fish – one of which is also called Wanda (hence the title, get it?).

K-K-K-Ken the c-c-c-cockney c-c-c-crook, meanwhile, has hidden the k-k-k-key to the vault where the diamonds are hidden in (the other) Wanda’s fish tank.

Somehow, the oddly-matched cast of A Fish Called Wanda – “A Tale of Murder, Lust, Greed, Revenge and Seafood” – complemented each other beautifully.

TRIVIA
“Archie Leach” is the real name of actor Cary Grant. Cleese chose the name for his character as both actors came from the English town of Weston-super-Mare.

Archie Leach
John Cleese
Wanda

Jamie Lee Curtis
Otto

Kevin Kline
Ken

Michael Palin
Wendy

Maria Aitken
George

Tom Georgeson
Mrs Coady

Patricia Hayes
Judge

Geoffrey Palmer
Portia

Cynthia Caylor

Director
Charles Crichton