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A Fish Called Wanda

4.4 out of 5 stars 493 customer reviews


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An American flirts with a crook, a barrister and a mercenary to find diamonds in London. Best supporting Oscar for Kevin Kline.

Amazon.com

Kevin Kline took home an Oscar for his performance as a self-absorbed lothario who prepares for lovemaking by drinking in his own "manly" musk, but it would be hard to single him out as the best thing about the film. The fact is, the entire cast of this hilarious comedy is perfect: John Cleese as the conservative barrister defending a member of sexy Jamie Lee Curtis's gang, Ms. Curtis as the conniving crook out to grab the haul for herself, and Michael Palin as the stuttering, animal-loving hit man whose attempts to murder a little old lady only decrease the size of her poodle pack. Cleese cowrote the zingy script with British comedy veteran Charles Crichton (The Lavender Hill Mob), whose smooth direction balances Monty Python farce, hysterically tasteless gags, and an unexpectedly romantic subplot with style and confidence. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features

  • 8-page booklet featuring trivia, production notesand a revealing look at the making of the movie

Product Details

  • Actors: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin, Cynthia Cleese
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (493 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305161879
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,962 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Fish Called Wanda" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 10, 2002
Format: DVD
Starting with the commonplace idea of a jewel robbery gone maniacally wrong, actor John Cleese and director Charles Crichton manage have created a madcap comedy that remains fresh, even after 10 years. George (Tom Georgeson), assisted by his girlfriend Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis), his best pal Ken (Michael Palin) and Wanda's 'brother' Otto (Kevin Kline) has orchestrated a robbery that has only one fatal flaw - none of the participants have any intention of sharing the loot. In short order, double-crosses seem to grow on trees and George finds himself under arrest. It is only fitting that Wanda and Otto simultaneously discover that the jewels have been moved 'for safekeeping.'
It doesn't take very long for Wanda to figure out that her only hope of regaining the loot is through George's barrister, Archie Leach (John Cleese). Wanda works at seducing Leach while fighting of Otto's psychotic fits of jealousy. Ken, in the meantime, attempts repeatedly to kill the only witness, an elderly woman. Unfortunately, he manages to assassinate all three of her dogs in the process.
This is a set up for the combination of slapstick, vulgarity, and tongue-in-cheek comedy that British films are noted for and Americans love and it is delivered with an almost evil verve. Cleese is determined to take no prisoners, and the landscape is littered with car crashes, fallen masonry, savaged canines (fake savaged canines, please) and hapless victims. Only the fish (also called Wanda) has no funny lines, and fares no better than her companion 'Lunch' does.
The film has an R rating, which I think is exaggerated. In reality, its vulgarity and sexual innuendo are hardly noticeable when compared to what is accepted today.
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Comment 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
NOTE: This review is about the 1998 version of the DVD. Newer releases may be better quality.

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This film is definitely on my top ten list of funniest movies of all time, with "Some Like it Hot," "National Lampoons Christmas Vacation" and the Monty Python masterpieces...

But this DVD is atrocious. The soundtrack is all in the center channel... haven't heard anything worse since I gave up watching a TV with a 3 inch speaker. The theme song is burbled and warbly. There is no separation -- even to the front speakers. The dialog is flat as a flitter.

The picture quality is a hair better than off the air, rabbit ear antennae reception. At times the picture is choppy and halting -- as if you were watching it on a rental video that has been viewed too many times.

The only extra is the film's trailer.

Wait for a re-release before buying!
6 Comments 80 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I love the movie "A Fish Called Wanda". It is one of my all time favorite movies. If you haven't seen it, go rent/buy it - there is no better time to see it, now that it is on DVD!
Therefore, this is a review of the DVD - not the movie. The DVD has a very good presentation of the movie - the best you can watch at home (as mentioned above). However, the sound is lacking - dull mono. Maybe this movie was originally recorded in mono, but I would be surprised.
Next there is the lack of extras - you get the trailer and "cast notes" but virtually nothing else... just a dumb fish screen saver.
I don't mean to be so down on this DVD, it isn't terrible, it is just a disappointment to think of all of the unrealized potential. First of all, there is the sound. Then, there was no behind the scenes featurette, no comentaries, no deleted scenes, nothing. With Kline, Cleese, Palin and Curtis in the cast, there could have been all kinds of killer extras. But there wasn't...
At this point I would give this DVD 3 stars. However, it earns an extra star because MGM bowed to pressure and put it out in Widescreen. They originally planned on P&S only.
So thanks a lot, MGM, but now get busy on a "Collectors Edition".
Jeremy
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Format: DVD
There's nothing more to say about the crazy plot that hasn't been blabbed away before. Important here is that the great Charles Crichton was nominated for Best Director, after 50 years of respectability. Amusing is that, though Kevin Kline won the Oscar, he wasn't nominated by BAFTA (British Academy); they gave it to Palin. Both are great! Jamie Lee Curtis is perfect, and John Cleese used all of his "Monty Python" humor to create an Oscar nominated script (with Crichton).15 years later, this is fresh and fun and worthy of repeated viewings, and watching the British writers let the Americans make fun of them (they all end up looking stupid), you can't help but laugh. Unnoticed my many is the great performance of Maria Aitken (Wendy, Cleese's wife). She a totally committed insensitive beast. She was great. Also ignored, was the lovely score of John du Prez, most original. Give yourself a laugh, and forget the real world. This is fun! Oh, DO shut up, Portia.
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Format: Blu-ray
"A Fish Called Wanda" is a top notch comedy and those who have seen and love this film would agree. This review will focus on the Blu Ray transfer, both video and audio.
For those of you that are not even slightly technically inclined you may wish to skip this review altogether and just know that this version is the best currently available of this film.

"Wanda" is presented on a single BD50 disc w/ decent disc artwork. Why mention it? Well, many of my latest Blu Ray acquisitions while pricey only give me a standard gray paint job similar to a rental disc and I find it refreshing whenever a budget release includes nice touches to the packaging. Unfortunately the box is another one of those 'more air than plastic' Eco cases that I am growing to hate.

The video quality is not as bad as other reviews around the web would lead you to believe. The main problem lies with the print used. It is tired, dull, flat, faded, lifeless and full of small imperfections and print damage. (is THAT all??)
Also, the studio did not see fit to even ATTEMPT a little tinkering to improve the situation. They should have. With that said, my Oppo BDP-93 Blu Ray player has a very nice and handy video processing chip and for a title like this I was able to tweak "Wanda" into looking pretty darn good compared to it's out of the box appearance. I kicked in the contrast enhancement and color enhancement by one notch each, and same goes with the artificial sharpening. Normally I stay away from ALL extra processing on my Blu Ray titles, but in THIS case it has made a huge world of difference.

Now why in the heck couldn't the studio have done this with the existing file before release?
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