A Fish Called Wanda (1988) Review


In London we follow four very different people who plan a heist and originally work together but then constantly double cross one another in an attempt to find out where George moved the diamonds to before he was arrested.


The plot isn’t really too difficult to follow as the four committed a crime then will do anything in order to protect themselves. George Thomason and Ken Pile (an animal lover with a stutter) work together a lot and they bring in Americans Wanda Gershwitz who is a con artist and weapons expert Otto West who are lovers but actually claim to be siblings so Wanda can manipulate them with her charming nature.

Bring in George’s barrister Archie Leach who Wanda attempts to seduce believing that he will actually know where the diamonds have been moved too after she managed to locate the key. Everything is then based around Wanda getting this information but with Otto being extremely jealous the plan really is not going to work out how she wanted it. Make sure you don’t call him stupid!

This is a film that I had been looking forward to catching up with due to the positive buzz around it and that Kevin Kline won his Oscar for best actor in a supporting role. However I am afraid to say that I just did not enjoy the film. I didn’t find anything about it funny in the slightest, I just felt it was all over the place in terms of being a meaningful comedy. Which is a shame really as the cast are very impressive and work well together.

Jamie Leigh Curtis is the more leading role is a joy to watch in a different type of role but that is the only real positive I can have towards the film as a whole. I felt Michael Palin, John Cleese and Kevin Kline were all fine in their respective roles and that it was just a very ok/below average film. One of those where you are actually surprised about the hype, I am pretty sure I had tried to watch this before in the past.

In terms of the comedy it attempts to have many different styles all wrapped within the film with attempted jokes, slapstick moments and one of the worst sex scenes I have suffered through watching in a film. I feel perfectly fine about this though as I always find the comedy genre to be the hardest to get into and believe hype around.

4 thoughts on “A Fish Called Wanda (1988) Review

  1. This was one of my favourites when I watched it when it first came out (#oldgit). But I would be fairly sure that the black humour may well have not aged very gracefully over 30+ years. (But I remember guffawing over Ken’s attempts to kill the old lady while doing damage to nothing but animals!) I will also try to watch it again some time to get another view.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I kinda hate catching up with older loved comedy films because I think they are usually very much of that time. I was only turning 1 in 1988!


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