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A Fish Called Wanda

From Academic Kids

A Fish Called Wanda is a movie released in 1988 by MGM. It was written by John Cleese and directed by Charles Crichton.

The film is a comedy about a jewel theft, planned by George Thomason (played by Tom Georgeson), and its aftermath. George's right-hand man is Ken Pile (Michael Palin), an animal lover with a bad stutter. They bring in two Americans, sexy con artist Wanda Gershwitz (Jamie Lee Curtis) and dim-witted hitman Otto West (Kevin Kline), who are lovers pretending to be siblings so Wanda can work her charms on George and Ken.

After the robbery, Wanda and Otto betray George to the police. They then find out that George has hidden the loot and won't reveal its location. Wanda decides the best way to get the information is by seducing George's lawyer, Archibald Leach (Cleese). (Archibald Leach is the birth name of Cary Grant). Otto, in the meantime, decides the best way is to get Ken to talk, first by pretending to be in love with him, and later by tying him up and threatening to eat his goldfish (one of which is named Wanda).

Ken is charged by George to silence the key witness, an old lady who owns three tiny Yorkshire terriers. In his attempts to assassinate her, Ken accidentally kills the Yorkies instead, to his great dismay. Following the death of her last little dog, the woman dies of a heart attack.

After much betrayal and backstabbing, everybody races to the airport in an attempt to get away with the money. Ken gets his revenge on Otto, and Wanda and Archibald have fallen in love and fly off into the sunset. George is left in jail.

The movie was a major critical and commercial success when it was released and has remained a popular favorite since. Kline won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work. The principal cast reunited in 1997 for Fierce Creatures, playing different roles and meeting less success.

In 2004 the magazine Total Film named A Fish Called Wanda the 41st greatest British film of all time.

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