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“A Fish Called Wanda” Was a Miracle

A Fish Called Wanda

Directed by a comedy legend or at least he was a legend of the time Peter Sellers. It is a 1983 espionage comedy film co-written, produced, and directed by Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam, and starring Michael Palin, John Cleese, and Eric Idle. It is an affectionate lampoon of ’60s spy movies enlivened by absurdist touches. Today it’s still as strong as ever for its satire on British secret service idiocy in Nazi Germany.

The film takes place in Nazi-dominated England in 1945. A newly established Allied intelligence agency is trying to stop the Nazis from developing nuclear weapons. The world’s only hope and safety lie in a secret weapon that can neutralize the German atomic bombs which have already been dropped on Britain, France, and Russia.

The group consists of a buffoonish desk jockey, Archie Leach (Michael Palin), who thinks he’s got the answer, but nobody believes him. They need Alan Smithee (Eric Idle)… Well, not quite ‘he’ but rather Alan Swann (John Cleese) who’s all for it anyway despite his terrible British accent and his lack of any experience or knowledge.

Introduction to A Fish Called Wanda

A Fish Called Wanda was a 1988 British comedy film directed and co-written by Charles Crichton and John Cleese. It is an adaptation of the novel of the same title by British writer Roald Dahl. It stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, and Michael Palin, plus Eric Idle in one of his four appearances as Rufus—the leader of a gang responsible for kidnapping Wanda’s sister.


The film is about a British man named Ken who has been tasked with bringing $1 million to the United States from Britain so that he may purchase a racehorse from American mobster Goldfarb (his gambling partner). Along the way, he gets into hijinks with the Italian mob in England and a group of criminals led by Rufus, who kidnaps his fiancée and imprisons him.

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During this period, Ken begins to fall for Wanda and vice versa. After Goldfarb’s men trash Ken’s house while looking for £100,000 they believe has been hidden there (Wanda had earlier told Ken that she hid some money behind a picture on their wall), Wanda takes him to her flat in Chelsea to recover.

Names of the characters in A Fish Called Wanda

Jamie Lee Curtis
John Cleese
Michael Palin
Kevin Kline
Tom Georgeson
Patricia Hayes
Stephen Fry
Sharon Twomey
Roger Brierley
Robert Goodman
Robert McBain
John Bird

The storyline of A Fish Called Wanda

A Fish Called Wanda is a 1988 comedy film directed by Charles Crichton and produced by John Cleese. It stars Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, and Michael Palin as four characters caught up in a complex scheme to steal a famous painting. The film was written by Cleese with the assistance of his then-wife Connie Booth.


In London at the office of British art dealer Sir Clifford Chatterley, Ken (Kevin Kline) is sent on an errand to fetch some cocaine from Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis), who runs an art gallery nearby. Ken also has instructions to obtain a Renoir painting that’s in her bedroom for Sir Clifford’s clients Mr. Wilberforce (Michael Palin) and Mr. Blossom (Judd Hirsch).

Ken takes the cocaine, and meets Wanda at her gallery; she is bringing in a painting of a fish that Sir Clifford has given her as a gift. Ken asks her to let him take the fish painting instead, which Wanda reluctantly agrees to do.

However, she refuses to give him the Renoir painting without getting much more valuable art in return, insisting that they cannot part with the Renoir until they have had time to “investigate” it to decide its worth. Ken takes over at the gallery; he finds out that Wanda has a very attractive friend who is also interested in acquiring it from Sir Clifford.

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A Fish Called Wanda and Die Hard are among the best films of 1988

Before Hollywood takes center stage, we thought it was worth revisiting some of the year’s best films from 1988, ranging from Die Hard to A Fish Called Wanda.


Many great films hit theaters in 1988. One of the best movies was Die Hard, which was released on Christmas Day by 20th Century Fox. It was a smash hit and took the movie world by storm. Bruce Willis starred in the film as New York cop John McClane, who has to save his wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) from Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), a villainous German terrorist who had taken over Nakatomi Plaza, an office building that housed the head office of one Japanese corporation.

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