A Fish Called Wanda. Image shows from L to R: Otto West (Kevin Kline), Wanda Gershwitz (Jamie Lee Curtis), Archie Leach (John Cleese), Ken Pile (Michael Palin).

A Fish Called Wanda

1988 British comedy film. Stars John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline and Michael Palin.

Press Clippings

Is A Fish Called Wanda still funny?

A restored version of the 1988 heist farce screens at the Berlin Film Festival later this month, and what works has as much to do with the craft of John Cleese and director Charles Crichton as the squashed lapdogs and swallowed fish, says Geoffrey Macnab.

Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent, 7th February 2020

Never a dull moment in Charles Crichton's lovely Ealing-esque comedy. A gallery of rogues includes barrister Archie (ohn Cleese) - who falls for gangster's moll Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis) - stooge Michael Palin and, most of all, Kevin Kline as Wanda's psychotic boyfriend, Otto: he wants his jewels back, and he'll eat goldfish to get them.

Paul Howlett, The Guardian, 12th August 2016

Modern British farce - anything post-Carry On - is tricky to pull off: witness the dire remake of Run For Your Wife, released in cinemas last month, which quite rightly took less than £700 on its opening weekend. But John Cleese's 1988 heist comedy caper is a multi-award-winning classic. Cleese stars as married uptight barrister Archie Leach (the sort of part Colin Firth would play today) who falls for a sexy jewel thief called Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis). However, it's Kevin Kline's Oscar-winning turn as Wanda's psychotic, armpit-sniffing, Neitzsche-reading 'brother', Otto, who steals the film while Michael Palin puts in adorable comedy support as an animal-loving stutterer called Ken. Simply Wandaful.

Carol Carter and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro, 4th March 2013

Nobody does manic, despairing farce quite like John Cleese, who co-wrote and co-stars in this, his biggest film hit. He plays Archie Leach, a stuffy lawyer who is seduced by the minxy Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis) - not realising that she's a bank robber and con artist who's using him for her own wicked ends. Michael Palin co-stars.

Michael Deacon, The Telegraph, 5th February 2010