I reviewed lots of horror films over the past few weeks but now it’s time for a classic comedy from 1988 starring four outstanding performers. Think John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline and Michael Palin in A Fish Called Wanda. It’s been out on Blu-ray once before but now Arrow Video have stepped in and released a brand new version which has undergone a 4K restoration, so without further ado here’s my A Fish Called Wanda Blu-ray Review.
- A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
- Genre: Comedy
- UK Rating
- Discs: 1
- Released By Arrow Video
- Blu-ray Released: 18 September 2017
Following a successful heist in which a sum of diamonds is stolen the gang go their separate ways until things cool down, however two of the gang have other ideas and decide to make off with the goods and incriminate the gang’s leader George. However when Wanda Gershwitz and Otto West return to open the safe they find the diamonds have been moved and the only one who knows their whereabouts is now behind bars awaiting trial.
Wanda must turn on the charm on George’s barrister Archie Leach in the hope he will reveal the location of the diamonds.
The story is written by John Cleese & Charles Crichton.
Style / Direction
Director Charles Crichton does an excellent job in capturing the comedy moments well and allowing the film to flow at the perfect pace.
The cinematography is handled by Alan Hume.
Music / Audio Effects
The music perfectly fits the comedy and romance the film requires and is provided by John Du Prez.
Acting / Characters
Set around four main characters all with distinctive personalities, I have to say the casting is inspired with all four actors turning in truly outstanding performances. John Cleese in particular is excellent as the awkward English Barrister Archie Leach, who happens to fall for a beautiful young American woman. This is all very cringeworthy but makes for excellent viewing like many of his previous characters such as the brilliant Basil Fawlty.
Fellow Python Michael Palin joins Cleese as Ken Pile, a stuttering animal rights activist whom is given the job of rubbing out a key witness.
Jamie Lee Curtis plays Wanda Gershwitz the sexy American that steals Archie’s heart despite the best efforts of her alleged brother Otto West (Kevin Kline). She plays the role to perfection adding the drive and control whilst also providing plenty of comedy.
Kevin Kline as Otto West is simply brilliant, he poses as Wanda’s brother but is really her lover. He is completely over the top and adds immeasurably to the comedy by popping up at the most inappropriate times.
The four of them work fantastically well together, their on screen chemistry is simply perfect.
Conclusion: A Fish Called Wanda (1988) Film Review
I simply love this film, it nails the comedy with plenty of clever and witty dialogue along with lots of awkward and visual humour from John Cleese. Add to that the brilliantly over the top comedy performances by Kevin Kline and Michael Palin and you have the perfect blend of comedy. It’s all held together by another outstanding performance by Jamie Lee Curtis who is both funny and commanding.
If you like my A Fish Called Wanda blu-ray review you may want to check out these films:
- His Girl Friday (1940)
- The Goose Steps Out (1942)
- The Money Pit (1986)
- Planes Trains And Automobiles (1987)
- Bird on a Wire (1990)
- Going In Style (2017)
Conclusion: A Fish Called Wanda Blu-ray Review
Arrow Video’s version of A Fish Called Wanda has undergone a 4K restoration and it shows. Having already taken a look at the first Blu-ray release of the film which is still available to purchase, the difference is night and day. In short make sure you purchase the Arrow Video version, the picture quality is simply flawless. The image is clean, sharp and clear of any speckles of dirt with colours appearing vibrant, what more could you want.
The original Blu-ray release however is a different story altogether, it is full of speckles and the colour just looks a lot less vibrant.
Full marks to Arrow Video for rescuing this classic comedy from the previous poor Blu-ray release.
Moving on to the extras and Arrow have put together another outstanding set of extras with plenty of interesting information revealed into the making of this classic comedy. With all the main people providing interviews, Jamie Lee Curtis, John Cleese, Michael Palin and Kevin Kline.
- Commentary by writer and star John Cleese
- John Cleese s Final Farewell Performance, a 1988 documentary on the making of A Fish Called Wanda
- Something Fishy, a 15th anniversary retrospective documentary
- On Location, a documentary on the film s locations hosted by Robert Powell
- Brand-new appreciation by Vic Pratt
- Brand-new interview with production designer Roger Murray-Leach
- 26 deleted/alternative scenes with introductions by Cleese
- A Message from John Cleese, a tongue-in-cheek introduction recorded for the film s original release
- Trivia track
- Theatrical trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jacey
On to my movie rating for A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
- Movie Rating: MUST SEE
- Blu-ray Picture: PERFECT
- Extras: EXCELLENT
Amazon UK Links
A Fish Called Wanda (1988) is available now on blu-ray.
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may not be representative of the Blu-ray version
So that’s A Fish Called Wanda blu-ray review, if you have any thoughts on this film you can leave them in the comment section below:
Note: The Amazon links on this page are affiliate / associate links. By buying through the links we may receive a commission for the sale. This has no effect on the price you pay.
Summary: A Fish Called Wanda (1988) Blu-ray Review
Duration: 104 mins
Director(s): Charles Crichton
Actor(s): John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
Four great characters played to perfection make A Fish Called Wanda the perfect comedy that now looks terrific on blu-ray