A Fish Called Wanda (1988) (Blu-ray Review)

A Fish Called Wanda (1988) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Charles Crichton
Starring: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline
Rated: R/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Arrow Video

In 1988, John Cleese, former Python and the mastermind behind Fawlty Towers, teamed up with the veteran Ealing Comedy director Charles Crichton (The Lavender Hill Mob) to produce another classic of British comedy. Cleese plays Archie Leach, a weak-willed barrister who finds himself embroiled with a quartet of ill-matched jewel thieves two American con artists played by Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline, Michael Palin s animal-loving hitman and London gangster Tom Georgeson when Georgeson is arrested. Only he and Palin know the whereabouts of the diamonds, prompting plenty of farce and in-fighting as well as some embarrassing nudity and the unfortunate demise of some innocent pooches…

From Arrow Video we have a crime comedy starring Jamie Lee Curtis and made from Monty Python alumni. Now, you’d think that would be right up my alley and I fully expected it to be, but the movie just didn’t do much for me overall. Now, I admit I am a fan of most Month Python stuff and I do indeed dig the cast here, but this crime caper about a fish was a little over my head at times. I’d blame the British humor, but I often have no problem getting a chuckle out of it. The movie is about a whole cast of cutthroats in general. Everyone is a bad person and they are all out to steal, kill, or do whatever they feel they need to do in order to come out on top at the end of the film. I admit it is a very well made film and the plot has clever spots, but it just didn’t click with me and I often found myself a little bit less interested in what was going on than I was at the start.

Still, Arrow brings this movie out with a 4K scan and I’d be a liar if I tried to say I wasn’t impressed with how it looks. It has a whole list of extras and even comes with one of those cool slipcases they like to toss on only the most special of titles. That being said, I apparently missed the boat on what makes A Fish Called Wands THAT special. I’m sure there will be a whole host of people reading this that beg to differ, but I just don’t think it was my type of movie at the end of the day. If it is, however, your type of movie then you will be very happy to own this Blu-ray from Arrow Video. If you are a fan of Jamie Lee Curtis, this movie also gives you a whole lot of her playing a shady character and you have that going for it as well.


– Brand-new 4K restoration from the original negative, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
– Original English mono audio (uncompressed LPCM)
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
– Commentary by writer and star John Cleese
– Brand-new appreciation by Vic Pratt of the BFI National Archive
– Brand-new interviews with composer John Du Prez, production designer Roger Murray-Leach, executive producer Steve Abbott and makeup supervisor Paul Engelen
– John Cleese’s Final Farewell Performance, a 1988 documentary on the making of A Fish Called Wanda featuring interviews with actors Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Palin, Kevin Kline and director Charles Crichton
– Something Fishy, a 15th anniversary retrospective documentary featuring interviews with Cleese, Curtis, Kline and Palin, executive producer Steve Abbott and director of photography Alan Hume
– Fish You Were Here, a documentary on the films locations hosted by Robert Powell
– 24 deleted/alternative scenes with introductions by Cleese
– A Message from John Cleese, a tongue-in-cheek introduction recorded for the film’s original release
– Gallery
– Trivia track
– Theatrical trailer
– FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Booklet featuring writing on the film by Sophie Monks Kaufman

Quality of Transfer: 97%