Thursday, July 05, 2007

My Favorite Films: A Fish Called Wanda

Again, while I'm on vacation, I've left behind a list of my favorite films to entertain you.

My third favorite film is a comedy, A Fish Called Wanda, released in 1988.

The movie was a huge success and earned Kevin Kline an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of a sexy but idiotic hitman. The movie was #21 on AFI's list of the funniest American films of all time.

The setting is present-day London. The plot concerns a jewel heist and what happens afterward. The gang is completely inept and everything that can possibly go wrong does.

The two British gang members are George (Tom Georgeson) and his right-hand man, Ken (Michael Palin), an animal lover with a bad stutter. They've brought in two Americans, Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Otto (Kevin Kline).

Although Wanda and Otto are lovers, they pretend to be sister and brother because Wanda is trying to seduce George so she and Otto can steal the swag.

John Cleese plays Archie Leach, George's attorney and another target for Wanda's feminine wiles. Otto, who is as stupid as he is vicious, becomes insanely jealous of Archie.

After the heist, Wanda and Otto betray George, who gets sent to jail. He orders Ken to kill the only witness, an elderly woman with three Yorkshire Terriers. Ken has all kinds of trouble following through on those orders. Meanwhile Wanda is trying to seduce Archie into telling her where the loot is.

The excerpt I've chosen is of Ken trying to kill the elderly witness.

By the way, the choirboys are singing, "Miserere dominus, miserere dominus, canis mortuus est," which is Latin for "Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, the dog is dead."


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