A Fish Called Wanda

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A Fish Called Wanda is a 1988 comedy film about three criminals and a lawyer who team up to commit armed robbery in London, then try to double cross each other for the loot.

Directed by Charles Crichton. Written by John Cleese and Charles Crichton.
A tale of murder, lust, greed, revenge, and seafood.


  • Oh you English are SO superior aren't you? Well, would you like to know where you'd be without US the good old U.S. of A. to protect you? I'll tell you. The smallest fucking province in the Russian Empire, that's where! So DON'T call me stupid, lady. Just THANK me! ...If it wasn't for us, you'd all be speaking German, singing, "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles!"
  • [On finding George has moved the jewels, forestalling his and Wanda's attempted double-cross] Okay...Okay... DISAPPOINTED!!! Son of a bitch! What do you have to do in this life to make people trust you?!?!...People are always takin' advantage of me!
  • You pompous, stuck-up, snot-nosed, English, giant, twerp, scumbag, fuck-face, dickhead, asshole!
  • You English! You think you're so superior, don't you? Well you're the filth of the planet! A bunch of pompous, badly dressed, poverty stricken, sexually repressed football hooligans!
  • [repeated] Don't call me stupid.
  • Oh look, it's K-K-Ken! C-C-Coming to k-k-kill me! How you gonna c-c-catch me, K-K-Ken?


  • [to Otto] To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people. I've known sheep that could outwit you. I've worn dresses with higher IQs!
  • [to Otto] Even if you were my brother, I'd still want to fuck you.
  • [to Otto] I knew you'd come along and fuck it up! I was dealing with something delicate. I'm setting up a guy who's important to us, who'll tell me where the loot is and if you'll be arrested, and you come loping in like Rambo without a jock strap and you dangle him out a fifth-floor window! Now, was that smart? Was it shrewd? Was it good tactics? Or was it stupid?


Otto: You really like animals, don't you, Ken? What's the attraction?
Ken: B-b-b-because you c-c-an trust them, and they don't sh-sh-sh-
Otto: Shit on you?
Ken: ... Shove off all the t-t-t-time.

Wanda: I'm sorry about Otto, Ken. I know he can be insensitive, but he's had a hard life. Dad used to beat him up.
Ken: Good!

Otto: [to Wanda about Archie] When you say "friendly", what are we talking about here? Cordial? Courteous? Supportive? What?
Wanda: I don't know. Let's just see what happens.
Otto: So, "friendly" might include actual, uh, what? Penetration?

Wendy: My father was in the Secret Service, Mr. Manfredjensenjen, and I happen to know perfectly well that you do not keep the general public informed when you are debriefing a KGB defector in a safe house.
Otto: Oh you don't?
Wendy: Not unless you're congenitally insane or irretrievably stupid, no.
Otto: Don't call me stupid.
Wendy: Why on Earth not?

Otto: You pompous, stuck-up, snot-nosed, English, giant, twerp, scumbag, fuck-face, dickhead, asshole.
Archie: How very interesting. You're a true vulgarian, aren't you?
Otto: You're the vulgarian, you fuck!

[Otto dangling Archie out of a window]
Archie: All right, all right, I apologize.
Otto: You're really sorry?
Archie: I'm really really sorry. I apologize unreservedly.
Otto: You take it back?
Archie: I do. I offer a complete and utter retraction. The imputation was totally without basis in fact, and was in no way fair comment, and was motivated purely by malice, and I deeply regret any distress that my comments may have caused you or your family, and I hereby undertake not to repeat any such slander at any time in the future.
Otto: [thinks a moment] Okay.

Archie: You make me feel free!
Wanda: Free?
Archie: Wanda, do you have any idea what it's like being English? Being so correct all the time, being so stifled by this dread of, of doing the wrong thing, of saying to someone, 'Are you married?' and hearing, ' My wife left me this morning,' or saying, uh, ' Do you have children?' and being told they all burned to death on Wednesday. You see, Wanda, we're all terrified of embarrassment. That's why we're so... dead. Most of my friends are dead, you know; we've these piles of corpses to dinner. But you're alive, God bless you, and I want to be, I'm so fed up with all this. I want to make love with you, Wanda. I'm a good lover - at least, used to be, back in the early 14th century. Can we go to bed?
Wanda: [kisses him] ...Yeah.

Wanda: But you think you're an intellectual, don't you, ape?
Otto: [superior smile] Apes don't read philosophy.
Wanda: Yes they do, Otto, they just don't understand it! Now let me correct you on a couple things, okay? Aristotle was not Belgian! The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself!" And the London Underground is not a political movement! Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked 'em up. Now. You have just assaulted the one man who can keep you out of jail and make you rich. So what are you going to do about it, huh? What would... an intellectual do? What would Plato do?
Otto: [mumbles] Apologize.
Wanda: Pardon me?
Otto: [mumbles] Apologize.
Wanda: What?
Otto: Apologize! I'm sorry.
Wanda: No. Not to me. To Archie. And make it good, or we're dead.

Otto: You know your problem? You don't like winners.
Archie: Winners?
Otto: Yeah, winners.
Archie: Winners, like... North Vietnam?
Otto: Shut up! We did not lose Vietnam! It was a tie!
Archie: [Cowboy-like drawl] I'm tellin' you, baby, they kicked your little ass there! Boy, they whooped yer hide real good!
Otto: No they didn't!!
Archie: Oh yes they did!
Otto: Oh no they... SHUT UP! Goodbye Archie.
Archie: Gonna shoot me Otto?
Otto: Er Yes. Yes 'fraid so old chap sorry.

Ken: What's h-happening?
Otto: Well, Ken. I'm going to ask you a series of questions while I eat my chips. First, who was the philosopher who developed the concept of the Superman in Thus Spake Zarathustra?
Ken: (dumbstruck)
Otto: No? That's a chip up the nose, I'm afraid. (sticks his chips up Ken's right nostril) Friedrich Nietzsche! Next. In which book did Nietzsche claim that all almost all higher culture is based on cruelty?
Ken: (opens mouth)
Otto: Are you thinking or in mid-stutter?
Ken: You're m-m-mad.
Otto: (sticks a chip up Ken's other nostril) Beyond Good and Evil! Guess I'll have to ask you an easy one, eh, Ken? OK. Um... Let me think, let me think. Um... Where are the diamonds? I'll give you a clue. Somewhere around the airport.
Ken: I'm n-n-n...
Otto: No hassle. There's plenty of time. I'll just sit here and eat my chips till you tell me. The English contribution to world cuisine: the chip. What do the English usually eat with chips to make them more interesting? Wait a moment! It's fish. Isn't it? [Dipping into the fish tank with a net] Oh! Here, boy. Down the hatch. [Eats the fish] Delicious!
Ken: You b-b-b...
Otto: Better eat the green one? OK. What's this one's name? Well, not Wanda, anyway. I'm going to call her Lunch. Hello, Lunch. Hello! [Eats the fish] Ew! Avoid the green ones - not ripe yet.

[In court]
Archie: Ms Gershwitz, do you remember where you were on the evening of the 7th?
Wanda: Yes, I was at the apartment.
Archie: And were you alone or was someone else there?
Wanda: No someone else was there.
Archie: And who was that?
Wanda: My brother.
Archie: Your brother, good and [stumbling] your brother? Are you sure it was your brother?
Judge: Mr. Leach I'm sure Ms. Gershwitz can recognize her own brother, after all she's had a relationship with him her whole life.
Archie: Yes, sorry your honour. Well, was anybody else there with you?
Wanda: Yes George was there. [adds] But he left about five to seven.
Archie: Wanda! [remembering himself] I wonder, how could you be sure it was five to seven?
Wanda: Because I looked at the clock. I remember looking at the clock and thinking, where could George be going with that sawn off shotgun?
Archie: Darling!
Judge: Mr. Leach, "Darling"?
Archie: Yes, dear?

Wanda: Otto, what are you doing?
Archie: It's a Buddhist meditation technique. Focuses your aggression. The monks used to do it before going into battle.
Wanda: What kind of Buddhism is this, Otto?
Wanda: What are you thinking, Archie?
Archie: I'm just trying to think of one good reason why I should take you to South America with me.
Wanda: How about... because I have the key to the safety deposit box?
Archie: (after a pause) That's a...
Archie/Wanda: Good reason! (laugh)


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