Friday, March 29, 2013

Favorite Scene Friday! A Fish Called Wanda: Harvey Manfredjinsinjin

Before I say anything else, let me get this out in the open: I. Love. This. Movie. It’s probably my favorite comedy of all time. This is just one scene of many that will bust your gut (and possibly kill you).


Now then. This scene is absolutely bonkers and you really need a little backstory to get it. Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Otto (Kevin Kline) are part of a team of thieves. George, one of their accomplices, has been arrested after stealing and hiding some diamonds, and he’s being defended by John Cleese’s character, Archie Leach (Cary Grant's real name!). Wanda is trying to seduce Archie to find out where the diamonds are (theorizing that George may have told him).

Otto drops by Archie's house to make sure Wanda doesn’t “touch his dick”. Archie’s wife and daughter have supposedly gone to see the opera but have returned while Archie was out getting some champagne. You have to keep in mind that Archie has no idea that his wife is home, let alone sitting in the room in which he left Wanda moments earlier. His gobsmacked reaction when he realizes it’s her is outrageous.

If Archie was confused when he returned to find his wife in place of Wanda, he’s completely dumbstruck when Otto - whom he's never met - enters the picture as “Harvey Manfredjinsinjin”. I love everything about Kevin Kline in this scene. From his outfit to his mustache to his improvised fake name (which Archie's wife repeats perfectly). There’s a reason he won an Academy Award for the role.

Let’s talk about John Cleese. His crazy reactions to everything lends the appropriate sense of mania to the scene. The confused expression on his face when Otto and his wife are talking is priceless. I'd pit Cleese's performance in this movie against any of his other roles - he's that funny here.

Rounding out the scene is Jamie Lee Curtis. She's sexy as usual and quite funny. Note how she struggles to get back off the couch after Otto pushes her down at the beginning of the scene.

Does anyone else love this movie? I feel like it isn't talked about as much as it should be. Anyway, thanks for tuning in! Enjoy the scene, drop us a comment (any other favorite scenes from Wanda?), and have a great weekend.


  1. Yep, I LOVE this movie and I LOVE this scene. Kline was cast perfectly in this flick, and I agree that this scene (and a handful of others) merit his Oscar win. Hilarious stuff.

    "...It's a smoke screen..."

    1. THANK YOU for the Wanda love! I was getting worried that this movie had fallen out of the collective consciousness. Kline is just fantastic in this movie. I love the way he says that line - it's like he's just throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. Thanks for reading!

  2. Kline was never better. "Don't call me stupid",“Harvey Manfredjinsinjin”, "Disappointed!" That movie is so quotable, love it.

    The sequel "Fierce Creatures" always gets a lot of hate. It isn't as memorable, but I thought it was pretty good actually.

    1. Chris - Fierce Creatures definitely pales in comparison to Wanda but it has some good parts. I love that they all got back together again. I wonder if they'll ever reunite a second time. I just realized that the film is 25 years old this year - now would be a good time! Thanks for reading!