Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fish Wanda Poster

I just unexpectedly saw A Fish Called Wanda at The American Cinematheque. I say unexpectedly because I had read the calendar incorrectly and thought I was going to see a German film, which actually plays next Saturday. Anyway, I had seen A Fish Called Wanda when it came out in 1988 and for some reason was not impressed. Twenty-two years later I have to admit my original opinion of the movie was wrong; it is truly a comedy classic. I laughed a lot. The crowd loved it too.

It was showing as part of a retrospective of Jamie Lee Curtis' career. She was in attendance and provided an entertaining interview after the movie. In the interview she talked about how the original ending was scuttled in favor of a happier with a love story element. Apparently, during the testing phase American audiences did not respond as well to the original darker ending in which is was evident that the Jamie Lee Curtis character was going to knock off the John Cleese character once they got to Rio. So various scenes were shot after principle photography to give the film a bit of a love story element.

One other thing she mentioned was that the original film poster was scrapped for a different one. I have included the poster above. This poster was supposed to have been destroyed due to an image flaw. But enough copies got out that it still exists today. If you look closely at it you will see that Jamie Lee Curtis is standing in an awkward way. The reason is because her image is a composite of two different poses she took during the photo shoot; One in which she was standing sideways and one in which she was standing looking straight ahead. You'll note that her upper body is facing us directly but her lower body is to the side. The pose, while not impossible, is off kilter in such a way that Jamie Lee Curtis had the poster redone. A bit of trivia for a fine and very funny movie.

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