- The Fisher King (film)
name = The Fisher King
caption = "The Fisher King" poster
Jeff Bridges Robin Williams Mercedes Ruehl Amanda Plummer Michael Jeter Tom Waits
Debra Hill Lynda Obst
Tony Mark (associate)
September 20 1991(U.S.)
runtime = 137 min.
language = English
imdb_id = 0101889
amg_id = 1:77235
budget = $24,000,000 US (est.)
"The Fisher King" is a
comedy-drama filmmade in 1991, written by Richard LaGraveneseand directed by Terry Gilliam. It starred Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Mercedes Ruehl, Amanda Plummerand Michael Jeter. The film is about a radio shock-jockwho tries to find redemption by helping a homelessman whose life he inadvertently shattered. Peter Travers, of " Rolling Stone" magazine, wrote that the film "sweeps you up on waves of humor, heartbreak and ravishing romance."Fact|date=January 2008 Other reviewers commented on its "industrial-strength whimsy."Fact|date=January 2008
"A Modern Day Tale About The Search For Love, Sanity, Ethel Merman And The Holy Grail."
Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges), a cynical, arrogant
shock jock talk radiohost, becomes suicidally despondent after his on-air comments inadvertently prompt a psychotic caller to commit multiple murders at a popular bar. Three years later, while heavily intoxicated and depressed, he attempts to commit suicide. Before he can do so, he is mistaken for a homeless person and is attacked and almost set on fire by ruffians. He is rescued by Parry (Robin Williams), a deluded homeless man who is on a mission to find the Holy Grail, and tries to convince Lucas to help him. Lucas is initially reluctant, but comes to feel responsible for Parry when he learns that the man's condition is a result of witnessing his wife's horrific murder at the hands of Lucas's psychotic caller.
The title refers to the legend of the
Fisher King, a form of which Parry recounts to Lucas. The legend varies, but all iterations possess three elements: the Fisher King was charged by God with guarding the Holy Grail, but later incurred some form of incapacitating physical punishment for his sin of pride, and had to wait for someone to deliver him from his suffering.Fact|date=January 2008 This was usually Percival, who was also referred to in the movie as "The Fool", with the closing exchange, "How is it that "you" found what my brightest and bravest could not?" The Fool laughed and said "I don't know. I only knew that you were thirsty." Echoes of the legend recur throughout the film, but in a continually shifting manner, so that it sometimes appears that Lucas is Percival to Parry's Fisher King, sometimes vice versa, and sometimes that one or the other is re-enacting part of the story with another character (most obviously in Parry's self-assigned quest to obtain the Grail from the man he believes is its guardian).
A central theme of the film, playing on the grail motif, is grace and forgiveness. Jack's signature line in his potential sitcom is "forgive me," which he is constantly repeating but can't get right. Parry is seeking the Holy Grail, which held the wine of
the Last Supperand, at the crucifixion, its theological equivalent, the blood of Christ - the very source of grace and forgiveness. The Red Knight figment that Parry sees around New York seems to himself. When Parsival introduces himself to King Arthur's court, Arthur names Parsival the new Red Knight.
According to Gilliam's episode of "The Directors" (which is available on the 2-Disc DVD for Gilliam's film "
Time Bandits"), he wanted to do the film because he was tired of doing big budget special effects films, such as his previous film " The Adventures of Baron Munchausen", which went over budget and cost over $45 million, nearly twice as much as "King"'s budget of $24 million.Fact|date=January 2008 This was the first film Terry Gilliamdirected in which he was not involved in writing the screenplay, as well as Gilliam's first film not to feature any other members of Monty Python. However, it is Gilliam's second film involving the Holy Grail, the first being " Monty Python and the Holy Grail".
Also, according to the "Directors" episode, Gilliam came up with the scene where Robin Williams and Amanda Plummer meet during a huge waltz in the middle of
Grand Central Station, because he felt the scene LaGravenese had written (which had a large group of people in a crowded subway listen to a homeless black woman sing with a beautiful voice) wasn't working. He was at first hesitant about this because his original intentions were to just shoot the script and that the waltz would make it "a Terry Gilliam film."Fact|date=January 2008 The scene was shot in one night with some professional extras and others just passengers getting off the train.
The film cost $24 million to make. Box Office revenue was approximately $42 million. [ [http://allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:77235 All Movie.com.] ]
Mercedes Ruehl won the
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actressfor her role, and Robin Williamswas nominated for Best Actor. Other awards were Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (P. Michael Johnston), Best Music, Original Score ( George Fenton) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Richard LaGravenese).
Mercedes Ruehl also won the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Award for Best Supporting Actress, the American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, the
Boston Society of Film Critics Awardfor Best Supporting Actress, the Los Angeles Film Critics AssociationAward for Best Supporting Actress and a Golden Globefor Best Supporting Actress.
Robin Williams won a Golden Globe for 'Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture in a Comedy/Musical'.
Terry Gilliam won the
People's Choice Awardfrom the Toronto International Film Festivaland the Silver Lion in the Venice Film Festival(the latter tied with Zhang Yimouand Philippe Garrel).
Jane Jenkings and Janet Hirshenson won an Artios Award from the
Casting Society of Americafor 'Best Casting in a Feature Film (Comedy).'
List of films based on Arthurian legend
* [http://members.shaw.ca/gilliamsgrail Gilliam's Grail: dedicated to "The Fisher King" film]
*imdb title|id=0101889|title=The Fisher King
* [http://members.aol.com/morgands1/closeup/text/lafisher.htm On Location with 'The Fisher King']
* [http://www.smart.co.uk/dreams/fkprod1.htm Dreams: "The Fisher King"]
Box Office Leaders USA
before = ""
date = September 29
date2 = October 13
year = 1991
after = "
Other People's Money"
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