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General Information

Poster for The Fisher King
  • Directed by

    Terry Gilliam

  • Screenplay by

    Richard LaGravenese

  • Music Composed by

    George Fenton

  • Theatrical Release Date

    September 20, 1991 (limited)

    September 27, 1991 (wide)

  • DVD Release Date

    February 16, 1999

  • Blu-ray Release Date

    November 8, 2011 (order)

  • Criterion Release Date

    June 23, 2015

  • Production Company

    Columbia Pictures Corp.

  • Distribution Company

    TriStar Pictures

Main Cast

  • Robin Williams

    Parry / Henry Sagan

  • Jeff Bridges

    Jack Lucas

  • Amanda Plummer

    Lydia Sinclair

  • Mercedes Ruehl


  • Michael Jeter

    Homeless cabaret singer


Jack Lucas, a talk show DJ, inadvertently convinces a psychotic to blow away restaurant patrons and himself when the psycho calls in for advice. After 3 years of wallowing in his remorse, Jack is attacked and almost set on fire, but a crazy street person rescues him. Jack finds out the transient is on a mission to find the Holy Grail, and tries to repay his kindness with money, but the transient has more hands-on assistance in mind, and tries to convince Jack to help him find the Holy Grail.


Richard LaGravenese about Robin

Robin's genius fit Parry's insanity like a glove. His ability to go off on a thousand creative tangents infused Parry with an electrically charged sense of awe, as if he had a nonstop fireworks display going on inside his head. And when he stops to take off the fool's mask, it breaks your heart. He also inspired the filming itself. I remember one night in particular, filming the Chinese restaurant scene. It was about five in the morning, and we'd been there since seven the night before. Everyone's energy was drained. Suddenly Robin did twenty minutes of nonstop impersonations and comedy. I remember one of the grips turning to me with tears in his eyes, he was laughing so hard. Everyone was rejuvenated and juiced. Then Terry turned to me and said: "Thank God for him."


  • Parry

    Hold, varlet...or feel the sting of my shaft! In the name of Blanche de Fleur, unhand that errant Knight! Do you speak English?! Let the bum go, dipshit!
    Mendacity. Why are two attractive city squirrels like you abusing a knight like this?

  • City squire

    You a faggot too?

  • Parry

    Faggot? No, but I do believe in fairies. Oh, not without dinner.

  • City squire

    Are you fucking nuts?

  • Parry

    Voila! Let's show him what he's won. I advise you to let us go.

  • City squire

    You advise us, huh?

  • Parry

    Yes. You're outnumbered, son. You see?

  • Parry

    Oh, look, it's show time. You know, boys... there's three things in this world that you need. Respect for all kinds of life, a nice bowel movement on a regular basis and a navy blazer. Oh, one more thing. Never take your eye off the ball!

  • City squire

    You don't leave me tied up here alone, you fucking faggot!

  • Parry

    Oh, you're not gonna be alone. Huh. Yo, come and get i-i-i-i-t!

  • Parry

    Hey, I know a fabulous place with great ambiance.

  • Parry

    These are raisins or ratshit. You can't tell sometimes. Oh! How about a fruit pie? You're right, I was off a couple of months.

  • Parry

    They came to me about a year ago. I was sitting on the john having one of those satisfying bowel movements. You know, that ones that border on mystical. Where you're like--And there they were. Hundreds of the cutest little fat people floating right in front of me. It was wonderful. And then...they spoke.

  • Parry

    I love this guy! You hear me?! I love this guy!

  • Jack

    I gave you the money. You wanna keep it, fine. You wanna give it away, fine. I just want You to know I did give him the money, okay? Are we clear?

  • Parry

    Who are you talking to, Jack?

  • Parry

    Heaven be praised giving soon the opportunity to fulfill the duties of my profession. These cries proceed from a miserable male or female in need of my aid and my protection.

  • Jack

    Where would King Arthur be without Guinevere?

  • Parry

    Happily married, probably.

  • Parry

    I'm in love with you. And not just from tonight, I've known you for a long time. I know that you come out from work at noon every day and you fight your way out that door and then you get pushed back in and three seconds later you come right back out again. And I walk with you to lunch, and I know it's a good day if you stop and get that romance novel from that bookstore. I know what you order, and I know on Wednesdays you go to that dim sum parlor, and I know that you get a jawbreaker before you go back into work. And I know you hate your job and you don't have many friends and I know sometimes you feel a little uncoordinated and you don't feel as wonderful as everybody else and feeling as alone and separate as you feel you are... I love you. I love you, and I think you're the greatest thing since spice racks. And I would be knocked out several times if I could just have that first kiss. And I won't... I won't be distant. I'll come back in the morning and I'll call you if you let me. But I still don't drink coffee.

  • Parry

    Holding my penis... what a wonderful way of saying how much you like me.



A modern day tale about the search for Love, Sanity, Ethel Merman and the Holy Grail.

Criterion Extra Features

  • New, restored 2K digital transfer, approved by director Terry Gilliam, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring Gilliam
  • New interviews with Gilliam; producer Lynda Obst; screenwriter Richard La Gravenese; and actors Jeff Bridges, Amanda Plummer, and Mercedes Ruehl
  • New interviews with artists Keith Greco and Vincent Jefferds on the creation of the film’s Red Knight
  • Interview from 2006 with actor Robin Williams
  • New video essay featuring Bridges’s on-set photographs
  • Deleted scenes, with optional commentary by Gilliam
  • Costume tests
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Bilge Ebiri

Laserdisc Extra Features

  • Audio Commentary by Terry Gilliam
  • 6 Deleted scenes
  • Original Theatrical Trailers
  • Key scenes analyses
  • Storyboards
  • Screenplay excerpts
  • Behind-the-scenes photos
  • Costume tests of Robin Williams, Amanda Plummer, Mercedes Ruehl and Jeff Bridges

Filming Info

  • Dates

    May 21, 1990 - August 16, 1990

  • Locations

    New York City, NY
    Los Angeles, CA

Shooting in and around New York took place on Park Ave., in Central Park, Grand Central Station, Manhattan Bridge, Manhattan, and the Metropolitan Life Tower.

International Release Dates

  • Argentina

    February 6, 1991

  • Italy

    September 1991 (Venice Film Festival)

  • Canada

    September 13, 1991 (Toronto Film Festival)

  • France

    October 2, 1991

  • Sweden

    October 11, 1991

  • Germany

    October 31, 1991

  • Australia

    November 7, 1991

  • UK

    November 8, 1991

  • Netherlands

    November 15, 1991

  • Finland

    November 22, 1991

  • Spain

    January 17, 1992

  • Argentina

    February 6, 1992

  • Japan

    April 11, 1992

International Titles

  • Austria / Germany

    König der Fischer

  • Spain

    El rey pescador

  • France

    Fisher King - Le roi pêcheur

  • Serbia

    Kralj ribara

  • Slovenia

    Kraljevi ribic

  • Italy

    La leggenda del re pescatore

  • Canada

    Le roi pêcheur (French title)

  • Brazil

    O Pescador de Ilusões

  • Portugal

    O Rei Pescador

  • Greece

    O vasilias tis monaxias

  • Argentina

    Pescador de ilusiones

Box Office

  • Budget


  • Gross

    $41,895,491 (USA)
    N/A (international)
    $41,895,491 (total)

  • Opening Weekend

    Limited: $311,662 (10 theaters)
    Wide: $7,067,908 (1,214 theaters)

  • Widest Release

    1,551 theaters


  • Academy Awards

    Nom - 1992 - Best Actor (Robin)
    Won - 1992 - Best Actress (Mercedes Ruehl)
    Nom - 1992 - Best Art Direction
    Nom - 1992 - Best Music, Original Score
    Nom - 1992 - Best Writing, Screenplay

  • Golden Globes

    Won - 1992 - Best Performance by an actor in a motion picture - Comedy/Musical (Robin)
    Nom - 1992 - Best Performance by an actress in a motion picture - Comedy/Musical (Mercedes Ruehl)
    Nom - 1992 - Best Director (Terry Gilliam)
    Nom - 1992 - Best Motion Picture

  • British Academy Awards

    Nom - 1992 - Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Amanda Plummer)
    Nom - 1992 - Best Screenplay - Original

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