Fletch

“Can I borrow your towel for a sec? My car just hit a water buffalo…”

We’ve talked about a lot of things here at Best of the 80s, and after more than 400 posts we’re FINALLY getting around to one of our Top 5 favorite movies of our beloved decade.

“Well, the traffic was murder, you know. One of those manure spreaders jackknifed on the Santa Ana. Godawful mess. You should see my shoes…”

When Fletch hit the neighborhood cineplex on Memorial Day weekend in 1985, it got a little lost in the shuffle, premiering between the opening weekends of Rambo: First Blood part II and The Goonies, but all these years later it has survived as one of the funniest and overall best movies of the 80s, hands-down. And Chevy Chase still, to this day, calls Fletch his favorite role.

“Hey! It’s all ball bearings nowadays. Now you prepare that Fetzer valve with some 3-in-1 oil and some gauze pads. And I’m gonna need ’bout ten quarts of anti-freeze, preferably Prestone. No, no make that Quaker State…”

Irwin M. Fletcher (or Harry S Truman or Don Corleone or Ted Nugent) was a lowly newspaper man trying to blow the lid off the drug trade down at Venice Beach when he got offered a sweet deal by the slimy Alan Stanwyk–– kill him (he’s already dying of bone cancer, dontchaknow) and walk away with $50,000.

Man, did Alan pick the wrong guy.

“Yes, very good. I’ll have a Bloody Mary and a steak sandwich and… a steak sandwich, please…”

Fletch promptly proceeded to spend the better part of the movie floating from doctor office to Utah to ‘the club’ to the doberman-guarded real estate office, uncovering the truth about Stanwyk. And yes, it turns out it was all a set-up.

Chase’s dry-as-sandpaper humor mixed with his cool-as-a-cucumber demeanor resulted in one of the 80s finest (and terrifically underrated) performances. Add to it a healthy dose of Chase’s trademark ad libbing, and it’s obvious what kind of funny-ness we’re talking about here.

“Moooooooooon Ri-ver…”

Even though it only did ‘okay’ at the box office, bringing in $60 million and finishing at #12 for the year, Fletch has gone on to inspire everything from the menu at Moe’s Southwest Grill (which includes a ‘John Coctostan’ quesadilla) to the kids’ movie Hoodwinked . And we’ll proudly let you gentle readers know that it’s our go-to movie when we have some downtime and need a few laughs.

“When it came to basketball Gail was a loss, but we had our own version of one-on-one and she thought I was the bravest guy in the world. Which, of course, I am. By the way, I charged the entire vacation to Mr. Underhill’s American Express Card. Want the number?”

We ♥ Fletch.

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~ by weheart80s on April 16, 2012.

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