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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Ritchie|
|Produced by||Peter Douglas
|Music by||Harold Faltermeyer|
|Edited by||Richard A. Harris|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|March 17, 1989|
Fletch Lives is a 1989 American comedy film starring Chevy Chase and a sequel to Fletch directed by Michael Ritchie with a screenplay by Leon Capetanos based on the character created by Gregory Mcdonald. Fletch Lives was released by Universal Pictures.
Irwin "Fletch" Fletcher (Chevy Chase), a reporter for the L.A. Times, is contacted by the executor of his late aunt's will, attorney Amanda Ray Ross (Patricia Kalember). Ross informs Fletch he has inherited his aunt's mansion and 80 acre plantation property, Belle Isle, in Thibodaux, Louisiana. Upon arriving in Louisiana, Fletch is disappointed to find the mansion completely dilapidated, but nonetheless agrees to keep on its caretaker, Calculus Entropy (Cleavon Little). Fletch has dinner with Ross at her home that evening and she tells him of a $225,000 bid for Belle Isle made by an anonymous buyer. After sleeping with Ross, Fletch awakens the next morning to find her dead.
Fletch is charged with Ross' murder and taken into custody, nearly being raped by his zoophilic, necrophiliac cellmate Ben Dover (Randall "Tex" Cobb), spared only because Dover is released on bail. Dover's lawyer Hamiliton "Ham" Johnson (Hal Holbrook) is able to get Fletch released as well. When Fletch declines a second, even larger offer for Belle Isle from the buyer, this time presented by realtor Becky Culpepper (Julianne Phillips), he starts getting harassed each night at the mansion. First by a hired group of bumbling Ku Klux Klansmen, next by an arsonist who burns the mansion down and finally by Dover, who tries to kill Fletch during a raccoon hunt with some locals. Fletch discovers the land on Belle Isle to be polluted by toxic waste and sets out to uncover the identity of the anonymous buyer, whom he suspects is attempting to intimidate him into selling.
He learns the local megachurch, Farnsworth Ministries, is interested in obtaining the Belle Isle property. Fletch investigates the church's pastor, tele-evangelist Jimmy Lee Farnsworth (R. Lee Ermey) and discovers Farnsworth's daughter is Becky, the realtor who represents the buyer. The toxic chemicals in the soil of Belle Isle is traced back to Bly Bio, a toxic chemical waste facility in Mississippi. Fletch obtains an invoice from the plant's manager proving Ham Johnson ordered the waste dumped on the Belle Isle land.
Fletch confronts Ham with the evidence at a costume party fund raiser hosted by Ham at his home. Ham admits he polluted Belle Isle out of revenge for the way he feels Farnsworth took advantage of Ham's mother shortly before she died. Farnsworth persuaded her in her confused mental-state to give away her valuable land, on which the church then built a profitable amusement park. Ham intended to de-value the land owned by Farnsworth Ministries and killed Ross when she found out what he was doing. Becky is captured by Dover and brought to Ham's mansion, and Ham orders Dover to kill her and Fletch. Fletch creates a distraction by spilling out the urn containing Ham's mother's ashes and he and Becky escape. They flee to the Farnsworth Ministries church nearby, interrupting a televised service in-progress. Ham arrives shortly after, intending to kill Fletch, but is shot by Calculus. Afterwards, Calculus reveals himself to really be FBI special agent Goldstein working undercover as part of an investigation of Farnsworth Ministries financial dealings.
Back in Los Angeles with Becky, Fletch is thrown a welcome home party by his co-workers and receives a $100,000 insurance claim check for the mansion fire. His ex-wife's alimony lawyer Melvyn Gillette (George Wyner), whom Fletch despises, shows up offering to forego all future alimony payments in exchange for the Belle Isle property, which he believes to be valuable. Fletch, barely able to contain his joy, happily signs over the worthless, polluted land.
- Chevy Chase as Irwin "Fletch" Fletcher
- Hal Holbrook as Hamilton "Ham" Johnson
- Julianne Phillips as Becky Culpepper
- R. Lee Ermey as Jimmy Lee Farnsworth
- Richard Libertini as Frank Walker
- Randall "Tex" Cobb as Ben Dover
- Don Brockett as Sheriff
- Cleavon Little as Calculus Entropy
- George Wyner as Marvin Gillet
- Patricia Kalember as Amanda Ray Ross
- Geoffrey Lewis as Ku Klux Klan Leader
- Richard Belzer as Phil
- Phil Hartman as Bly Bio manager
- Titos Vandis as Uncle Kakakis
The movie gained a mixed to negative reception. Fletch Lives currently holds a 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 30 reviews with the consensus: "Chevy Chase remains ideally suited for the role, but Fletch Lives lacks its predecessor's wit, relying instead on silly disguises, cheap stereotypes, and largely unfunny gags."
The movie debuted at No. 1. It went on to gross $39.4 million worldwide.
- Song of the South, similarities to imagery in Fletch's dream on the plane
- Box Office Information for Fletch Lives. The Wrap. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- Box Office Information for Fletch Lives. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- "Fletch Lives :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. 1989-03-17. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
- CHRIS WILLMAN (1989-03-17). "MOVIE REVIEW : 'Fletch Lives' Takes Bad Jokes, Bad Taste to Deep South - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
- Easton, Nina J. (1989-03-21). "WEEKEND BOX OFFICE : Chevy Lives . . . 'Rooftops' Collapses - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
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