Here is my personal list, one at a time, of the top ten movie characters ever. However, feel free to agree or offer better choices and argument. SPOILER CAUTION! The content below may give away some of the plot of the film(s) concerned.
Irwin M Fletcher or ‘Fletch’ is Chevy Chase at his genius (yes, genius) best in the very funny 1985 film ‘Fletch’ and in the not quite so good sequel ‘Fletch Lives’. Fletch is a super dry sense of humoured L.A. journalist, writing under the name Jane Doe, who has nothing in his life except the story he is currently writing. The wise-cracking Fletch loves to use disguises to go undercover to get the truth, but also manages to get himself into many silly situations and amusing conversations.
The original ‘Fletch’ film is absolutely littered with funny lines and banter that true fans like me love to be able to quote them whenever we can. Here are a few examples:
(to Gail Stanwyck who answers the front door wearing only a towel)
Fletch: Can I borrow your towel for a sec? My car just hit a water buffalo
Fletch: If you shoot me, you’re liable to lose a lot of those humanitarian awards
Gail Stanwyck (when room service arrives at her room): You ordered lunch here?
Fletch: Yes, I knew this is where my mouth would be
Dr. Joseph Dolan: Right. Now, how long have you had these pains, Mr. Barber?
Fletch: No, that’s “Babar”.
Dr. Joseph Dolan: Is that with two B’s?
Fletch: One B … B-A-B-A-R.
Dr. Joseph Dolan: That’s two.
Fletch: Yeah, but not right next to each other. I thought that’s what you meant.
Dr. Joseph Dolan: Arnold Babar. Isn’t there a children’s book about an elephant named Babar?
Fletch: I don’t know. I don’t have any.
Dr. Joseph Dolan: No children?
Fletch: No elephant books.
(Fletch has fainted)
Records Nurse: Oh, Doctor, are you all right?
Fletch: Where am I?
Records Nurse: You’re in the records room.
Fletch: The records room? Oh, then I’m fine.
Records Nurse: Can I get you something?
Fletch: Yeah, do you have the Beatles’ White Album? … Never mind, just get me a glass of hot fat. And bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia while you’re out there
(Just after surreptitiously obtaining the contact details he needs, whilst in disguise, from Madeline, a secretary)
Madeline: I’m sorry – who are you again?
Fletch: I’m Frieda’s boss.
Madeline: Who’s Frieda?
Fletch: My secretary.
Fletch: Well, I saved his life during the war.
Gail Stanwyk: You were in the war?
Fletch: No, he was. I got him out
Alan Stanwyck: Do you own rubber gloves?
Fletch: I rent them. I have a lease with an option to buy.
This list could go on and on (click here to read more). Fletch’s encounters throughout his investigation of the drugs problem on the beach are priceless as are the number of aliases he uses, many of which are real life people: Jane Doe, Ted Nugent (rock guitarist), Arnold Babar, Dr Rosenrosen, John Cocktosten, Mr Poon, Gordon Liddy (involved in Watergate Scandal), Igor Stravinski (Composer), Harry S Truman (former US President) and Don Corleone (from the Godfather).
Fletch is simply brilliant and you have to watch the original film several times to pick up on all the jokes as he stumbles through his investigation with a goofy panache all the while charging everything, of course, to Mr Underhill’s credit card.