There are films that movie nerds of a certain age turned
into their own personal store-house of quotes. One of them—Fletch
—celebrates the 25th anniversary of its release today. ---
Director Michael Ritchie’s loose adaptation of the Gregory
McDonald novel, with Chevy Chase as
investigative reporter Irwin M. Fletcher, was fairly successful upon its
release on May 31, 1985. It earned around $50 million at a time when $50 million meant
something, good for #12 on the list of that year’s releases and enough to
prompt a sequel.
But its real legacy comes from the one-liners in Andrew
Bergman’s script and Chase’s improvisation. A generation of socially-awkward
white guys immediately supplemented their store of Monty Python and Spinal Tap
references with restaurant orders of "a Bloody Mary, a steak sandwich and … a
steak sandwich." "It's all bearings nowadays." “Not since breakfast.” And of course, “three
names I enjoy: Marvin, Velma and Provo.”
That’s really all that hold this shaggy pseudo-mystery together—and apparently, it was enough.