Fletch: Revisiting Chevy Chase’s Best Movie

We take a look back at 1985’s Fletch, starring Chevy Chase in perhaps his best role ever.

Last Updated on March 26, 2024

1985’s Fletch was directed by Michael Ritchie and written by Andrew Bergman. The film is an adaptation of the popular novels written by Gregory McDonald and brings a more comedic and dry approach to its titular character, Fletch, played by Chevy Chase. Fletch is an investigative journalist working the undercover beat as a homeless beach junkie as he tries to uncover the truth behind a kingpin-level drug ring that is looming over greater L.A. While undercover, Fletch is propositioned by a rich man called Alan Stanwick who claims to be dying of bone cancer to kill the man in his upper-class home so that his family can reap the benefits of his life insurance. In exchange, Fletch will receive $50,000 cash and a ticket out of the country.

When this movie was made, Chevy Chase was arguably at the height of his career. While he’d opened the decade with a few horrible flops, including Modern Problems, Under the Rainbow and Oh Heavenly Dog, he bounced back in a big way in 1983 with the classic National Lampoon’s Vacation. 1985 would prove to be his biggest year as a comedy star, with him headlining three hugely successful films, Spies Like Us, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, and this one, Fletch. Of all his movies, outside of the Vacation films, Fletch remains his most identifiable role, and perhaps his best film ever. 

But what makes Fletch such a great movie? For one thing, it’s based on an ultra-compelling novel, has a terrific screenplay by Andrew Bergman, and features a dynamite cast headed by Chase. It’s also a compelling mix of genres, with equal doses of comedy and mystery thrown in, as well as a healthy dollop of action (the film has a great car chase). It’s all tied together by Chase’s charismatic performance and a classic 80s synth score by the great Harold Faltermeyer. In the video embedded above, our host Kier Gomes explains why Fletch remains perhaps his favourite comedy of all time and why it remains the sometimes controversial Chase’s best-ever role. 

Do you like Fletch as much as we do? Let us know in the comments. 

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.