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Waiting for Guffman (1996)

R | | Comedy | 31 January 1997 (USA)
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2:02 | Trailer

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ON DISC
An aspiring director and the marginally talented amateur cast of a hokey small-town Missouri musical production go overboard when they learn that someone from Broadway will be in attendance.

Director:

2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Scott Williamson ...
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James McQueen ...
Singing Auditioner (as Jim McQueen)
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Jerry Turman ...
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Storyline

A town of Blaine, Missouri is preparing for celebrations of its 150th anniversary. Corky St.Clair, an off-off-off-off-off-Broadway director is putting together an amateur theater show about the town's history, starring a local dentist, a couple of travel agents, a Dairy Queen waitress, and a car repairman. He invites a Broadway theater critic Mr. Guffman to see the opening night of the show. Written by Piotr Zembrowski <zembrows@astro.utoronto.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's A Good Reason Some Talent Remains Undiscovered See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Christopher Guest Project  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$37,990 (USA) (31 January 1997)

Gross:

$2,892,582 (USA) (18 July 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| | (uncredited)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer/director Christopher Guest spent a year and a half editing almost 60 hours of footage with editor Andy Blumenthal to come up with the final cut for the film. See more »

Goofs

When the Stage Manager says, "We're at fifteen," her mouth does not move with the words. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Allan Pearl: I think I got a, a, an entertaining bug... from my grandfather... uh, Chaim Pearlgut, who was very very big in the, um, Yiddish, uh, theater, back in New York. He was in the, the very... the sardonically irreverent... "Dybbuk Shmybbuk, I Said 'More Ham'"... and that revue I believe was 1914, and that revue was what made him famous. Incidentally, the song "Bubbe Made A Kishke" came from that revue.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits Christopher Guest's character shows us some of the fun memorabilia that he sells in his store. See more »

Connections

References The Remains of the Day (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster (1854)
Sung by Eugene Levy at the audition
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User Reviews

 
Who's on Top Now!
8 February 2006 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

'Waiting for Guffman', while lacking the expansive detail of the seminal 'This is Spinal Tap', is still a worthy addition to Guest's filmography. The story, as ever, is really quite irrelevant, as the pleasure to be had from these films is in meeting the characters that the actors forge from intensive improvisation. What never ceases to amaze is that these 'improvised' characters have more depth, subtlety and believability than the large majority of traditionally crafted and scripted characters. Equally as impressive is the refusal to turn any character into an object of derision. For all their seeming vacuous vanity and ego driven foibles, these are essentially good people. The entire movie is infused with a benign joy and heartfelt warmth that is irresistible.

As others have said, the highlight of the movie is a scene that can only be seen in the DVD extras – Libby Mae Brown's audition monologue – an incredibly well written and executed performance that reveals more about her character and Posie's talent than many award winning turns.

As ever, the musical numbers by 'Taps' Guest, McKean and Shearer are brilliant – catchy and witty and performed just on the right side of endearing amateurishness.

An excellent movie, that compensates for the lack of laugh-out-loud moments with well crafted, beautifully realized characters, and inspired songs.


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