7.6/10
22,370
201 user 50 critic

Waiting for Guffman (1996)

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

WAYS TO
WATCH:

See all
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 »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

A Mighty Wind (2003)
Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Mockumentary captures the reunion of 1960s folk trio the Folksmen as they prepare for a show at The Town Hall to memorialize a recently deceased concert promoter.

Director: Christopher Guest
Stars: Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Michael McKean
Best in Show (2000)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A colorful array of characters compete at a national dog show.

Director: Christopher Guest
Stars: Fred Willard, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Three actors learn that their respective performances in the film "Home for Purim," a drama set in the mid-1940s American South, are generating award-season buzz.

Director: Christopher Guest
Stars: Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey, Christopher Guest
Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/11 X  

Spinal Tap, one of England's loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DeBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Film school grad Nick Chapman thought his career was made after his award winning short film, but discovered Hollywood wasn't as easy as it seems.

Director: Christopher Guest
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Emily Longstreth
Family Tree (TV Series 2013)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Centers on 30-year-old Tom Chadwick who, after losing his job and his girlfriend, begins exploring his family heritage after inheriting a mysterious box from a great aunt he never met. ... See full summary »

Stars: Chris O'Dowd, Tom Bennett, Nina Conti
The Jerk (1979)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An idiotic man struggles to make it through life on his own in St. Louis.

Director: Carl Reiner
Stars: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Catlin Adams
The Producers (1967)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Producers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom make money by producing a sure-fire flop.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Dick Shawn
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A mentally unbalanced young woman (who thinks she's Jackie Kennedy) flips into a murderous rage when her brother returns home to reveal he's engaged.

Director: Mark Waters
Stars: Parker Posey, Josh Hamilton, Tori Spelling
Party Girl (1995)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Mary is a free-spirited young woman with a run-down New York apartment and a high fashion wardrobe. She calls her godmother, a librarian, for bail money after being arrested for throwing an... See full summary »

Director: Daisy von Scherler Mayer
Stars: Parker Posey, Omar Townsend, Anthony DeSando
Mascots (2016)
Comedy

A look into the world of competitive mascots.

Director: Christopher Guest
Stars: Parker Posey, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch
D.O.A. (TV Movie 1999)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Christopher Guest
Stars: Christa Campbell, Thomas Garner, Christopher Guest
Edit

Cast

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

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:

A New Comedy from the lead guitarist of 'Spinal Tap' See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Christopher Guest Project  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Much of the dialogue was ad-libbed. See more »

Goofs

During the last scene in the play, a tuba can clearly be heard playing, but there is no tuba in the orchestra. See more »

Quotes

Libby Mae Brown: My aunt brought out her atlas that I look at a lot. This big blue book and opened up to New York and it's an island, is really what it is. It's this island full of people of different colors and different ideas and I can't- It sounds like a lot of fun to me. You know, we don't see much of that in Blaine. I'd like to maybe meet some guys, some Italian guys, you know... watch TV and stuff.
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 Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Midnight At The Oasis
Written by David Nichtern
Courtesy of Space Potato Music, Ltd. (ASCAP)
Sung by Fred Willard (uncredited) and Catherine O'Hara (uncredited) at the audition
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Why did I wait so long?
27 April 2004 | by (Milwaukee, WI) – See all my reviews

I'm not sure why I waited to so long to see this film as I've known about it for quite some time now, but it was purely delightful. I spent the weekend catching up on my Christopher Guest films, and watched `A Mighty Wind' then `Best in Show' and saved Guffman for last. While I still thought `A Mighty Wind' was better, (in the same way that Sprite is better than 7-Up… there's really no difference, just maybe an iota of something indescribable that is better) `Waiting for Guffman' is still huddled in there with `Best in Show' as a fantastic film.

One thing that I noticed about `Guffman' over the others is that while all of his films have a little heart to them, this film had just a little bit more. I can also see that Guest, while having more of an acting role in this film, went on to lessen his roles substantially, but he really is a good actor. All of the actors show immense versatility, (especially Catherine O'Hara, whose hair in this film made me laugh constantly) but Guest actually surprised me. The fact that the films are primarily ad-libbed is most impressive in `Guffman' in my opinion, and the direction, while very subtle in all of the films, does not rely on editing to lead (or sometimes, create) a gag as much as his later films do.

All of Guest's films are fairly short (clocking in at 90 minutes or less) so I would suggest that if you haven't seen any or all of his mockumentaries, to just schedule a film festival with some friends and watch them in order. It's fun to compare them, and to watch the same actors take on different personas, and `Waiting for Guffman' is a strong and hilarious piece of work.

--Shelly


38 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The funniest parts... osiris1979
Funniest Part to Me... stupidgirl2003
Rated R for brief strong language? erinw91
Remains of the Day lunchbox Molly_Smengy
Bill Murray? erikisonfire
Remains of the Day Lunchbox hitchcockfan60
Discuss Waiting for Guffman (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page