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Waiting for Guffman (1996)

 -  Comedy  -  31 January 1997 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 20,844 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 200 user | 48 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

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.

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Title: Waiting for Guffman (1996)

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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:

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:

 »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Don Lake was originally cast as the principal of the high school who had problems with the rehearsals taking up basketball team's floor. When the character was ultimately cut from the story, Lake was re-cast as the town historian. However, all the footage of him during the performance of "Red, White and Blaine", including his intermission interview, is of him as the principal. See more »

Goofs

After Ron (Fred Willard) deploys the whoopee cushion, he holds it up with his left hand; but when the camera then cuts to close-up, it's in his right hand. See more »

Quotes

Glenn Welsch, Mayor: There's a saying in Missouri, if you don't like the weather just wait five minutes. In Blaine, with hard work, I think we can get that down to three or four minutes.
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 »


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 »

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User Reviews

 
Funny and deceptively authentic
21 October 2006 | by (Hellfudge, Pennsylvania) – See all my reviews

The current climate of cinematic comedy is comparable, to an extent, to the trend in horror: everything is geared toward pull-out-all-stops excess that is more disgusting than entertaining. We should thank our lucky stars for Christopher Guest, a consistently surprising filmmaker (he directed "Best in Show" and wrote "This is Spinal Tap") who makes 'mockumentaries' that play like actual documentaries. "Waiting for Guffman" follows Corky St. Clair (Guest), a flamboyant stage director who gathers a group of 'eclectic' locals (a cross-eyed dentist; a husband-and-wife travel agent team; a Dairy Queen employee) for a production about the sleepy town in which they live (its claim to fame being home of the footstool). There is a hilarious authenticity to the behind-the-scenes footage, but the film never laughs at its subjects--as viewers, we share Corky's (admittedly delusional) passion with bittersweet good humor. The supporting cast--consisting of Guest regulars Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey, Fred Willard, Bob Balaban, and Larry Miller--is in top form here. "Waiting for Guffman" is a quiet comedy gem about a dull, quiet town. And it's also ridiculously rated "R" for two quick instances of F-word usage (way to call it, MPAA!).


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