7.6/10
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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.

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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:

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  »

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

Corky St. Clair (Christopher Guest) wears a Judy Tenuta T-shirt near the beginning of the film. Tenuta's self-given nickname is "The Love Goddess". See more »

Goofs

After Corky shares the news of Mr. Guffman's arrival, Libby says "Wow." She then asks "What does this mean, Corky?" but the movement of her mouth shows she's not actually saying the line. See more »

Quotes

Steve Stark, Councilman: God, I wish I was in this show.
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 Das Boot (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Gwine to Rune All Night
(uncredited)
aka "De Camptown Races"
Written by Stephen Foster
Sung by Eugene Levy at the audition
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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


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