7.6/10
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Waiting for Guffman (1996)

R | | Comedy | 31 January 1997 (USA)
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)
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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

During the overture, the trumpet player also plays the timpani. Although there is only one drum, we hear two distinct notes which would be impossible. 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.
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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

Referenced in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Lightnin' Strikes
Words and Music by Lou Christie (as Lou Christy), Twyla Herbert
Courtesy of Music Corporation of America, Inc. (BMI)
Sung by James McQueen at the audition. (uncredited)
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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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