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The Hoax (2006)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  20 April 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 14,168 users   Metascore: 70/100
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In what would cause a fantastic media frenzy, Clifford Irving sells his bogus biography of Howard Hughes to a premiere publishing house in the early 1970s.



(screenplay), (book)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Carter ...
Raul Julia Jr. ...
Bike Messenger
Mcgraw-Hill Security
Okwui Okpokwasili ...
Sporting Goods Salesman
Car Salesman


Early in 1971, McGraw-Hill passes on Clifford Irving's new novel. He's desperate for money, so, against the backdrop of Nixon's reelection calculations, Irving claims he has Howard Hughes's cooperation to write Hughes's autobiography. With the help of friend Dick Suskind, Irving does research, lucks into a manuscript written by a long-time Hughes associate, and plays on corporate greed. He's quick-thinking and outrageously bold. Plus, he banks on Hughes's reluctance to enter the public eye. At the same time, he's trying to rebuild his marriage and deflect the allure of his one-time mistress, Nina Van Pallandt. Can he write a good book, take the money, and pull off the hoax? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Based on the true story. Would we lie to you? See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 April 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beugratás  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,449,320 (USA) (6 April 2007)


£222,112 (UK) (10 August 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The story is based on the true-life Clifford Irving, an American writer, best known for his "authorized autobiography" of Howard Hughes which turned out to be a hoax. See more »


Early in the movie, you see the top of the Met Life building. In the early 1970's, it was known as the Pan Am building. See more »


Clifford Irving: Bumped by this adolescent coffee boy. My lit professor at Cornell compared me to Hemingway! The middle of my life is at hand, and I don't have a couch.
Dick Suskind: Think about this: Henry Miller was 38-years-old, unpublished. His wife left him for a lesbian.
Clifford Irving: You're kind to tell me that, Dick. You're a very good man. You're a good friend. Need a loan?
Dick Suskind: Always.
See more »


Referenced in Elvis Mitchell: Under the Influence: Richard Gere (2008) See more »


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User Reviews

A character driven drama of the highest caliber
21 April 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Now here's a movie almost doomed to the back pages of cinema history. Only playing at one cinema in my area and having grossed a mere 3 million in two weeks at the box office, it might just be only a matter of time before this movie fades away and is forgotten. That would be quite the shame as the Hoax is quite the movie, and a real treat for the very few people who are actually willing to give it a chance.

"The Hoax" is the story of Clifford Irving, a struggling author pitching ideas to the McGraw-Hill company. As his most recent novel is blasted by critics before release, a desperate Clifford promises his editors and publishers the story of the century, without having precisely figured out what that is. That is until he stumbles onto it (literally). Clifford decides to con the whole world into believing that the reclusive enigmatic billionaire Howard Hughes has commissioned him to write his autobiography.

What follows is an intriguing and enthralling romp through the mazes of lies and deceptions that Clifford and is "co-author" Dick Suskind have spun. Eventually, the fictitious story snowballs past anything the two writers could believe as revelations into accounts of fraud and blackmail begin to penetrate the highest offices, and it all begins to come crashing down.

"The Hoax" is a character driven drama of the highest caliber. The sharp direction and writing, and excellent casting make it hard to ignore. Richard Gere and Alfred Molina give career high performances, and the supporting Hope Davis and Marcia Gay Hayden just round the film off nicely.

This is one of the best movies of 2007 so far. It may not have as wide an appeal as other outings, but it's thoroughly enjoyable all the same.


69 of 80 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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