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
Saw a sneak preview of this earlier this evening. Not bad as some other comments would have you believe, but not perfect either. The historical details are a bit inaccurate in some areas, but those are relatively minor ones which don't affect the story too much. At it's core, the film focuses on the lies told by Clifford Irving and how he charmed everyone into believing them. The lies don't just affect his writing career, but also the lives of those around him and eventually comes to the point where it's difficult to distinguish fact from fiction in what Irving says, a task which is made all the more difficult given the eccentricity of nearly everything done by Howard Hughes during that period of time. Overall, the film isn't too bad, the main characters are nicely developed, the plot is interesting, and the acting isn't bad. The subtle 1970s touches (vintage Coca Cola and Tab cans, news footage, hairstyles, commercials, cars, Watergate, etc) also make it fun to watch. Overall, the story, acting, and the attention to detail force me to give this a 8/10 despite the few flaws here and there. Definitely a must see for the Howard Hughes buffs along with "The Aviator".
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