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
A document in one of the files sent to Irving states that Howard Hughes loaned Donald Nixon, brother of Richard Nixon, $205,000 in 1956 to secure Pentagon contracts; Irving concludes that this information will bring Richard Nixon down if made public. In fact, the loan was to help Donald Nixon save his restaurant chain, and became public knowledge during the 1960 presidential race. See more »
You're always so careful when you talk, always so soft like a cushion for what you want. But I am leaving. But before I go, I give you something. You are exhausted from your lies. So tell the truth. Tell me the truth about what you did with her this time. It is your moment to be clean.
I saw her.
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A super matinée flick. Richard Gere plays Clifford Irving, a mediocre author who tries to turn his fortune with an outrageous literary coup - that he is engaged to write the autobiography of reclusive magnate Howard Hughes. Gere captures the chutzpah and nervous opportunism of Irving; he is helped by director Lasse Hallström with unfussy sequences of intoxication, dream and surrealism as the project takes on a terrible life of its own.
Hallström is well-attuned to the natural drama in the story, using period footage and bleaching his shots beige with filters. Yet he really wrings the drama from the situation and has made a nail-biting and often funny film. Gere has classy support from the versatile Alfred Molina, a grandstanding Hope Davis as his agent and, latterly, the ever-watchable Stanley Tucci (Julie Delpy simply fleshes out a cameo). A more coherent and satisfying hoaxer movie than Catch Me If You Can. 7/10
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