6.7/10
14,924
72 user 143 critic

The Hoax (2006)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 20 April 2007 (USA)
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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (book)

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ON DISC
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 April 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beugratás  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$7,156,933 (USA) (25 May 2007)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real-life story that this film depicts unfolded as Orson Welles was making his film, "F For Fake", in which the real Clifford Irving appears. Because of Irving's new-found notoriety, Welles was obliged to add some additional footage to his film. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Dick Suskind: Cliff, you publish this you will have a storm of shit rain down on you.
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Connections

References F for Fake (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Leavin' on Your Mind
(1962)
Written by Wayne Walker and Webb Pierce
Performed by Patsy Cline
Courtesy of Geffen Records
under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Playful Crime
20 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

'The Hoax' is an endlessly charming and witty film, blending comedy with drama for great and successful results. Richard Gere is at the top of his game as he commands the screen, prosthetic nose included. Lasse Hallstrom's, whose films included 'Chocolate' and 'The Cider House Rules', keen sense of direction keeps the film fresh and engaging. It ultimately makes for a genuinely pleasant experience and one of the year's better pictures.

Desperate for success and wealth, Clifford Irving is about to pull off the hoax of the century. Set in the 1970s, Irving has pitched and sold his idea of a Howard Hughes biography to a premiere publishing company. Problem is, none of it's true. Irving, with his friend Dick Susskind at his side, will spin an intricate web of lies as he sets out to compile a fraud biography of Hughes and set-up staged interviews with the wealthy recluse. He soon becomes so deep in all of his lies that it seems inconceivable that he'll find his way out. But with each twist and turn, Irving matches with one of his own.

What makes 'The Hoax' work? It appears to be nearly flawless. Director Lasse Hallstrom keeps viewers in the moment with a nice, speedy pace. And so 'The Hoax' never wears out its welcome. It's such a quirky and original project that entertains without taking itself too seriously. It's light, witty humor mixed with dramatic effect to create what is at times a film with a dual personality, but it works out just right. 'The Hoax' has an intelligence that's sharper than most, keeping the elaborate and offbeat heist cleverly afloat rather than becoming dull and over worn. An outrageously true story of an outrageously true crime.

You may say that 'The Hoax' ultimately works because of one man, and that's Richard Gere. His best performance in years, Gere commands the screen as the man behind the heist (and nose). He's sharp, humorous, tragic, and flawed. The whole package. He almost forces you to emotionally invest in his character, because he's almost too charming not to. You'll find yourself rooting for him and his cause. It's one of the best performances of the year. Alfred Molina, Hope Davis, and Marcia Gay Harden all benefit from a great script. Molina stars as the humorously bumbling sidekick who possesses what Gere does not: a conscious. Davis is wonderful as the publishing agent, and while Harden's role doesn't present her with much screen time, she delivers a strong outing with what she's given.

'The Hoax' is a remarkably well-made, well-told account of a bizarre heist. The truth is stranger than fiction, and while it's wildly strange, it's wonderfully fun and silly yet tragic and serious when it has to be. 'The Hoax' is no hand-me-down of the heist genre, but rather a worthy and memorable addition. It's one of the year's best films, and no doubt you'll get a kick out of 'The Hoax'.


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