Early in 1971, the publishing company 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 Richard 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
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 »
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 »
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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