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F for Fake (1973)

A documentary about fraud and fakery.

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, (uncredited) | 2 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
François Reichenbach ...
Himself - Special Participant
...
...
...
Himself
Edith Irving ...
Herself
David Walsh ...
Himself
...
Himself - Special Participant
Richard Wilson ...
Himself - Special Participant
...
Himself - Special Participant
...
Himself (archive footage)
Richard Drewitt ...
Himself - Associate Producer (as Richard Drewett)
Alexander Welles ...
Special Participant (as Sasa Devcic)
Gary Graver ...
Special Participant
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Storyline

Orson Welles' free-form documentary about fakery focusses on the notorious art forger Elmyr de Hory and Elmyr's biographer, Clifford Irving, who also wrote the celebrated fraudulent Howard Hughes autobiography, then touches on the reclusive Hughes and Welles' own career (which started with a faked resume and a phony Martian invasion). On the way, Welles plays a few tricks of his own on the audience. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fraud | biographer | ibiza | hoax | expert | See All (33) »

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| |

Release Date:

12 March 1975 (France)  »

Also Known As:

F for Fake  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

The word "practitioners" is misspelled "practioners" in the opening credits. See more »

Quotes

The Girl: [Pretending to quote a conversation between herself and Picasso] The best critical opinion is a load of horse manure.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Prodigal Sons (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Behemoth of Self-Reference
19 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

I've seen almost everything there is to see from the man, and if I'm convinced of something it's of the fact that Orson Welles was a genius. Not only a man with promising skill, who made a few great films and wandered the desert for the rest of his life; no, he made utter masterworks to the very end, actual innovation, reinvention and rethinking what cinema is, and I don't think we give him enough credit for what he has done if we speak of him only in relation to "Citizen Kane" (1941) or speak of him as a tragic figure who could have made a difference.

The last of his feature films, only followed by "Filming 'Othello'" (1978) five years later, "F for Fake" (1973) is such a remarkable tour-de-force trip through the secret passageways of the possibilities of cinema I think it'll take one lifetime to really get over it: hyper-sensory to the extreme, "Fake" shows that bodacious cinema is accomplished not through expensive digital effects (not that there's anything wrong with expensive digital effects per se, note!) but through rhythm and expectation in editing. Promises, not explanations. Hesitation and release. The narrative is a profoundly multidimensional behemoth of self-reference it's near- impossible to delineate them all in relation to each other, an attribute that reiteratively underlines the impossible cognitive capacities Welles had to guide the film material into the film it now is, all this both premeditatedly before and during shooting but especially in the editing room.

Imamura's "Ningen jôhatsu" (1967) and Kiarostami's "Nema-ye Nazdik" (1990) join this film in enriching our lives and making them a little bit less… fake?

It's become a running joke that this film, too, was badly received at the time. But you know, "The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius." Wild words, Oscar, but I agree.


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