7.6/10
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Waiting for Guffman (1996)

R | | Comedy | 31 January 1997 (USA)
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2:02 | Trailer

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ON DISC
An aspiring director and the marginally talented amateur cast of a hokey small-town Missouri musical production go overboard when they learn that someone from Broadway will be in attendance.

Director:

Christopher Guest
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Deborah Theaker ... Gwen Fabin-Blunt - Councilwoman
Michael Hitchcock ... Steve Stark - Councilman
Scott Williamson ... Tucker Livingston - Councilman
Larry Miller ... Glenn Welsch - Mayor
Don Lake ... Phil Burgess - Blaine Historian
Christopher Guest ... Corky St. Clair
Fred Willard ... Ron Albertson
Catherine O'Hara ... Sheila Albertson
Parker Posey ... Libby Mae Brown
David Cross ... UFO Expert
Eugene Levy ... Dr. Allan Pearl
James McQueen James McQueen ... Singing Auditioner (as Jim McQueen)
Turk Pipkin ... Ping Pong Ball Juggler
Jerry Turman ... Raging Bull Auditioner
Bob Balaban ... Lloyd Miller
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Storyline

A town of Blaine, Missouri is preparing for celebrations of its 150th anniversary. Corky St.Clair, an off-off-off-off-off-Broadway director is putting together an amateur theater show about the town's history, starring a local dentist, a couple of travel agents, a Dairy Queen waitress, and a car repairman. He invites a Broadway theater critic Mr. Guffman to see the opening night of the show. Written by Piotr Zembrowski <zembrows@astro.utoronto.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's A Good Reason Some Talent Remains Undiscovered See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 January 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Christopher Guest Project See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,990, 2 February 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,923,982
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | SDDS | SDDS (uncredited)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When playing Blaine Fabin in "Red, White and Blaine," it becomes necessary for Dr. Pearl (Eugene Levy) to remove his glasses. Unfortunately, Dr. Pearl's glasses corrected his lazy eye problem. Actor Fred Willard was unaware of the gag during shooting, and after delivering the line, "What did your keen and perceptive eyes behold?" to Fabin, stared at Levy's lazy eye, finally understood why his line was funny, and "was gone for about ten minutes" with laughter. See more »

Goofs

The placement of the show posters on Corky's wall continually changes See more »

Quotes

Corky St. Clair: ...'cause you people are BASTARD PEOPLE!
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits Christopher Guest's character shows us some of the fun memorabilia that he sells in his store. See more »

Alternate Versions

There is at least one rough cut of the film in circulation among fans of Guffman. It features an expanded performance of "Red, White and Blaine", including the musical number "This Bulging River", as well as dozens of alternate takes, as well as the exclusion of many scenes in the finished film, which were shot after this first rought cut was made. See more »


Soundtracks

Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster (1854)
Sung by Eugene Levy at the audition
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Definitely not to everyone's taste, but a lovely film nonetheless
10 November 2008 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is the first of several films that Christopher Guest and his friends have made using a very unusual style. Instead of a clearly defined script, some very talented actors (such as Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Fred Willard and others) took a script idea and improvised throughout. The film was then created using the best bits and I can honestly say that there is nothing like this film. While some of the jokes are very, very dry and occasionally fall flat, there is a subtle charm and wit to the film as you follow a group of 3rd rate local actors who have insane visions of Broadway.

The film is ostensibly about a very local stage production about the founding of some small town. While these sort of pageants have been ubiquitous in small town America, this one is unique because supposedly a guy by the name of Guffman is coming to town and plans two see it. Guffman, it seems, is from Broadway and the cast has the temerity to believe that maybe they'll impress him so much that they'll become major stars. Considering the quality of the acting is well below that of an average high school production, this is very absurd. Yet, although ridiculous, there is a certain something in many of these people that is very likable so there is some depth to the film--you aren't just laughing at yokels who have ridiculous aspirations.

I thoroughly enjoyed the film and think that people who like their humor subtle and perhaps a bit painful will enjoy this film. People who prefer broad comedy probably won't enjoy this very much.


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