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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
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4,161 ( 4,238)
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

Much of the dialogue was ad-libbed. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Dr. Pearl: You have to go where the love is. And the love for me, right now, is in Miami, not Blaine.
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 »

Connections

References This Is Spinal Tap (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster (1854)
Sung by Eugene Levy at the audition
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User Reviews

 
Why did I wait so long?
27 April 2004 | by FilmOtakuSee all my reviews

I'm not sure why I waited to so long to see this film as I've known about it for quite some time now, but it was purely delightful. I spent the weekend catching up on my Christopher Guest films, and watched `A Mighty Wind' then `Best in Show' and saved Guffman for last. While I still thought `A Mighty Wind' was better, (in the same way that Sprite is better than 7-Up… there's really no difference, just maybe an iota of something indescribable that is better) `Waiting for Guffman' is still huddled in there with `Best in Show' as a fantastic film.

One thing that I noticed about `Guffman' over the others is that while all of his films have a little heart to them, this film had just a little bit more. I can also see that Guest, while having more of an acting role in this film, went on to lessen his roles substantially, but he really is a good actor. All of the actors show immense versatility, (especially Catherine O'Hara, whose hair in this film made me laugh constantly) but Guest actually surprised me. The fact that the films are primarily ad-libbed is most impressive in `Guffman' in my opinion, and the direction, while very subtle in all of the films, does not rely on editing to lead (or sometimes, create) a gag as much as his later films do.

All of Guest's films are fairly short (clocking in at 90 minutes or less) so I would suggest that if you haven't seen any or all of his mockumentaries, to just schedule a film festival with some friends and watch them in order. It's fun to compare them, and to watch the same actors take on different personas, and `Waiting for Guffman' is a strong and hilarious piece of work.

--Shelly


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