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:

Lasse Hallström

Writers:

William Wheeler (screenplay), Clifford Irving (book)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Aaron Baker ... Brad Silber
John Carter ... Harold Mcgraw
Judi Barton ... Marion
Raul S. Julia Raul S. Julia ... Bike Messenger (as Raul Julia Jr.)
James Biberi ... Mcgraw-Hill Security
Richard Gere ... Clifford Irving
Hope Davis ... Andrea Tate
Christopher Evan Welch ... Albert Vanderkamp
Okwui Okpokwasili Okwui Okpokwasili ... Malika
Alfred Molina ... Dick Suskind
Bob Wiltfong ... Sporting Goods Salesman
William Fowle ... Car Salesman
Marcia Gay Harden ... Edith Irving
Julie Delpy ... Nina Van Pallandt
Antonie Knoppers ... Fredrick Van Pallandt
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clifford Irving died December 19, 2017. He was 87. See more »

Goofs

About 12 minutes into the movie before Irving is to meet with McGraw Hill, there is a southerly view of Manhattan with the Empire State Building in the foreground. In the distance looking toward lower Manhattan are the buildings of the World Financial Center. These buildings did not exist in 1971. Also, in 1971 the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center would be visibly under construction albeit not very tall at that time. See more »

Quotes

Clifford Irving: Bumped by this adolescent coffee boy. My lit professor at Cornell compared me to Hemingway! The middle of my life is at hand, and I don't have a couch.
Dick Suskind: Think about this: Henry Miller was 38-years-old, unpublished. His wife left him for a lesbian.
Clifford Irving: You're kind to tell me that, Dick. You're a very good man. You're a good friend. Need a loan?
Dick Suskind: Always.
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Connections

Referenced in Elvis Mitchell: Under the Influence: Richard Gere (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Crushed Velvet Pantlegs
Written by John Palatucci, Keith Carlock and David Torn (as David M. Torn)
Performed by The Gruesome Spruce
Courtesy of Torn Music Co.
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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable Screen Adaptation of a Fascinating True Story
9 April 2007 | by jzappaSee all my reviews

The Hoax is a screen adaptation of the true story of one of the most daring, bold, and intricate confidence schemes ever plotted. As a long-time fan of heists, cons, and trickery, I already knew the story before seeing the film, and so seeing the movie, I judged the portrayal rather than the story itself. Lasse Hallstrom does not make a great film, but he definitely makes an enjoyable film. Certain scenes aren't quite filmed the most powerful way they could be. Clean, nice, standard cinematography is used in scenes that have less atmosphere because of it. Other scenes, in particular the scenes of theft, lying, drama, and other intense things provoked by the dangerously dishonest mind of Clifford Irving, are given a thrilling, extremely exciting pins-and-needles feeling. In terms of the story, I learned a lot about it that I didn't know that amazed and impressed me, mostly involving the influence the scheme inadvertently had politically.

Richard Gere plays Clifford Irving well enough, but the entire time, I kept thinking of different actors who would've been much more becoming and much more intense. Clifford Irving was a man of dark, magnetic, manipulative vigor and depth. Gere plays him more dryly, as though Irving was virtually cool and carefree rather than coolly masking that intensity.

Alfred Molina, a scene-stealer as always, upstages Gere greatly as his nervous friend and partner in crime who is made to do all the high-risk dirty work, which translates into hilarity on screen.

The Hoax is a wonderful story and a good movie. If it had a different lead and broader scope in the directing, it could've been a wonderful movie, too.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 April 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hoax See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,501,000, 8 April 2007

Gross USA:

$7,164,995

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,772,461
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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