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The Hoax [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Gere, Alfred Molina, Hope Davis, Marcia Gay Harden, Stanley Tucci
  • Directors: Lasse Hallström
  • Producers: Betsy Beers, Mark Gordon, Leslie Holleran, Joshua D. Maurer, Bob Yari
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Momentum Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Feb. 2008
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000YDAJHC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,488 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Richard Gere comedy based on a true story, about a struggling author who comes up with the perfect scam. After having his latest opus rejected by his publishers, down-at-heel author Clifford Irving (Gere) claims he has an exclusive agreement with Howard Hughes to write the billionaire's autobiography. Banking on Hughes's eagerness to remain out of the public eye, he's soon using a former Hughes employee's manuscript to get the ball rolling, sparking a media frenzy which threatens to engulf the author and ultimately expose the scam. But can he pull it off?

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By N. Burgess on 31 May 2008
Format: DVD
This is the story of how a struggling author called Clifford Irving was so desperate for success he decided to make up a story that he was in contact with Howard Hughes who had agreed for Irving to write his life story. Shockingly, Irving's publisher's believed this, leading to a huge chain of events where this hoax snowballed out of control.

The story itself is an amazing one, especially considering as it was actually true. So I was looking forward to seeing how exactly Irving, played by an in-form Richard Gere, actually managed to pull this stunt off. The film itself portrays the key events well, showing vividly the pivotal moment where Irving suddenly takes the dramatic decision to embark on the hoax. The attention to detail and planning that went into maintaining and fueling the sham are very convincingly acted, drifting between high drama and moments of comedy as some of the lies Irving creates to deflect awkward questions get more and more outrageous.

But what lets the film down is that the plotline moves along very slowly, the film's almost 2 hours long but there's a lot of bloat and irrelevant subplots that could easily have been left out. For someone responsible for such an amazing deception you should come away at least feeling a bit of admiration for his ingenuity, or a little sorry for him, or maybe even be cheering him on. But Irving is portrayed in this film in a way that makes you not really feel anything for him, he doesn't come across as particularly likeable or humorous, he doesn't seem a very warm character, you just end up not caring if he pulls it off or not. This is a real pity as a plot as audacious as this should have a lot more emotional engagement with the viewer, you should feel almost as caught up in it as the characters, but in the end you just feel very detached from it all and quite underwhelmed.

A good film, but with a storyline as fascinating as this, it should have been a lot better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Ashley on 19 Mar. 2008
Format: DVD
Richard Gere gives a good understated performance in this based on real events film. As mentioned elsewhere Gere's character manages to con the world into believing he working with Howard Hughes on his autobiography. He quickly realises that the more outrageous the lies he tells the more people believe him. Most of the fun of the film is seeing this played out. It is saved from tweeness by the slightly darker side in how Gere manipulates those closest to him , his girlfriend and his friend ( Alfred Molina who is turns in a great performance)

So why 3 stars - it just feels like it could have done with some ruthless editing as the last 20 mins seems to drag giving the feeling that the film stumbles to an ending
If you are looking for something a little diffrent to the the usual gun ho hollywood fare then give this a go
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 10 Feb. 2008
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Would you buy the autobiography of Howard Hughes from a man who wrote a book about art fraud and whose novel you'd just rejected as a pale imitation of another author's work? You would if you were McGraw-Hill and you were almost as afraid of looking stupid if it turns out to be real and you rejected it than if it turns out to be a fake you handed out a million dollar advance for. It's a pitch so ridiculous it could only be a true story, though quite how true the sadly overlooked The Hoax is is open to question since it's based on the how-I-nearly-got-away-with-it book by the fraud in question, Clifford Irving, who in turns claims he was defrauded by the filmmakers who turned his book into pure fiction...

The real Irving can be seen in Orson Welles F For Fake, where he goes from expert on art frauds to a literary fraud himself in the course of the film, but while Welles doesn't figure in Lasse Hallström's film it does share some of the devious sense of fun the semi-documentary displayed. The mechanics of the fraud - looking up Hughes' Senate testimony for syntax and speech patterns, photocopying a Hughes' aide's manuscript for insider gossip - are detailed as an exhilarating adrenaline rush, the film perfectly capturing the intoxicating thrill that comes with thinking you're getting away with an outrageous scam and the crash into paranoia as you defend the indefensible so much that the only person you end up fooling is yourself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul B TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Feb. 2008
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Hoax is a film based on a true story about a con-man, Clifford Irving, who wrote an autobiography of Howard Hughes without actually even meeting the man. Richard Gere takes the lead role of Irving and is helped by his sidekick Dick Suskind (played by Alfred Molina) in trying to spin the web of lies which follows the publication of the book and the court case that followed.

At times it provides danger, comedy and intrigue while never really revealing any action and as such is quite slow moving at times, though never boring. The constant struggle that Irving and Suskind find themselves in, keeping one step ahead of the courts is certainly watchable and at times very funny.

The Hoax isn't a bad film. It has a good lead role in Richard Gere, who actually provides one of his most in-depth acting roles of recent years, it has a good story, based on a true account and it has a good soundtrack. Put together, you'd think this would make a must-view film, but there's something lacking which, although set apart from the other `true story' films out there, doesn't make it an instant hit. It will, however, grow on you and after re-watching it you can appreciate the level of period detail, the intricate storyline and certainly one of Gere's best roles in a long time.

If you enjoy true life movies, or you're a fan of Gere, you won't go far wrong with The Hoax. While it can't match any of the bigger and more high profile releases out there, it's still a good film and worth watching which, despite it not being a fantastic film, still makes it worth 4 stars.
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