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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The quirkiest - and best - of the Mockumentaries!
Those familiar with the series of American 'Mockumentaries' produced by an ensemble cast, headed by Christopher Guest - surely the most unlikely holder of an English peerage in history - and American Pie's Eugene Levy, will need little convincing to try this film, which sits somewhere in the decade-wide gap between 'This Is Spinal Tap' and the more recent 'Best In Show'...
Published on 6 Dec. 2006 by Mitch Ralley

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wating for Original Aspect Ratio!
A splendid film, never smug, superior or laughing AT the characters. Even in this badly cropped, zoomed in edition of the movie there is so much to enjoy.
It deserves a release with extras and in original aspect ratio!
See 'A Mighty Wind' for how this should be done, and the difference it makes.
Published on 18 April 2010 by CJC


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The quirkiest - and best - of the Mockumentaries!, 6 Dec. 2006
This review is from: Waiting For Guffman [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Those familiar with the series of American 'Mockumentaries' produced by an ensemble cast, headed by Christopher Guest - surely the most unlikely holder of an English peerage in history - and American Pie's Eugene Levy, will need little convincing to try this film, which sits somewhere in the decade-wide gap between 'This Is Spinal Tap' and the more recent 'Best In Show' in the group's impressive CV of semi-improvised comedies. If it has been suggested that Guest's off-beat genius would be better suited to British tastes than those at home, then it seems unfortunate that this effort has gone unnoticed outside the US for so long.

On this occasion the guys and girls are taking a look at the world of amateur theatre in small-town USA, as the proud inhabitants of Blaine, Missourri, prepare to put on a show telling the story of their home town's 200th anniversary. Despite limited subject matter - prosperity brought about by a chance presidential encounter with locally made household furniture, and Roswell-esque happenings in the 1940's - misunderstood artiste Corky St. Clair (Guest) rallies the local populace to the cause. With news that broadway critic Mort Guffman will be passing by on opening night, the pressure is truly on as the part timers begin to dream of the big time....

It's certainly an acquired taste, but for those in on the joke the dialogue of 'Guffman' will have you in near-continuous histerics from start to finish. If 'The Office' had you giggling or indeed cringing, you'll absolutely love it.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Best In Show than Spinal Tap, 3 Jun. 2004
Christopher Guest's directorial debut has still not been released on DVD or video in the UK, and to my knowledge has never been shown on TV (terrestrial or digital) either. I don't know why, as it is surely more aimed at the ironic, sarcastic nature of the British viewer than it is the in-your-face, slapstick humour of our friends across the pond. Anyway...
If you liked Best In Show, or A Mighty Wind, you'll love this. If you didn't, you won't. That's it, in a nutshell. The same cast, the same style, the same everything. Replace a dog show, or a folk music festival, with an amateur dramatics scenario, and it's pretty much same as before.
Christopher Guest plays Corky St Clair, a "resting" actor, who has settled in the Missouri town of Blaine, which is currently preparing to celebrate its 150th anniversary, and Corky has been asked to direct a play starring some of the town's residents, to illustrate Blaine's history. Cue Eugene Levy as the town's Jewish dentist, and Fred Willard and Catharine O'Hara as the town's travel agents, who each think that they are better actors than their chosen professions. Include an old-timer and a young mechanic, plus a girl who works at the local fast food restaurant, and you've got a bunch of actors who dream of appearing on Broadway. And when Corky gets a telegram to say that New York talent-spotter Mr Guffman will be in town, the stage is set.
The first part of the film concentrates on interviews with the cast, the town dignitaries, and Corky and the musical director, the second part is the show itself. And what a show. You have to see it to believe it...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So Solid, 12 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Waiting For Guffman [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
More from the Director Christopher Guest and his talented Team of Thesps.

I am a huge fan of these films, and it is a good film- but Guest and Co can soar far above this effort into the realms of genius.
Not to disparage 'Waiting for Guffman', by any means, but this is a vein that has yet to be fully mined. More subtle than the Austrailian/Anglo film "Razzle Dazzle", this film presents a slice of life based around the hopes fears and talents of a bunch of amateur actors, compounded by the expectation of the arrival of the mighty Guffman.
The players in this film however are too nice, too normal and too insightful and have too mach talent in comparision to some of the am dram players it I have encountered. As a microcosim, this field (in the UK) provides a niche of prima donnas and ruthlessness that goes way beyond anything encountered here. Guest and Crew are fabulous at creating work that resonates with truth- and here presents a world that is actually fairly sweet and whimsical, with a very slight plot. Its still streets ahead of so many movies I see; I do not intend this to sound disparaging by any means. it is a keeper all the same.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for more fantastic comedy, 30 Dec. 2004
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Guffman is the continuation of a form of film-making that is solely recognised as the work of Christopher Guest. Spoof documentary-making that is. Anyone who has witnessed This is Spinal Tap, coughed up phlegm-drops of laughter at Best in Show or required defibrillation after hearing Fred Willards "Wha happened" speech in A Mighty Wind will automatically love this flick. Its style is immediately recognisable as Guest's, such is his signature and method. God, i hope he keeps making the same movie with the same cast, over and over again. Why change something that makes so many laugh so hard. Bear in mind, his movies do much better in the UK and Ireland due to his humour, i don't know why, maybe its just we "get it" more.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb off beat comedy, 22 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Waiting For Guffman [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
This is a fine comedy movie from the Spinal Tap people. There are great one liners and a terrific cast. This is a small gem, a wonderful film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wating for Original Aspect Ratio!, 18 April 2010
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CJC (Devon, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Waiting For Guffman [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
A splendid film, never smug, superior or laughing AT the characters. Even in this badly cropped, zoomed in edition of the movie there is so much to enjoy.
It deserves a release with extras and in original aspect ratio!
See 'A Mighty Wind' for how this should be done, and the difference it makes.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting mockumentary, now I see why, 9 Nov. 2007
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This review is from: Waiting For Guffman [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
I didn't enjoy "For Your Consideration" but I decided to give director Christopher Guest another chance by seeing "Waiting for Guffman." Guest plays as Corky a quirky stage director celebrates his small town's history by putting on a play featuring local residents. Having recruiting a fun cast of SCTV and SNL make this one of the most creative comedies I've seen. It has many funny moments, especially from Corky. At times, I'm sure what the actors had to go through was embarrassing, especially when Willard and O'Hara were doing their duet. A way that that was put into perspective for me was when our school put on a performance of `Bye Bye Birdie', and the person who played Gloria Rasputin, a glitzy dancer who is not very good, commented how embarrassing it was to be bad.

The photography was amateurish, especially in the beginning, but that gave it a more authentic feel to the documentary-type it is. However, if this is all supposed to be a documentary, then there are a few shots that don't seem right. The townspeople are knocking on Corky's door, and then we see Corky sitting in the bathtub. Also, right after scene was done in the musical; we follow the actors going backstage. If the camera was just in the audience, how can it get on stage?

Much of the dialogue was obviously improvised, and it tells. Whenever someone just got a whiff, they went on to talk about whatever, and it's often very funny. Some of the deleted scenes on the DVD are just improv, especially from Fred Willard, who is just hilarious.

Something that makes this different from other movies is that there is no background music, because this is supposed to be a documentary. It really put more of an authentic feel. Another point that I loved is the combination of a regular movie and an ensemble movie. Instead of having some well-developed characters or no characters to care about, Guest put in deep characters, that have back-stories that we actually care about, and it's amazing that he can put all of it in 80 minutes. "Waiting for Guffman" is a very funny piece that isn't as much about the bad actors but the interesting story that goes on behind the scenes. If you enjoy quirky pictures that can be uneven but also funny, this is your type of movie.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 8 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Waiting For Guffman [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Nice item, cheap and fast delivered.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star, 12 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Waiting For Guffman [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Not funny at all.
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Waiting For Guffman [DVD] [1996]
Waiting For Guffman [DVD] [1996] by Fred Willard (DVD - 2013)
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