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Golden Globe winner Richard Gere (Shall We Dance?, Chicago) leads a stellar cast in The Hoax, the thrilling and unbelievably true story of the man who almost pulled off the biggest literary con of the 20th century. When the charismatic Clifford Irving (Gere) convinces a major publishing house that Howard Hughes, the bigger-than-life billionaire recluse, has asked Irving to pen his authorized autobiography, Irving must concoct an elaborate scheme to prove his fake manuscript is real. Inspired by Irving's tell-all book The Hoax, and directed by Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat), this tensely comedic story of deception, international intrigue, powerful corporate empires and beautiful women is a wild rid down the slippery slope of a lie run amuck.


Studio Buena Vista Home Entertainment
SKU 204966065
UPC 786936702019
UPC 14 00786936702019
Format DVD
Release Date 8/29/2010
Rating Rating
History (Usa)
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Richard Gere gives one of the best performances of his career in Lasse Hallström's vastly entertaining THE HOAX, based on true events. Gere stars as Clifford Irving, a struggling writer desperate to be a famous bestselling author. After his novel gets rejected, he concocts a crazy plot in which he convinces McGraw-Hill that he has been contacted by Howard Hughes in order to tell the official life story of the reclusive billionaire. With the help of his friend, nervous writer Dick Suskind (Alfred Molina), and Irving's artist wife, Edith (Marcia Gay Harden), he attempts to get away with one of the greatest literary hoaxes of the 20th century. He goes to elaborate lengths to pull the wool over the eyes of his editor, Andrea Tate (Hope Davis), as well as his publisher, Shelton Fisher (Stanley Tucci), and the managing editor of Life magazine, Ralph Graves (Zeljko Ivanek), who is offering big bucks to serialize the book. As Irving gets deeper and deeper into the lies, he begins to embody Hughes, mimicking the way he looks and talks. The film features excellent performances all around, including star turns by Eli Wallach as longtime Hughes employee Noah Dietrich (a part played by John C. Reilly in Martin Scorsese's THE AVIATOR) and Julie Delpy as Nina Van Pallandt, a former flame of Irving's whom he can't shake loose. Director Hallström (MY LIFE AS A DOG, CHOCOLAT, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES) shows a deft hand with the complex material; William Wheeler based the script in part on Clifford Irving's own memoir. The soundtrack prominently features Richie Havens's version of "Here Comes the Sun," along with songs by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Box Office "Gere reveals hidden talents, asserting himself with a confident swagger as the Machiavellian figure whose charisma and plausibility pull others along in his wake." 12/01/2006 p.65
New York Times "[B]riskly entertaining....THE HOAX gestures beyond the particulars of the case, toward a pervasive social unease..." 04/06/2007 p.E10
Movieline's Hollywood Life "As he showed in CHICAGO, Richard Gere is far more energetic playing con men and hustlers than he ever was in more heroic roles." 03/01/2007 p.105
Entertainment Weekly "THE HOAX expands and darkens, in the sophisticated script by under-the-radar screenwriter William Wheeler, to comment on the deception and power games that defined Watergate-era America." -- Grade: A- 04/13/2007 p.54
Rolling Stone 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Gere gives 'em the old razzle-dazzle with his roguish charm and sharp comic timing. The surprise is the unexpected feeling he brings to this challenging role." 04/19/2007 p.71
USA Today 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "THE HOAX is a highly entertaining tale....Gere is brilliant as the shamelessly manipulative and jauntily glib Irving." 04/06/2007 p.6E
Uncut 4 stars out of 5 -- "With Gere relishing Irving's crazed denial and great comic turns by Hope Davis, Stanley Tucci and Eli Wallach, the film is accessibly smart..." 09/01/2007 p.120
Total Film 4 stars out of 5 -- "Lasse Hallstrom's film is a spry escapade, swept along by Richard Gere's infectious self-aggrandisement as Irving." 09/01/2007 p.36
Sight and Sound "THE HOAX is a tricksy tale, tricksily told, but with enough zing, ebullience and delight in its own narrative sleight of hand to carry us along with it." 09/01/2007 p.62
Empire 4 stars out of 5 -- "[W]e're treated to a character study of a confident but increasingly desperate man, surrounded by a superb gallery of bit-players..." 09/01/2007 p.60
Ultimate DVD "[A] compelling and entertaining real-life whimsy....Fast, smart and surprising right to the end." 11/23/2007 p.107
Lasse Hallstrom
Marcia Gay Harden
Julie Delpy
Hope Davis
Eli Wallach
Cast & Crew
Alfred Molina - Actor
Andrew Mondshein - Editor
Betsy Beers - Producer
Carter Burwell - Original Music By
Clifford Irving - Based On Book By
Gary Levinsohn - Executive Producer
Hope Davis - Actor
Lasse Hallstrom - Director
Marcia Gay Harden - Actor
Mario Ventenilla - Art Director
Mark Ricker - Production Designer
Oliver Stapleton - Cinematographer
Richard Gere - Actor
William Wheeler - Screenplay
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2007
Catalog ID 5033903
UPC 00786936702019
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 115 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles French, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  1.85:1
ReviewSource Entertainment Weekly
Review ...[Richard Gere] is not the first suave Buddhist I'd think of to play dark, curly, Jewish New Yorker Irving, but the quick-witted Gere who schemes and fast-talks his way around the snappy, plugged-in scam saga The Hoax is like no Gere I've seen before...Permed and dyed to verisimilitude, a bit pouchy of build and packed into jackets that mean to look sharp but only look eager to look sharp, Gere takes to the outlandish liar he plays with what might well be called impassioned honesty...True facts about Irving's falsehoods are only the starting point here. The Hoax expands and darkens, in the sophisticated script by under-the-radar screenwriter William Wheeler, to comment on the deception and power games that defined Watergate-era America...There are lies -- or at least fictions, fantasies, and conjectures about Irving -- thrown into The Hoax. But the movie's aim is true.
Reviewer Lisa Schwarzbaum
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource Reel.com
Review Who knew that Lasse Hallstrom, the stolid purveyor of picture book-pretty, tasteful, and rather sleepily paced middlebrow fare like Chocolat (2000) and The Cider House Rules (1999) was just waiting to unleash his inner Billy Wilder? For that's who Hallstrom most pointedly evokes with his latest film, the exhilarating and wickedly funny black comedy, The Hoax, a jazzy, whip-smart, and mischievous account of the one of the great literary cons of the twentieth century: the notorious Howard Hughes autobiography scam, nearly pulled off by writer Clifford Irving in the early 1970s...Overall, the many sophisticated pleasures of The Hoax far outnumber the film's few, relatively minor flaws. Unlike Irving, who served fourteen months in prison for committing fraud, the filmmakers, cast, and crew rarely make a false move in The Hoax.
Reviewer Tim Knight
ReviewRating 9
DVD, No Longer Produced
Claudia Puig, USA Today ...lures you in with its captivating performances.
David Ansen, NewsWeek Comedy and suspense, satire and shame are all mashed together--with breezy confidence.
Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun Thanks to Hallstrom's slaphappy artistry and a sparkling ensemble, Hoax is a hoot.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Gere gives 'em the old razzle-dazzle with his roguish charm and sharp comic timing.
William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer ...a gripping docudrama.

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