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Hoax (2007)

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Learn more about Hoax:

Format: DVD
Sku: 204966065
UPC: 786936702019
UPC 14: 00786936702019
Category Keywords: Deception  History (Usa)  Theatrical Release
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Drama
Never Let the Truth Get in the Way of a Good Story.
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.

"...lures you in with its captivating performances.  Claudia Puig, USA Today
"Comedy and suspense, satire and shame are all mashed together--with breezy confidence.  David Ansen, NewsWeek
"Thanks to Hallstrom's slaphappy artistry and a sparkling ensemble, Hoax is a hoot.  Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun
"Gere gives 'em the old razzle-dazzle with his roguish charm and sharp comic timing.  Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"...a gripping docudrama.  William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Editor's 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.


Video Features DVD, No Longer Produced

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Video Release Date Release Date: 8/29/2010
Video Play Time Running Time: 115 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2007
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 5033903
Video UPC UPC: 00786936702019
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English
Video Subtitle Available Subtitles: French, Spanish
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Widescreen  1.85:1
Entertainment Reviews
Expert Review The Hoax - DVD Review
By: Jay Antani DVD Reviews
Published on: 10/5/2007 5:03 PM
Everybody loves a good con artist, a guy who can bluff his way into or out of anything. He's isn't violent, not a gangster, but a smooth-talking charmer whose poker face doesn't flinch no matter how dangerous or delicate the situation gets. Lasse Hallstrm's latest, The Hoax, offers a portrait of such a con artist, a real-life fabulist who makes James Frey (the disgraced "non-fiction" writer behind 2003's A Million Little Pieces) and his shenanigans look like chump change. Richard Gere, perfectly cast, plays Clifford Irving, a down-and-out writer who in 1971 wrote (and nearly got published) a fake biography of Howard the full review

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Alfred Molina
Video Cast Info Hope Davis
Video Cast Info Marcia Gay Harden
Video Cast Info Richard Gere
Video Cast Info Andrew Mondshein - Editor
Video Cast Info Betsy Beers - Producer
Video Cast Info Carter Burwell - Original Music By
Video Cast Info Clifford Irving - Based On Book By
Video Cast Info Gary Levinsohn - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Lasse Hallstrom - Director
Video Cast Info Mario Ventenilla - Art Director
Video Cast Info Mark Ricker - Production Designer
Video Cast Info Oliver Stapleton - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info William Wheeler - Screenplay

Professional Reviews

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

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

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

Entertainment Weekly 9 of 10
...[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. - Lisa Schwarzbaum 9 of 10
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. - Tim Knight

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