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Waiting for Guffman (1996)

Cast: Christopher Guest, Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, more...
Director: Christopher Guest, Christopher Guest
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Warner Home Video
Genre: Comedies, Mockumentary, Mockumentaries
Running Time: 84 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
    see additional details...

The city of Blaine, Missouri is celebrating its sesquicentennial, and what better reason could there be to put on a show? Corky St. Claire (Christopher Guest), current leader of Blaine's community theater group and creator of a stage musical version of Backdraft that led to the unfortunate destruction of the theater, has been commissioned to put together a musical about the city's noble history, "Red, White and Blaine," which stars a variety of the town's theatrical talent. Corky's cast includes Ron and Sheila Albertson (Fred Willard and Catherine O'Hara), a pair of married travel agents that Corky calls "the Lunts of Blaine;" Allan Pearl (Eugene Levy), a dentist who insists that he wasn't the class clown in high school but did sit next to him; Libby Mae Brown (Parker Posey), a sweet young thing who lives for her job at the Dairy Queen; and Clifford Wooley (Lewis Arquette), an "Old Blainian" who makes gun racks from deer hooves. Somehow, Corky has persuaded a major theatrical producer in New York to send a representative to look at the show -- is it possible that "Red, White and Blaine" could be headed to Broadway? Christopher Guest directed and co-wrote this very funny mock-documentary, in addition to playing the flamboyant Corky; Guests's partners from This Is Spinal Tap, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer, helped write the memorable songs for "Red, White and Blaine." ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Commentary by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy
  • Additional Scenes with optional commentary
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Cast / Filmmaker Profiles

You might also enjoy:
Best in Show
Guest's follow-up mockumentary is more hilarious than a squeak toy!

This is Spinal Tap
Guest co-starred in this now classic mock-rock-umentary; still the best

Drop Dead Gorgeous
Amusing and underrated small-Midwestern-town-mockumentary centered around the beauty pageant world

GreenCine Member Reviews

Unscripted, yet genius. by sfspaz January 13, 2004 - 4:21 PM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Rarely is a DVD worth the purchase price for the deleted scenes alone, but when you find such a movie, you know you're in the presence of something great.

Christopher Guest's now-standard ensemble of ad-lib actors (Best in Show, A Mighty Wind) paint a picture of small town life and small town theater that constantly wavers between sympathetic, and simply pathetic. A movie featuring great actors portraying painfully bad actors, Guest and co-writer Eugene Levy give their cast a wide berth to render their characters, and the results, in this case, are superb. Parker Posey shines as the star-struck Dairy Queen cashier with the heart of gold, Eugene Levy is brilliant as the town dentist with delusions of being a comic genius, and as always Fred Willard and Catherine O'Hara steal the show as the grossly undertalented acting couple who somehow end up top-billed in all the local shows.

Guest and Levy's subsequent movies bely the fact that their motivation in making these "mockumentaries" is less mean-spirited than it is cultural homage -though the fact remains that their subjects are so thoroughly out of touch as to be side-splittingly comic.

The fact that the film is build in its entirety on loose plot lines and character sketches created by Levy and Guest, and that the true comic moments come from the casts interpretation and articulation of their characters is nothing short of inspiring.

Jaw-droppingly brilliant, side-splittingly funny.

My favorite of Guest's recent parody movies by rmarkd November 25, 2003 - 10:45 PM PST
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
I've seen Guest's last three parody movies "Best In Show", "A Mighty Wind", and "Waiting for Guffman" and this movie is my favorite of the three.

It's basically about the small town of Blaine holding a play for the town celebration. An off-off-off broadway 'celebrity', Corky St. Clair, is in charge of the play and gets various townmembers to participate. None of them are very good; most of them are very bad, including Corky himself. Yet there is such a strong feeling among the actors that they are in the presence of theatric genius.

You see the expected stuff: bad signing, bad acting all rolled into one bad play that everyone in town loves, but is beyond lame. Maybe not beyond, but pushing the envelope.

Now, I didn't like "Best in Show". I thought characters were quirky more than anything else, but not necessarily funny. "A Mighty Wind" was almost too good and you felt almost like it was an actual documentary.

"Waiting for Guffman" walked that thin line of parody, where falling on one side makes it too subtle to enjoy, and falling the other way makes it too blatant. There are signs of talent in the actors, but you still see the lameness in them. You feel for the characters, but still laugh at their perspective. The townspeople are like lovable goofs. They created a play that, if you were to watch, you would nod your head in vicarious shame, yet still tell them afterwards that they were great because you knew they put their god-darned hearts and souls into it.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.11)
1059 Votes
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