Daily Archives: February 18, 2008

The Hoax

the-hoax.jpgI watched the movie the The Hoax the other night. I finally got around to renting the dvd. I had forgotten it was based on a true story until the end when they started giving little summaries of what happened to each of the main characters.

Here’s a quick review since this movie came out a while ago. Its the story of how Clifford Irving and his accomplish, Dick Suskind managed to con the world into thinking they had exclusive rights to write the autobiography of Howard Hughes. The movie was very clever, given the true story. How one man is able to charm, and lie his way for over 4 months, and even manage to set off the initial snowball that would escalate to the impeachment of Richard Nixon. Richard Gere was great in this role, I liked seeing him in as a more humble and vulnerable character, he usually plays the cocky, overly arrogant character. There was great chemistry between all the supporting characters too.

Its a look into the pyschosis and desperation of one man trying to publish a book. I guess his book was rejected 1 time too many, and something just snapped in him. He created this whole little fantasy world with this book, even trying to become Howard Hughes himself.

Given the eccentricities of Howard Hughes and how he had basically become a recluse from society, it was fun to see how Clifford using those characteristics to promote his lie all the more. The special features on the dvd had small segments of interviews between Mike Wallace and Clifford on 60’s minutes. I would love to see the full interview. I think there were two actually, one while the book was being written, and one after the truth came out and Clifford had served his time in jail. I would love to see both, and see how Clifford was able to fool everyone with nothing but lies and a strong imagination.

He eventually went on to write the book The Hoax, which details the whole event, and was the basis for the movie. I’m interested in reading the book now. I’ll have to see if my library has it.

I’d give the movie an A. It was well paced, good acting, good costumes and the plot well…nothing is stranger is nonfiction, nothing is more bizarre and makes you think more than nonfiction.

Reading wise… I’ve developed a new strategy where each night I’m going to read the first chapter from a different book of mine until I find one that I want to continue reading past the first chapter. Its a long process, but I’ll manage. I’m just stalling until April, when I’ll be done with graduate school, and can just focus on reading without feeling guilty about not doing homework instead.