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  • Waiting for Guffman [VHS]
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Waiting for Guffman [VHS]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Lewis Arquette, Bob Balaban, David Cross (II), Paul Dooley, Brian Doyle-Murray
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Turner Home Ent
  • VHS Release Date: July 28, 1998
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (476 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 079073155X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,530 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


One of the funniest films in many a moon was hiding at art house theaters in 1998. Former Saturday Night Live comedian and Spinal Tap member Christopher Guest creates the ultimate parody of small-town dramatics, Waiting for Guffman. Corky St. Claire (Guest), an overwhelming drama director hiding out in Blaine, Missouri, thinks he has found the vehicle to put him back on Broadway: the city's 150th anniversary play, Red, White, and Blaine. As rehearsals start, we learn of the town's history ("the stool capital of the world") including a brush with a UFO. The mockumentary follows the various townsfolk wishing for stardom: Parker Posey as a Dairy Queen clerk, Catherine O'Hara and Fred Willard as stage-struck travel agents, Matthew Keeslar as the town's bad boy, and Eugene Levy (who cowrote the film with Guest) as a dentist who dreams of glory on the stage. The film is a hoot from beginning to end, and be sure to watch the closing credits. Fans of Guest's deft dry humor should not miss his other parody of the entertainment world, The Big Picture (Kevin Bacon as a student filmmaker who goes to Hollywood). --Doug Thomas

Customer Reviews

It was one of the best movies I have ever seen.
Nancy Metzger
Katherine O'Hara and Parker Posey are at their best in this movie, as is Christopher GUest as Corkey St. Clair.
Ian N.
Waiting for Guffman was one of those, I feel like seeing a movie but there is nothing good out, moments.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Lore on August 16, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Waiting for Guffman is another wonderful mockumentary from actor/director Christopher Guest (Spinal Tap, Best in Show) and cowriter/partner in crime Eugene Levy. The film highlights the big dreams and raw (very raw) talent of the five stars of �Red, White and Blaine,� the celebratory musical commemorating Blaine, Missouri�s 150th anniversary.
The humor in Guffman is of the cut-above variety, founded on relationships and underlined by the characters� hopes. Guest plays Corky St. Clair, a refugee from Broadway who has found a niche for his special abilities as the de facto King of Theater in Blaine. Levy plays the town dentist who is auditioning for the very first time. Parker Posey is the perky, poignant and perhaps pathetic ingenue who works at the Dairy Queen. Catherine O�Hara and Fred Willard prove the maxim that matching sweatsuits betray an unhappy marriage. Bob Balaban plays Lloyd Miller the music director who is grounded in reality, although his suggestion that the cast might spend some of the rehearsal time actually practicing the songs and dances is met with hostility. As an ex-theater major from Hays, Kansas I found the characters 100% real even while laughing at the absurdity of their belief in the possibility that they might take their show to Broadway.
The musical itself would make a great cult movie in the vein of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The events commemorated include the settling of Blaine (in which a wagon train leader manages to convince an entire group of people that they�ve already reached California), the famous UFO sighting and alien encounter, and the founding of the stool-making business which drove Blaine�s economy for generations.
The DVD is worth seeing just for the extra features.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 10, 2004
Format: DVD
"Waiting for Guffman" is generally considered the follow-up to the now-legendary rockumentary "This is Spinal Tap." Despite having a different director (this gem is directed by its star, Christopher Guest), iut has the same brand of straight-faced hilarity from one hysterical moment to the next. It's one of the funniest and most underrated films of the 1990s.
The dinky but proud town of Blaine Missouri (the "footstool capitol" of the world) is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a (for them) major celebration of civic pride. Self-exiled theatrical producer Corky St. Claire (Guest) happens to be living in this town, after the failure of his last New York show (he almost burned it down). Corky sees this as an opportunity to get back to Broadway, by creating the historical musical "Red, White and Blaine." In theory, the musical will outline the town's history (complete with a visit by President McKinley and UFOs... on different occasions, of course).
Corky is even more elated when a Broadway scout, Mr. Guffman, is supposed to arrive to gauge "Red White and Blaine's" Broadway potential. This is his ticket out of there... and ditto for the slightly odd citizens who are cast in the play: a deadpan Dairy Queen clerk (Parker Posey), a pair of bickering travel agents (Catherine O'Hara and Fred Willard), and a dentist with a lazy eye (the incomparable Eugene Levy). Despite a round of problems, cast losses, and the temporary loss of an irate Corky, the show must go on. But will Mr. Guffman arrive in time to see it?
In small relatively unknown towns, the people often dream of big things. Quite a few of them also have intense civic pride over stuff that nobody else could care less about (crop circles?).
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54 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Amanda HALE on July 13, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This is what director 'Corky St Claire' has the NERVE to say, congratulating himself on the progress of his self-penned show, 'Red, White and Blaine'. This 'mockumentary' is THE FUNNIEST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN! It has it's own 'groove', and once you get onto the Guffman wave-length, you soon become an addict! Christopher Guest delivers his finest performance ever as small town Blaine's resident 'creative type', a tubby, autocratic drama teacher with 'off-off Broadway' experience. The fictional town of Blaine is so 'small town' that the fact that Corky is obviously gay never enters their thoughts; he's 'creative' (and 'from New York'!) The supporting cast, however, are in danger of stealing the movie from under his feet! Parker Posey is pathetically delightful as 'Libby Mae', a Dairy Queen employee who dreams of hitting Broadway so she can "meet Italian guys". Also praisworthy are the characters of "Ron" and "Sheila", a married couple of zero-talents who "Corky" dubbs 'The Lunts of Blaine'. Yet the real prize has to go to Eugene Levy as "Dr Pearl", the local dentist who lands a starring role in 'Red, White and Blaine'. "Dr Pearl" fancies himself as a comedian ("At family functions, I love breaking people up.") and Levy SOMEHOW manages to be hilariously funny playing a character who TRIES to be funny - and ISN'T! Anyone who has ever been involved with local theatre on any level whatsoever will ADORE this movie! Not only does it take a playful stab at Middle America, it ALSO pokes fun at the documentary genre itself (those tense close-ups, those hand-held cameras!) The cleverest, most intelligent comedy in years - 'Waiting for Guffman' has become a cult movie, and quite rightly!
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