The Hoax


The Hoax

Film Info

Directed by Lasse Hallström
Written by Clifford Irving (book), William Wheeler
Produced by Leslie Holleran, Mark Gordon, Bob Yari, Anthony Katagas, Betsy Beers

Composed, Orchestrated and Conducted by Carter Burwell
Music Editor: Todd Kasow
Music Scoring Mixer: Mike Farrow
Contractor: Sandy Park
Recorded at Right Track Studio A
Mixed at The Body Studio

Starring Richard Gere, Alfred Molina, Marcia Gay Harden, Hope Davis.

US release April, 2007.

Richard Gere as Clifford Irving as Howard Hughes
Richard Gere as Clifford Irving as Howard Hughes
Richard Gere as Clifford Irving, Howard Hughes looking on
Mr & Mrs Irving
Richard Gere and Marcia Gay Harden as Mr. and Mrs. Irving

Carter Burwell's Notes

This is the story of The Autobiography of Howard Hughes, a forgery concocted by author Clifford Irving in the early 1970's. Irving has claimed a variety of motivations for this hoax, among them the quasi-art concept of the "happening".

It seemed that it would help a 21st-century audience to put themselves in his shoes if the score hewed to a 1970's pop sound. As Irving's grasp of reality deteriorates, the pop sound also reinforces his delusional optimism/paranoia and undercuts the appearance of "dramatization".

Lasse Hallstrom with Richard Gere
Lasse Hallstrom with Richard Gere

Music Production Notes

In addition to the credits given above, these were the key people working on the score:

Guitars: David Torn, Larry Saltzman
Piano: Bill Mays
Bass: John Patitucci, James Genus
Percussion: Bashiri Johnson, Hearn Gadbois
Drums: Keith Carlock

Copyist : Tony Finno
Assistant to Composer: Dean Parker

Larry Saltzman, John Pattitucci, Carter Burwell, Bill Mays
(photo by Dean Parker)


"...Tech work creates a strong feeling for the '70s, with credit going to all hands, but especially to the expressive and varied lensing by Hallstrom's regular cinematographer Oliver Stapleton, and to Carter Burwell's delightful soundtrack, which becomes central in establishing time and mood." - Deborah Young, Variety, Oct. 16, 2006.

"The film’s meticulously evoked atmosphere adds to the experience: archive news footage creates a back-drop of the Nixon era’s institutional mendacity; the superb Carter Burwell score swirls anxiously." - Wendy Ide, The Times, Aug. 2, 2007.

"The film is atmospherically lit by British cinematographer Oliver Stapleton, has a jaunty score by Carter Burwell and concludes wittily by playing the Rolling Stones 1969 number, 'You Can't Always Get What You Want'" - Philip French, The Guardian, Aug. 5, 2007.

"Whisked along by a jaunty Carter Burwell score, director Lasse Hallström’s loose-wristed conspiracy caper captures the frantic energy and self-delusion at the heart of the project." - Nigel Floyd, Time Out London, Aug 1, 2007.

"It isn't often that the musical score really catches your attention in the first moments of a movie, but that's what happens as 'The Hoax' begins. The music grabs the audience immediately and rivets their attention on characters that they're not even acquainted with yet. And then Carter Burwell's name appears in the opening credits and everything makes sense. He's probably most famous for his score in 'Fargo,' and his music always has personality that flawlessly meshes with the scenes it accommodates. "The Hoax" is no exception." - Phil Malone,

Clifford Irving on TIME, 1972