The Hoax

Monday 20 August 2007

On the plane back from Denver, the movie was The Hoax, about Clifford Irving’s fake autobiography of Howard Hughes. I enjoyed the movie a lot, it was basically a caper movie, with Richard Gere as the audacious Irving pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes, counting on Hughes’ legendary reclusiveness to keep him from being exposed.

I remember this story from the early ‘70s, I remember seeing sketches of the supposed meeting on top of a Mexican pyramid in Life magazine. I hadn’t realized that it eventually touched on Watergate, which made the intrigue all the greater.

Toward the end of the movie, there’s a shot of the beleaguered Irving in the back of a car being hounded by the press. I suddenly realized I had seen that setup before: on the day that Susan appeared on the Today Show, we walked back to our hotel, expecting just an ordinary Sunday morning New York stroll. But we came upon this scene:

Richard Gere in a car

We asked a police officer nearby if anyone famous was in the car, and she said, “Richard Gere”, as if nothing unusual was going on. At the time I thought I’d have to keep an eye on Richard Gere movies to figure out which one it was, but I forgot all about it. It was cool to see the scene in the movie and remember the connection.

One more synchronicity: the Wikipedia page about Clifford Irving says that he now lives in Aspen, Colorado, where we had just been.


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