The Hoax

Monday 20 August 2007This is almost 16 years old. Be careful.

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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