Mighty Wind

Mighty Wind

3.8 13

Cast: Bob Balaban, John Michael Higgins


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The writing and directing team who created Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show turn their satiric eye toward the world of folk music in this sly mockumentary. Irving Steinbloom was one of the great behind-the-scenes figures of the folk music boom of the late '50s and early '60s, and helped to nurture the careers of three of the best known acts of theSee more details below


The writing and directing team who created Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show turn their satiric eye toward the world of folk music in this sly mockumentary. Irving Steinbloom was one of the great behind-the-scenes figures of the folk music boom of the late '50s and early '60s, and helped to nurture the careers of three of the best known acts of the era. The Folksmen -- Mark Shubb (Harry Shearer), Alan Barrows (Christopher Guest), and Jerry Palter (Michael McKean) -- were an earnest folk trio who sang of America's noble past and the challenges of the future; they split up in the early '70s after a failed attempt to go electric. Mitch & Mickey were a duo in both music and life, comprised of Mitch Cohen (Eugene Levy) and Mickey Devlin (Catherine O'Hara). They sang soulful songs of love until the collapse of their relationship sent Mitch into a deep and incapacitating depression. And The Main Street Singers were a nine-piece vocal group -- a "neuftet," as they prefer it -- who offered energetic good-time music, cranking out nearly 30 albums in the course of a decade; their current incarnation, The New Main Street Singers (played by Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, John Michael Higgins, David Alan Blasucci, Steve Pandis, Christopher Moynihan, Paul Dooley and Patrick Sauber) is still on the road. When it is announced that the legendary Irving Steinbloom has died (the character never appears in the film), his son Jonathan (Bob Balaban) decides that the best way to memorialize his father is through music, and with the help of Mike LaFontaine (Fred Willard) of Hi-Class Management, they set out to bring The Folksmen, Mitch & Mickey, and The New Main Street Singers back together for a special concert at New York's Town Hall. Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer -- who previously teamed up for This Is Spinal Tap -- not only perform together as The Folksmen in A Mighty Wind, but composed most of the songs performed onscreen.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
If you've gotten an A+ more than once, no one ever seems to be entirely satisfied when your report card says A-, and that's the biggest bugaboo in reviewing A Mighty Wind. While it's a clever and thoroughly enjoyable comedy on its own terms, knowing that A Mighty Wind comes from the same creative team which made Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show sets up some unusually high expectations, and when one makes the inevitable comparisons, A Mighty Wind falls short. The film's biggest failing is that while much of the same superb comic cast from those two films is on hand this time out (and Harry Shearer is on board as Spinal Tap go undercover as the Folksmen), many of them simply aren't given enough to do, especially Parker Posey, Don Lake, and Michael Hitchcock, while Fred Willard, Larry Miller, and Jennifer Coolidge are saddled with roles that are simply beneath their abilities. While Guffman and Best in Show both had great moments where characters were able to strongly, clearly, and hilariously define their characters in a few brief moments, A Mighty Wind has more than its share of players who have funny shtick but not much of a persona to go along with it, and the film suffers for it. However, the moments that do work compensate for the flaws, and many of the film's best moments come in unexpected places. The songs brilliantly walk a line between sincere tribute and vicious parody of early-'60s folk tunes (especially "Old Joe's Place" and "Never Did No Wanderin'"), and Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara are not only hilarious but unexpectedly moving as a divorced couple forced to deal with a lot of old baggage as they prepare for their reunion gig; would that every film about divorce could be as insightful. If -- to belabor the academic metaphor -- A Mighty Wind isn't the magna cum laude candidate you likely expect from Christopher Guest after his previous two directorial efforts, it's still strong enough to make the dean's list, and suggests Guest and his repertory company may have a few more surprises in store for their next effort.
Entertainment Weekly - Owen Gleiberman
A movie that re-creates its object of satire with such pitch-perfect flair that it all but erases the line between derision and love.
Washington Post - Desson Howe
There's an extra dimension here, not present in the other comedies. Not only is the material amusing, it's charmingly engaging.
San Francisco Chronicle - Mick LaSalle
The picture gently caricatures the folk music scene with dozens of delicate brush strokes, creating a picture that's increasingly, gloriously funny -- as in entire lines of dialogue are lost because the audience's laughing so hard.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bob Balaban Jonathan Steinbloom,Actor
Christopher Guest Mark Shubb,Actor
Eugene Levy Mitch,Mitch Cohen,Actor
John Michael Higgins Terry Bohner,Actor
Jane Lynch Laurie Bohner
Catherine O'Hara Mickey,Mickey Devlin Crabbe,Actor
Harry Shearer Alan Barrows,Mark Shubb
Michael McKean Jerry Palter
Parker Posey Sissy Knox
Fred Willard Mike LaFontaine
Ed Begley Actor
Jennifer Coolidge Actor
Paul Dooley Actor
Michael Hitchcock Lawrence Turpin
Don Lake Actor
Larry Miller Actor
Deborah Theaker Actor
David Blasucci Tony Pollono
Laura Harris Miss Klapper
Linda Kash Actor
William S. Nunziata Actor
Jim Piddock Actor,Leonard Crabbe
Freda Foh Shen Melinda Barrows

Technical Credits
Christopher Guest Director,Songwriter,Screenwriter
Joseph T. Garrity Production Designer
Richard Hicks Casting
John Michael Higgins Score Composer,Songwriter
Robert Leighton Editor
Eugene Levy Score Composer,Songwriter,Screenwriter
Michael McKean Score Composer,Songwriter
Karen Murphy Producer
Arlene Donnelly Nelson Cinematographer
Catherine O'Hara Score Composer,Songwriter
Annette O'Toole Score Composer,Songwriter
Scott Andrew Robertson Asst. Director
Dena Roth Set Decoration/Design
Harry Shearer Score Composer,Songwriter
Pat Tagliaferro Art Director
C.J. Vanston Score Composer,Songwriter
Mark Weingarten Sound/Sound Designer
Durinda Wood Costumes/Costume Designer

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