A Mighty Wind

( 13 )

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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.

There's an extra dimension here, not present in the other comedies. Not only is the material amusing, it's charmingly engaging.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/23/2003
  • UPC: 085392383030
  • Original Release: 2003
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

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

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Been There

    Having become a folk singer during the sixties and opened a coffeehouse on my small college's campus, I absolutely recognize where Guest is coming from with this movie. I feel as if I know exactly which groups are represented, "Mike and Mickey" being one of my earliest influences. I'm glad to have sufficient years of perspective on that scene to be able to stand back now and laugh at the portrayals. What a great parody, partly because it was so kind!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Outstanding

    This movie is clever at a level that some people just won't get. But if you enjoy good writing and sharp, dry humor this script is an oasis of good stuff. If all you enjoy is sight gags and obvious humor, you might not enjoy this movie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    MOVIE IS GREAT--THE CD IS EVEN GREATER!

    As a child of the 60's, I find the CD from A Mighty Wind as one of the best in my collection. Every song is a stand-alone winner: great lyrics, superb singing, and haunting melodies. I even bought the song book available for this amusing film!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!

    This movie was a huge waste of my money and time. I went to see it with an open mind and found myself asleep from boredom halfway through. Not only was it boring and unfunny, but it was grueling to sit through because the plot went so slow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    terrific

    When I went to see A Mighty Wind, I was really skeptical, but once it started, the whole audience was nearly in tears with laughter. One of the best movies I've seen!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of Guest's Best

    We, as musicians, thought this was the best since 'Spinal Tap'. Liked it a little better than 'Best In Show', which was great, and much more than Guffman. Great mock-umentary, which also has a bit of a soft side...and they can all really play, too!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Just not funny

    Although I loved Best in Show, which I found hilarious, this one just isn't funny. The character development isn't nearly as good as Best in Show, and the quirky character types from Best in Show just aren't there. The dialog is dull and the characters are even duller. I was really disappointed in this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not the ''Best'' but do-able

    This funny movie was in the classic ''Best In Show/Guffman'' mockumentary style but without the overabundance of improvisational fun. There are certainly some good laughs but it wasn't quite the same. I'd buy it and I'm going to see the live show in a few weeks so I'm curious as to what they would do with it live....good fun though-true Guest fans will appreciate the movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Give It a Shot

    As a long time fan of C. Guest, Spinal Tap, etc. I was curious about Mighty Wind. The Folksman had done a few appearances on SNL and wondered if this theme could carry a movie. It's certainly funnier than most stuff out there but does not live up to Guffman or Best in Show. Hope Guest and the crew keep at it as there are plenty of more suitable areas to spoof.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Funniest Movie Ever!

    If you liked best in show you'll love A Mighty Wind. Most of the same cast is back. Highly Recomended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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