Waiting for Guffman (NTSC) (1996) (NTSC)

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Released 11-Jun-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Listing-Cast & Crew
Audio Commentary-Christopher Guest & Eugene Levy
Deleted Scenes-14 +/- commentary
Production Notes
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 83:35
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,4 Directed By Christopher Guest

Warner Home Video
Starring Eugene Levy
Christopher Guest
Parker Posey
Fred Willard
Catherine O'Hara
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music Michael McKean
Harry Shearer
Christopher Guest

Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Waiting for Guffman is a mockumentary about a small group of people who are producing an amateur theatrical production in a small town in Missouri.

    This film follows the group as they attempt to produce a play to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of their town, Blaine, Missouri 'The Stool Capital of the World'. The group come from different backgrounds and have different levels of experience with live performance. When the group learns that a New York theatre critic will be attending their show, they feel that this may be their big break and a ticket to Broadway.

    This film stars and was written and directed by Christopher Guest who also was responsible for This is Spinal Tap and Best In Show. This film follows the same documentary style as those other films and has a similar range of unique characters. If you enjoyed those other films, or have had any experience with amateur theatre, you will find Waiting for Guffman to be a highly entertaining experience.

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Transfer Quality


    The NTSC transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is slightly soft throughout but this does not pose any significant problem for the viewer. This reduction in sharpness is due to the original 16mm film source and is not a result of the transfer. No low-level noise was detected during the transfer. The transfer displays average levels of shadow detail but this does not pose any real problems as the transfer contains very few dark scenes.

    The colours displayed during the transfer are consistently well saturated but the palette is slightly muted. This is not distracting to the viewer and it helps to add to the documentary feel of the feature.

    No MPEG artefacts were detected at any time during the presentation.

    A small number of aliasing artefacts were seen during the transfer. Examples of these may be seen at 18:25, 31:33, 37:42, 60:39 and 72:30. All of these artefacts only occur for a short period of time and are only slightly distracting to the viewer.

    A number of small film artefacts may be seen during the transfer, examples of which may be seen at 1:23, 2:37, 4:26, 5:26 and 6:51. Each are quite minor and are only very minimally distracting. Some obvious film grain is also seen throughout the transfer, but this is not distracting and also helps to add to the documentary feel.

    Four sets of white subtitles are included for the transfer. I viewed the English stream and found it to be easy to read and consistently accurate.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    An English Dolby Digital 192 kbps 2.0 soundtrack is provided for the main feature.

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times.

    No dropouts or problems with audio sync were detected at any time during the transfer.

    The original score by Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest suits the on screen action and is highlighted during the musical numbers in the group's play.

    The surround and subwoofer channels were not utilized during the transfer.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The non-animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of either 1.78:1 or 1.33:1 depending upon the player setup.

Cast and Crew

    This is a single page listing the major cast and crew members.

Trailer (2:06)

    This trailer is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, and is in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

Behind the Scenes

    This is a short three-page collection of notes detailing the films production.

Additional Scenes (33:52)

    This is a collection of fourteen different scenes that were deleted from the film for various reasons. The viewer has the choice between the original audio track and a commentary by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy. The scenes are presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and are not 16x9 enhanced.

Commentary - Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy

    This is a feature length scene specific commentary by writer/director/actor Christopher Guest and writer/actor Eugene Levy. During this track they discuss the film's locations, working without a script, the low budget, inspiration, casting and shooting schedule. This track does contain some interesting information but it does have numerous short gaps in the commentary.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This is the identical version as released in R1.


    Waiting for Guffman is a very entertaining comedy that will undoubtedly appeal to all fans of the mockumentary genre.

    The video transfer is acceptable but it is disappointing that a PAL transfer was not provided.

    The basic Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack is suitable for the material presented.

    An interesting collection of extras is included, providing some interesting insights into the film.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Saturday, September 07, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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