Hughes 'Hoax' revives famed 1970s literary lie on film

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Reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes famously broke his silence in the 1970s to denounce a fake autobiography, a yarn he considered more wild and imaginative than any script he had ever seen in Hollywood.

"I only wish I were still in the movie business," he said at the time.

Thirty-five years later comes "The Hoax," the film the late Hughes never made about the roguish author Clifford Irving and the great literary fib he perpetrated. It opens in the United States on Friday.

Directed by Swedish Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lasse Hallstrom and starring Richard Gere as Irving, "The Hoax" traces the amazing string of lies that duped the cosmopolitan New York publishing world and made Irving the talk of the town, both before and after his bust by the real Howard Hughes.

"I remember it quite clearly," said Gere. "It was on the cover of Time magazine and it was news constantly. It was a big deal, bigger than anything else."

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