F for Fake

F for Fake

Orson Welles (1973)

A Certificate


Our Score
Much of this sly treatise on deception was shot by François Reichenbach for a TV documentary on art forger supreme Elmyr de Hory. When news broke that de Hory's biographer, Clifford Irving, had faked a life of Howard Hughes, Orson Welles jumped at the chance to use Reichenbach's footage and added to it sequences of prestidigitation, confessional pieces on his own chicanery and a marvellously convoluted story about Oja Kodar and some Picasso paintings. Welles opens the film by promising to tell the absolute truth for one hour. It has the feel of a personal project for the great director, but given its nature, who knows?


Documentary about the art of forgery and fakers, directed and presented by Orson Welles, whose War of the Worlds radio broadcast fooled millions of Americans in 1938. The film itself merges fiction with reality by splicing in footage of notorious hoax biographer Clifford Irving, who reviews the work of Hungarian painter Elmyr de Hory.

Cast & Crew

The Girl Oja Kodar
Orson Welles Orson Welles
The Guest Joseph Cotten
TBC Elmyr de Hory
TBC Clifford Irving
Director Orson Welles
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: BFIAvailable on: video and DVDReleased on: 24 Aug 2012