The great Buck Howard

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German title The great Buck Howard
Original title The Great Buck Howard
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 2008
length about 87 minutes
Age rating FSK 0
Director Sean McGinly
script Sean McGinly
production Gary Goetzman ,
Tom Hanks
music Blake Neely
camera Tak Fujimoto
cut Myron I. Kerstein

The Great Buck Howard (AKA The Great Buck Howard ) is an American comedy film from 2008 by Sean McGinly (writer and director) with Colin Hanks and John Malkovich in the lead roles.


Troy Gable started studying law two years ago at his father's request. Now he finally realizes that he is dissatisfied with it. He breaks off his studies; At first he does not tell his father about his decision. He secretly hopes to become a writer. However, he must realize very quickly that he cannot make a living from it and needs a job to be able to pay his bills. He becomes aware of the ad of the magician Buck Howard who is looking for a tour manager. Troy gets the job.

Troy accompanies Buck Howard on his tour of small towns across the country. In the grand finale of his show, Buck Howard asks the audience every time to hide an envelope with his evening fee somewhere in the hall while he and his team are in the cloakroom. If he doesn't find the money afterwards, he waives the fee for that evening.

In the past, Buck Howard has appeared several times on the Tonight Show and other television shows. He now rarely gets television appearances. To get back into the limelight, he plans to perform a unique new trick in Cincinnati . Publicist Valerie Brennan organized the press and Buck's media appearances in the run-up to the big event. Although Valerie has a boyfriend, Troy and Valerie get closer and spend the night together.

For his big show, Buck Howard plans to hypnotize 300 people at a time. Although his trick worked brilliantly, the press in attendance left the event because of a traffic accident involving Jerry Springer . His success is not documented by a single camera. After the show, Buck suddenly collapses and has to be revived. The collapse unexpectedly brings Howard the media attention he was hoping for with his big trick. In the following period he was invited to a number of television shows. However, the planned appearance on the Tonight Show cannot take place at short notice because the time for the live broadcast has expired.

As a result, Buck Howard receives a regular show in Las Vegas . As a final trick, he's still looking for the evening fee. One evening, however, Buck cannot find the money hidden by the audience in the hall. Troy then quits his job for Buck, goes to Los Angeles and finally wants to be a writer. With the help of Valerie, he gets a job as a writer for Jonathan Finerman's television show.

Buck Howard ends his regular show in Las Vegas and is back on tour of the small towns. Troy visits him at an appearance and watches the show as a spectator for the first time. Buck still finds the money at the end of his show and it remains unclear how the trick works until the end.


Justin Chang praised the performance of John Malkovich in Variety magazine on January 22, 2008, who "amusingly" portrayed the diva allures of the embodied character. What is problematic, however, is the concept of a film that is too familiar and that focuses on the relationship between two people. Sentimentality takes the upper hand over satire. The film can still count on a broad audience from different generations.

72% of the film reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes are positive (as of January 2013).


The figure of Buck Howard largely corresponds to the real existing mentalist The Amazing Kreskin . The screenwriter and director Sean McGinly was his road manager for some time and used Kreskin's story as a template for his main character.

Actors Gary Coleman , Michael Winslow, and Jack Carter each have brief appearances in which they play themselves. Other guest appearances have George Takei , David Blaine and various TV presenters such. B. Conan O'Brien , Jay Leno, and Jon Stewart .

The film was shot in Las Vegas , Los Angeles and New York City . It premiered on January 18, 2008 at the Sundance Film Festival . The film was then shown at other film festivals and from March 20, 2009 in a few American cinemas. In Germany the film was not shown in the cinema. The film grossed only 0.9 million US dollars at the box office worldwide.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Certificate of Release for The Great Buck Howard . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , July 2011 (PDF; test number: 128 497 V).
  2. Variety : Film review by Justin Chang ( memento of the original from June 4, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed January 24, 2008. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. The great Buck Howard at Rotten Tomatoes (English).
  4. ^ National Post : Report on Kreskin and Buck Howard ( June 9, 2008 memento in the Internet Archive ), June 7, 2008.
  5. IMDb: Filming locations for The Great Buck Howard , accessed January 24, 2008.
  6. IMDb: The Great Buck Howard premiere dates , accessed January 24, 2008.
  7. Box Office Mojo: The Great Buck Howard Box Office , accessed January 13, 2013.