F for Fake (1974)

F for Fake



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The final directorial project the legendary Orson Welles completed during his lifetime, F for Fake is less a documentary than an example of cinematic free association on the topic of trickery. Much of the film is in fact drawn from other sources, most notably an unfinished documentary by Francois Reichenbach on the notorious Elmyr de Hory, whose extremely skillful forgeries of famous paintings caused scandals amongst art collectors and experts. In an additional bit of irony, de Hory's … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Television, Musical & Performing Arts, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Orson Welles, Oja Kodar
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 26, 2005
Saguenay Films


as Himself

as The Girl

as Special Participant

as Special Participant

as Special Participant

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Critic Reviews for F for Fake

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (6)

Alternately superficial and profound.

Full Review… | February 9, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A triumphantly self-amused, self-aware reflection on the verities of art and creativity and the lies that sustain them.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A singular combination of documentary, essay, narrative, broad comedy, hoax, and cinematic vaudeville.

Full Review… | September 26, 2005
AV Club
Top Critic

A charming, witty meditation upon fakery, forgery, swindling and art, a movie that may itself be its own Exhibit A.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Welcome to the philosophical fun house that is F for Fake, stuffed full of questions about the nature of art and authorship, illusion and reality, lies and truth.

May 1, 2005
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

A bold, brazen movie that could only have been made because a top-notch talent decided to show off for a little bit.

Full Review… | May 17, 2015
Antagony & Ecstasy

Audience Reviews for F for Fake

Sui generis documentary impregnated by Welles' panache, wit and love for celluloid

Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

A totally unique experience, master director/actor (etc.) Orson Welles creates his late masterpiece with his expose on trickery.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer


A documentary/essay about the art of trickery. Opening with a series of magic tricks, performed by Welles himself, the movie explores two characters who became famous for lying, for tricking others, and by doing it pretty damn well. Very engaging, fun, you can see this as the blue print for many modern documentaries that use a similar style of "free" narrative/performance mode. Movies are a form of fakery after all, Welles is the first one to call himself a charlatan, and with great wit he takes us to this fantastic voyage of illusions, a house of mirrors. What matters is not things being "real" or "fake", but how interesting, appealing and well made they can be.

Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

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