Why Would I Lie?

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Why Would I Lie?
Why Would I Lie.jpg
Original theatrical poster
Directed by Larry Peerce
Produced by Pancho Kohner
Screenplay by Peter Stone
Based on The Fabricator by Hollis Hodges
Starring Treat Williams
Lisa Eichhorn
Gabriel Swann
Susan Heldfond
Anne Byrne
Valerie Curtin
Jocelyn Brando
Nicolas Coster
Severn Darden
Sonny Davis
Music by Charles Fox
Cinematography Gerald Hirschfeld
Edited by John C. Howard
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • August 10, 1980 (1980-08-10)
Running time
105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1,175,855

Why Would I Lie? is a 1980 American comedy/drama film about a compulsive liar named Cletus (Treat Williams). The film, which was directed by Larry Peerce and shot in Spokane, Washington, is based on the novel The Fabricator by Hollis Hodges.


Cletus Hayworth, a compulsive liar, is employed as a social worker. He tries to find a home for a young boy named Jorge and, in so doing, falls in love with a social worker, who unbeknownst to everyone is Jorge's mother.



Janet Maslin of the New York Times was not impressed: "It takes about three-quarters of an hour to figure out where Why Would I Lie? is going, and by that time it's clear the movie won't get there. ...First seen on his psychiatrist's couch, where he sports an antique coal miner's helmet, Cletus appears to be a cute, troubled guy in the Morgan! mold. It never becomes clear quite what he is, though. And before the audience even has time to get used to him, he has become involved in a convoluted plot that probably worked better on the page than it does on the screen. ...As directed by Larry Peerce, Why Would I Lie? isn't often funny, especially since Cletus's tall tales generally have a macabre ring. ...Mr. Williams can be charming, but he has none of the whimsical nature that might make Cletus's exploits believable."[1]



  1. ^ Janet Maslin, "'Why Would I Lie': A Comedy" Oct. 10, 1980 http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9803E6D71238F933A25753C1A966948260

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