Dumbstruck - the Movie

Adelia and I had the special opportunity this past weekend to screen the soon to be release movie, Dumbstruck, written and directed by Mark Goffman. Dumbstruck follows five ventriloquists at all levels of ability over the course of a year, letting you see into their lives both on stage as well as behind the scenes. Entertaining, thought provoking, and more. All ventriloquists should see this movie.

If you are fortunate to live near locations of one of the upcoming screenings, be certain to make plans to do so: Atlanta, GA, April 15; Washington, D.C., April 22; New York, NY, April 22; Los Angeles, CA, April 29; Dallas, TX, May 6; Indianapolis IN, May 13; Minneapolis MN, May 20, and St. Louis, MO, May 20. For further details and locations: http://www.dumbstruckthemovie.com/ .

While I'm sure the selection of ventriloquists featured in the movie will always be debated by the vent community, I thought the presentation was fair and balanced, with excellent editing which kept the movie flowing logically and smoothly to an appropriate conclusion. I enjoyed the fact that the ventriloquists themselves were always the focal point. Never was an interviewer seen or heard. And the content was such that I, as a grandfather, can without hesitation invite my granddaughters to join me for viewing.

On the downside, and perhaps a bit selfishly, I do not feel the movie will inspire many folk to take up the art. As one who has spent 40 years teaching ventriloquism, I was hoping for more than this work seems to provide in the way of motivating folk (especially young people), to take up the art. But before pointing fingers at those who produced the movie, perhaps there's some self-examination that needs to take place in our community. Decide for yourself. If you enjoy television reality shows, or shows such as Undercover Boss, then you'll likely enjoy this movie.

Watch for Dumbstruck, the movie coming to your area. Or watch for its release on DVD. You can view a trailer HERE , now.


  1. Hi Mr. D. A very interesting article, I am sure it will be an Obvious hit, I seen the trailor, It looked great, I was in Las Vegas in February from the 13-20th,My birthday was the 16th. and had a fair time, I didn't get to see the show of Terry's I didn't have the money, But Maybe another time. I think that if they have a sequal, thay should include Mr. Detweilers-Meher Studio, Mark Wade and Jeff Dunham, as well as Capettos work shop, Maybe my son Nathan. Who do you think may make a great addition,
    Thanks, Bill

  2. Steve Engle3/31/2011

    Thanks for the heads up.
    Speaking of "anticipation" . . .
    It's the end of the month.
    How's the "Maher Retro Figure" coming?????

  3. You make a good point about self examination. Although I think they showed a fair representation of both the positive and negative, we should look carefully to see where some of the negative comes from.
    I don't think you could show the vent business as all million dollar contracts etc as that is just not the case.
    I found it inspirational to me to just keep plugging away!

  4. "Retro" figure now in the painting stage...thanks for asking.

  5. I am not a fan of this movie, when it was shown at the convention I could not help but feel sad for some of my fellow vents featured in this film (except Terry Fator). I have been on tv, movies, newspaper stores and from what I have experienced, I am sure these vents did not realize that the end result would be heart breaking. The movie business can be a cruel cold mistress.

  6. Anonymous4/01/2011

    Having watched the trailer a few times, I am left questioning how the vents featured are portrayed. To me, there is sense that the film pokes fun at ventriloquism, and it may help solidify, in the mind of the general public, that vents are strange. While I am still interested in seeing the film, I am skeptical.