A Mighty Wind is a 2003 mockumentary film about a reunion of Folk Music singers, directed by Christopher Guest. The movie's comedy is comparable to that of Guest's other films, This Is Spinal Tap, Best in Show, and Waiting for Guffman, as well as having mostly the same cast as those films.The plot is started by the death of Irving Steinbloom, a folk music producer, whose children plan a reunion concert with several of the bands he worked with to honor his memory. However, there are several things that make this difficult, such as the fact that folk music duet Mitch & Mickey haven't spoken for decades since their messy breakup.
Contains examples of:
Abusive Parents: Terry Bohner was subjected to a strange sort of abuse by his father—being locked in a room, made to listen to a single record on repeat, and then sent to bed with nothing but dessert.
"Thank God for model trains, you know? If they didn't have the model train they wouldn't have gotten the idea for the big trains."
Dope Slap: Jonathan Steinbloom is on the receiving end of one of these after the stage manager gets increasingly irritated with his inane questions. The slap was entirely unscripted, and it broke up the entire crew. This is why the shot cuts away so quickly afterward, due to cast laughter on the soundtrack.
Fake Band: Several of them, in fact, but the performances are real. Much of the music was arranged by John Michael Higgins, who played Terry Bohner; and several cast members spent months learning to play their instruments, having never studied music before signing on for the movie. And, in something of a Defictionalization, most of the cast performed in character for a brief concert tour after the film's release. Eugene Levy & Catherine O'Hara also sang the movie's Oscar-nominated song in character as Mitch & Mickey at the 76th Annual Academy Awards.. The Folksmen actually predate the movie, and have opened for Spinal Tap from time to time. Some Spinal Tap fans didn't even realize that they were the same people.
Gender Bender: The epilogue reveals that Mark Shubb is now living and performing as a woman, though still singing with his deep bass voice.
"It's blowin' peace and freedom / It's blowin' you and me!"
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The Folksmen use a one-word title for their first five abums, with a missing final "g", eg. Pickin'. Their 6th album is titled Saying Something. They attribute the subsequent loss of their fanbase to that change in a scene cut from the theatrical release, but available in the DVD extras. That album was also the first where they used electric instruments, instead of strictly acoustic; parodying the fan and critic controversy over Bob Dylan's move to electric instruments on 1965's Bringing It All Back Home and the 1966 world tour.
Improv: As with Guest, McKean, and Shearer's other mockumentaries, the movie is comprised of unscripted performances by actors who have gotten in-character.
"This is not an occult science. This is not one of those crazy systems of divination and astrology. That stuff's hooey, and you've got to have a screw loose to go in for that sort of thing. Our beliefs are fairly commonplace and simple to understand. Humankind is simply materialized color operating on the 49th vibration. You would make that conclusion walking down the street or going to the store."
Musicalis Interruptus: 'The Skeletons of Quinto'. After a 20 minute (off-screen) introduction explaining the song, the Folksman are rushed off-stage before they can sing it by the arrival of Mitch and Mickey.
Running Gag: Mike LaFontaine had once starred on a television sitcom called Wha' Happened?, in which he tried to make "Wha' happened?" a Catch Phrase that would sweep the nation (the show was cancelled due to "complete lack of interest"). He continues to use the phrase throughout the movie.
"The naches that I'm feeling right now... 'cause your dad was like mishpoche to me. When I heard I got these ticket to the Folksmen, I let out a geshreeyeh, and I'm running with my friend... running around like a vilde chaye, right into the theater, in the front row! So we've got the schpilkes, 'cause we're sittin' right there... and it's a mitzvah, what your dad did, and I want to try to give that back to you. Okeinhoreh, I say, and God bless him!"