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Dumbstruck (2010) Online

Dumbstruck (2010) Online
Original Title :
Genre :
Movie / Documentary
Year :
Directror :
Mark Goffman
Cast :
Bob Ashman,Maria Ashman,Robert J. Ashman
Type :
Time :
1h 25min
Rating :

At the annual Vent Haven Convention in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky, ventriloquism capital of the world, director Mark Goffman discovers five extraordinary characters straight out of a ... See full summary

Dumbstruck (2010) Online

At the annual Vent Haven Convention in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky, ventriloquism capital of the world, director Mark Goffman discovers five extraordinary characters straight out of a Christopher Guest mockumentary. But in this delightful, it's-all-true documentary, the characters are real, and so are the emotional attachments that they have with their "dummies."
Credited cast:
Bob Ashman Bob Ashman - Himself
Maria Ashman Maria Ashman - Herself
Robert J. Ashman Robert J. Ashman - Himself
Willie Brown Willie Brown - Himself
Barry Burdette Barry Burdette - Himself
Dylan Burdette Dylan Burdette - Himself
Jennifer Burdette Jennifer Burdette - Herself
Aileen Carroll Aileen Carroll - Herself
Roger Carroll Roger Carroll - Himself
Ed Casey Ed Casey - Himself
Meghan Casey Meghan Casey - Herself (as Megan Casey)
Michelle Casey Michelle Casey - Herself
Mark Anthony Ciarlante Mark Anthony Ciarlante - Himself
Gary Cohen Gary Cohen - Himself
Marlene Cohen Marlene Cohen - Herself

User reviews



This documentary is about five ventriloquists of widely varying backgrounds and ages. One of them, Terry Fator, is extremely rich, famous and a major star. The rest of them are trying to become stars and make careers out of ventriloquism and they find the path very difficult and personally destructive in at least one case.

While "Dumbstruck" was enjoyable to watch and well made, I must warn you up front that several of the stories are very painful to watch and made me feel a bit embarrassed for the folks portrayed in the film. I'll be blunt and also say that several of them loved ventriloquism but they should consider other careers because they just weren't funny...in fact, some of them were god-awful. I know this sounds cruel, but many of the people in the film were NOT the quality of Jeff Dunham or Edgar Bergen. In fact, a couple of them would have been booted off "The Gong Show".


This flick chronicles the lives of a group of puppeteers leading up to their attendance of a ventriloquist's convention in Kentucky. The event is barely mentioned throughout the course of the film, however, and when it arrives, it seems merely to have been tacked on as a footnote to the narrative. The only relevance of the convention to the rest of the movie is the impact impersonator/ventriloquist Terry Fator's sudden fame had on the world of ventriloquism and the hopefuls who inhabit it.

Without a high-stakes climax to converge on, the thrust of the film relies on the day-to-day grind and gradual reveals of the embattled souls who shoulder the burden of being ventriloquists. The five subjects have varying degrees of success, and suffer fallouts in one way or another from their family and social circles in pursuit of their careers. It becomes immediately clear that for these performers, it's an uphill fight for respect.

I was particularly engaged by the 13 year old boy's story, and his struggles to remain self-assured as his father's rejection of his hobby slowly chips away at his confidence.

I also came to appreciate how difficult it is to create the jokes, the act, and different voices of their characters while also being technically proficient in their dummy's manipulation.

Overall highly recommended, and deserving of a much higher rating than it's current one.