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Jack Rebney, Keith Gordon, Ghyslain Raza, Alexsey Vayner, Douglas Rushkoff ... see more see more... , Nick Prueher , Joe Pickett , Charlie Sotelo , Alain Berliner , Tony Dahle , Nick Dangeur , Tom Jandric , Kevin Schmitt , Mike Welckle , Ben Steinbauer

In 1988, a man named Jack Rebney spent time with a camera crew making a promotional video to be used as a sales tool for recreational vehicles. To say Rebney was having a frustrating time would be som... read more read more...ething of an understatement; unable to remember much of the sales pitch he'd written and showing little patience as he dealt with bugs, hot weather, and uncooperative equipment, Rebney spoiled take after take, swearing a blue streak as one thing or another went wrong. The editors of the video created a gag reel in which Rebney's colorful bursts of anger were strung together for comic effect, and the footage circulated on dubbed videotapes until 2005. That year, someone posted Rebney's tirade online, and before long "Winnebago Man" became an Internet sensation, with the video racking up countless views and inspiring a number of parodies and on-line tributes. But who was Jack Rebney, why was he in such a lousy mood, and is he aware of his underground fame today? Filmmaker Ben Steinbauer decided to find out, and his search to locate Rebney and uncover the true story behind his moment of Internet infamy is chronicled in the documentary Winnebago Man. The film received its world premiere at the 2009 South by Southwest Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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79% liked it

18,868 ratings

Critics

90% liked it

59 critics

Unrated, 1 hr. 25 min.

Directed by: Ben Steinbauer

Release Date: July 9, 2010

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DVD Release Date: November 2, 2010

Stats: 469 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (469)


  • fb619846742
    April 11, 2013
    fb619846742
    A poignant, in-depth look at arguably the first YouTube star before YouTube even existed, that being swearing RV salesman Jack Rebney. Instead of the documentary being a mash-up "greatest hits" of this figure, director Ben Steinbauer makes a concerted effort to find out what happ... read moreened to this man who was last seen by the public eye in 1989 when he was flipping out between takes of these marketing videos he would make for RVs. What makes this film so interesting is the "everyday man" tone the current Jack Rebney strikes with the viewer. He may be a bitter, angry old man, and we might not ever figure out what makes him that way, but it does not stop us from pulling for him to feel appreciated for those many lives he has, almost inexplicably, touched and all the people he made laugh through the years. Not an ordinary documentary by any means, and certainly not a film for everyone, but still a film that shows a man looking for one last run at glory before retiring into his cabin in the woods with his loving dog for good.
  • March 29, 2013
    Who is Jack Rebney? And why is he so angry? These are the questions that film maker Ben Steinbauer wondered for years. Finally he decided to answer his own questions by finding Jack Rebney and documenting the experience. What we get is a look into the life of an interesting man. ... read moreIt may not answer every question you have, but it has heart and you feel a human connection with Jack Rebney. It's all about the human experience. What we find is a real, comedic adventure that I'm glad to be apart of (even as just a viewer).
  • June 30, 2012
    Jack Rebney: I don't believe that I have the capability of being able to couch anything in a vernacular that's going to be understood by the people that you want me to talk to. 

    Winnebago Man is an interesting enough documentary, in that we get to see the person behind the viral... read more video. "Going viral" is a term we hear all the time now, but it has never really been anything I concern myself with. Honestly, I don't give a fuck if someone is playing with a sword, trying to do a backflip, or cussing up a storm. There's just more important stuff in the world. So I'm with Jack Rebney on that one, as he to, fails to understand the love for the video. Honestly, I don't even find the outtakes funny. Why I liked the movie to the extent I did, is because I grew to like I guy I really didn't know anything about or really care about.

    A filmmaker who was obsessed for years over the viral video makes a documentary on the man himself. He wants to know if the guy is truly as angry as it appears. Is he mad about the publicity? Does he care that people find his rants amusing? Who is this guy? These are all questions the film asks, and like a good filmmaker, he answers them through his subject.

    If there's anything we can take from a film like Winnebago Man... actually there is nothing I can truly take away from it. I didn't learn anything about the human condition or about anything that truly matters. I just learned that Jack Rebney is a pretty cool old guy that loves to swear and thinks Dick Chaney is the worst human being to ever live. That's enough for me. This little documentary did enough to entertain me, while presenting a story I can't say I really care about.
  • April 21, 2012
    Who knew that under all those layers of cynicism and misanthropy that Jack Rebney would turn out to be the most likable old bastard on the planet?
  • April 1, 2012
    This is a comprehensive documentary that varies its message in many ways, but comes out the other side as an expanded student film venture and radically changes a viewer's perspective on its subject. The film itself is broadly about Jack Rebney, who unfortunately starred in ten m... read moreinutes of outtakes from a Winnebago industrial film, which spread around the internet as of 2005. It was a traumatic and humiliating experience, a fact that filmmaker Ben Steinbauer addresses by also talking about other Youtube sensations such as the Star Wars kid, who ended up in a mental institution. Instead of being solely about how we as the public view these people's embarrassment in lieu of our own laughter, we look at Jack Rebney and the interesting way he himself deals with the sensation and how his life has been effected. The filmmaker is passionate about his subject, interested in the plight of Jack and where these no name celebrities end up, or where they are in their lives. Just because it isn't encompassing of the entire Youtube community does not diminish its subject's journey through life, the way he is perceived by different audiences, and the view of personal safety and one's own self image when the spotlight is shone without permission. Jack ends up isolating himself in the cavernous California mountains, and becomes quite defensive once Ben wanders around to find him, unraveling the hatred, the workings of Jack's powerful mind. Jack turns out to be a man of intellect, unchallenged and unchecked. He is only slightly more controlled than his video shows, but is a man of thought and wonder above all else. Overall, I found this documentary engaging simply because Jack was so insightful and surprising. This film gave me an entirely new perspective on the infamous video in question, and now makes me think before I laugh at the misfortune of others. Truly, a thinker.
  • January 25, 2011
    Not quite what you'd expect. Sort of funny, but also sort of sad.
  • December 3, 2010
    Winnebago Man is a documentary about Jack Rebney, one of Internet's biggest superstars. Rebney is known more as the Winnebago Man. During the late 8o's he was doing a shoot for Winnebago, and the outtakes of the commercials ended up being a cult phenomenon. Jack Rebney's delivery... read more of vulgarities and obscenities in the outtakes struck a cord with many people, and people started making copies of the outtakes to friends. It wasn't until the arrival of YouTube that his popularity soared even more. Jack Rebney himself has been surprised at his unwanted attention due to the outtakes. He doesn't see why the video sparked so much popularity. Rebney doesn't seem ashamed with the video, and throughout the film Rebney proves that he's not the angriest man, and he's very humble at times. But also it's very clear that he's got strong political opinions, and he's at time irritated with the filmmakers. But in the end, he's very humbled at how his outtake video ended up cheering up alot of people. The famous outtakes themselves are hilarious and it's no wonder why it's become the most popular viral video ever. If your a fan of the viral video or love documentaries, then I suggest you give this film a viewing. The film uncovers the man behind the video and it answers a lot of questions on the outtakes.
  • fb20312798
    December 30, 2010
    fb20312798
    Its difficult to say if director Ben Steinbauer is really giving Jack Rebney his fair say or if he's (even if its unintentional) just exploiting him in the same way the infamous outtakes have. Regardless, I cannot deny the fact that Rebney is a fascinating individual .
  • fb1245361650
    August 23, 2010
    fb1245361650
    A frequently entertaining and thought-provoking documentary with a great central character. Jack Rebney, a.k.a. the Winnebago Man or The Angriest Man In The World is just as crotchety and pissed in the twilight of his life as he is in the video sensation that began with VHS outta... read morekes of a Winnebago sales video in the late eighties and became a YouTube sensation decades later. However hysterically outspoken Rebney can be, the blame for this film falling short of perfection falls on Steinbauer, who does not let it breathe for a second. He seems too content in presenting a basic run-up to Rebney's appearance at the Found Footage Film Festival in San Francisco. The first thirty minutes is the most informative and intriguing section of the film, but with less than an hour left after that, Rebney makes us laugh, cry, and cheer, which is great, but if the film were a bit longer, we could have had a more provocative film and I think a better one. Not to say that it's bad. Far from it. It just needed a little more.
  • August 13, 2012
    No one delivers obscenities quite as colorfully as mr.rebney. A cult hero finally sought out and studied. A must see for documentary lovers.

Critic Reviews


Greg Quill
December 10, 2010
Greg Quill, Toronto Star

Perhaps the most disturbing issue raised in Ben Steinbauer's fascinating and often hilarious Winnebago Man has to do with the Internet's awesome ability to reduce complex and apparently dangerous beha... Full Review

Rick Groen
October 29, 2010
Rick Groen, Globe and Mail

When the director laments, "I feel like I've stepped into the Winnebago Man outtakes," we can only concur. Full Review

Roger Ebert
October 14, 2010
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Although we find out a lot about this virtual hermit and develop an admiration for his cantankerous principles, the movie leaves some questions unanswered. Full Review

Rob Nelson
September 23, 2010
Rob Nelson, Minneapolis Star Tribune

The movie becomes oddly deep and even poignant. Full Review

Joe Williams
August 20, 2010
Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Winnebago Man becomes a much more interesting and troubling film when Rebney, a former journalist, demands to reclaim control of his messaging. Full Review

Christopher Kelly
August 20, 2010
Christopher Kelly, Dallas Morning News

This strange, darkly funny documentary investigates the story of Jack Rebney, a Winnebago salesman who achieved notoriety based on outtakes of a corporate video he shot in the 1980s. Full Review

Bill Goodykoontz
August 5, 2010
Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

Winnebago Man is an intriguing look at the effects on one man's life; whether they're worth the cost is something Steinbauer leaves up to us. Full Review

Rachel Saslow
July 30, 2010
Rachel Saslow, Washington Post

Raises intriguing questions about our culture of online humiliation and the real-life destruction it can leave in its wake. Full Review

Peter Rainer
July 26, 2010
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

What this film is really about is how interconnected we all are, like it or not, on the Internet, and how alluring and alarming this can be. Full Review

Mark Feeney
July 22, 2010
Mark Feeney, Boston Globe

There's a pathos lurking around the edges of Winnebago Man, and it has nothing to do with issues of fame or the power of the Web and everything to do with aging and alienation, neither of which the do... Full Review

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  • Whose character said this: "You're probably wondering how a girl like me arrived here, at the arse end of the Nevada desert with a blood-spattered Winnebago and a one-armed man."  Answer »

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