Early in the 1990s, Hefner and others are interviewed on camera about Hefner's childhood and youth, the beginnings of Playboy and its later empire, what those enterprises meant to society, ... See full summary »
Early in the 1990s, Hefner and others are interviewed on camera about Hefner's childhood and youth, the beginnings of Playboy and its later empire, what those enterprises meant to society, troubles with pundits, censors, and the government, and two crises within Hefner's world, the arrest and prosecution of a close associate and the murder of a model. Susan Brownmiller provides the basic critique of Hefner's businesses (women are objects); Hefner says he wanted to break repression, question traditional values, and present the healthy, wholesome, and real eroticism of the girl next door. By 1992, Hefner is extolling the virtues of marriage, children, and family life. Written by
James Coburn narrates this brief, extremely superficial documentary by Robert Heath on the life of Playboy Magazine founder Hugh Hefner. The roots of Hefner's past begin with some miserable childhood years, eventually leading to his rise up the ladder to decadent high society via an initially low-budget girlie mag. Film skimps a bit (but doesn't ignore) Hefner's troubled times in the tumultuous 1970s, and wraps things up with a now-dated ribbon as Hef enjoys happy times as a husband and father. Painless fluff is mildly entertaining, but it doesn't dig very deeply or ruffle anybody's feathers. One aspect that isn't touched upon: just how a suavely arrogant (but not especially handsome) man could become a sex symbol himself. ** from ****
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