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Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam (1995)

A documentary crew from the BBC arrives in L.A. intent on interviewing Heidi Fleiss, a year after her arrest for running a brothel but before her trial. Several months elapse before the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Nick Broomfield ...
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Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Madam Alex ...
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Mike Brambles ...
Himself
Cookie ...
Himself (voice)
Elisa Fleiss ...
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...
Herself
Jason Fleiss ...
Himself
Jesse Fleiss ...
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Kim Fleiss ...
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Paul Fleiss ...
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Shannon Fleiss ...
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Gabby ...
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...
Himself (Los Angeles Chief of Police)
...
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Storyline

A documentary crew from the BBC arrives in L.A. intent on interviewing Heidi Fleiss, a year after her arrest for running a brothel but before her trial. Several months elapse before the interview, so the crew searches for anyone who'll talk about the young woman. Two people have a lot to say to the camera: a retired madam named Alex for whom Fleiss once worked and Fleiss's one-time boyfriend, Ivan Nagy, who introduced her to Alex. Alex and Nagy don't like each other, so the crew shuttles between them with "she said" and "he said." When they finally interview Fleiss, they spend their time reciting what Alex and Nagy have had to say and asking her reaction. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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9 February 1996 (USA)  »

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Quotes

Ivan Nagy: If you believe anything they said you are, they made a fool of you. You're a fool. They flattered you, they told you how cute you are. How sexy you are. Right? There you go. So you think you're hot stuff. You're a cool dude, you're happening! "Hey, Hollywood! Heidi thinks I'm cool, I'm sexy!" You're a rube. She thinks you're a fucking idiot. You're an idiot. You're not in the club.
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Sewer diving with Nick
20 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Intrepid documentarian Nick Broomfield looks to uncover the real story behind the notorious Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss in this fascinating, repellent film.

Broomfield is, as usual, totally fearless, and uses his oh-so upright British bearing ("I'm doing a piece for the BBC")to mask the fact that he's a complete gutter-crawling slimebag, able to hold court with the sleaziest characters imaginable. At first, Fleiss won't grant Broomfield an interview (she is arrested for violating her probation shortly after he arrives in Los Angeles) so he pursues her friends and associates with tunnel-vision tenaciousness.

All the neon slime is on display here: pimps, hookers, adult film stars, drug dealers, crooked cops, shady figures of all shapes and sizes. Broomfield goes after them all without fear.

The two people he spends the most time with are Madam Alex, a creepy old-world crone from Hungary who controlled the Hollywood flesh trade before Heidi stole it from her, and Ivan Nagy, a smiling, brutish pimp-drug-dealer-movie-director (also Hungarian) and Heidi's ex-boyfriend who also (supposedly) was the one who narc'd on her to the police. The two spend their time on camera telling wild, half-baked stories and making accusations against each other that criss-cross and contradict so often that eventually it becomes clear that they ARE ALL lying to some degree.

Fleiss does finally give Broomfield an interview and she comes off quite well. Intelligent, lively, and a keen observer of human nature, she clearly is no dunce, although its tough to believe she could actually go toe-to-toe with either Nagy or Alex.

In the end, because he's on screen so much and is such a persistent presence, "Hollywood Madam" is more about Broomfield and his relentless desire to get at the truth than anything. At times, one can only marvel at the audacity of this guy: whether badgering known drug-dealers and pimps until they all but plead with him to GO AWAY, or making what amounts to crank calls to an underworld enforcer (and possible ex-Moussad hit man) Broomfield walks through it all with a zeal it is hard not to admire.


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