7.3/10
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The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)

A partially idealized film of the controversial pornography publisher and how he became a defender of free speech for all people.

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4,635 ( 245)

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ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 22 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Arlo
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Miles Chapin ...
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Burt Neuborne ...
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10-Year-Old Larry
Ryan Post ...
8-Year-Old Jimmy
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Storyline

Larry Flynt is the hedonistically obnoxious, but indomitable, publisher of Hustler magazine. The film recounts his struggle to make an honest living publishing his porn magazine and how it changes into a battle to protect the freedom of speech for all people. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You may not like what he does, but are you prepared to give up his right to do it?

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual material, nudity, language and drug use | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

10 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Larry Flynt  »

Box Office

Budget:

$36,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$607,652 (USA) (27 December 1996)

Gross:

$20,191,312 (USA) (25 April 1997)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joseph Paul Franklin was an American serial killer. given six life sentences, as well as the death sentence. He confessed to the attempted murder of Larry Flynt in 1978. See more »

Goofs

Flynts mother, Edith died in 1982, 5 years before Flynts wife Althea died in 1987. In the movie she is present at Althea's funeral. See more »

Quotes

Simon Leis: Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Before we begin, I must apologize for the unpleasantness of this task. What you are about to see is going to take your breath away. Hustler magazine depicts men and women posed together in a lewd and shameful manner. Hustler magazine depicts women and women posed in a lewd and shameful manner. Hustler magazine depicts Santa Claus posed in a lewd and shameful manner.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kathy Griffin: Everybody Can Suck It (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Hang on Sloopy
Written by Bert Berns & Wes Farrell
Performed by The McCoys
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
Unusual, audacious film
13 September 1999 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

As Larry Flynt is hardly the usual type of person you think of when you think of the word "hero," it's fitting that this biopic opts not for the standard approach, but to make an offbeat comedy(as writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski did in their screenplay for ED WOOD and the upcoming MAN ON THE MOON, about controversial comedian Andy Kaufman). You may not like him(and one of two faults I had with this film was I think the filmmakers lionized him a little too much), but certainly any society which calls itself free needs to make room for him. Harrelson does a good job in the title role, but the real force for me came from Courtney Love, in an astonishing performance as Flynt's wife, and Edward Norton, one of the best new talents, as Flynt's reluctant lawyer.

Besides that it does lionize Flynt a little too much, there is one problem I had, though. If you believe the film, all of Flynt's opposition came from right-wing blowhards like Charles Keating and Jerry Falwell. Certainly, they did have the most publicized tussles with him. But to ignore the problems he had with feminists makes it rather limited. I don't agree with Gloria Steinhem's contention that the film ignores his depraved side, but I think the film would have been more interesting if it had addressed the opposition he had from both the left and the right. Still, this is a terrific and important film to remind us what freedom really is.


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