The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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>
  • It's the 1970s. Larry Flynt owns and operates the Hustler chain of strip clubs in Cincinnati. Wanting a broader audience to promote his form of entertainment - what he unabashedly describes as smut pedaling - he starts to publish a Hustler "newsletter" which eventually morphs into Hustler magazine. The difference between Hustler and other girlie magazines is that Hustler contains little text in the form of articles, and shows both sex and female genitalia. Despite the difficult beginnings due largely to retailers not wanting to be charged with distribution of lewd materials, Hustler magazine becomes a success and makes Larry rich. Publishing the magazine also brings Larry both detractors and troubles with the law, the magazine which some believe actually do break laws in what is deemed decent. Through his many trials and tribulations, Larry has some surprising bedfellows which do affect thoughts of what he is doing. He also has a core group of his entourage, including his younger brother Jimmy Flynt, his lawyer Alan L. Isaacman, and who would become his wife Althea Flynt née Leasure, who met Larry when she started working for him as a stripper at one of his clubs. The nature of Larry and Althea's relationship fundamentally changes starting with an incident outside a Georgia courthouse in 1978 which affects Larry's health. Larry's legal battles, which always have him challenging the conventions of legal decorum (much as the magazine challenges traditional moral decorum), change from he defending his form of entertainment to he defending the notion of free speech in America.

    - Written by Huggo
  • Strip club owner Larry Flynt and his wife, Althea, create a pornographic magazine that ignores society's morals and taboos. "Hustler" magazine brings the Flynts not only millions in profit but also the wrath of "decent" people. Flynt and his overburdened attorney find themselves in courtrooms all over the nation defending Larry against criminal and civil charges. In the meantime, Flynt is beset by paralysis, the result of an assassination attempt, drug addiction, mental illness, and Althea's failing health.

    - Written by Allen Brown <browna@ohsu.edu>
  • The life and times of "An Unseemly Man," Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine. This movie's got it all: From his humble beginnings selling moonshine, to his multi-million dollar publishing empire. Along the way he gets shot and paralysed, imprisoned, and taken to court thanks to his nemesis Jerry Falwell.

    - Written by Kevin Gillease <gillease@scf-fs.usc.edu>
  • A partially idealized film of the controversial pornography publisher and how he became a defender of free speech for all people.

    - Written by Kenneth Chisholm


In 1953, 10-year-old Larry Flynt is selling moonshine in Kentucky. Twenty years later, Flynt (Woody Harrelson) and his younger brother...

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