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After the untimely death of his daughter, Paul Raymond reflects on his life. Rising from a mind-reading act, Raymond grew to have a fabulously successful career as an erotica magnate that would make him the richest man in Britain. However, for all his material success, Paul's appetites mess up his personal life, such as alienating his wife with his philandering. Furthermore, even as he challenged his society's sexual mores, Paul's relationship with his daughter proves troublingly problematic as she came of age. While trying to be the best father he could, Paul gradually comes to realize that his proclivities have impoverished him in ways that mere money cannot address. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
The film's working title, The King of Soho, had to be dropped after the threat of legal action by Paul Raymond's son, Howard, who was already developing a project of the same name about his father's life. See more »
Charming, witty, intelligent. Had to have it all, but at what cost?
One is almost tempted to pronounce Paul Raymond's story as predictable. Rags to riches story, got corrupted and suffered the consequences. Yet there is something different about Paul Raymond, who came to London from Liverpool with nothing and reached the very top.
By different I don't mean just the fact that he was probably the first entrepreneur to acquire wealth almost exclusively from the "adult entertainment" industry but he founded it since his peak coincided with the beginning of secularisation of Britain and he introduced a very daring sort of entertainment in a highly puritanical society. Being spirited as he were, neither the criticisms or the bad press affected his stamina; he just marched on conquering bigger heights.
With the above in mind, it does not become too challenging to picture an audacious, notorious individual. Or so Steve Cogan aimed to have us believe. I could not envisage an actor better suited for the part. Ultra cool and a charmer, Steve Coogan was Paul Raymond. Mr Raymond was apparently so charming that his shared his extramarital bravados with his wife and for the 1950's (or so) this is spectacular.
The movie places us inside his life and we follow his ups and downs, although we soon become aware that he is a man in mourning. Perhaps a side effect of the poverty he came from, his no limits lifestyle and the way he indulged it to his beloved daughter obviously must have played a part.
It might go down as just another bio of a sale made man, but this film had an added dose of personality that undoubtedly mirrored its central character and the flamboyance he exhumed.
One of the better recent British films.
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