The Amazon Original Series draws from unprecedented access to more than 17,000 hours of footage and over 2,600 scrapbooks from Hefner's personal archives, chronicling the life of an American icon and the history of the brand he created.
American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story is a docuseries combining archival footage, interviews and cinematic reenactments to tell the story of Playboy magazine's charismatic founder Hugh Hefner and his impact on global culture and history. American Playboy begins in post-war America and takes us through the launch of Playboy magazine in 1953 and the next six decades of Hefner's life and career. As he built his empire, Hefner became both a social justice advocate and a target of the conservative movement, battling with the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover while becoming an outspoken defender of civil rights.
Captivating story about a visionary and innovative entrepreneur
After I started watching this documentary I realized that I've had the completely wrong perception of Playboy my whole life, i.e. if I'm to believe everything depicted in this documentary. I've only browsed through Playboy magazine a few times in my life, and I never read any of the articles in it ;-) Though I've always been fascinated by the life of Hugh Hefner, though from a purely sexual perspective. After watching the first 4 episodes of this series though, I'm even more fascinated and impressed by this man as I had no idea he was such a visionary and innovative entrepreneur and that he had such a nag for surrounding himself with talented people. Further, the documentary gives the distinct impression that he was anti-establishment, an equal opportunity employer, had an open door policy, was a great boss, was surprisingly respectful of women (even though at the same time he was obviously exploiting them too), was color blind and, even though indirectly and possibly unintended, he supported for the civil rights of blacks by ignoring the fact that the southern states didn't want to air his Playboy Penthouse TV show because he had a lot of black entertainers on this show. It's almost too good to be true. And as mentioned I have only seen 4 episodes so far, but I kind of doubt the tone is going to sway again Hefner. Lastly, I liked the acting and the occasional switching back to real Hefner footage.
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