7.1/10
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26 user 30 critic

Circus of Books (2019)

In 1976, Karen and Barry Mason had fallen on hard times and were looking for a way to support their young family when they answered an ad in the Los Angeles Times. Larry Flynt was seeking ... See full summary »

Director:

Rachel Mason

Writers:

Rachel Mason (screenplay by), Kathryn Robson (screenplay by)
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Karen Mason ... Self
Barry Mason ... Self
Micah Mason ... Self - Karen and Barry's Son
Rachel Mason ... Self - Karen and Barry's Daughter
Josh Mason ... Self - Karen and Barry's Son
Fernando Aguilar ... Self - Former Employee
Freddie Bercovitz ... Self - Former Employee
Gisella Colindres Gisella Colindres ... Self
Ellen Friedman Ellen Friedman ... Self
Larry Flynt ... Self - Publisher of Hustler Magazine
David Gregory ... Self - Former Employee
Joseph Hawkins Joseph Hawkins ... Self
Alexandr Jonah Ivolgin Alexandr Jonah Ivolgin ... Self
Harold Kameya Harold Kameya ... Self
Ellen Kameya Ellen Kameya ... Self
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Storyline

In 1976, Karen and Barry Mason had fallen on hard times and were looking for a way to support their young family when they answered an ad in the Los Angeles Times. Larry Flynt was seeking distributors for Hustler Magazine. What was expected to be a brief sideline led to their becoming fully immersed in the LGBT community as they took over a local store, Circus of Books. A decade later, they had become the biggest distributors of gay porn in the US. The film focuses on the double life they led, trying to maintain the balance of being parents at a time when LGBT culture was not yet accepted. Their many challenges included facing jail time for a federal obscenity prosecution and enabling their store to be a place of refuge at the height of the AIDS crisis. Circus of Books offers a rare glimpse into an untold chapter of queer history, and it is told through the lens of the owners' own daughter, Rachel Mason, an artist, filmmaker and musician.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Neighborhood entrepreneurs. Local heroes.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Karen Mason: Don't drop the soap. Let me see what it says about that one.
Self - Karen and Barry's Daughter: What are you looking for?
Karen Mason: I'm just trying to find something that..uh... isn't quite as explicit.
Self - Karen and Barry's Daughter: What does he want?
Karen Mason: He wants white men and no penetration, he said.
[pauses a beat]
Karen Mason: Do these guys look white to you, Jorge?
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Connections

Features Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) See more »

User Reviews

 
A slice of LGBTQ culture and history definitely worth to watch
24 April 2020 | by Sir_AmirSyarifSee all my reviews

'Circus of Books' tells the unconventional story of a straight Jewish couple who just happened to run the most legendary gay porn bookstore in Los Angeles, United States. It often loses its focus midway through, but the charming and quirky documentary is a slice of LGBTQ culture and history definitely worth to watch.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Circus of Books See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage) (archive photographs)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
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