The People vs. Larry Flynt

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

Directed by  Milos Forman
Written by  Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski
Starring:  Woody Harrelson (Larry Flynt)
Courtney Love (Althea Leasure)
Edward Norton (Alan Isaacman)
Brett Harrelson (Jimmy Flynt)
Donna Hanover (Ruth Carter Stapleton)
Richard Paul (Jerry Falwell)
James Cromwell (Charles Keating)
Runtime: 129 minutes
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. - Allen Brown

Can the story of a publisher of a pornographic magazine be interesting, entertaining and heart-breaking? I admit I didn't think this was possible, but after having seen this movie I have to change my mind. The People vs. Larry Flynt is actually more than this, it is a story of a man whose life, choices and actions are highly debatable but who fights for the freedom as guaranteed by the american constitution.

I don't know how much the movie is actually close to the real story of Larry Flynt, the movie shows a rather sympathetic person, his excesses are usually seen in a rather funny way, his vivacity, enthusiasm and initiative makes him a charming rather than a disgusting character as a plain description could suggest. The two main actors are very effective in their performance, both in the funny and in the dramatic situations.

The good alternation of funny moments, dramatic scenes and intense speeches keeps the movie rather quick and interesting, there are no 'dead' or boring moments except eventually the very latest discourse in front of the Supreme Court that seemed to me longer than it needed to be.

Although the topic was rather delicate, there are no excessively strong scenes and the movie never falls into an inadmissible bad taste... including the attempt to mix religion and pornography that was apparently taken from the real story but was described with a rather funny emphasis in the movie.

Rating: 7.5  ****




© Copyright Sergio Monesi, 1997-1999.
Last updated: 25 Jun 1999