The People Vs. Larry Flynt (1996)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

USA, 1996.  Columbia Pictures Corporation, Filmhaus, Illusion Entertainment, Ixtlan, Phoenix Pictures.  Screenplay by , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by , .  Film Editing by .  

Excellent biopic about Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt and his struggles with censorship, its enjoyment not at all marred by the film’s cloying overemphasis on turning Flynt into a cuddly hero. gives his finest performance to date as the famed publishing magnate, a self-made man who believed strongly in his work and its right to liberal expression.  as his wife Althea stops the show, her charisma matching Harrelson’s winsome humour the whole way, while is a breath of fresh air as Flynt’s long-devoted lawyer Alan Isaacman (in reality he’s an amalgamation of three or four of Flynt’s lawyers). Director Milos Forman’s use of Flynt’s trials as a representation for all artists who have their work challenged by censors may not go over well with the film’s entire audience, but as dramatic entertainment goes, it’s a winner. Of trivial note, production designer Patrizia von Brandenstein created the final Supreme Court sequence’s set in an old train station.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Actor (Woody Harrelson); Best Director (Milos Forman)

Berlin Film Festival AwardGolden Bear

Golden Globe Awards:  Best Director (Milos Forman); Best Screenplay
Nominations: Best Picture-Drama; Best Actor-Drama (Woody Harrelson); Best Actress-Drama (Courtney Love)

Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination:  Best Actor (Woody Harrelson)

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