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"THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT"
(1996) (Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Moderate Heavy Minor Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Minor None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Mild Minor Mild Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: The publisher of a porn magazine fights for his right to publish his material.
PLOT:
Larry Flynt (WOODY HARRELSON) is the owner of the Hustler Club, a sleazy strip joint in the late 70's. Ever the entrepreneur, Flynt decides to publish a magazine that will take pornography to an extreme level and he becomes more successful than even he imagined. He and his stripper- turned wife, Althea (COURTNEY LOVE), soon enjoy the millionaire lifestyle. However, with the success comes controversy and soon Flynt and his magazine are embroiled in legal matters. His lawyer, Alan Isaacman (EDWARD NORTON), defends the publisher's rights under the First Amendment and Flynt revels in the notoriety. As time goes on, Flynt must deal not only with judicial matters, but also with an attempt on his life, the changing social mores of the country, and a groundbreaking lawsuit file by Reverend Jerry Falwell (RICHARD PAUL).
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Younger kids won't, but older male teens may be drawn by the allure of what they might think will be a skin flick.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong sexual material, nudity, language and drug use.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • WOODY HARRELSON plays a porno publisher who's into group sex and does not respect judges, the court and religion.
  • COURTNEY LOVE plays a stripper who engages in group lesbianism and becomes addicted to prescription drugs.
  • EDWARD NORTON plays a lawyer who defends Flynt, not because he likes him or what he does, but because as a lawyer he believes in protecting the right of free speech.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 6.5 out of 10
    Despite the material contained within, this is an interesting and at times enjoyable look at Flynt and at our legal rights. The performances are compelling and Harrelson seems to fit into his role perfectly. His change in vocal delivery (from Southern to cotton mouth filled Southern), however, is never explained (unless we're to assume it's from his gunshot wound). Love is outstanding as the tragic heroine, but since much of her life seems to parallel this role (drug use, outrageous "bad girl" behavior), it's hard to tell how much she's really acting. And Norton proves that he's on the upward track to stardom with this second big role for him (the first being in "Primal Fear"). The film is somewhat of a disappointment, though, coming from the director of "Amadeus" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoos' Nest." The editing's rough at times and continuity is sloppy in several scenes. In addition, the film has a haphazard feeling about it that somewhat derails the forward momentum it wants to (and should have) maintained. Still, it's an interesting look at the life and times of Flynt. We give it a 6.5 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    This film contains pornography, full frontal nudity, straight and lesbian sex scenes, drug use, extreme profanity, an assassination attempt that wounds two people, and disrespectful attitudes toward judges, the court system and religion. Thus, many people will be offended by something in this movie. If one can get by the material, however, they'll find a film that isn't about glorifying the above material, but instead is about the first amendment rights of everyone, including someone like Flynt who admits he's the lowest of the low. Whether you or your family members are mature enough to handle and understand the material is up to you. We heavily suggest that you read through the category listings to determine whether this film is appropriate for your family.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • As a child, Larry is seen bottling and selling moonshine.
  • People drink beer and cocktails in the Hustler club.
  • Larry and Althea drink moonshine from a jar.
  • Several people smoke a joint (marijuana) while watching a football game on TV.
  • People have drinks at one of Larry's parties.
  • People drink wine with dinner.
  • Larry gets hooked on morphine to deal with the pain from having been shot (although he stops once the pain is gone). Althea shoots up as well and becomes an addict.
  • A surveillance videotape shows John DeLorean and a suitcase full of cocaine (but none is used).
  • Althea is seen smoking a joint on videotape.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • During a slide show comparing the "evils" of sex vs. warfare violence, we see several violent acts and many dead bodies are shown. Several are bloody, and others are WWII concentration camp victims.
  • Both Larry and Isaacman are somewhat bloody after having been shot.
  • A nude, dead woman is seen in a bathtub.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Depending on your views, Larry and the others' involvement with pornography might fall into this category.
  • Larry and others go after Reverend Jerry Falwell, first calling his an "*sshole," and then later running a mock ad saying that he had sex with his mother in an outhouse.
  • Larry is disrespectful to nearly all of the judges he encounters, and to mock the court he wears an American flag as a diaper. He also spits water at a judge and later throws an orange at him.
  • Larry finds religion and then incorporates that into his magazines, but later loses his faith after being shot (he says, "there is no God") and mocks religion (he has a name plate that reads "Jesus H. Christ, Publisher").
  • Althea tells Larry that after everyone learned she had aids, no one would shake her hand.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • A sniper waits in an abandoned building to shoot Larry and hits both him and his lawyer.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifle: Fired by Larry's father into the air after Larry, as a boy, hits him on the head with an empty moonshine jug.
  • Rifle: Used by a would be assassin to shoot Larry and Isaacman.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Jerk off," "Shut up," "Balls" (testicles), "Bitch," "Idiot," "Bastard," "Pissed off," and "Go to hell."
  • Larry and Althea give each other "the finger."
  • Larry spits water at a judge.
  • Larry calls Jerry Falwell, "fartwell."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • There's some minor suspenseful music as we watch a gunman prepare to shoot Larry.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 28 "f" words (5 used sexually, 2 with the prefix "mother"), 9 "s" words, 3 slang terms for female genitals (the "p" word), 2 slang terms for male genitals (the "d" word), 8 "ass" words, 4 hells, 3 damns, 1 S.O.B., and 5 uses of "Oh God," 2 uses each of "God damn," "My God," and "Jesus Christ" and 1 use each of "Jesus" and "For Christ's sakes" as exclamations.
  • Larry wears a T-shirt in court that reads "F*ck this court."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see many scantily clad dancers in the Hustler Club. While we see Althea's bare breasts, there's no other nudity (other than bare breasts in a wall painting), but there is some sexual movement and poses during the dancing (ie. A dancer spreads her legs before a man, etc...).
  • Larry and his brother comment that if they could only let people know "what great lays" their dancers are, they'd be on to something.
  • Obviously there are many nude photos of women seen in magazines and on the walls in Larry's office. Most show bare breasts and buttocks, and some show women wearing only underwear with their legs spread. Later, we briefly see a photo of a man's penis. In a slide show, many nude women are seen, including one who's licking another woman's nipple.
  • Althea tells Larry that she's heard stories that he's slept with every woman in his club. Later they're heard having sex but nothing's seen.
  • Althea tells Larry that he's not the only one to have had sex with the other women in the club (meaning that she has as well).
  • A man tells Larry that a copy of Hustler magazine "came in handy" at a gas station restroom (implying masturbation).
  • During a photo shoot, Larry and a photographer get into an argument over whether they can show the woman's vagina. She's seen spreading her legs, but a chair strategically blocks seeing her genitals.
  • We see Althea in bed with two other women. All of them are nude (breasts, buttocks and one brief full frontal view). They then get into a hot tub and begin having sex. Larry then joins them (with brief rear male nudity) and has sex with one of them from behind.
  • Althea describes a cartoon idea of the "Wizard of Oz" characters "gang banging" Dorothy.
  • Larry asks his lawyer if he's "doing" Althea.
  • A cartoon Santa is seen with a huge penis.
  • Althea visits Larry in prison and asks if he has callouses on his hand (implying masturbation). He says yes and that he fantasizes about her.
  • Althea poses topless, wearing only underwear as she spreads her legs for the camera.
  • Larry meets with Ruth Carter Stapleton (President Carter's sister) and she says that they're both trying to free sexually repressed people.
  • Larry mentions that he gets "laid six times a day" (he's exaggerating for a point he's making).
  • Hustler runs an ad stating that Jerry Falwell had sex with his mother in an outhouse. This is mentioned many times, especially in the ensuing trial.
  • Althea occasionally wears outfits where her bare breasts can clearly be seen through the material.
  • There's full frontal nudity seen of Althea in a bathtub.
  • SMOKING
  • People smoke cigarettes and cigars in the Hustler club.
  • Althea smokes a cigarette.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Other than some minor quarreling between Larry and Althea, there isn't any.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The First Amendment and how it applies to the issues in this movie.
  • The historical accuracy of the film.
  • Pornography.
  • Larry poses the question, "What is more obscene, sex or war?" when discussing what people object to and what they accept.
  • VIOLENCE
  • As a child, Larry throws an empty moonshine jug at his father, hitting him on the head (he was drinking "the profits" as Larry says). The father then gets up, gets his rifle and shoots it into the air to scare the boys.
  • Larry and Althea get into an argument and he pushes her by the face, knocking her to the ground.
  • Althea mentions that her brother (in the past) shot a preacher in the back.
  • During a slide show comparing the "evils" of sex vs. warfare violence, we see several violent acts and many dead bodies are shown.
  • A sniper shoots both Isaacman and Larry, paralyzing the latter.
  • Larry throws an orange at a judge.



  • Reviewed December 30, 1996

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