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Blast from the Past Movie Review – “The People vs. Larry Flynt” (1996)

February 13, 2012

Figured I’d do another film by acclaimed director, Milos Forman. The man who brought us classic biopics such as “Amadeus” & “Man on the Moon”, directs this interesting look into the world of magazine/pornographic journalism having it’s first amendment corrupted by the US Goverment. The true story of Larry Flynt, the man behind Hustler magazine, is brought to life thanks to a winning performances by Woody Harrelson.

It’s the true story of Larry Flynt, the man, the legend behind Hustler magazine. Flynt was attacked left and right from politicians for creating his “smut” magazine, yet baffling enough, no one seemed to go after the bigger beast like, Penthouse & Playboy. Larry felt it was his solem duty to stand up for himself and for the first amendment right that the goverment seems to forget that exits. In the film, Larry Flynt is portrayed brilliantly by Woody Harrelson, who desereved a lot more credit when this film was released, and I consider this to be one of his best performances.

The memorable line of the film, “If the First Amendment will protect a scumbag like me, then it’ll protect all of you — ’cause I’m the worst,” It shows that this film is an exultant comedy of American repression and revolt. The story is true, it’s an inspiring story even though it has to do with a man that some people don’t see eye to eye with, but Flynt pushed the boundaries with his magazine, pissing people off, saying what he wanted, saying what the American people felt, and that’s why he loves living in this country. The performances in this film are top notch, Harrelson gives a winning performance. Director, Forman, seems to always bring out the best in unexpected actors for dramatic roles, while at the same time having these actors mark it their own. Edward Norton, in his early days as an actor, is terrific as Flynt’s lawyer & friend, even Courtney Love, scary to say, but she was damn good to, perhaps…too good.

Forman evokes the classic Capra feel in this picture, where the little man goes up against a giant, It’s “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” who just so happens to be a perve in a wheelchair, and you know what, I like it. It’s a twisted tail but a powerful one at the very best and it deserves the attention from film viewers who haven’t seen or didn’t care to see it.

GRADE: A

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