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The People vs Larry Flynt

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Genre  Biography, Drama
Awards  Golden Bear
Country  United States
7.3/10 IMDb

Director  Milos Forman
Initial DVD release  December 10, 1997
Language  English
The People vs Larry Flynt movie poster
Release date  October 13, 1996 (1996-10-13) (NYFF) December 25, 1996 (1996-12-25) (United States)
Writer  Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski
Cast  Woody Harrelson (Larry Flynt), Courtney Love (Althea Leasure), Edward Norton (Alan Isaacman), Brett Harrelson (Jimmy Flynt), Donna Hanover (Ruth Carter Stapleton), James Cromwell (Charles Keating)
Similar movies  Dallas Buyers Club, Wild Things, Thank You for Smoking, Catarina and the others, Philadelphia, Eyes Wide Shut
Tagline  You may not like what he does, but are you prepared to give up his right to do it?

The people vs larry flynt 2 8 movie clip god created woman 1996 hd

The People vs. Larry Flynt is a 1996 American biographical drama film directed by Miloš Forman and starring Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, and Edward Norton. It chronicles the rise of pornographic magazine publisher and editor Larry Flynt and his subsequent clash with religious institutions and the law.


The People vs Larry Flynt movie scenes

The film was written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, and spans about 35 years of Flynt's life from his impoverished upbringing in Kentucky to his court battle with Reverend Jerry Falwell, and is based in part on the U.S. Supreme Court case Hustler Magazine v. Falwell. Though not a financial success, the film was lauded by critics, and garnered Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, Edward Norton and director Miloš Forman multiple accolades and award nominations. In 1997, Woody Harrelson was nominated Academy Award for Best Actor and Miloš Forman for Best Director at the 69th Academy Awards, but lost to Geoffrey Rush from Shine for Best Actor and Anthony Minghella from The English Patient for Best Director.

The People vs Larry Flynt movie scenes


The People vs Larry Flynt movie scenes

In 1952, 10-year-old Larry Flynt is selling moonshine in Kentucky. Twenty years later, Flynt and his younger brother, Jimmy, run the Hustler Go-Go club in Cincinnati. With profits down, Flynt decides to publish a newsletter for the club, the first Hustler magazine, with nude pictures of women working at the club. The newsletter soon becomes a full-fledged magazine, but sales are weak. After Hustler publishes nude pictures of former first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis, sales take off.

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Flynt becomes smitten with Althea Leasure, a stripper who works at one of his clubs. With Althea and Jimmy's help, Flynt makes a fortune from sales of Hustler. With his success comes enemies - as he finds himself a hated figure of anti-pornography activists. He argues with the activists, saying that "murder is illegal, but if you take a picture of it you may get your name in a magazine or maybe win a Pulitzer Prize". "However", he continues, "sex is legal, but if you take a picture of that act, you can go to jail". He becomes involved in several prominent court cases, and befriends a young lawyer, Alan Isaacman. In 1975, Flynt loses a smut-peddling court decision in Cincinnati but is released from jail soon afterwards on a technicality. Ruth Carter Stapleton, a Christian activist and sister of President Jimmy Carter, seeks out Flynt and urges him to give his life to Jesus. Flynt seems moved and starts letting his newfound religion influence everything in his life, including Hustler content.

The People vs. Larry Flynt People Vs Larry Flynt The Golden Globes

In 1978, during another trial in Georgia, Flynt and Isaacman are both shot by a man with a rifle while they walk outside a courthouse. Isaacman recovers, but Flynt is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Wishing he was dead, Flynt renounces God. Because of the emotional and physical pain, he moves to Beverly Hills and spirals down into depression and drug use. During this time, Althea also becomes addicted to painkillers and morphine.

The People vs. Larry Flynt Amazoncom The People Vs Larry Flynt Woody Harrelson Courtney

In 1983, Flynt undergoes surgery to deaden several nerves in his back damaged by the bullet wounds, and as a result, feels rejuvenated. He returns to an active role with the publication, which, in his absence, had been run by Althea and Jimmy. Flynt is soon in court again for leaking videos relating to the John DeLorean entrapment case, and during his courtroom antics, he fires Isaacman, then throws an orange at the judge. He later wears an American flag as an adult diaper along with an army helmet, and wears T-shirts with provocative messages such as "I Wish I Was Black" and "Fuck This Court." After spitting water at the judge Flynt is sent to a psychiatric ward, where he sinks into depression again. Flynt publishes a satirical parody ad in which Jerry Falwell tells of a sexual encounter with his mother. Falwell sues for libel and emotional distress. Flynt countersues for copyright infringement, because Falwell copied his ad. The case goes to trial in December 1984, but the decision is mixed, as Flynt is found guilty of inflicting emotional distress but not libel.

The People vs. Larry Flynt Trailer The People Vs Larry Flynt

By that time, Althea has contracted HIV, which proceeds to AIDS. Some time later in 1987, Flynt finds her dead in the bathtub, having drowned. Flynt presses Isaacman to appeal the Falwell decision to the Supreme Court of the United States. Isaacman refuses, saying Flynt's courtroom antics humiliated him. Flynt pleads with him, saying that he "wants to be remembered for something meaningful". Isaacman agrees and argues the "emotional distress" decision in front of the Supreme Court, in the case Hustler Magazine v. Falwell in 1988. With Flynt sitting silently in the courtroom, the court overturns the original verdict in a unanimous decision. After the trial, Flynt is alone in his bedroom watching old videotapes of a healthy Althea.


The People vs. Larry Flynt Trailer The People Vs Larry Flynt YouTube

Both Bill Murray and Tom Hanks were considered for the role of Flynt.


The People vs. Larry Flynt The People vs Larry Flynt 1997 Trailer YouTube

The People vs. Larry Flynt received generally positive reviews; based on 53 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an overall approval rating from critics of 87%, with an average score of 7.7/10.

Box office

The People vs. Larry Flynt The People vs Larry Flynt Special Edition IGN

The film was a hit in limited releases. Based on a $35 million budget, the film grossed a domestic total of $20,300,385.


The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

  • 2008: AFI's 10 Top 10:
  • Nominated Courtroom Drama Film
  • Trivia

    Larry Flynt made a cameo appearance in the film itself. He played the role of a court judge.


    The People vs. Larry Flynt Wikipedia
    The People vs. Larry Flynt IMDbThe People vs. Larry Flynt Rotten TomatoesThe People vs. Larry Flynt Roger EbertThe People vs. Larry Flynt MetacriticThe People vs Larry Flynt