The People vs Larry Flynt

Year: 1996
Studio: Columbia
Director: Milos Forman
Producer: Oliver Stone
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, Edward Norton, James Cromwell, Crispin Glover, Vincent Schiavelli
I'd never really liked Woody Harrelson before this movie, and I was yet to see the powerhouse performer Edward Norton would become, so I can't remember now what drew me to this film, but I'm very glad I was drawn.

Of course it has a liberal bias - Flynt probably isn't the squeaky clean businessman he's depicted as here, and the epilogue delights in telling us how so many of the various conservatives trying to bring him down were embroiled in financial scandals later on. But as biopics go, it's among the best before they were such big sellers as they are now in the wake of Ray, Walk the Line and Dreamgirls.

It tracks Flynt not so much as a pornographer but a proponent of free speech. He started out a businessman, then realised it could get him laid more than he dreamed possible, then changed him into an advocate of the rights of adults to see and hear what they want.

Eventually fighting the conservative powers that be in court, Flynt morphs into a titanic and somewhat Shakespearian figure and though the film preaches to the converted to a large extent, it's very well done by all concerned.

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