Sleaze-peddler. Millionaire publisher. Born Again Christian. Assassin’s target. Nemesis of Jerry Falwell. Drug-addled recluse. Courtroom fighter for the First Amendment. The life of Larry Flynt has been an only-in-America three-ring circus, and director Milos Forman, working from a script by Ed Wood writers Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander, relishes every last gaudy irony of the journey. Woody Harrelson stars as the loose cannon Hustler publisher; Courtney Love burns a hole in the screen as his stripper turned wife, Althea; Edward Norton is Flynt’s long suffering attorney; Donna Hanover Giuliani appears as faith healer, Ruth Carter Stapleton; and James Carville does a turn as a prosecutor. In this era of low risk big-studio filmmaking, Forman puts the punch back in Hollywood movies.
Forman grew up in a small town near Prague. Orphaned when his parents, a Jewish professor and a Protestant housewife, died in Nazi concentration camps, he was reared by two uncles and family friends. In the mid-1950s Forman studied at the film school of the University of Prague. Upon graduating he wrote two screenplays, the first of which, Nechte to na mn (“Leave It to Me”), was filmed in 1955 by noted Czech director Martin Fri. Forman in 1957 was himself an assistant director on the second of these screenplays, a situation comedy entitled Stenata (“The Puppies”).
Throughout the late 1950s and early ‘60s Forman acted as either writer or assistant director on other films. He directed his first major productions in 1963: Cerný Petr (Black Peter) and Konkurs (Talent Competition). These films had great success both domestically and on the international festival circuit, and Forman was hailed as a major talent of the Czech New Wave. His early films… read more
I love Milos' visual style, and it works perfectly in this great, underrated gem. Although I'm sure Larry Flynt has been somewhat aggrandised, the film is good enough to warrant some liberties in delivering it's important message which unfortunately too few people today seem to understand or agree with - free speech is absolute. A good double with Lenny. 4/5.