Film: The People Vs Larry Flynt
— Larry FlyntThe People Vs Larry Flynt
is a dramatic biopic about Larry Flynt (portrayed by Woody Harrelson), the founder of Hustler Magazine. The film begins with him as a young boy selling moonshine to hillbillies and ends with him hearing about the outcome of his Supreme Court case. Along the way, the virtues and downsides of organized religion, pornography, capitalism and free speech are explored.
This 1996 film was nominated for two Academy Awards
, for Best Actor (Harrelson) and Best Director.
The film has examples of:
- Anything That Moves: Althea possibly.
- Bedlam House: Larry has to stay in one for fifteen months after an outburst in court gets him declared insane by the judge.
- Big Brother Mentor: Larry to Jimmy Flynt.
- Big Fancy House: Larry's home in Cincinnati is nice, but his Los Angeles home is the a paragon of this trope.
- Bikini Bar: mostly played straight at Larry's strip club, Althea then makes a point of averting.
- Coitus Ensues: The foursome in the hot tub.
- Composite Character: Edward Norton plays a character named Alan Isaacman, after the lawyer who defended Flynt before the Supreme Court. This character essentially stands in for all the legal assistants Flynt had employed. For instance, he is depicted being wounded in the 1978 shooting attack on Flynt; that event happened to Gene Reeves, Jr.
- Dawson Casting: Courtney Love-Cobain was 32 when she played Althea. The real Althea was sixteen when she started at Larry's strip club. Her age is not stated in the film, but Larry can tell she is "not legal" and she says she's but a centimeter from legal age.
- Gargle Blaster: Larry's home brewed moonshine.
- George Jetson Job Security:
- Larry fires his staff over the phone from a mental hospital. They think he's just angry, or not in his right mind, so they keep right on working. When he returns, he's glad to see them.
- After he come back from his drugged up stupor in 1982, Larry fires the vice president in charge of marketing who was telling him about President Ronald Reagan and Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority and how it had shifted their business plan.
- Girl on Girl Is Hot: Played very straight in the hot tub scene.
- In the strip club, every time the curtains open between acts, a woman on a swing is seen. Occasionally she has another woman with her, in erotic postures.
- Happier Home Movie: After one of the reporters asks Larry if he has any regrets, he lets them know he only has one — then the scene cuts to him watching these.
- Hollywood Drowning: Averted.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Althea subverts the normal use of this trope.
- Idea Bulb: According to The Shooting Script, the scene where Larry figures out the best way to photograph a woman's vagina was meant by the writers, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, as a parody of the traditional biopic "lightbulb-over-the-head" moment.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: Used to argumentative effect during a speech Larry makes about why what he does shouldn't be illegal as photos and scenes of violence and sex play Interspersed in the background.
- It's Not Porn, It's Art: Oddly enough this argument is never made specifically, it is simply discussed that although disgusting it should be allowed under the freedom of speech clause.
- The Jail Bait Wait: Discussed as Larry fears that Althea is too young to be a stripper.
- Kavorka Man: Larry.
- Los Angeles: "I oughta move somewhere, where perverts are welcome." Cue his moving to LA.
- Magazine Decay: Apparently takes over every time Larry goes to jail, as well as during his brief conversion to evangelical Christianity.
- Money Fetish: Hinted at with Althea as she totals his sales figures and then requests that Larry take off his pants, explaining that she's never fucked a millionaire before.
- Moral Guardians: Jerry Falwell and Charles Keating play this part in the movie as well as arguably in real life.
- News Monopoly: Flynt, with multiple TVs, turns them all on to different channels, and when he finds out they're all focused on what's going on at his house, lets out a war whoop of joy.
- Nouveau Riche: Althea plays this trope up when Larry and her have dinner with Ruth Carter Stapleton.
- Prison: The setting a few times as Larry is ok with getting sent there to prove his points about Freedom of Speech.
- Polyamory: When Althea asks Larry if they can get married, he initially rejects the idea but then Althea lets him know that it's ok if they get married but aren't monogamous, at which point he agrees.
- Real Person Cameo: Larry Flynt portrays Judge Morrissey.
- Really Dead Montage: At the very end, the camera pans through the home and over paintings of Althea, with her ghostly laughter echoing through the rooms, until we see Larry watching films of her.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: One of Larry's primary ways of dealing with the US Court system as well as many other aspects of life.
- Stock Legal Phrases: When a good deal of the movie occurs in the courts, these are inevitable. At least one is averted when Larry refuses to "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?" as he has recently become an Atheist.
- Versus Title
- Young Entrepreneur: The film starts with Larry and his brother bottling and selling home made moonshine at the respective ages of 10 and 8.