Skip to main content
The People vs. Larry Flynt Movie Poster
Plot, Details & Awards

The People vs. Larry Flynt

Rated R for strong sexual material, nudity, language and drug use.

R In Theaters 12/25/1996 , 129min.
Share this movie on

Plot & Details

"If the First Amendment will protect a scumbag like me, then it'll protect all of you -- 'cause I'm the worst," declares Hustler Magazine publisher Larry Flynt (as played by Woody Harrelson) in the midst of one of his many court cases. Milos Forman's film follows Flynt from his childhood in Kentucky, where he made extra money for his dirt-poor family by selling the moonshine his father brewed, into adulthood as he manages a strip club in Cincinnati. While the club does middling business, the experience changes Flynt's life in two ways: he meets Althea (Courtney Love), an exotic dancer who becomes the love of his life, and he gets the bright idea of starting a magazine to promote the club. Marketed as a crasser, less pretentious alternative to Playboy or Penthouse, Hustler becomes a huge success after Flynt runs a photo series of Jacqueline Onassis sunbathing nude. However, while plenty of people are buying Hustler, there are also plenty of people who don't care for it, including Charles Keating (James Cromwell), leader of a watchdog group called Citizens For Decent Literature. Keating spearheads the first of many legal attacks on the magazine, one of which reaches the Supreme Court as Alan Isaacman (Edward Norton), Flynt's lawyer, debates the finer legal points of bad taste with the justices of the highest court in the land. Meanwhile, Flynt makes a fortune, loses the use of his legs after an attack by a sniper, embraces and than abandons Christianity, and eventually loses Althea, who succumbs to AIDS after a long addiction to drugs. Woody Harrelson's brother Brett Harrelson is well cast as Larry Flynt's brother Jimmy; Larry Flynt appears briefly as a judge who hands down a judgment against Larry Flynt.

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1996 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Actor Woody Harrelson Nominated
1996 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Director Milos Forman Nominated

Golden Globes

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1996 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Screenplay Larry Karaszewski Won
1996 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Screenplay Scott Alexander Won
1996 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Director Milos Forman Won

Berlin International Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1997 Berlin International Film Festival Golden Bear Won

Chicago Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1996 Chicago Film Critics Association Most Promising Actor Edward Norton Won
1996 Chicago Film Critics Association Most Promising Actress Courtney Love Won

Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1996 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Edward Norton Won

National Board of Review

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1996 National Board of Review Best Picture Nominated
1996 National Board of Review Best Supporting Actor Edward Norton Won

National Society of Film Critics

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1996 National Society of Film Critics Best Supporting Actor (Runner-up) Edward Norton Won

New York Film Critics Circle

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1996 New York Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actress Courtney Love Won

Stay Connected with Moviefone

My Settings

You are currently subscribed as: {email}


Subscriptions

Get the latest reviews, movie news, photos, and trailers sent straight to your inbox.

Weekly Newsletter

Daily alerts

Movies

You're not following any movies.

These are the movies you’re currently following.


    Update settings
    X