The People vs. Larry Flynt


13. 10. 1996, New York Film Festival, New York, USA

124 min.


© 1996 Columbia Pictures Industries

“A brave, spectacularly entertaining - and unexpectedly stirring - account of Flynt's life that asks us to regard the publisher of Hustler magazine as an invaluable champion of our First Amendment freedoms.”

(David Ansen, Newsweek, 22. 12. 1996)

“Larry Flynt is a devil with angel’s wings. Half the man is just sleaze and smut, but the other half is very noble and admirable,“ says filmmaker Milos Forman. This biography about the famous pornography magnate spans 25 years, and follows the rise of the man who started as an operator in a striptease joint, and ended up as the publisher of the controversial pornographic magazine Hustler.

“The People vs. Larry Flynt” tells the true story of a man who challenged the borderline of public taste, and whose trial started a raging debate with defenders of morality about the First Amendment.

About the movie

“The only offence I committed was my bad taste,” Larry Flynt states in his defense to the Unites States Supreme Court libel suit against the Reverend Jerry Falwell. Throughout the film, Milos Forman characterizes Larry as a vulgar prankster from Kentucky who made a fortune off the back of naked women and sex, and also as a stubborn man fighting against a puritanical society who is unable to forgive the hypocrisy of the whole nation.

The film depicts Flynt’s life story, and the personal tragedies that influenced him. Flynt survived an assassination attempt that left him paralyzed from the waist down and wheelchair bound. His wife Althea died from a drug overdose and AIDS. As a result, Flynt was left alone with his depression and personal demons.

The film oscillates between two classical American film genres: biography and court drama. For Milos Forman, the pivitol scene of the film is when the Supreme Court decides whether freedom of speech includes the freedom to show a woman’s naked butt or sexual intercourse in a Santa Claus costume. The movie poses the question: “You don’t have to agree with him, but would you resign to the unlimited freedom of speech?”


  • At first Milos Forman refused to read the screenplay because he thought it was going to be pornographic. He only decided to read it after his manager informed him that Oliver Stone was behind the project.
  • Tom Hanks and Bill Murray were initially considered for the role of Larry Flynt. The producers were set on casting Bill Murray as Larry Flynt, but according to Milos Forman, Murray never returned his phone calls.
  • When the real Larry Flynt was asked who he would like to play him in the movie he picked Michael Douglas.
  • Milos Forman claims that Courtney Love showed up to their first meeting strung out on drugs. But just when he was about to dismiss her, he realized that Love was perfect for the role of Althea. Forman offered Love the role on the condition that she would stay clean and undergo regular drug testing throughout filming to which she complied. To this day, Love credits Forman with helping her get off drugs, which led to a renaissance in her career.
  • Columbia Pictures were asked to pay such a large fee for the insurance for Courtney Love that the company refused. Actor Woody Harrelson, producers Oliver Stone and Michael Hausman, director Milos Forman and even Love herself paid the insurance fee from their own pockets.
  • Courtney Love plays stripper Althea Flynt in the film. Before Courtney became famous she would work as a stripper.
  • Patricia Arquette, Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd were also initially considered for the part of Althea Flynt.
  • Woody Harrelson’s real brother Brett Harrelson plays Larry Flynt’s brother “Jimmy”.
  • Larry Flynt plays the part of Judge Morrissey at the Cincinnati court.
  • The final speech by Larry’s attorney (played by Edward Norton) was actually copied from the real final speech given by Flynt’s attorney Alan. L. Isaacman.
  •  Larry Flynt's villa where he lived at the beginning of the 1980s was used as one of the locations in the movie.
  • Flynt’s physician Blaine Nashold M. D played the part of Doctor Bob.
  • Larry Flynt´s real life gold wheelchair is used by Woody Harrelson in the movie.
  • Although Edward Norton already had a successful career he took on the supporting role of Larry’s attorney because he wanted to work with Milos Forman.
  • Donna Hanover Giuliani played the part of President Jimmy Carter’s sister. At that time she was married to the Mayor of New York City: Rudi Giuliani.
  • The house in the film used as Flynt’s residence in Ohio also served as a temporary home for Tom Cruise and his family while Cruise was shooting “The Firm” in Memphis. A tube of toothpaste Cruise left there is still kept in a glass case.
  • After its release, the film drew the attention of anti-porn feminists led by Gloria Steinem. In an article written by Steinem published in the New York Times she accused Forman and Oliver Stone of humiliating and degrading women. The article was followed by a United States campaign where she strongly attacked Forman’s championing of Flynt. This negative campaign markedly blemished the film markedly, and that was supposedly the reason why it did not win an Academy Award.

Milos Forman about the movie

  • „I don’t say you should like what Larry Flynt does. I don’t like it either, but I admire the fact that I live in a country where I can make my own decisions. In a country where I can take Hustler and read it as well as throw it away, which I personally consider to be the right thing to do with it.“
  • „Flynt had written his factual comments all over the screenplay which had unbelievable value for me. He was reciting his remarks and I was just making notes feverishly on the margins of the screenplay, until the moment Flynt turned the last page and he broke off. I mustered up my courage and I asked: "Larry, don’t you mind that you do not really look like a hero in some of these scenes?” “ Of course I do! Yes, I do mind, but what can I do about it when it´s true?” grunted Flynt.
  • „Before the release I was really nervous, and so therefore I was smoking a lot. The whole little cinema was full of smoke. Larry was sitting there without moving, half hidden by the smoke from my cigar, and he was staring at the screen. It took me a while to realize he had tears in his eyes. The only thing Flynt had seen was a glittering dream version of his Althea – the king of porn was more sentimental than a teenage poet“.


VA - People vs. Larry Flynt

Music: Thomas Newman
Recorded: Village Recorder Todd A/O
© 1996 Angel records
© 1996 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
© 1977 Rhino Records, Inc.
© 1975 Warner Bros., Inc. Motion Pictures Artwork And Photography


  • Eggsplat
    Thomas Newman
  • Kentucky, 1952
    Thomas Newman
  • Hello Walls
    Faron Young
  • Hang On Sloopy
    The McCoys
  • Tick Tick Tick
    Thomas Newman
  • Jail Bait
    Thomas Newman
  • Lewd And Shameful Manner
    Thomas Newman
  • Cold Turkey Pervert
    Thomas Newman
  • Battle Hymn Of The Republic
    Ruby Wilson and Kurt Clayton
  • My Soul Doth Magnify The Lord
    The Collins Chapel Youth Choir
  • Shooting (Georgia, 1978)
    Thomas Newman
  • Porn Again
    Thomas Newman
  • Polonaise
    Antonín Dvorak: Rusalka
    Performed by The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Libor Pesek
  • Triple Dose
    Thomas Newman
  • Surgery (North Carolina, 1983)
    Thomas Newman
  • Fanfare And March
    Bedrich Smetana: Dalibor
    Performed by The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Libor Pesek
  • The Half With The Brain
    Thomas Newman
  • Psycho Ward
    Thomas Newman
  • Althea
    Thomas Newman
  • I'm Your Boogie Man
    Harry W. Casey & Richard Finch: K.C. & The Sunshine Band
  • Twenty-One
    Thomas Newman
  • Scumbag Like Me
    Thomas Newman
  • Deep Depravity
    Thomas Newman
  • Falwell Verdict (Virginia, 1984)
    Thomas Newman
  • Happy You And Merry Me
    Mae Questil
  • Los Angeles, 1987
    Thomas Newman
  • Stabat Mater Dolorosa
    Antonín Dvorák
    Performed by The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Libor Pesek
    Prague’s Philharmonic Children’s Choir, choirmaster Pavel Kühn
  • Rosefall
    Thomas Newman
  • Stabat Mater Dolorosa
    Antonín Dvořák
    Performed by The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Libor Pesek
    Prague’s Philharmonic Children’s Choir, choirmaster Pavel Kühn
  • Dream Weaver
    Gary Wright



  • Memphis, Tennessee

  • Riverside (scenery built for moviemaking)
    • Flynt’s native home in Kentucky.
  • Peabody Hotel
    • A meeting of citizens association “For a decent literature” led by Charles Keating.
  • Memphis State University
    • The location of the Baptist Church.
  • The Shelby County Arena
    • The congress center in Cincinnati where Larry Flynt attends a meeting of the Association for freedom of press.
  • Abandoned Building of a Storehouse of a Train Station
    • Flynt’s bedroom on the second floor of his mansion in Bel Air.
    • The original building of Flynt’s publishing house.
    • The interior of the courthouse where Flynt’s first legal proceeding is held.
  • Street in front of Tate County Courthouse, Senatobia
    • Flynt is shot and and injured.
  • Tributary of the River Mississippi
    • Larry Flynt is baptized in the river.
  • Beverly Hills, California

  • The Flynt Publications Building, 8484 Wilshire Boulevard
    • Larry Flint’s publishing house. Jimmy and Larry’s offices, corridors, etc. Interiors of the building and complete panorama.
  • Flynt’s Mansion in Bel Air
    • A federal police intervention. Flynt is arrested.
    • Larry Flynt and Althea in their house in the 80’s.
    • In the closing sequence of the film Flynt is watches a video of Althea.
    • The house is a part of a sequence where Flynt moves to California.
  • Hollywood Boulevard
    • A transsexual walks a dog down the street.
  • Washington D. C.

  • Supreme Court Building
    • Larry goes to the Supreme Court for the final trial. Crowds of people are assembling in front of the building.


Oscar® - Academy Awards
(69th Annual)
Los Angeles
Oscar® Best Actor in a Leading Role
Woody Harrelson
("Larry Flynt")
Best Director
Milos Forman
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards (22nd Annual) Los Angeles
LAFCA (Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award) Best Supporting Actor
Edward Norton
Best Supporting Actress
Courtney Love
("Althea Leasure")
New York Film Critics Circle Awards (62nd ceremony) New York
NYFCCA (New York Film Critics Circle Award) Best Supporting Actress
Courtney Love
("Althea Leasure")
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Boston
BSFC Award (Boston Society of Film Critics Award) Best Supporting Actor
Edward Norton
Best Supporting Actress
Courtney Love
("Althea Leasure")
Society of Texas Film Critics Awards Texas
STFC Award (Society of Texas Film Critics Awards) Best Supporting Actor
Edward Norton
National Board of Review New York
Freedom of Expression Award Milos Forman, Oliver Stone
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Los Angeles
Critics Choice Award Best Picture
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Chicago
CFCA Award (Chicago Film Critics Association) Most Promising Actor
Edward Norton
Most Promising Actress
Courtney Love
("Althea Leasure")
Florida Film Critics Circle Awards Florida
FFCC Award (Florida Film Critics Circle) Best Supporting Actor
Edward Norton
Best Supporting Actress
Courtney Love
("Althea Leasure")
Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards USA SEFCA Award (Southeastern Film Critics Association) Best Supporting Actor
Edward Norton
Political Film Society Los Angeles
PFS Award (Political Film Society) Exposé
Human Rights
The International Press Academy's Satellite Awards Los Angeles
Golden Satellite Award Best Motion Picture Screenplay - Original
Scott Alexandre, Larry Karaszewski
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Drama
Courtney Love
("Althea Leasure")
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards Kansas City
KCFCC (Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award) Best Film
Golden Globe Awards
(55th Annual)
Los Angeles
Golden Globe Best Director (Motion Picture)
Milos Forman
Best Screenplay (Motion Picture)
Scott Alexandre, Larry Karaszewski
Best Motion Picture (Drama)
Michael Hausman
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama)
Woody Harrelson (“Larry Flynt”)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama)
Courtney Love
("Althea Leasure")
Berlin International Film Festival Berlin
Golden Bear Milos Forman
Writers Guild of America Awards Los Angeles
Paul Selvin Honorary Award Best Adapted Drama
Scott Alexandre, Larry Karaszewski
Screen Actors Guild Awards Los Angeles
Actor® Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Woody Harrelson
("Larry Flynt")
Casting Society of America, USA Los Angeles
Artios® Best Casting for Feature Film (Drama)
Francine Maisler
(location casting: Jo Doster)
MTV Movie Awards Santa Monica
MTV Movie Award Best Breakthrough Performance
Courtney Love
("Althea Leasure")
Czech Lions Prague
Czech Republic
Czech Lion The Most Successful Movie With Viewers
Milos Forman

Technical information

35 mm
Aspect ratio: 2,35:1
Sound mix: Dolby Digital, SDDS
Color (Technicolor)


Columbia Pictures presents
in Association with Phoenix Pictures an Ixtlan, production


Larry Flynt Woody Harrelson
Althea Leasure Courtney Love
Isaacman Edward Norton
Charles Keating James Cromwell
Arlo Crispin Glover
Simon Leis James Carville
Jimmy Flynt Brett Harrelson
Ruth Carter Stapleton Donna Hanover
Network Reporter Norm MacDonald
Chester Vincent Schiavelli
Miles Miles Chapin
Jerry Falwell Richard Paul
Judge Thomas Mantke (L. A. Court) D'Army Bailey
Roy Grutman Burt Neuborne
The Assassin Jan Triska
Casting by Francine Maisler
Music by Thomas Newman
Costume Designers Theodor Pistek, Arianne Phillips
Film Editor Christopher Tellefsen
Production Designer Patrizia von Brandenstein
Director of Photography Philippe Rousselot
Written by Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski
Produced by Oliver Stone, Janet Yang, Michael Hausman
Directed by Milos Forman
10 Year Old Larry Cody Block
8 Year Old Jimmy Ryan Post
Old Hillbilly Robert Davis
Young Ma Flynt Kacky Walton
Young Pa Flynt John Ryan
1st Stripper Kathleen Kane
Disc Jockey Greg Roberson
Old Printer Jim Peck
Trucker Mike Pniewski
Staffer Tim Parati
Staffer Rick Rogers
Staffer Dan Lenzini
Staffer David Compton
Staffer Gary Lowery
Stills Photographer Stephen Dupree
Tovah Rainbeau Mars
News Dealer Tam Drummond
Ma Flynt Nancy Lea Owen
Pa Flynt John Fergus Ryan
Governor Rhodes Oliver Reed
Jacuzzi Girl Meresa T. Ferguson
Jacuzzi Girl Andrena Fisher
Police Detective Ken Kidd
Judge Morrissey (Cincinatti Court) Larry Flynt
Jury Forewoman (Cincinatti Court) Janie Paris
Court Clerk (Cincinatti Court) Carol Russell-Woloshin
Rally Singer Miss Ruby Wilson
Announcer at Rally Eddie Davis
Ad Sales Guy Blaine Pickett
Georgia Cops Kerry White
Georgia Cops Joey Hadley
Robert Stapleton Chris Schadrack
Georgia Prosecutor Mac Pirkle
Georgia Doctor Mark W. Johnson
Flynt's Personal Bodyguard Doug Bauer
Bodyguard Roberto Roman Ramirez
Dr. Bob Blaine Nashold
Cute Receptionist Aurelia Thierree
Blow Dried Jerk Scott Winters
Lawyer (L. A. Court) Mike McLaren
Network Lawyer Andrew Stahl
Delorean Attorney Michael Detroit
Keating's Secretary Jaime Jackson
Federal Marshall David Dwyer
Deputy Marshall Richard Birdsong
Deputy Marshall James A. White
Butler Gerry Robert Byrne
Bailiff (L. A. Court) Benjamin Greene, Jr.
Mantke Clerk Mary Neal Naylor
Springfield Prison Guard Tiny M. Bates
Divinity Student Evans Donnell
Divinity Student Jay Adams
Dean Of Liberty College Bennett Wood
Judge Kirk (Roanoke Court) Janice Holder
Jury Foreman (Roanoke Court) A. V. McDowell
Chief Justice Rehnouist Jim Grimshaw
Justice Marshall James Smith
Justice Scalia Rand Hopkins
Justice Stevens Charles M. Crump
Supreme Court Marhall Pierre Secher
Svelte Reporter Linn Sitler
Reporter Mary M. Norman
Reporter Jack Shea
Reporter Lisa Lax
Georgia Reporter Susan Howe
Georgia Reporter Michael Davis
Georgia Reporter Dennis Turner
Georgia Reporter Patti Hatchett
Georgia Reporter Ann Marie Hall
Georgia Reporter Nate Bynum
Georgia Reporter Paula Haddock
Georgia Reporter Gary Kraen
Network Reporter Norm MacDonald
L. A. Reporter Jeff Johnston
Falwell Reporter Joey Sulipeck
Falwell Reporter Jim Palmer
D. C. Reporter Gene Lyons
D. C. Reporter Saida Pagan
D. C. Reporter Jim Hild
D. C. Reporter Michael Klastorin
TV Reporter At Supreme Court Michelle Robinson
Associate Producers Scott Ferguson
George Linardos
Unit Production Manager Michael Hausman
1st Assistant Director David McGiffert
2nd Assistant Director Scott Harris
Production Supervisor Gerry Robert Byrne
Art Directors James Nezda, Shawn Hausman
Set Decorators Maria A. Nay, Amy Wells
Assistant Art Directors James Flood Truesdale, James Feng
Script Supervisor Anne Gyory
A Camera Operator Anastas N. Michos
B Camera Operator Ted Morris
First Assistants Camera Robin Melhuish, Brian Nordheim
Costume Supervisor Nancy McArdle
Costumers Lawrence Velasco, Stephanie Colin
Key Makeup Ben Nye, Bron Roylance
Hairstylist Melissa A. Yonkey
Chief Lighting Technician Jack English
Best Boy James Babineaux
Rigging Gaffer Robert D. Carrier
Key Grip J. Wayne Parker
Dolly Grip Chris Rawlins, Jr.
Key Rigging Grips Riko Schatke, Henry M. Massey
Stunt Coordinator Tim Trella
Special Effects Rodman Kiser
Production Coordinator Chrissie Davis
Assistant Production Coordinators Kimberly N. Fajen, Margo Hunt, Jennifer Silverman, Jennifer Jenkins
Production Accountant Matilde P. Valera
Assistant to Mr. Harrelson Danielle Tahos
Assistant to Mrs. Love Raphael T. S. Murray
Assistant to Mr. Forman Martina Zborilova
Assistant to Mr. Stone Annie Mei-Ling Tien
Assistant to Ms. Yang Janet Monagham
Location Manager Betsy Bottando
Assistant Location Manager Diana Strauss
Property Master Bill Dambra
Assistant Property Master David Chamerski
Buyer Sarah Young
Construction Coordinator Tyler Osman
Construction Shop Manager Henning Molfenter
Construction Foreman Troy Osman
Scenic Artist John Snow
Camera Scenic Artist Lee Ross
Lead Person Leonard Spears
Key Set Dresser David Weathers
On Set Dresser Spencer Register
Transportation Captain Jerry Jackson
Transportation Co-Captain Rick Davis
Sound Mixer Chris Newman
Boom Operator Marc-Jon Sullivan
Cable Person Gregg Harris
Additional Editor Michael R. Berenbaum
First Assistant Editor Joel Hirsch
Second Assistant Editor Misako Shimizu
Apprentice Editors Earl Dittebrandt, Arthur Schlenger
Supervising Sound Editor Stan Bochner
Music Editor Bill Bernstein
Sound Fx Editors P. DeMetruis, Richard Quentin King
Dialogue Editors Stuart Emanuel, Kevin Lee, Branca Mrkic
ADR Editor Hal Levinsohn
Foley Editor Ira Spiegel
Foley Artist Brian Vancho
Assistant Sound Editors Marlena Grzaslewicz, Michael W. Mitchell
Apprentice Sound Editor Adam Lipsius
Assistant Music Editor Jordan Corngold
Re-recording Mixer Michael Barry
Music Recorded at Village Recorder Todd A/O
Video Assist Frankie Yario, Jr.
Second Second Assistant Director Stephen Hagen
Production Assistants John R. Saunders, Tobia Minckler, Doug Campbell, Darian Corley, John Brudenell, Barry Barclay, Heather Ross, Steven Samanen, Jana Triska, Karyn Usher
Draper Shari Griffin
Publicist Michael Klastorin
Stills Photographer Sidney Baldwin
Casting Associates Kathryn Eisenstein, Kathleen Driscoll-Mohler
Extras Casting Willo Hausman, Kate Kennedy
Mid South Casting Jo Doster, Kim Petrosky
Researchers Ashley Cook, Barry Gildea
Magazine Photo Advisor Ladi von Jansky
Mr. Harrelson's Dialect Coach Nadia Venesse
Security for Mr. Harrelson Steve Ranger
Catering Unique Catering
Craft Service Wende L. Martin
First Aid Safety Emergency Services
Process Projection By The Bran Ferren Group
Color Timer David Pultz
Negative Cutter J. G. Films
Opticals by The Effects House
Color by DuArt
Title Design and Digital Effects by Balsmeyer & Everett

The Producers Acknowledge The Cooperation of

Consultant Alan L. Isaacman (Isaacman, Kaufaman & Painter)
Soundtrack on Angel / Emi Records


"Hello Walls" Written by Willie Nelson
Performed by Faron Young
Courtesy of Capitol Nashville
under license from
Emi-Capitol Music Special Markets
"Country Girl" Written by Roy Drusky
Performed by Faron Young
Courtesy of Capitol Nashville
under license from
Emi-Capitol Music Special Markets
"A Satidfied Mind" Written by Red Hayes & Jack Rhodes
Performed by Porter Wagoner
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label
of BMG Entertainment
"Hang on Sloopy" Written by Bert Russell & Wes Farrell
Performed by The McCoys
Courtesy of Columbia Records
by Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"Express Yourself" Written by Charles Wright
Performed by Idris Muhammad
Courtesy of Fantasy
"Pick Up The Pieces" Written by Roger Ball, Malcom Duncan, Alan Gorrie, Robbie McIntosh, Owen McIntyre & Hamish Stuart
Performed by Average White Band
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording eorp.
by Arrangement with
Warner Special Products & Average White Band
"I'm Your Boogie Man" Written by Harry W. Casey & Richard Finch
Performed by KC & The Sunshine Band
Courtesy of Rhino records
by Arrangement with
Warner Special Products
"Dream Weaver" Written and Performed by Gary Wright
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
by Arrangement with
Warner Special Products
"Tannhauser Overture" Performed by New York Philharmonic
Conducted by Pierre Boulez
Courtesy of Sony Classical
by Arrangement with
Sony Music Licensing
"My Soul Doth Magnify The Lord" Written by O'Landa Draper
Performed by The Collins Chapel Choir, Memphis, TN
Choir Director, Jon Reddick
Chopin "No. 47 in A Minor, Opus 68, No. 2" Performed by Idil Biret
Courtesy of Naxos of America
by Arrangement with
"Fantasia on A.D.G." Written by Jef Rottiers
Courtesy of Rene Gailly International
Productions Belgium
"Use Me" Written by Jacquelyn Reddick & Jeanie McQuinn
Performed by The Collins Chapel Choir, Memphis, TN
Choir Director, Jon Reddick
"Happy You and Merry Me" Written by Tot Seymour & Yee Lawnhurst
"Polonaise" form "Rusalka" Written by Antonin Dvorak
Performed by The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Libor Pesek
"Blessed Be The Name" Arranged by Larry Mayfield
Courtesy of Zombia Music Services
"Fanfare and March" from "Dalibor" Written by Bedrich Smetana
Performed by The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Libor Pesek
Selections from "Stabat Mater" Written by Antonin Dvorak
Performed by The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Libor Pesek
and Kühn's Mixed Chorus
Chorus Master, Pavel Kühn

Special Thanks

The Supreme Court of The United States
Dr. W. W. Herenton, Mayor of Memphis
Jim Rout, Mayor of Shelby County
The Memphis & Shelby Co. Film, Tape and Music Commission
Tennessee Film, Entertainment & Music Commission
Shel Bachrach
Filmed in Panavision®
Prints by Technicolor®
SDDS - Sony Dynamic Digital Sound
© 1996 Columbia Pictures Industries
a Sony Pictures Entertainment company