The People vs. Larry Flynt

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The People vs. Larry Flynt is a 1996 film about the rise and legal problems of Larry Flynt, the controversial pornography publisher who became a defender of free speech.

Directed by Miloš Forman. Written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.
You may not like what he does, but are you prepared to give up his right to do it?

Larry Flynt[edit]

  • If the First Amendment will protect a scumbag like me, it will protect all of you.
  • If you don't like Hustler magazine, don't read it.
  • [to Alan] You don't want to quit me, I'm your dream client: I'm the most fun, I'm rich, and I'm always in trouble.
  • I got money, which gives me the power to shake up the system.
  • Why do I have to go to jail to protect your freedom?
  • [incredulously] Twenty-five years? All I'm guilty of is bad taste.

Alan Isaacman[edit]

  • Unpopular speech is absolutely vital to the health of our nation.
  • Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you have heard a lot today, and I'm not gonna go back over it, but you have to go into that room and make some decisions. But before you do, there's something you need to know. I am not trying to suggest that you should like what Larry Flynt does. I don't like what Larry Flynt does, but what I do like is the fact that I live in a country where you and I can make that decision for ourselves. I like the fact that I live in a country where I can pick up Hustler magazine and read it, or throw it in the garbage can if that's where I think it belongs.

Althea Leasure[edit]

  • The reign of Christian terror is over. We're going back to our roots. We are porn again.
  • Nobody on this planet wants their religion and their pornography together.


Isaacman: [on the phone] Listen, I'm sitting here with the eminently reasonable District Attorney of the state of Georgia. Right. He's very impressed by your conversion, he wants to cut us a plea bargain.
Larry Flynt: A plea bargain? Because I've found God?
Isaacman: Larry, listen to me for a second: Don't argue with me on this, okay? Just say yes because I've pulled a lot of strings to make this happen.
Larry Flynt: Is he sitting there with you?
Isaacman: Yes, he is.
Larry Flynt: Would you do me a favor? Just tell that miserable old gray-haired bastard to go fuck himself, we're going to trial.
Isaacman: Okay, right.
Larry Flynt: Oh, and praise the lord.

Mantke Clerk: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help yo God?
Larry Flynt: No.
Judge Mantke: No?
Larry Flynt: Your honor, I'm an atheist. I can't very well, uh, swear to a God I don't believe exists.
Judge Mantke: Mr. Flynt, you are a handful.
Larry Flynt: I know, your honor.

Isaacman: Larry, thousands of people petition the Supreme Court, okay? Thousands.
Larry Flynt: Yeah, and our case is as good as any.
Isaacman: Our case is better than most, you're missing my point, and that is they will never pick you. Because you're a nightmare. They're afraid if they let you in there, you're gonna wear a diaper, or throw oranges at the justices, and they should be, Larry, because in all the times you've gone to the court asking for help, you've never once demonstrated any respect for its institutions and procedures.

Larry Flynt: Judge sanely. Judge with your eyes open. What do you consider obscene? Is this obscene to you? Or perhaps that's obscene to you? Or maybe this is obscene - to you? But what is more obscene? This, or this? This, or this? You know, politicians or demagogues like to say that sexually-explicit material corrupts the youth of our country. And yet they lie, cheat and start unholy wars. Look at 'em. They call themselves men. They're sheep in a herd.

I think the real obscenity comes from raisin' our youth to believe that sex is bad and ugly and dirty and yet it is heroic to go spill guts and blood in the most ghastly manner in the name of humanity. With all the taboos attached to sex, it's no wonder we have the problems we have. It's no wonder we're angry and violent and genocidal. But ask yourself the question. What is more obscene? Sex or war?

Audience: WAR!


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