HUGH HEFNER: PLAYBOY, ACTIVIST AND REBEL
- HUGH HEFNER: PLAYBOY, ACTIVIST AND REBEL
- 2009, Brigitte Berman, Canada, 124 min.
"If you want to see an entertaining documentary that shows what Hefner does besides standing around smiling, this is a good bet...Advisory: Lots of nudity and merry nude cavorting."
—Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"HUGH HEFNER will knock your socks off...this eye-opening documentary reveals the mensch beneath the moolah, the ardent social reformer beneath the paisley-patterned shirts."
—Jeannette Catsoulis, NPR
Hugh Hefner's life has been so prolific that two hours hardly seem enough. This engaging, irresistibly watchable profile by Oscar-winning documentarian Berman concentrates on the Chicago-forged Hef's celebrity as standard-bearer for the sexual revolution, with many a vintage Playmate on display, and on his lesser-known career as a tireless social activist, fighting battles for free speech, civil rights, gay rights, and, yes, women's rights. HUGH HEFNER is neither a tell-all exposé nor a shallow puff piece. A dazzling collection of talking heads weigh in, both pro (Jesse Jackson, Bill Maher, Gene Simmons) and con (Pat Boone, Susan Brownmiller, Mike Wallace), along with war stories from co-workers and ex-partners, and a trove of priceless footage from Hefner's TV shows. This film may not convert you, but it will convince you that Hefner's influence on the past half-century of American life has been undeniable and enormous. 35mm. (MR)