The People versus Larry Flynt (1996) is an entrepreneurship movie, but it not a movie for everybody. This movie is the story of Larry Flynt, an ambitious, hard-working, driven self-made entrepreneur. He (with his wife and brother) started publishing a girlie magazine that challenged society’s moral values. This magazine- Hustler- becomes the success story the Flynts were dreaming of. Even though he has to fight numerous legal battles with people who were opposed to his business, he was able to assert his constitutional right to continue publishing his magazine. The movie is a fictional account of the life of a real-world financially successfully entrepreneur.
Because the movie is about an entrepreneur who acheived his success in the pornographic publishing industry, it is full of nudity and sex. Despite doing a great job of presenting the struggle between an upstart entrepreneur and the establishment, this is not a movie you can watch with your family or relatives. I personally think the movie could have presented Larry Flynt’s story without so many nude and explicit scenes.
The U.S. (as well as many other countries around the world) have many entrepreneurs like Larry Flynt (Hugh Hefner, Joe Francis etc.) whose success comes from exploring the dark side of the business world. The stories of these entrepreneurs as well as the fascination with them in the media and the public make them great examples to discuss the ethical side of entrepreneurship.
I enjoyed the entrepreneurial theme of the movie, but had a very tough time making a positive decision to include it in my entrepreneurship course as one of the choices (and I tell them about the nudity and explicit scenes so they can make an informed decision). I am curious to see what my students think about it.