Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 135 minutes · 2010

Worshipful enough to pass for an authorized biography, this 2009 documentary sets out to burnish Hefner's reputation as a champion of liberal causes (including racial justice, free speech, abortion rights, and, of course, sexual liberation) and as an influential patron of jazz and the literary arts. Canadian filmmaker Brigitte Berman dutifully leavens her chorus of praise with one feminist critic (Susan Brownmiller) and a few cultural conservatives, but she clearly sides with arch-sleazebag Gene Simmons in his reverence for the pajamaed one. There are some fun clips of Hef hosting the syndicated TV show Playboy's Penthouse during his swinging Chicago heyday, but even after 124 minutes of praise he still seems like a sad bastard.
Director: Brigitte Berman
Producer: Brigitte Berman, Peter Raymont and Victor Solnicki
Cast: Hugh Hefner, James Caan, Tony Curtis, George Lucas and Bill Maher

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