The Amazon Original Series draws from unprecedented access to more than 17,000 hours of footage and over 2,600 scrapbooks from Hefner's personal archives, chronicling the life of an American icon and the history of the brand he created.
Adam Jonas Segaller
HUGH HEFNER'S AFTER DARK: SPEAKING OUT IN AMERICA features a treasure trove of archival footage from Hugh Hefner's landmark TV series, Playboy's Penthouse (1 season, 1959-1960) and Playboy After Dark (2 seasons, 1968-1970).
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An revealing look at the outspoken, flamboyant founder of the Playboy empire. With humor and insight, the film captures Hefner's fierce battles with the government, the religious right and militant feminists. Rare footage and compelling interviews with a remarkable who's who of 20th Century American pop culture, present a brilliant and entertaining snapshot of the life of an extraordinary man and the controversies that surrounded him.Written by
Fifty years ago or so, I read a letter-to-the-editor in Playboy that went something like this: "Playboy is a magazine for yokels." Even though I was a subscriber, I sort of knew what the correspondent meant. There was something cheesy about the hip bachelor image that Hefner lived and espoused. Despite the great stories by Jean Shepard, the beautiful Vargas paintings, and the lovely naked girls-next-door, it struck me that the Playboy Philosophy was just too damned cornball in the end. The nighttime TV series "Playboy Penthouse" which aired around the same time was equally corny, what with the thirty-plus aged men in their Nehru jackets and medallions pretending to enjoy watching Spanky and Our Gang lip-synching a pop tune.
This puff-piece of a documentary is just as cheesy, just as corny, as the magazine was back then and would continue to be as the years progressed. "Entertainment for Yokels" should be the motto of the magazine and it sure would apply to this silly (albeit entertaining) film.
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