Sunday, October 19, 2014

“Hugh Hefner - Tony Palmer’s 1973 Film About Hugh Hefner: Founder and Editor of Playboy” DVD

Rescued document of Playboy founder's lifestyle

Rescued from oblivion after over 40 years, this 54-minute documentary is a snapshot into a prime era for Playboy Magazine founder and cultural icon Hefner. With intimate looks into his fabled Playboy Mansion, and many interviews with “Hef” himself, as well as many of his “bunnies” and associates, this is a fascinating document of an era long past.

Director Palmer did a splendid job presenting Hefner’s swanky lifestyle in an honest and nonjudgmental fashion. Presumably made for British TV, this film pushed some buttons (and boundaries) in it’s era. The restoration here (by Steve Alexander) is also top-notch, making much of this look as good as new, rather than (as many films of this nature are) a simple convert from VHS sources.

Solid work here, and a perfect historical document of a prosperous era in American history, when casual behavior and leisure time (and excess income) sparked an interest in the finer things — indulgences in food, travel, women, sports, and drink that Hefner centered his “lifestyle” magazine around.

Needless to say, this is a far better portrayal of Hefner than “Girls Next Door”.