Guccione is only the latest retro porn king to undergo rediscovery and rehabilitation. The People vs. Larry Flynt was an Oscar-winning hit that cemented Hustler‘s hustler-in-chief’s reputation as a First Amendment champion. Gen-X libertarians embrace Hugh Hefner as—in the words of the laudatory 2009 documentary’s subtitle—a “playboy, activist and rebel.”
It helps that 1997’s beloved Boogie Nights portrayed 1970s porn production as a halcyon, more innocent era, like American Graffiti with money shots. (…)
Frommer and Schwartz are frank about their ambition: to build a new empire upon the ruins of Guccione’s extinct one.
But is the public really clamoring to gaze at thousands of sepia-toned, tan-lined, feathered-haired ladies who, when you think about it for longer than a couple of seconds, are probably somebody’s grandma by now, if they’re lucky?