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Midnight Blue, Vol. 5 - Porn King (1974)

Al Goldstein , Jimmy Breslin , James Guardino  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Midnight Blue, Vol. 5 - Porn King + Midnight Blue Collection Volume 4: Freaks & Geeks + Midnight Blue Collection Volume 1: The Deep Throat Special Edition
Price for all three: $37.68

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Product Details

  • Actors: Al Goldstein, Jimmy Breslin, Larry Flynt, Ron Jeremy, Al Lewis
  • Directors: James Guardino
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Digital Sound, Anamorphic
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Blue Underground
  • DVD Release Date: June 27, 2006
  • Run Time: 77 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FBFZ40
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,633 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Midnight Blue, Vol. 5 - Porn King" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Bonus documentary: The Last Days of Midnight Blue

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A Compelling, Fair-Handed Portrait Of A Complex Individual Who Is Intelligent And Compulsively Self-Destructive." -- Roy Frumkes, Films In Review

Product Description

Al Goldstein, larger than life smut peddler, made a fortune with his satirical sex tabloid Screw Magazine and became a New York icon with his sleazy TV show MIDNIGHT BLUE. His legendary first amendment battles earned him comparisons with Lenny Bruce and Larry Flynt. But by 2001, those glory days are long gone and the fading giant of filth must make one last, desperate grab for relevance.

A vicious, expletive-laden verbal assault on an ex-secretary lands Al in court on a seemingly benign harassment charge. Instead of quietly paying a small fine, a hell-bent Goldstein decides to turn the trial into a media sensation. For the next two years, the Judge, the jury and the DA will bear the brunt of an X-Rated one-man press and TV campaign. But will Al's scorched-earth tactics cost him more than he bargained for?

Filmmaker James Guardino takes an uncensored peek into the salacious, incendiary and self-destructive world of Al Goldstein. With revealing contributions from Larry Flynt, Ron Jeremey and Al 'Grandpa Munster' Lewis, PORN KING is an essential document of one man's fight for free speech -- no matter how vulgar.


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decline And Fall Of A Porn King's Empire October 19, 2008
Documentary filmaker James Guardino follows around Al Goldstein during his 2001 trial for harassment of an ex-employee and then again in 2003 after ongoing financial problems have forced the once wealthy Goldstein into a homeless shelter.

I've always admired Al as a porn pioneer and dedicated advocate for the First Amendment. But here he comes across as an egomaniac bent on self-destruction. It seems the rage he once directed against politicians like Nixon and Guilliani is now focused on the judge, the district attorney and anyone else his increasingly paranoid mind views as an enemy.

The overriding picture you get is of a man, fueled by insecurity and self-hatred, who is determined to remain in the public spotlight no matter the cost. It's not always pleasant to watch. But, like a car wreck, it's hard to take your eyes off of him and this seems to be exactly what Al wants.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loose screw September 25, 2007
Billed as a "feel good flick with fun, filth and felonious assault",filmmaker James Guardino's "Porn King" (Blue Underground DVD) is a peephole-eyed profile of notorious "Screw Magazine" publisher Al Goldstein. After a perfunctory review of Goldstein's early years and subsequent rise to riches and infamy, the film directs its focus to the story of a three-year court battle kindled by a relatively minor verbal harassment charge brought against him by his ex-secretary in 2001.

Goldstein's "glory days" of first amendment battles were ancient history by the time Guardino started filming, and it becomes obvious that this final skirmish is less about freedom of speech and more about media attention (in this jaded age of mainstream post-Madonna porn chic,old-school "smut peddlers" like Goldstein appear to have lost their cachet).

The film bears unblinking witness to the dethroning, as his riches turn quite literally into rags (at one point, a humbled Goldstein is actually begging the cameraman for a few bucks because he doesn't want to spend another night in a homeless shelter). It's still tough to feel sorry for him, because up to this point in the story he is shown to be so unrelentingly self-destructive and compulsively abrasive toward everyone he comes in contact with. Still, there is a morbid fascination factor here that makes "Porn King" an interesting watch.
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