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Private Parts

4.3 out of 5 stars 541 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Based on a best-selling autobiography, this comedy drama is the surprisingly sweet-natured life story of a controversial radio personality. Howard Stern, who stars as himself, is a nerdy New York kid who dreams of a disc jockey career despite being a self-loathing klutz who lacks a traditional broadcaster's voice. A strikeout artist in college, Stern's romantic travails end when he meets and marries Alison (Mary McCormack), a beautiful social worker. Stern's early career at several radio stations is undistinguished. Bored, he makes his life the centerpiece of his show, including his obsessions with sex and bathroom humor, and he finds willing cohorts in news reporter Robin Quivers and producer Fred Norris. After an abortive tenure at a Washington D.C. station that loathes his high-rated antics, he lands at NBC in New York. Again, Stern clashes regularly with executives, especially Kenny "Pig Vomit" Rushton (Paul Giamatti), who runs roughshod over Stern's team. At home, Stern's tendency to discuss the intimate details of his marriage takes a toll, reaching a meltdown when he jokes about Alison's recent miscarriage on-air.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Howard Stern, Mary McCormack, Robin Quivers, Fred Norris, Paul Giamatti
  • Directors: Betty Thomas
  • Writers: Howard Stern, Len Blum, Michael Kalesniko
  • Producers: Celia D. Costas, Daniel Goldberg, Ivan Reitman, Joe Medjuck
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: December 15, 1998
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (541 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305222908
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,033 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Private Parts" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Regina McMenamin on April 2, 2006
Format: DVD
This film is not for everyone. As much as it does, at times, candy-coat the raunchy nature of Howard Stern's radio show, PRIVATE PARTS will never convert adamant Howard-haters.

Still if you sit back and enjoy the story, this is a fun movie about the rise of a famous (and to some infamous) radio personality who invented a genre of talk show that's been copied relentlessly over the last 20 years.

Directed by "Hill Street Blues" actress Betty Thomas and loosely based on a best selling book by the same title, PRIVATE PARTS stars all the characters Howard made famous since the early 80s on DC and New York City radio shows.

As a result, this cast is mostly comprised of non-actors playing themselves, at various stages of their lives so you have to "suspend belief," as Howard himself urges viewers at the beginning of this film. (A 40 year old Howard Stern doesn't look like the geeky teenager he once was, though trust me he still looks geeky).

Since every Howard fan has already seen this film many times over, I would recommend PRIVATE PARTS to open-minded people who are unfamiliar with him but up for a great tale about the life (complete with its struggles and successes) of one of the most controversial characters of the late 20th century.

Because I love his actual radio show, but found his old TV show, lacking dimensions of Howard that do not involve sex workers, I appreciated director Betty Thomas's approach to telling the Howard story. Rather than exclusively focusing on lesbians and pornography, Thomas also reveals the conflicting nature of Howard Stern, complete with an overbearing, critical father, an off-kilter mother and Howard's disturbingly normal and loving relationship with his wife.
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When Howard Stern was at the peak of his popularity and notoriety back in '97, Ivan Reitman (producing) and director Betty Thomas decided to give Stern's biography a cinematic go ... though it should be said at once that this was Stern's project all the way. Script approval was his, and, perhaps disappointingly for some of his fans, he insisted on making a movie that was a love-letter to his wife Alison, who supported him in his early career. The love-letter to the marriage proved to be something of a final thank-you, however: the couple divorced a few years after the movie was released. Well, at least he thanked her.

It's two movies, really: the first is about the Sterns' marriage. I said above that Alison supported Stern; she also endured him. It's one thing to get over a near-affair with a B-actress; it's something else getting over listening to your husband cracking jokes on-air about your very recent miscarriage. The movie portrays Alison (Mary McCormack) as a saint and Howard (played by -- who else? -- himself) as a bumbling fellow who makes mistakes but always means well. It's not terribly convincing, but Stern obviously wanted to keep the movie comedic, so the fights depicted are short and temporary, like sudden small dark clouds sweeping over the horizon of a triumphant career and life. The movie goes about this business in a surprisingly conventional way, given the man it's about.

The other movie is about his early career as a shock-jock, and this part is much more interesting. His career starts in the Seventies at college radio and smaller markets, and we are reminded of just how desperately unfunny and uncool disc jockeys were Back in the Day.
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Okay. I confess. I played this film in one of my college media classes. AND THE STUDENTS LOVED IT. Stern tells a real story about a real DJ and how he rose to fame. And, and by the way, I will DEFINITELY continue to show it to my media classes.
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In the 1980s and 1990s, I did not appreciate Howard Stern and his sexist remarks and behavior in the media. He sure had gotten the attention he wanted, and I thought he was simply a jerk. As with many, I knew nothing about his personal life, but disliked him because of his media personality. In this movie, he is depicted as a really nice guy who loves his wife and very loyal to his co-workers. I saw this film at a young age, and didn't quite appreciate it because I thought it was a fake display of his real life in order to change the minds of the audience about who he is as a real person. However, seeing Howard Stern in other capacities these days, not as a disk jockey, but as a tv personality, I believe this movie is genuine about his struggles to make it big in the media. The movie gets five stars because the acting was good, the story line explains a lot, and it brings out a lot of emotions: funny, angry, sad, etc. The chronological story-telling makes it easy to understand, and it was interesting to see the ups and downs of his life just like any other lives. Well done.
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shock jock movie for the whole family? not really? but very well done: writer, directors, and untrained/trauined actors really do a number. they tell the story of the "schlemiel" who makes it on a great voice, hilarious stories, good taste in music, an ability to build a real radio troupe...and most importantly ...honesty!

viewers today of America's Got Talent, for example, will love this (even with the four letter words and bathroom humour). they might not understand what his Sirius / past Channel 9 in New York) show is all about but this is a very good deal for new fans.

great esp. for "old" fans! see Baba Booey and "Stuttering " John (in just one scene but is he outrageously funny, no "stutter" needed).
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