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American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story

Season 1
 (8)
7.52017X-RayUHD15
[Select Subtitles available in May] A fascinating docuseries chronicling Playboy magazine’s charismatic founder, Hugh Hefner, and his impact on global culture. Told from his unique perspective with never-before-seen footage from his private archive, discover the captivating story about the man behind the bunny.
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  1. 1. Before the Bunny: Marilyn Monroe
    Watch on supported devices
    7 April 2017
    40min
    15
    Subtitles
    English [CC], العربية, Deutsch, Español (Latinoamérica), Español (España), Français, हिन्दी, Indonesia, Italiano, 日本語, 한국어, Nederlands, Polski, Português, Русский, ไทย, Türkçe, 中文(简体), 中文(繁體)
    Audio Languages
    English
    The surprising story of how Marilyn Monroe became Playboy’s first pin-up.
  2. 2. Birth of the Centerfold: The Girl Next Door
    7 April 2017
    43min
    15
    Subtitles
    English [CC], العربية, Deutsch, Español (Latinoamérica), Español (España), Français, हिन्दी, Indonesia, Italiano, 日本語, 한국어, Nederlands, Polski, Português, Русский, ไทย, Türkçe, 中文(简体), 中文(繁體)
    Audio Languages
    English
    Hugh Hefner convinces his new subscription manager to pose as the magazine’s first centerfold and “the girl next door” becomes Playboy’s formula for success. 
  3. 3. Becoming Mr. Playboy
    7 April 2017
    42min
    15
    Subtitles
    English [CC], العربية, Deutsch, Español (Latinoamérica), Español (España), Français, हिन्दी, Indonesia, Italiano, 日本語, 한국어, Nederlands, Polski, Português, Русский, ไทย, Türkçe, 中文(简体), 中文(繁體)
    Audio Languages
    English
    During the mid-1950s, Hugh Hefner and Playboy gain national success, giving Hefner an opportunity to speak out about social issues while enjoying the perks of being Mr. Playboy.
  4. 4. Members Only: The Playboy Club
    7 April 2017
    41min
    15
    Subtitles
    English [CC], العربية, Deutsch, Español (Latinoamérica), Español (España), Français, हिन्दी, Indonesia, Italiano, 日本語, 한국어, Nederlands, Polski, Português, Русский, ไทย, Türkçe, 中文(简体), 中文(繁體)
    Audio Languages
    English
    To bring Playboy’s bachelor lifestyle to the public, Hugh Hefner opens the Playboy Club in Chicago and creates the perfect nightlife hostess - the bunny.
  5. 5. The Playboy Interview (“I Read the Magazine for the Articles")
    7 April 2017
    41min
    15
    Subtitles
    English [CC], العربية, Deutsch, Español (Latinoamérica), Español (España), Français, हिन्दी, Indonesia, Italiano, 日本語, 한국어, Nederlands, Polski, Português, Русский, ไทย, Türkçe, 中文(简体), 中文(繁體)
    Audio Languages
    English
    Hugh Hefner creates the Playboy Interview, giving a platform to cultural leaders to discuss pressing social issues, and publishes a controversial interview with Malcolm X.
  6. 6. Rebel with a Cause: Civil Liberties and Government Crackdowns
    7 April 2017
    40min
    15
    Subtitles
    English [CC], العربية, Deutsch, Español (Latinoamérica), Español (España), Français, हिन्दी, Indonesia, Italiano, 日本語, 한국어, Nederlands, Polski, Português, Русский, ไทย, Türkçe, 中文(简体), 中文(繁體)
    Audio Languages
    English
    Hefner becomes addicted to an amphetamine drug that lets him work around the clock, using the pages of the magazine to fight for civil rights and ultimately publish what would become Martin Luther King Jr’s final written words. 
  7. 7. Below The Belt: Playboy and the Pubic Wars
    7 April 2017
    41min
    15
    Subtitles
    English [CC], العربية, Deutsch, Español (Latinoamérica), Español (España), Français, हिन्दी, Indonesia, Italiano, 日本語, 한국어, Nederlands, Polski, Português, Русский, ไทย, Türkçe, 中文(简体), 中文(繁體)
    Audio Languages
    English
    While Hugh Hefner finds love and success in Hollywood, Playboy fights Penthouse in the pubic wars.
  8. 8. Sex, Drugs and DEA Investigations
    7 April 2017
    39min
    15
    Subtitles
    English [CC], العربية, Deutsch, Español (Latinoamérica), Español (España), Français, हिन्दी, Indonesia, Italiano, 日本語, 한국어, Nederlands, Polski, Português, Русский, ไทย, Türkçe, 中文(简体), 中文(繁體)
    Audio Languages
    English
    Hugh Hefner’s secretary and close friend, Bobbie Arnstein, finds herself at the center of a conspiracy to take down the Playboy empire and her loyalty to Hefner proves deadly.
  9. 9. Down the Rabbit Hole: The Dorothy Stratten Murder
    7 April 2017
    43min
    18
    Subtitles
    English [CC], العربية, Deutsch, Español (Latinoamérica), Español (España), Français, हिन्दी, Indonesia, Italiano, 日本語, 한국어, Nederlands, Polski, Português, Русский, ไทย, Türkçe, 中文(简体), 中文(繁體)
    Audio Languages
    English
    After the death of Bobbie Arnstein, Hugh Hefner retreats permanently to his Los Angeles mansion, only to face the murder of Playmate Dorothy Stratten.
  10. 10. My Way
    7 April 2017
    47min
    15
    Subtitles
    English [CC], العربية, Deutsch, Español (Latinoamérica), Español (España), Français, हिन्दी, Indonesia, Italiano, 日本語, 한국어, Nederlands, Polski, Português, Русский, ไทย, Türkçe, 中文(简体), 中文(繁體)
    Audio Languages
    English
    With Playboy on the brink of bankruptcy, Hefner sacrifices friends and leans on family to secure the brand’s future.

More details

Directors
Richard Lopez
Producers
Stephen DavidRichard RosenzweigPeter JaysenTim W. KellyShirley Escott
Season year
2017
Network
Amazon Studios
Content advisory
Smokingsubstance usealcohol usenudityfoul languagesexual contentviolence
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

8 global ratings

  1. 22% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 58% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 19% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 0% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 0% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

Miss SoverallReviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 November 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Shocker
Knowing nothing about Hefner other than he was the creator of playboy magazine and was always shown with girls decades younger than himself, I always assumed he was just a dirty old man. BOY WAS I WRONG! This documentary has taught me to do my research on people and not just buy into what the media is selling me about them. What a selfless, inclusive and moral based man he was! Extravagant, yes, but human none the less and suffered loss just like the rest of us yet still had to run a multi-million pound business at the same time and deal with fending off and keeping up with the competition. Not many business men would of lasted as long as he did or be able to both start and build the legacy he left behind. R.I.P Hef!
IsotalaReviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 June 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
Interesting, but take with a large pinch of salt.
The show mentions many important historical events outside of Playboy and ties it all in very well. Turns out there is more to HH and the Playboy empire than their famous centrefolds. Knowing now how instrumental HH and the PB magazine were in regards to speaking out against racial injustices and the Vietnam war has made me feel very differently than before I watched. Simply the fact that he chose to publish certain articles and interviews- especially Malcolm X's interview- despite warnings from his own staff not to take such an outspoken political stance, was inarguably a bold move given the times.

In saying that, the series glamorises his behaviour and his lifestyle when in reality he was an absent father who cheated on the mother of his children, abused his position of power over women and struggled with a number of addictions, most of all the one he had with himself.

As inspired as I am by his pioneering attitude towards the repressive social norms of the 50's and his impressive work ethic, he did not protect his female employees the way this show would have you believe. They were very much objectified and I'm certain at times manipulated and taken advantage of. Although I'm all for sex work and a woman's right to choose to do whatever she wants with her body, there are women who have since spoken out about the treatment they endured as PB employees or 'girlfriends' and they paint an entirely different picture.
eFABEReviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 August 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
In my humble opinion, HH is underrated
I found this hugely interesting and a real eye opener. The man I thought was just a sex mad person actually went through a hell of a lot. He spoke about things others were too scared to talk about, if you think Playboy is just about naked girls, you'd be wrong. It takes all sorts of people to make the world go round and Hugh is one of those people. I learnt a lot about stuff that happened in the world years ago by watching this, some of it pretty horrific. I am glad I watched this all the way through.
One person found this helpful
garethdowReviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 September 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Man has an over inflated view of himself and the company
Decent programme, but how many women did he find that were the “love of his life” (Assuming any of them would have fancied him but for his money). And as for the brand being the third most recognisable after Apple and Coca Cola. Err.. Nike and Microsoft (amongst others) might beat you on that one fella.
One person found this helpful
LevReviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 September 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Absolutely loved it
Always thought of Playboy as "the nudes magazine", i was amazed to find out how much more it is. And what a great figure Hef was. Enjoyed every minute of it!
One person found this helpful
Sophie AReviewed in the United Kingdom on 06 September 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Very Interesting
Was great to know more about Hef's personal life and values as well as how the business grew. He had great morals and this touches on issues you may have never known he helped with.
perryReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 August 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Interesting
Thought it was very informative didn't realise Hugh was supporting black people before it was cool
One person found this helpful
ZReviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 August 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Interesting and entertaining!
Did not know a lot of the facts and history behind Playboy and Hef's life. Worth watching!
2 people found this helpful
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