Posts Tagged ‘John R. Brinkley’

Dr. John R. Brinkley...cartoon version

Dr. John R. Brinkley…cartoon version

“NUTS!” My rating: B+

79 minutes | No MPAA rating

John R. Brinkley has earned his own pedestal in the pantheon of flimflammery.

In the 1920s and ’30s Brinkley became a mega-millionaire thanks to his “cure” for impotence.  This involved transplanting goat testicles (goats being incredibly horny creatures) into the scrotums of human males. (I wonder…how many of the little boys born after their fathers underwent this unorthodox treatment were named “Billy”?)

All of this was done out of his privately financed clinic in Milford, Kansas. Not only was “Doc” Brinkley pioneering dubious medical therapies, he was also the proprietor of America’s most powerful radio station, from which he sent forth a steady diet of “hillbilly” music and editorials read by the Good Doc himself.

The Brinkley saga is a documentarian’s treasure trove, and with “Nuts!” filmmaker Penny Lane (that’s what her parents named her) delivers a hugely enjoyable yet deeply troubling look into a master manipulator.

The first thing you notice about “Nuts!” is its look.  While there are a couple of taking-head interviews and some old photos and home movies, “Nuts!” consists mostly of  a half-dozen  animated segments — each in a different style. These provide a sort of comic book spin on Brinkley’s biography…which as it turns out was pretty much a comic book from start to finish.

During  his lifetime Brinkley built a rags-to-riches history for himself. He was a masterful marketer and promoter of ideas and music.

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