Obscene (2008)

Barney Rosset acquired the fledgling Grove Press in 1951 and soon embarked on a tumultuous career of publishing and political engagement that continues to inspire today's defenders of free expression. Not only was he the first American… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: September 5, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 10, 2009
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Critic Score: 92% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Ted Fry
Seattle Times

The focus of Obscene remains steadfastly on the man, thanks to a rich variety of archival and interview clips that span his entire career and a slew of colleagues, fiends and enemies.

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Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times

A warm, entertaining compendium of counterculture voices (including Jim Carroll and Amiri Baraka) and literary landmarks.

Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

An entertaining and engrossing film.

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Noel Murray
AV Club

Though Obscene tells the story without fully exploring its nuances, that story is both fascinating and more than a little inspiring.

Joshua Land
Time Out

Filled with reminiscence and laughter, this lively and largely adoring documentary looks back on the life and work of Barney Rosset, best known as the longtime owner of Grove Press.

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Philip French
Observer (UK)

This film is an engaging portrait of the man and a fair assessment of his achievement.

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V.A. Musetto
New York Post

A compelling documentary about [Barney Rosset] directed by neophytes Neil Ortenberg and Daniel O'Connor.

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Michelle Orange
Village Voice

[A] very fine documentary.

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Jamie McLeish

While the filmmakers squander some excellent opportunities that might have helped to illuminate the contradictions in their subject, this remains a fascinating study of an unrepentant American maverick.

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Flixster Audience Score: 72% Flixster User Reviews
Walter M.
"Obscene" is an illuminating documentary about the legendary Grove Press and its longtime owner, Barney Rosset who felt there was "no word… More