Gordon Sheppard

Writer, Photographer, Filmmaker

Prince of Playmates – Newsweek Magazine (Sep 2, 1963)

“The documentary short which won the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Golden Gate Award last year, The Most, is an incredibly savage length of film. Finally, one wonders, in the face of all the evidence, if it really is a documentary, if its subject-Hugh Hefner, Playboy magazine, Playboy Clubs, Playboy bunnies, the lot — exists at all. That man, strutting, preening, posing, and spouting nonsense, is a new kind of animated cartoon, a sort of mental Magoo who cannot possibly realize what he is saying when he admits, with feigned modesty, “It’s probably not true that I have made love to more beautiful women than any man in history,” or when he asserts, “Going by the strict definition of the word, yes, I suppose I am a genius.”

The prince of playmates lives in an unspeakably vulgar playhouse, with a swimming pool and, apparently, a perennial party. The film shows Hefner’s minions (one spits an ice cube back into his drink and says how much “Hef” has done to change his life) and mignonnes. Or, there he is again, in his office, late at night (“I often work in my pee-jays”) saying, “I don’t think I’d change places with anyone in the world,” and that, at least, is a good thing, for no one who has seen Richard Ballentine and Gordon Sheppard’s cinematic portrait of Hefner would he willing to switch with him.”

– Newsweek Magazine September 2, 1963