1. It's been awhile since I've watched BN or it's extras, but I recall/assumed it was purely fictional work.

    Having watched Wonderland and the lengthy John Holmes
    documentary (with PTA interviews), there seem to be a number of similarities between the life & times of John Holmes and the character in BN.

    Was John Holmes the inspiration for BN?
     
  2. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Screenwriter

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    Yes, "Boogie Nights" was loosely based on John Holmes.
     
  3. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Loosely?? Almost directly based on!

    The original inspiration for Boogie Nights was the documentary EXHAUSTED about Holmes, PTA's original short film that was the seed for Boogie Nights ("The Dirk Diggler Story") was a shot-for-shot rip off of the Exhausted doc.

    In Boogie nights, there are many direct shot lifts from Exhausted, specifically in the documentary Amber makes in the middle of BN.

    The majority of the story arch for Diggler was taken directly from Holmes, including the downfall and the shootout at Wonderland (as well as all his silly character touches: Karate, obsession with asian culture, falling in with shady characters, attempts to be a rock star)-- all were taken directly from Holmes.
     
  4. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    To mention one quite specific similarity, on the commentary tracks for the Boogie Nights DVD, P.T. Anderson talks about a documentary on John Holmes from when Holmes was starring in pornos, called "Exhausted." It served as the inspiration for the documentary about Dirk Diggler, directed by Amber Waves, within Boogie Nights. IIRC, "Exhausted" was on the Boogie Nights laserdisc, but they couldn't get the rights to put it on the DVD.
     
  5. Erik.Ha

    Erik.Ha Supporting Actor

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    The only thing bigger than John holmes john$on was his cocaine addiction. In 1981, it is alledged that he was involved in a robbery at the home of a nightclub owner, small time gangster and fellow coke head, Eddie Nash. This first burglery was the inspiration for the Alfred Molina drug shoot out scene in boogie nights.

    Enter "Wonderland."

    It is alledged that Nash forced Holmes to give up his co-robbers. It is then aledged that Nash sent some thugs to the Wonderland Ave home of Holmes' co-conspirators in the Hollywood Hills. The thugs bludgeoned to death the four occupants of the home in a brutal crime that was compared to the Manson Murders. The media nicknamed it "the Wonderland Murders" while the LAPD nicknamed it the "Four on the Floor" murders.

    Holmes and Nash were both acquitted of the crime.
     
  6. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Screenwriter

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    I said loosely because I believe Dirk Diggler was the ONLY true to life character in "Boogie Nights," if I'm not mistaken. I don't believe Burt Reynold's character was a real guy. Dirk Diggler wasn't married in "Boogie Nights," and carrying on an affair with an underage girl as John Holmes was in real life. The "Wonderland" incident in the movie is "inspired" by the real-life Wonderland incident, but it isn't like a mirror of the way everything actually happened.

    The peripheral characters in "Boogie Nights" were not based on actual people, though they may have been inspired by actual people. That is why I said the movie "Boogie Nights" is LOOSELY based on John Holmes, because it is. There are many things about Boogie Nights that is substantially different from John Holmes. That's why Mark Wahlberg's character is named Dirk Diggler and NOT John Holmes.
     
  7. Erik.Ha

    Erik.Ha Supporting Actor

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    Burt Reynolds' character (Jack Horner) is based on Bill Amerson, Holmes' long time friend and producer.
     

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