Penny Lane's stealthy enjoyable Nuts! works cunningly around fiction and non-fiction film though concerning charlatan genius one Dr. John Romulus Brinkley who profited immensely during the 1920s-30s difficult period in U.S. history.
The structure of this "documentary" includes a 'gotcha' turn later on even as audiences are expected to be skeptical using the rise and fall of a genius who implanted (allegedly) goat glands to improve male virility while curing other ailments. Helping to increase the population of Milford, Kansas from 300 to 5000.
Writer Thom Stylinski and 'unreliable' narrator Gene Tognacci help accomplish Lane's unique vision which includes Brinkley's forays into pioneering radio country music and political aspirations, specifically the governor of Kansas. But, there would be adversaries, including Journal of American Medical Association editor Morris Fishbein who would temporarily derail a man who talked sex before Dr. Ruth did and is like an amalgamation of her, Donald Trump, Jim Bakker and Dr. Phil to name a few.
The use of animation (and drawings) besides the usual talking heads and archival footage is key to the success of Nuts! which is as thoughtful and audacious as it lives up to its moniker even from its zany, intimate opening.