As lawyer and power broker Roy Cohn lies dying of AIDS in a private hospital room, ghosts from his past visit him as he reflects on his life and loves.
Roy Cohn personified the dark arts of American politics, turning empty vessels into dangerous demagogues - from Joseph McCarthy to his final project, Donald J. Trump. This thriller-like exposé connects the dots, revealing how a deeply troubled master manipulator shaped our current American nightmare.
In the midst of World War II, Nazi officer Otto Schatz declares the execution of Jewish music-hall comedian Genghis Cohn. Many years later, Otto is comfortably retired into the life of a highly respected police commissioner, and is investigating a series of murders when he encounters the ghost of Genghis Cohn. The haunting turns into a taunting, and before he knows it, Schatz is slowly driven mad as he is lured into a trap.
When Jill Godmilow’s documentary Roy Cohn/Jack Smith premiered at the 1994 Toronto International Film Festival, the number of AIDS-related deaths was reaching an all-time high in the United States (over 270,000). In New York City, the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic, many artists and filmmakers were grappling with the disease. While Broadway was hosting the second part of Tony Kushner’s award-winning play Angels in America, downtown New Yorkers were fondly recalling another recent production, Ron Vawter’s one-man show Roy Cohn/Jack Smith, in which the actor, who died of AIDS in April 1994, performed two monologues, first as Cohn, the conservative lawyer, and secondly, as Smith, the flamboyant experimental filmmaker—both of whom died of AIDS-related causes in the late 1980s.
Legendary and controversial attorney Roy Cohn was a power broker in the rough and tumble world of New York City business and politics. Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s top counsel during investigations into Communist activities in the 1950s, Cohn is also known for being Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, fixer and mentor. Focusing on key periods of his life, and drawing on extensive, newly unearthed archival material, a new documentary on Cohn’s life will debut on HBO in 2019.
This thorough and mesmerizing documentary takes an appropriately unflinching look at the life and death of Roy Cohn, the closeted, conservative American lawyer whose first job out of law school was prosecuting filmmaker Ivy Meeropol’s grandparents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Moving from the fifties—when he was also chief counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy—to the crooked deals and shady power brokering of the eighties that led Cohn to becoming the right-hand man and mentor of Donald J. Trump, this film is not merely a depiction of a brutal, ideologically diseased man—it’s an interrogatory work in search of the true character behind an icon of the political right in a deeply troubled America. Featuring interviews with such figures as Cindy Adams, Alan Dershowitz, Tony Kushner, Nathan Lane, John Waters, and a trove of fascinating, recently unearthed archive video and audio material.
Citizen Cohn is a 1992 cable film covering the life of Joseph McCarthy's controversial chief counsel Roy Cohn. James Woods, who starred as Cohn, was nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his performance. Citizen Cohn also stars Joe Don Baker, Ed Flanders, Frederic Forrest, and Pat Hingle. It was directed by Frank Pierson. The movie was filmed on location in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.