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.

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 11 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Joseph N. Welch
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Dora Cohn
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Older Doctor
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Albert Cohn
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Francis Joseph Cardinal Spellman
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Iva Schlesinger
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Sen. Charles Potter
Frances Foster ...
First Annie Lee Moss
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Abe Feller
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Storyline

In the 50's, the ambitious and unscrupulous Jewish prosecutor Roy Marcus Cohn convinces Senator Joseph McCarthy to be his Chief Counselor in his hunting against communists. The arrogant Cohn destroys careers and lives and becomes a Jew hunting Jews and a gay hunting gays. In 1985, he dies of AIDS in a hospital in New York. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Plot Keywords:

hospital | aids | senator | jewish | lawyer | See All (68) »

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He was McCarthy's loyal partner. The Kennedys' worst enemy. The F.B.I.'s best friend. The country's greatest nightmare.

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Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

22 August 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cidadão Cohn  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In this film, Lee Grant played Dora Cohn, Roy Cohn's mother. In real life, just as Lee Grant's career was exploding ('Best Actress' winner at Cannes & nominee at Oscars), she fell victim to McCarthyism, being blacklisted in 1951 by the House Un-American Activities Committee for refusing to testify against her husband, blacklisted playwright/screenwriter Arnold Manoff. As a result, she got very little work for about 12 years. See more »

Goofs

As he is scattering ashes into what is purportedly the East River, Cohn says he consigns his mother to the waters of New Jersey, where she did not live. The East River does not border New Jersey. See more »

Quotes

Roy Marcus Cohn: Senator, I've seen enough names working for Pat McCarran. You're going to be hauling up Jew after Jew... all those European names, and with a McCarthy and a Kennedy together, it's gonna look like an Irish/Catholic-run pogrom. That will discredit everything you do, and I know, because I'm a Jew.
Senator Joseph McCarthy: But they're Communists. They betrayed the faith of the Fathers for this Socialist God of Iron. Now, that's the issue, not anti-Semitism.
Roy Marcus Cohn: That's NOT what your opposition will say. It's very hard sometimes...
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Connections

References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

a frightning film about a true American monster.....
31 December 2003 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

Roy Cohn was truly a brilliant man. He graduated from law school before most people even graduated from college. During his prosecuting of the Rosenburgs and his stint as McCarthy's assistant, he was looked upon as a rising star, a "young Commie catching comet" as Walter Winchell called him. For all his panache, brilliane and theatrics, however, Cohn was nothing more then a liar and a crook and was disbarred shortly before his death from AIDs. It made me angry that this man was so brilliant and we could have reaped a great benefit from his talents if he had properly and honestly applied them to helping people. Like so many, however, Cohn was corrupted by power and greed. I have rarely seen an actor who can play a bad guy the way that James Woods can, this man is awesome in every way and they couldn't have picked a better man to play this real life meglomaniac and monster. Woods is so chilling as Cohn that you almost feel that his dying of AIDs is God's punishment. He is sneering in our faces all throughout this film. I see nothing wrong with calling Roy Cohn a monster, but he is like a Frankenstein monster because we made him and let him get away with it. He was a Jew who persecuted Jews and a gay man who persecuted gays. The most disturbing scene for me in the film is where the dying Cohn is literally "haunted" by the Rosenburgs, a victim of the Witch Hunt he drove to suicide and even Senator McCarthy and Joseph Welch (the lawyer who helped bring him down during the infamous Army-McCarthy hearings). Its hard to believe that we could have another Salem Witchcraft period of hysteria in our country but we did less then 50 years ago because of two demagogues named Joe McCarthy and Roy Cohn. Joe Don Baker did a fine job as the infamous Wisconsin Senator but Peter Boyle was the one who did a masterful performance in the 1977 tv film Tail Gunner Joe. They re-enact the scene during the hearings (which were the first of their kind carried live on tv) where Joseph Welch called down the wrath of God on this tyrant in a way no one would ever forget "I don't think I ever really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness...if it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty I would do so...I like to think I'm a gentle man but your forgiveness will have to come from someone else...have you left no sense of decency sir?...at long last have you left no sense of decency? He could have easily said the same thing to Roy Cohn and the answer would have been no.


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