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Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story (2003)

Biographic movie of the witty, overachieving, hot-tempered Rudy Giuliani, spaning from his rising days as a New York district attorney in the early 1980's to his marriage to part-time ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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John Bourgeois ...
Kirsten Bishop ...
Judith Nathan (as Kirsten Bishopric)
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Mariah Inger ...
Sam Stone ...
Michael Jeffrey Woods ...
Sam (as Michael Woods)
Brian Wrench ...
Alan Fawcett ...
Philip Pretten ...
Philip Spensley ...
...
Jim Kossler (as Francis-Xavier McCarthy)
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Storyline

Biographic movie of the witty, overachieving, hot-tempered Rudy Giuliani, spaning from his rising days as a New York district attorney in the early 1980's to his marriage to part-time actress Donna Hanover, to his candicies for mayor of New York City and his controversial methods to tackle the city's crime and urban problems, as well as his romance with his assistant Cristyne Lategano which lead to the failure of his marriage, to his battle with prostate cancer, all leading up to the terrible day of September 11, 2001 which Guiliani himself narrowly escaped death after suicide terrorists hijacked and crashed two passenger airliners into the twin World Trade Center towers leading to their collapse in which Guiliani's toughness and spirited personality help calm the city's residents to face the chaos on that day which made him a national hero. Written by Matthew Patay

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Passionate. Relentless. Ambitious. Controversial. Unforgetable. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

30 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rudy!  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Real footage of the 11 September 2001 attacks was used. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Giuliani is telling his wife about going after the crime bosses, as she approaches, he lifts up the cigar in his left hand, but in the next shot, the hand with the cigar is back on the table and never lifts it up. See more »

Quotes

Rudolph 'Rudy' Giuliani: We are bound together. We are going to remain bound together.
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Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Kirsten Dunst/Eminem (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Rudy
19 December 2011 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

Not all biographical films on politicians are made equal. Some try to tell a sprawling tale of someone's political life, such as Oliver Stone with his Nixon and W, while others capture a momentous slice of an historical event, such as Roger Donaldson's Thirteen Days which was gripping from start to end. Then there are those like Rudy, which tries to do both, but don't really get there, undoubtedly having the story mooted since Rudy Giuliani (James Woods) was the mayor of New York during the fateful event of September 11 2011, and having this film weave a glimpse of his political career culminating in that horrendous disaster.

Granted this had a limited budget, and in many ways that showed in the film, having some scenes crafted in sparse studios, although looking like a million dollars when Robert Dornhel, whose experience and filmography point to a lot of made for television films which this one also belonged to, had deliberately opted for the documentary look and feel for the event of September 11. Everything else looked indoors and not on location, removing that sense of authenticity of filming it all in the Big Apple.

There's also very little on his political and professional career before Mayorship, and what I thought was a very interesting bit in his life during his Attorney General days as he locked horns with the mafia, was grossly glossed over, which was a pity because there's so much narrative potential there to be explored, but I guess writer Stanley Weiser, who based this film on the book by Wayne Barrett, didn't find it interesting enough for a big screen treatment. Much instead is preferred to focus on the man's incredibly bad temper behind closed doors, demonstrating that Giuliani is a man who doesn't mince his words, and shoots very fast from the hip without due care whether it'll hurt anyone at all with his pointed, loud barbs.

With 9/11 stock footage mixed with its own documentary presentation, the story unfolds in flashbacks, as we glimpse into Rudy's marriage to newscaster Donna Hanover (Penelope Ann Miller) who had once interviewed him and begun a whirlwind romance, before his suspected infidelities and indiscretion led to breakdowns in both his marriage and almost always threatening his political career, isolating him from strong, key advisers who don't quite see eye to eye with his blind trust of his communications director. I suppose Robert Dornhelm prefers to tell the age old story of how the strong almost always fall prey to the advances of the fairer sex, and in some ways become the seeds to their downfall, in more ways than one.

James Woods puts in a riveting performance as the go-getter in the titular character, but ultimately got let down by the weak narrative that didn't get to dig deeper into what made the man, skimming only on the surface and focused on his anger management issues. Supporting cast didn't outside Woods in his role, and that may be attributed to the more caricature like treatment the supporting characters had to deal with since a biopic that's about 90 minutes long doesn't leave a lot of room for the spotlight to be shared with others.

For a man who was to provide a leadership beacon in what would be one of the most tragic terrorist attacks in human history, Rudy had all the potential to paint a more complex, detailed picture of just who the man was, someone whom most had seen on their television screens in the aftermath of that attack, but you're likely to come out from this just a wee bit more knowledgeable about the man himself, if at all, no thanks to its summarizing of key milestones in the man's life, and the indecision to just want to focus on an episode, or be a little bit more ambitious to cover a whole lot of ground.


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