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Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story (2003)

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


Robert Dornhelm


Wayne Barrett (book), Stanley Weiser

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at Amazon

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


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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Woods ... Rudolph 'Rudy' Giuliani
Penelope Ann Miller ... Donna Hanover
Michelle Nolden ... Cristyne Lategano
John Bourgeois ... Peter Powers
Kirsten Bishop ... Judith Nathan (as Kirsten Bishopric)
Mark Camacho ... Tony Carbonetti
Maxim Roy ... Beth Petrone
Mariah Inger Mariah Inger ... Carrie Foster
Sam Stone Sam Stone ... Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik
Michael Jeffrey Woods Michael Jeffrey Woods ... Sam (as Michael Woods)
Brian Wrench Brian Wrench ... Bill Simon
Alan Fawcett Alan Fawcett ... FDNY Chief Peter Ganci
Philip Pretten Philip Pretten ... FDNY Commissioner Thomas Von Essen
Philip Spensley Philip Spensley ... Howard Safir
Francis X. McCarthy ... Jim Kossler (as Francis-Xavier McCarthy)


Biographic movie of the witty, overachieving, hot-tempered Rudy Giuliani, spanning from his rising days as a New York City district attorney in the early 1980's to his marriage to part-time actress Donna Hanover, to his candidacies 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 Giuliani 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 Giuliani'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


He divided a city. He united a nation. See more »


Biography | Drama


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Official Sites:

UsA Network


USA | Canada



Release Date:

30 March 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rudy! See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Despite being credited, Stanley Weiser claims that his entire script was thrown out at the request of James Woods and replaced by one written by an uncredited Lionel Chetwynd a well known politically conservative screenwriter, to make it more pro-Giuliani. See more »


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 »


Rudolph 'Rudy' Giuliani: God I love this city.
See more »


Featured in Loose Canon: 9/11 (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

Well Done, realistic, but overdramatized Giuliani
31 March 2003 | by zensixtiesSee all my reviews

Rudy is the TV film shown recently on USA starring James Woods as Rudolph Giuliani. It begins on September 10th, 2001 and then when the tragedy hits we go to flashbacks starting in 1982 when Rudy was associate Attorney General. The back and forth between the present (September 11th) and his past is a hard to pull off editing job that works well.

The 911 scenes go back and forth between actual footage Woods' portrayal, which again is effective and realistic. To his credit Woods didn't try to assume the mannerisms of Rudy too much so avoided the danger of lapsing into parody, but rather played the role as intense high drama...which wasn't exactly appropriate to Rudy's more low key reality.

Other flashbacks we get are 1984 when he's the US Attorney in New York who cracks down on the Mafia, 1989 when he loses the Mayoral race to Dinkins, 1992 when he grandstands for racist cops, 1993 when he wins the Mayoral election, as well as his marriage and his 2 extramarital relationships.

Overall a sympathetic portrayal of 2 decades of public office which of course culminates in 911, which is really what most of the film appropriately points towards. You will come away respecting Rudy if perhaps not agreeing with him.

Finally it's significant that James Woods got this role, as he noticed the highjackers on previous "test flights" and he reported his suspicions to the flight attendant. He reported it to the FBI post-911 and they confirmed they were the highjackers on his flight.

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