Citizen Cohn

Citizen Cohn

Director: Frank Pierson

Cast: Frank Pierson, James Woods, Joe Don Baker, Lee Grant

     
 

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Frank Pierson's made-for-cable adaptation of Nicholas VonHoffman's biography, Citizen Cohn stars James Woods as the controversial lawyer Roy Cohn. The film is structured as a series of flashbacks while Cohn lies in a New York hospital dying of AIDS. In the 1940s and early '50s, Cohn became one of the most powerful men in the country after becoming an importantSee more details below

Overview

Frank Pierson's made-for-cable adaptation of Nicholas VonHoffman's biography, Citizen Cohn stars James Woods as the controversial lawyer Roy Cohn. The film is structured as a series of flashbacks while Cohn lies in a New York hospital dying of AIDS. In the 1940s and early '50s, Cohn became one of the most powerful men in the country after becoming an important associate of Senator Joseph McCarthy (Joe Don Baker) and his Communist witch hunts. The film recounts those turbulent times and features portrayals of such real-life figures as J. Edgar Hoover (Pat Hingle), Dashiell Hammett (Frederic Forrest), Cardinal Spellman (Daniel Benzali), and Walter Winchell (Joseph Bologna).

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Told in flashbacks as the powerful lawyer and chief assistant to Senator Joseph McCarthy lies in a hospital bed dying of AIDS, Citizen Cohn covers brilliant lawyer Roy Cohn's rise to power. Instinctively gifted with a grasp of the ways in which innuendo, half-truth, and lies could be used to destroy political opponents while advancing his career, the brutally efficient Cohn was far more frightening than the foolish, often drunken senator, who was supposedly his patron. With the passing of the red-baiting era, Cohn transforms himself into one of the most powerful attorneys in the country, expanding his vile bag of legal tricks to represent a motley crew of wealthy reprobates including more than a few mobsters. The film also touches on Cohn's carefully concealed homosexuality, a predilection which -- during that benighted era -- could have hurt his tough-guy image and his business. One of the film's most amusingly ironic scenes is a small dinner attended only by J. Edgar Hoover, Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York, and Cohn, three staunchly conservative anti-communists who publicly deplored homosexuality, although two were gay and the other a cross-dresser. As Cohn's borderline legal maneuvers begin to fun afoul of the law and AIDS slowly eats away at his body, one almost feels a twinge of sympathy for the man. James Woods has never been more brilliant in a part that seems to have been written specifically for him. To see him weave his way through the contorted labyrinth of this monster's mind is a privilege. The huge and talented cast includes standout work by Joe Don Baker as McCarthy, the blacklisted Lee Grant as Cohn's possessive mother, and Joseph Bologna as Walter Winchell.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/15/2012
UPC:
0883316440995
Original Release:
1992
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Archives
Sales rank:
80,013

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Woods Roy Marcus Cohn
Joe Don Baker Senator Joseph McCarthy
Lee Grant Dora
Joseph Bologna Walter Winchell
Ed Flanders Welch
Pat Hingle Hoover
Frederic Forrest Hammett
John McMartin Older Doctor
Daniel Benzali Cardinal Spellman
Tovah Feldshuh Iva Schlesinger
John Finn Senator Charles Potter
Frances Foster First Annie Lee Moss
Allen Garfield Abe Feller
David Marshall Grant Robert F. Kennedy
Joe Grifasi Gerald Walpin
Daniel Hugh Kelly Congressman Neil Gallagher
Karen Ludwig Ethel Rosenberg
Peter Maloney Ray Kaplan
Novella Nelson Second Annie Lee Moss
Jeffrey Nordling G. David Schine
Fritz Weaver Senator Everett Dirksen
Chuck Aber Senator McClellan
Lamont Arnold Male Nurse
Steve Aronson Judge Kaufman
Bernard Canepari New York Judge
Patricia Dunnock Female Nurse
David Earle Chauffeur
Fanni Green Juror
Lance Lewman Young Doctor
Larry John Meyers Frank Raichle
Zachary Mott Sam Garfield
Joseph Scorsiani Milo Gandini
John Seitz Army Secretary Stevens
Robin Thomas Reporter
Daniel Von Bargen Clyde Tolson
Don Wadsworth English Reporter #2
Richard Warner Robert Morgenthau Jr.
Josef Sommer Albert Cohn
Sam Coppola Carmine Gelanti
Kate Young French Reporter

Technical Credits
Frank Pierson Director
Paul Elliott Cinematographer
Gary Kosko Art Director
Stephen Marsh Costumes/Costume Designer
Matthew Mungle Makeup
Thomas Newman Score Composer
Peter Zinner Editor

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