An insight into the ruthless lawyer and fixer, Roy Cohn, who for 30 years regaled the American justice system more interested in the name of the judge than the law itself. Brilliant, unscrupulous – and dangerous, the narcissistic Cohn is associated with the dark side of manipulative and corrupt politics.
Chief Counsel for the infamous McCarthy Committee for UnAmerican Activities in his 20s, played a prominent role in the Rosenbergs trial, the barracuda Cohn’s career was littered with accusations of theft, obstruction, extortion, tax evasion, bribery, blackmail, fraud, perjury and witness tampering. But he was friends with the Reagans, Nixon, Trump and Murdoch, the catholic archdiocese of New York as well as known mafia families. He was almost untouchable – until his fall from grace in 1986 when he was disbarred for fraud. He died that same year from AIDS-related complications having publicly denied his sexuality and having been involved throughout his career in discriminatory legislation against gay men.
Matt Tyrnauer’s (Studio 54: The Documentary, Citizen Jane) documentary offers little new content – but it does provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for the litany of horrors that was Cohn, a man who directly or indirectly shaped the American political platform of the past 50 years (advisor to the Reagan campaign, the introduction of Trump to Murdoch). Yet Where’s My Roy Cohn? is surprisingly low key in its presentation of a larger-than-life Cohn. Erudite it may be but there’s a lack of any real passion in its presentation.