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  • Joseph McCarthy covers a microphone with his hand during hearings, as Roy Cohn leans towards him; both are seated.


MUST END THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14  Closed Caption Available icon Audio description available icon

6:15 ONLY


One of the most controversial and influential American men of the 20th Century, Roy Cohn was a ruthless and unscrupulous lawyer and political power broker whose 28-year career ranged from acting as chief counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy's Communist-hunting subcommittee to molding the career of a young Queens real estate developer named Donald Trump.



“[Matt Tyrnauer] wrote the treatment about the relationship between two of the most infamous and transactional New Yorkers ever (Roy Cohn and Donald Trump), experts in drilling into the darkest parts of the American psyche and igniting paranoia. It was a yarn Mary Shelley would have appreciated… The documentary paints Cohn as a sulfurous hypocrite who attcked Jews, even though he was Jewish, and who attacked gays, never admitting that he was gay… Flamboyant and ruthless met flamboyant and ruthless when Cohn collided with a young builder named Donald J. Trump at Le Club sometime in the ‘70s.”
– Maureen Dowd, The New York Times

“Compact and informative. Cohn is among the threads that link the politics of the Red Scare with whatever it is we’re living through now.  The people who reveal the worst about Cohn are the ones who knew him best - friends, family members, a former lover and a handful of colleagues. He was a fascinating and important character.”
– A.O. Scott, The New York Times

 “Flamboyant, terrifying, and pointedly timely. Cohn’s scorched-earth tactics laid the groundwork for the paranoid style of politics that cuts American down the middle today.”
– Ella Taylor, NPR online

“Great villains usually make for good movies, and Matt Tyrnauer certainly has a doozy in Roy Cohn. The source of much American mischief, nay, evil across the second half of the 20th century and well into the current one can be traced back to this one man… provides a ringside seat to the ruthless and brilliant fashion Cohn navigated his career, with a cardinal rule being to deny and attack. [An] endlessly fascinating and appalling story… As he has before on such first-rate documentaries as SCOTTY AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD and STUDIO 54, Tyrnauer focuses on a figure of whom there is a treasure trove of archival audio-visual material, beginning with the U.S. Senate’s Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954.”
– Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

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