Friday, June 21, 2024

Donald Trump Mentor Roy Cohn Gets 2 Documentaries This Fall, One from Granddaughter of Convicted Spies He Sent to Electric Chair


I told you last week that I’d seen the new documentary, “Where’s My Roy Cohn?” Matt Tyrnauer’s incendiary film, which debuted at Sundance, lays out the evil path taken by Donald Trump’s mentor and advisor, the same man who became infamous as advisor to Senator Joe McCarthy on his Communist witch hunt of the 1950s.

Cohn, who destroyed lives and lied about his own life, was the inventor of a kind of obfuscation, a political sleight of hand, that diverted attention from his own incredible misdeeds. Instead of running from scandal, he ran toward it, like a building on fire, and pretended it wasn’t there.

Tyrnauer’s movie will be released by Sony Pictures Classics on September 20th, one week before the start of the New York Film Festival. There will be some build up before that date, so audiences will flock to art houses.

But now we know that soon thereafter, in the New York Film Festival, will come another Cohn doc I told you about last year. Ivy Meeropol is the filmmaker granddaughter of convicted and executed spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Her film about them, “Heir to an Execution,” was illuminating and should be seen by everyone.

Now “Bully, Coward, Victim,” her own film about Cohn, is sure to get people talking. After all, Cohn personally oversaw the Rosenberg executions despite Ethel’s innocence and massive public protest. Meeropol has included exclusive interviews Cohn did with Peter Manso before his death. Cohn could be talking about a lot of people on those tapes, including his “beard,” Barbara Walters, and other famous friends who defended him when he was disbarred in the 1980s.

Meeropol’s film- and Tynauer’s– are going to be a source of displeasure for Trump, who will undoubtedly claim he never knew the despicable fixer. But video and photo evidence will belie those assertions.

Ivy said in a statement last year: “The time has come for audiences to understand a man who, while hiding so much of himself from the world, has had a profound influence on our society, even to this day. We are thrilled to partner with HBO Documentary Films to bring this remarkable story to life.”

These two films will compete for Oscar slots, among other awards. Despite being described as a Satanic type, Cohn, in hell, or wherever he is, is no doubt thrilled to have the attention!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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