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Client 9: Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer

4.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This documentary feature takes an in-depth look at the rapid rise and dramatic fall of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. Nicknamed "The Sheriff of Wall Street," when he was NY's Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer prosecuted crimes by America’s largest financial institutions and some of the most powerful executives in the country. After his election as Governor, with the largest margin in the state's history, many believed Spitzer was on his way to becoming the nation's first Jewish President. Then, shockingly, Spitzer’s meteoric rise turned into a precipitous fall when the New York Times revealed that Spitzer--the paragon of rectitude--had been caught seeing prostitutes. As his powerful enemies gloated, his supporters questioned the timing of it all: as the Sheriff fell, so did the financial markets, in a cataclysm that threatened to unravel the global economy. With unique access to the escort world as well as friends, colleagues and enemies of the ex-Governor (many of whom have come forward for the first time) the film explores the hidden contours of this tale of hubris, sex, and power.

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The fascinating documentary Client 9 has all the qualities of a Hollywood thriller: money, sex, and the destructive power of unbridled hubris. Eliot Spitzer had a meteoric rise as the aggressively progressive attorney general of New York State, gaining headlines and popularity for pursuing white-collar crime involving some astoundingly wealthy people and imposing regulatory reform on Wall Street. His success led him to become governor of New York--where his dictatorial style rubbed other politicians the wrong way. Could the enemies he made in the business and political worlds have had anything to do with the revelations that Spitzer patronized the Emperors Club VIP, a high-priced prostitution ring? Client 9 praises Spitzer's substantial achievements but doesn't turn a blind eye to his weaknesses and failures. The interviews--with Spitzer's enemies, escorts he'd hired, Emperors Club employees, and Spitzer himself--create a complex portrait of Spitzer and his career, as well as spinning out the suspense as revelations and investigations lead to catastrophe. However dubious Spitzer's moral juggling may have been, in the wake of the financial crisis, his Wall Street reforms--most of which were dismantled after his fall--now seem not merely prudent, but practically psychic. An engaging and illuminating movie. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Eliot Spitzer, Kim Allen, Wrenn Schmidt, Laura Somma
  • Directors: Alex Gibney
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Ent- Video Service Corp VSC
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0047UJBJK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,016 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Client 9: Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By prisrob TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 9, 2011
Format: DVD
This documentary may be one of the best documentary films I have seen this year. A totally different perspective of Eliot Spitzer emerges. His sexual escapades are second place to the real story.

Eliot Spitzer was a child of privilege. As one of his colleagues said in the documentary, he had good genes and good money. He went to the right schools and met his wife, Silda, at Harvard. As a lawyer, he worked in the Manhattan's District Attorney's office, and was involved in the investigation which brought down the Gambino family.

In 1998 he became New York State Attorney General. He developed a reputation for going after white collar crime and had an impressive record. He went after stock price inflation, predatory lending practices and fraud at AIG. It was here that he made a huge enemy in Maurice Greenberg, the CEO of AIG. His investigative work brought about the mutual fund scandal of 2003 with the discovery of illegal trading. This led to a run for the Governor's Office, which he won in 2007. He had a reputation for running roughshod over anyone in his way, and this was part of his downfall. He tried to eliminate fraud and kick backs in office and made too many enemies. On March 10, 2008 the prostitution scandal came to light and he resigned on March 17.

There were two big surprises in this film. The first is the girl who was named in the scandal, Ashley Dupré. She has attempted to cash in on her notoriety, but only saw Spitzer once. Another girl, who wishes to remain anonymous, saw him more regularly. She agreed to speak with the documentarians but not be seen or identified. They hired an actress to speak her part. She provided, under duress, all the information to the FBI.

The other surprise was Eliot Spitzer, himself.
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Format: DVD
I'm not sure I want to pass too much judgement on Spitzer, but what captivated me about the film was that the FBI deliberately went after Spitzer when investigating the emperor's club.

You also have to raise an eyebrow when it is revealed that all of Spitzer's work to keep Wall Street in line was undone once his character had been muddied, which pretty much allowed the global meltdown to go ahead.

A very interesting documentary, which is also quite frightening.
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I'm a fan of Alex Gibney's. I own five of his films (this, "Casino Jack...", "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room", "Taxi to the Dark Side", and "GONZO...") and I watch them all more times than I really should. He has an understanding of character and story that few people in Hollywood right now seem to have. I prefer to think of him as a nicer Michael Moore.

I only saw the trailer for this one before I bought the DVD, it didn't play in any theater where I live. I watched it and was totally engrossed by it. What he's really good at is bringing the humanity out of even the most despicable characters, and there are some pretty despicable characters like Roger Stone. He's an unapologetic prick who says he "believes in the 'Gonzo' brand of politics". But he still comes across as a fascinating character. So does Eliot Spitzer. The film isn't a defense of his actions, Eliot himself doesn't defend himself and does a pretty bad job of explaining why he did what he did. He does this by avoiding questions directly related to that while being powerfully articulate on other issues such as corporate crime and the financial crisis. He does say, and I have to give him credit for this, that he "brought himself down" and he doesn't blame anybody else for it. Gibney makes a convincing argument that other forces might be at play, but it was still Spitzer's choices and combative style that did him in.

The other choice Gibney made, which I found fascinating, was that he decided to take an interesting approach when dealing with Spitzers main woman at the escort agency. I don't mean Ashley Dupree, although he does spend a good amount of time talking about her and how she capitalized on what she did with Spitzer.
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i watched this movie along time ago and always liked it.
And on Amazon you can get just about anything you want so I bought it.

The Government / the IRS / the Fed Reserve / and the White House with unfair taxes STEALS Trillions of Dollars from the American People.... nobody goes to prison...
Elliot Spitzer sleeps with a Hooker..... he is crucified ...
WTF is wrong with this country
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Roger Stone - the guy who said "you'll never get anywhere in this town until you learn to fake sincerity", the guy who took Dan Rather down and got G.W. Bush the destroyer of America elected, appears to be delighted to get so much screen time in this expose to show us gleefully just how sick in the head you have to be to be a Republican operative. This film gives us a nice view into how and why America let Wall Street and psychopathic politicians destroy it. Would have been nice to have the opening music video in full on the extras section, it is a nicely done song, in contrast to the lame closing song.
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Format: DVD
A good man caught in a web.

Spitzer was a hard driving s.o.b. He took on the investment bankers and stock brokering thieves and made enemies. He fought the good fight and made a lot of progress.
The problem with Eliot Spitzer was that he was a human being. He was an ambitious, hard headed driven man who also had an interest in women.

This film is sympathetic to him. It tries to show him in a favorable light. I guess that is why Spitzer appears in several interviews.

The testaments from the various women/escorts portray Spitzer as a reluctant client. He showed up once wearing a bit of a disguise. Sure he was there, he did it but without the arrogant bravado of a drug addled womanizer etc.

The film is more a story of what can happen to someone who makes enemies in high places. The men behind the curtains who run high finance can let loose the FBI and media on you. The media is always looking for the next scandal and the police depts can tap your phone line etc.

Most telling is that the cast of characters in this drama were all tainted. No one escapes dirt, indictment or accusation. His political rivals in Albany and the bankers CEO's were all eventually indicted or fired or publicly ruined.

My favorite part is the ending clip where media pimp Geraldo Rivera asks the former escort who thinks she can be a singer to leave us with X-mas song. Wow, not even Geraldo can resist feeding at the trough of public scandal and pseudo indignation.
Shocking huh?
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