Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer Review, New York Governor Prostitution Sex Scandal

Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer is a documentary now well over 10 years old about former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer and, get this, his rise and fall. The title tells you everything you need to know. What about specifics of the incident?

For me, Spitzer is another one of those politicians I heard about plenty of years ago but didn’t really follow. I was hoping this could be a fun documentary to catch me up on the scandal I had little interest in following. We learn about how Spitzer became a popular politician and New York Governor with 69% of the vote. That percentage turned out to be ironic. His trajectory toward the White House ended when he got caught up with prostitutes or call-girls as some like to refer to themselves as.

Was Client 9 a classic documentary or more like Plan 9 From Outer Space?

What was good about Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer

The documentary did a nice job of showing who Spitzer was before the connection to prostitutes. I didn’t know much about his professional life so a glimpse into that was interesting enough.

Spitzer was Barack Obama before Barack Obama. He looked out for the little guy. He made a ton of enemies along the way as he took down Wall Street and plenty of Republicans. This part of the documentary was the best. The whole prostitution ring felt like more of a footnote.

What would have made Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer better

This was all rise, little fall. The main call girl in the story, Ashley Dupre, isn’t interviewed in this documentary and it really hurts. The favorite of Spitzer has her interview performed by an actress. Her name is changed in the documentary, too. It felt like a cheap way to create content.

This is a long documentary with a runtime of nearly two hours. It felt like. I reached a point where I debated turning it off. I knew early on this wasn’t going to be an enjoyable watch.

The documentary really should’ve focused much more on the scandal and battles Spitzer went up against as a politician. They interview him and a lot of his enemies. The barbs thrown in this documentary were fun to see and it’s just unfortunate much of it waited until the very end.

You can’t call a documentary the “rise and fall” of someone if the fall is such a minor part. There is little explanation or details of the prostitution ring. It’s done in a boring manner. The time period when this came out in 2010 is a part of the problem. Documentaries about topics like this weren’t popular. A 2023 version would’ve been a lot more fun. This one wasn’t.

Is Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer worth watching?

No. If you know the story, there’s nothing new here. If you don’t know the story, you probably won’t care enough.

Overall Score: 4 out of 10

I don’t usually like documentaries about political people so I am slightly upping my score. It’s a bit of a snoozefest I don’t think too many people would dig. This is purely a mini-biography. It doesn’t get into too deep of waters like Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street. Client 9 didn’t need to take place over several grueling episodes. It just needed to offer the audience much more as to why Spitzer is an important figure. There never seemed to be any sort of a mission with this documentary to humanize or degrade him. I’m left asking, what’s the point of making the film at all?

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