> Volume 6 > Number 28


Bart Everly

Barney Frank

Release: 16 Jul. 04

Let's Get Frank


As the only openly gay man in the U.S. Congress, Barney Frank is sure to be a divisive figure, regardless of his policy positions. The documentary Letís Get Frank, though, has little interest in Frank as a politician and the struggle heís had to survive with the largely homophobic populace his colleagues represent. Thereís still a fine documentary yet to be made about Frank, and I doubt the verbose congressman would be unwilling to take part.

Letís Get Frank instead obsesses over Frankís involvement in the Clinton impeachment as one of the Democratic committeemen in the House Judiciary preparing the charges against Clinton. Frank, himself involved in a sex scandal in 1990 (one that he was almost completely exonerated for, though an official reprimand was called for as if to charge him for being gay), gives an interesting view into what many see as the witch trial antics of many who wanted to use impeachment as a way to get Clinton out of office. A quick wit, Frank always has something interesting and funny to say.

But none of this matters when the film fails to create a full portrait of its subject. His background and future (we see him with his companion but learn very little about the man) are barely touched upon. Coming like an addendum to The Hunting of the President, Letís Get Frank feels like little more than a reiteration of why Democrats think the impeachment was a crock. In the time Frank gave to them for this film, he could have been making a documentary that really cared about him and not what heíd say to support their case.

[In terms of interest for recent turnarounds, the person Iíd love to see in such an exposť is Georgia Representative Bob Barr, who has gone from being one of the most conservative men in Congress to working for the American Civil Liberties Union and supporting gay marriage.]

©2004, David Perry,, 9 July 2004