Rudolph Giuliani has a brief but significant mention in Charlie Wilson’s War (Universal, 12.25) . It’s just a quick line in a consultation scene between Rep. Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks) and his secretaries over his being investigated for snorting cocaine at a hot-tub party in Las Vegas in ’86. The debauch is depicted at the very beginning of the Mike Nichols film.

(l.) the real Rep. Charlie Wilson; (r.) Rudolph Giuliani

Wilson asks a secretary, “Who’s running the thing? Who’s the prosecutor?” She answers, “Rudolph Giuliani. From the Southern District.” Another assistant asks, “Do you know him?” Wilson says “no.”

The scene is obviously telling us that Giuliani was an opportunist looking to make headlines…which he was. Guliani was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in ’83, and it was in this position that he first gained national prominence by prosecuting various mafiosos and white-collar criminals including Wall Street’s Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken for insider trading.

Wilson once said of Giuliani’s interest in his recreational Vegas sojourn: “It’s absolutely astounding the lengths to which the Justice Department have gone to try and figure out what I did in a hot tub in Las Vegas. If they had put the same resources into drug trafficking,,,there would be half as much heroin coming into the United States as there is now.”