We don’t need another hero. I never gave those lyrics much thought until a succession of my idols fell from grace: Roger Clemens, Tiger Woods, Brett Favre, Ben Roethlisberger, Kobe Bryant … And that’s not including the politicians.

We don’t need another hero. I never gave those lyrics much thought until a succession of my idols fell from grace: Roger Clemens, Tiger Woods, Brett Favre, Ben Roethlisberger, Kobe Bryant … And that’s not including the politicians, although I can safely say I was never a fan of John Edwards, Ted Kennedy, Mark Foley or Larry Craig. But I did like Eliot Spitzer – a lot. A lot of people did. Some even believed he would become the nation’s first Jewish president.


Then it turned out the emperor had no clothes. Or at least he didn’t when he was frequenting The Emperors Club, the high-priced den of iniquity that not only brought his house down, but those of millions of others who lost their abodes to foreclosure.


So, how do the “Luv Gov’s” sexual dalliances relate directly to people losing their homes? See the superb “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer” and you’ll understand why, in anger-inducing detail. But that ire won’t be directed at Spitzer, it’ll be targeted at greedy Wall Street miscreants like Hank Greenberg and Kenneth Langone, who allegedly conspired to end Spitzer’s muckraking crusade against giant financial institutions like AIG by digging up whatever dirt they could find.


Director Alex Gibney (the Oscar-winning “Taxi to the Dark Side”) views it as no coincidence that Wall Street’s collapse occurred mere months after our superman, Spitzer, lost all his power to sexual kryptonite. With him out of the way, the titans were free to play – with our money. And they promptly lost more of it than the world markets could withstand.


We’ll never know for sure if all that heartbreak could have been avoided had Spitzer simply kept it in his pants, but Gibney’s riveting documentary makes a pretty solid case for it, almost as solid as the ones Spitzer mounted against the likes of Greenberg, the former head of AIG, and Langone, the co-founder of Home Depot, while serving as New York’s attorney general from 1998 to 2006.


He knew Lower Manhattan had a rat problem, so he set out to eradicate it, one rodent at a time. Suddenly, Eliot Spitzer was Eliot Ness, and his team of “Untouchables” had the vermin scurrying. But they weren’t running away, just regrouping. And then wham! It was all spun-silk knee-high black socks, $100,000-a-year sexual addictions and Ashley Dupre, the prime-time-ready “escort” Spitzer ravished in violation of the archaic Mann Act.


Any cop will tell you that law enforcement doesn’t go after the johns; they go after the hookers and their pimps and madams. So why did Justice and the FBI go after Spitzer? Might it have been payback courtesy of the hundreds of wealthy, politically connected enemies he made by exposing their high-stakes shell games? Given the Cheshire grins threatening to consume the wrinkled old faces of Langone and Greenberg during their chats with Gibney, you’d have to be a fool not to see they are as guilty as sin. And sin, ironically enough, is what brought the white knight down.


Even longtime members of Spitzer’s staff were shocked that morning in March 2008 when they picked up The New York Times and saw the screaming headlines exposing their boss’ secret life.


Their insights, along with those of Langone, Greenberg and the “ladies” Spitzer frequented, account for a good chunk of “Client 9,” but it’s Spitzer who proves most compelling. Like the three Kennedy brothers, he is a handsome, charismatic man of great wealth and privilege who too often let his groin do his thinking. But as Gibney questions him, he seems detached, disinterested, as if still in shock. It’s not out of shame, mind you, but the outrage of getting caught. And the unconscionable decision to drag his betrayed wife, Silda, up to the podium with him to resign the governorship is almost a deal-breaker.


But then Gibney raises the key question of just what do we expect from our political leaders. Is it not enough that they do a good job? Must they also be saintly? And is it in our best interests to ostracize politicians when they exhibit failings in their private lives?


That’s Gibney’s ultimate message, but what grips you is the intrigue he creates in telling the story in a manner befitting a film noir, complete with shadowy figures, femme fatales and robber barons, mixing it up over money, power and, yes, sex.


My only quibble concerns Gibney’s use of an actress to portray Angelina, the extremely intelligent, well-bred temptress the governor repeatedly spent more than $1,000 a night to see during their many trysts. The actress, Wrenn Schmidt, allegedly speaks Angelina’s exact words, but how do we know that? Besides, she really doesn’t offer much beyond salacious details about the sexual peccadilloes of the man the FBI famously labeled “Client 9.”


While Gibney’s one faux pas is a forgivable offense. What was done to Spitzer was not. But the real villains just might be us, the people who insist on casting our public figures as infallible and righteous, forgetting that we’re all sinners. That, more than anything, makes “Client 9” resonate with intense power and emotion, as you helplessly watch a lifetime of good deeds vanquished by 10 minutes of illicit pleasure.


CLIENT 9: THE RISE AND FALL OF ELIOT SPITZER  (R for some sexual material, nudity and language.) A documentary by Alex Gibney featuring Eliot Spitzer, Hank Greenberg and Kenneth Langone. 3.5 stars out of 4.