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J. Edgar Hoover The Movie
J. Edgar (DVD)
Member Name: AlmshoeRachy
J. Edgar (DVD)
Date: 25/06/12, updated on 25/04/13 (48 review reads)
Advantages: Acting, story, interesting
J Edgar is the story of John Edgar Hoover, the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Born in 1895, he was only 29 when he became the sixth Director of the Bureau of Investigation. He was then instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained as Director until his death in 1972. During that time he worked with six different presidents, many of whom started with the intention of firing him when they started their term.
The film is directed by Clint Eastwood, and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Hoover; Naomi Watts as Helen Gandy, his secretary for 54 years; Armie Hammer as Clyde Tolson, his right hand man; and Judi Dench as Hoover's mother.
I have very limited knowledge on American history. Had I known we were going to watch the film I probably would have done some prior research, I have obviously heard of him before, but had no idea what he had done.
The film was a great portrayal of how the FBI was formed. I found it incredibly interesting to see how the first crime laboratory started as a one man unit in 1932 and doubled as a smoking lounge and is now one of the largest crime laboratories in the world.
For a story I have no knowledge of the film kept me interested throughout and I definitely felt that I learnt something whilst there. I am now keen to find out more, especially about Hoovers controversial files which he supposedly kept. These were confidential and only Hoover and Gandy had access to the information within them and apparently the knowledge within them helps to understand how Hoover kept his place for so long.
I found DiCaprio fantastic as the controversial Hoover. The scenes swap between Hoover as a young man starting out and seeing his rise to becoming Director of the FBI and his final years with him as an old man, with Gandy and Tolson with him throughout. DiCaprio, Hammer and Watts are great in both roles that they play. The makeup is great and difference in things such as talking and walking when they are older all adds to the scenes. There is still so much unknown about Hoover's life which is explored in the film without coming to an overall opinion of it. It is clear that Hoover had a very strong relationship with his mother, and he is left devastated when she dies. I felt sorry for Hoover who seems to be unable to express himself, is unsure what he wants sexually and finds it incredibly difficult to trust anyone bar his mother, Gandy and Tolson.
I did enjoy the film, although I am not sure it is one that I would want to watch again. My husband is an avid film watcher and can watch films (such as Batman) hundreds of times without tiring of them, and he was of the same opinion.
The film is classified 15, and has a running time of 137 minutes. Please let me know if you would like any further information. Available on Amazon for £5 including delivery.
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Summary: An interesting film about how the FBI were formed.