EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|FBI STORY, THE (director: Mervyn LeRoy; screenwriters: Richard L. Breen/John Twist/from the book "The F.B.I. Story" by Don Whitehead; cinematographer: Joseph Biroc; editor: Philip W. Anderson; music: Max Steiner; cast: James Stewart (Chip Hardesty), Vera Miles (Lucy Hardesty), Murray Hamilton (Sam Crandall), Larry Pennell (George Crandall), Nick Adams (Jack Graham), Diane Jergens (Jennie), Jean Willes (Anna Sage), Joyce Taylor (Anne), Victor Millan (Mario), Parley Baer (Harry Dakins), Fay Roope (McCutcheon), Ed Prentiss (U. S. Marshal); Runtime: 149; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Mervyn LeRoy; Warner Bros.; 1959)|
to have an endless amount of stories at its disposal."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The overlong drama
homage to both the FBI and the American family is
based on Don
Whitehead's book, "The F.B.I.
screenplay is by Richard L.
Breen and John Twist. Director
Mervyn LeRoy ("Mister Roberts"/"Quo Vadis"/"A Majority
of One") shows
the FBI's history and how it
functions by tailing one of its top agents, Chip
Hardesty (James Stewart),
and his librarian wife Lucy (Vera Miles), as the agent
reflects on his
long career and how in 1924 he was a young lawyer who
first joined the
new Bureau against his wife's wishes. The film shows
how dedicated the
agent is to the job and his family, which are viewed
as two great
American institutions. It covers a span of 25 years
and seems to have
an endless amount of stories at its disposal.
It's a predictable mix
domestic bliss and sorrows, and of crime stories told
capsules. It covers such things as the mad bomber, the
Ku Klux Klan,
the killings of wealthy oil baron Osage Indians by
whites trying to
take over their oil fields, the agents being allowed
to carry weapons
in the thirties to go after notorious gangsters, a
Nazi spy ring and
the cold war and its threat of international
Communism. The renown and
controversial FBI head J.Edgar Hoover joins the movie
to make an arrest.
For those viewers
with seeing an unblemished (no shots of Hoover in
drag) and glorified
fabrication of the FBI, this propaganda film is the
one for them.
REVIEWED ON 4/21/2011 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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