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The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover

The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover

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The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover is a 1977 film directed by Larry Cohen
Larry Cohen
Lawrence G. "Larry" Cohen is an American film producer, director, and screenwriter. He is best known as a B-Movie auteur of horror and science fiction films - often containing a police procedural element - during 1970s and 1980s...

. It stars Broderick Crawford
Broderick Crawford
Broderick Crawford was an Academy Award-winning American stage, film, radio and TV actor, often cast in tough-guy roles and best known for his starring role in the television series "Highway Patrol."-Early life:...

 and James Wainwright. The all star cast includes Jose Ferrer
José Ferrer
José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón , best known as José Ferrer, was a Puerto Rican actor, as well as a theater and film director...

, Michael Parks
Michael Parks
Michael Parks is an American actor and singer. He has appeared in almost fifty films and has made frequent TV appearances, but is probably best known for his work in recent years with Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, and Kevin Smith as well as the 1969 television series Then Came...

, Celeste Holm
Celeste Holm
Celeste Holm is an American stage, film, and television actress, known for her Academy Award-winning performance in Gentleman's Agreement , as well as for her Oscar-nominated performances in Come to the Stable and All About Eve...

, Ronee Blakely, Tanya Roberts
Tanya Roberts
Tanya Roberts is an American actress best known for her roles in Charlie's Angels, The Beastmaster, A View to a Kill, Sheena and That '70s Show. Roberts was groomed as a Hollywood sex symbol during the early 1980s.- Early life :Blum was born in The Bronx, New York City, of Irish and Jewish descent...

 in a cameo role, and in final screen appearances, Jack Cassidy
Jack Cassidy
John Joseph Edward “Jack” Cassidy was an American actor of stage, film and screen.His frequent professional persona was that of an urbane, super-confident egotist with a dramatic flair, much in the manner of Broadway actor Frank Fay...

 and Dan Dailey
Dan Dailey
Daniel James Dailey Jr. was an American dancer and actor.-Early life and career:Born in New York City on December 14, 1915, to James J. and Helen Dailey, both born in New York City. He appeared in a minstrel show when very young, and appeared in vaudeville before his Broadway debut in 1937 in...

. Both Cassidy and Dailey met with then First Lady Betty Ford
Betty Ford
Elizabeth Ann Bloomer Warren Ford , better known as Betty Ford, was First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977 during the presidency of her husband Gerald Ford...

 and helped director Cohen get permission to do the film's on location cinematography in Washington, D.C., in locales where the real Hoover visited or worked. The film was shown at the Kennedy Center in Washington to a mixed response from Republicans
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 and Democrats
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 who did not like the dark visions Cohen evoked on American politics and the portrayals of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 and Richard M. Nixon: actor Howard Da Silva
Howard Da Silva
Howard Da Silva was an American actor.-Early life:He was born Howard Silverblatt in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Benjamin and Bertha Silverblatt. His parents were both Yiddish speaking Jews born in Russia. He had a job as a steelworker before beginning his acting career on the stage...

 played Roosevelt, and "Richard M. Dixon" plays Nixon. After it was shown in Washington, the film took a limited nationwide release to theaters, and got a full release to video and television into the 1980s and 1990s.

Plot


The film is a chronicle of forty years in the life of FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover
J. Edgar Hoover
John Edgar Hoover was the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States. Appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation—predecessor to the FBI—in 1924, he was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972...

, starting first in the time of Prohibition
Prohibition
Prohibition of alcohol, often referred to simply as prohibition, is the practice of prohibiting the manufacture, transportation, import, export, sale, and consumption of alcohol and alcoholic beverages. The term can also apply to the periods in the histories of the countries during which the...

, as he enforced the law on bootlegging and organized crime. Later, the Chief comes up against the Red Scare of the 1950s, the Kennedys, the wave of change in the 1960s, and his hatred of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Examined here is the allegation that he had an abnormal sexual life, along with his obsession with his dead mother and the possibility of his being gay.

Cast

  • Broderick Crawford
    Broderick Crawford
    Broderick Crawford was an Academy Award-winning American stage, film, radio and TV actor, often cast in tough-guy roles and best known for his starring role in the television series "Highway Patrol."-Early life:...

     as J. Edgar Hoover
    J. Edgar Hoover
    John Edgar Hoover was the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States. Appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation—predecessor to the FBI—in 1924, he was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972...

  • James Wainwright as Young Hoover
  • Michael Parks
    Michael Parks
    Michael Parks is an American actor and singer. He has appeared in almost fifty films and has made frequent TV appearances, but is probably best known for his work in recent years with Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, and Kevin Smith as well as the 1969 television series Then Came...

     as Robert F. Kennedy
    Robert F. Kennedy
    Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

  • José Ferrer
    José Ferrer
    José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón , best known as José Ferrer, was a Puerto Rican actor, as well as a theater and film director...

     as Lionel McCoy
  • Celeste Holm
    Celeste Holm
    Celeste Holm is an American stage, film, and television actress, known for her Academy Award-winning performance in Gentleman's Agreement , as well as for her Oscar-nominated performances in Come to the Stable and All About Eve...

    as Florence Hollister