Clint Eastwood’s ‘J.Edgar’ and its images

It was during the Great Depression when John Dillinger known as “Handsome Johnny” who robbed the banks. The banks that were still open during that era took back the houses, farms and properties of the jobless people who were not able to make their payments anymore. John Dillinger became a folk hero. The Robin Hood of that era. A newspaper put it “He wasn’t worse than the politicians and the banks who took the poor people’s money. Dillinger did not rob poor people. He robbed those who became rich by robbing the poor.” On March 3, 1934, Hoover’s mind was bothered, for John Dillinger escaped the Indiana Jail with a fake wooden gun; he had stolen the sheriff’s Ford and driven towards Chicago.

Agent, Melvin Purvis, who at that time was in charge of the Chicago office was informed on April 22 about Dillinger’s location. Despite all the efforts of agent Purvis’ talented team, Dillinger successfully escaped the Litte Bohemia Resort located in northern Wisconsin that night. And, Hoover who was in his office was holding his head looking down at nothingness. The failures of Hoover’s men that night in the Little Bohemia Resort became a scandal. Critics began calling for Hoover’s resignation. Dillinger was a free bird. An untouchable gangster. Hoover called Dillinger “Public Enemy Number One” and  offered a $10,000 reward for Dillinger’s capture. Purvis reassembled his team and on July 22, with the help of Dillinger’s friend they were waiting outside the Biograph, a movie theater. When Dillinger stepped out with a campanion, Purvis and team followed the man. And, when Dillinger reached for his pocket, the first shot made Dillinger spin. Dillinger fell on the sidewalk and closed his eyes.

J.Edgar Hoover was fascinated by John Dillinger, he had Dillinger’s cigar and eyeglasses on display in front of his office. It was Dillinger’s case that brought respect and fame to Hoover’s Department of Investigation. But, it was Hoover’s leadership that transformed the DOI into Fedreal Bureau of Investigation, the most modern crime fighting unit in the world.

As much as I am fascinated with the story of John Dillinger and outlaw Jesse James, I am also fascinated with the story of J.Edgar Hoover and with his personal life, his passion, dedication, and his organizational skills. And, most importantly I am fascinated by his patriotism. I’ve always wanted to see a film about the life of J.Edgar Hoover. On 1959, Hoover himself was a consultant to Warner Bros. on a theatrical film based on FBI, The FBI Story.  But, today we have a film based on Hoover’s life. A film directed by Clint Eastwood,  a man who is the national treasure in my opinion.  I have enormous amount of respect for Mr. Eastwood. And as a fan of Mr. Eastwood and as a fan of Mr. Hoover’s patriotism, I am considering myself fortunate today, for finally I get the opportunity to see a film based on Hoover’s life.

J.Edgar is the upcoming biographical drama, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Hoover. The film’s script is written by Milk (2008) scribe, Dustin Lance Black. The story of this film will focus on the career of J.Edgar Hoover from the Palmer Raids onwards, including an examination of Hoover’s private life as an alleged closeted homosexual. There has been speculation since the film’s official annoncement as to how Hoover’s and Tolson’s homosexuality will be portrayed on the screen. The more I read the speculations and the more I heard, I became inquisitive. I could not cease myself to think about this film until I got my hands on its script. I am not going to spoil the film, but all I have to say is that it is a very well written piece and it is a perfect story for a filmmaker like Mr. Eastwood.

Official film trailer:

In an interview with Wall Street Journal, Mr. Eastwood was asked if the script “addresses reports by former FBI employees that Hoover was a cross-dresser and perhaps a closeted homosexual. Mr. Eastwood seemed to indicate not, responding that he was drawn to the script because it “didn’t quite go down that road“. The website Libertas Film Magazine published their script review of J. Edgar on July 8, 2011. Their reviewer reported that Hoover’s relationship with Clyde Tolson, who has long been rumored to have been Hoover’s lover, is depicted in the screenplay as “chaste”.

I am personally intrigued by J.Edgar and come Oscar season this film seems perfect for a Best Picture nomination. We have got one more month to count to reach its release date, but to show you for now what really the characters look like, Warner Bros. has released 72 images of the film, which you can  view at collider.

Official film synopsis:

During his lifetime, J. Edgar Hoover would rise to be the most powerful  man in America.  As head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for  nearly 50 years, he would stop at nothing to protect his country.   Through eight presidents and three wars, Hoover waged battle against  threats both real and perceived, often bending the rules to keep his  countrymen safe.  His methods were at once ruthless and heroic, with the  admiration of the world his most coveted, if ever elusive, prize.

Hoover was a man who placed great value on secrets—particularly those of  others—and was not afraid to use that information to exert authority  over the leading figures in the nation.  Understanding that knowledge is  power and fear poses opportunity, he used both to gain unprecedented  influence and to build a reputation that was both formidable and  untouchable.

He was as guarded in his private life as he was in his public one,  allowing only a small and protective inner circle into his confidence.   His closest colleague, Clyde Tolson, was also his constant companion.   His secretary, Helen Gandy, who was perhaps most privy to Hoover’s  designs, remained loyal to the end…and beyond.  Only Hoover’s mother,  who served as his inspiration and his conscience, would leave him, her  passing truly crushing to the son who forever sought her love and  approval.

As seen through the eyes of Hoover himself, “J. Edgar” explores the  personal and public life and relationships of a man who could distort  the truth as easily as he upheld it during a life devoted to his own  idea of justice, often swayed by the darker side of power.

Oscar® winner Clint Eastwood (“Million Dollar Baby,” “Unforgiven”)  directed the film from a screenplay by Oscar® winner Dustin Lance Black  (“Milk”).

Academy Award® nominee Leonardo DiCaprio (“Inception,” “The Aviator”)  stars in the title role.  “J. Edgar” also stars Academy Award® nominee  Naomi Watts (“21 Grams”) as Helen Gandy, Hoover’s longtime secretary;  Armie Hammer (“The Social Network”) as Hoover’s protégé Clyde Tolson;  Josh Lucas (“The Lincoln Lawyer”) as the legendary aviator Charles  Lindbergh, whose son’s kidnapping changes the public profile of the  F.B.I.; and Oscar® winner Judi Dench (“Shakespeare in Love”) as Hoover’s  over-protective mother, Annie Hoover.

“J. Edgar” was produced by Eastwood, Oscar® winner Brian Grazer (“A  Beautiful Mind,” “Frost/Nixon”) and Oscar® nominee Robert Lorenz  (“Letters from Iwo Jima,” “Mystic River”), with Tim Moore and Erica  Huggins serving as executive producers.

Behind the scenes, Eastwood reunited with his longtime collaborators,  including director of photography Tom Stern, production designer James  J. Murakami, editors Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach, and costume designer  Deborah Hopper.  Eastwood composed the score for the film.

A Warner Bros. Pictures presentation, “J. Edgar” was produced under the  banners of Imagine Entertainment and Malpaso.  It will be released in  limited markets on Wednesday, November 09, 2011 and expand to a wide  release on Friday, November 11, 2011.  The film will be distributed  worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment  Company.

Official film site: