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The FBI Story (1959)

 -  Crime | Drama | History  -  October 1959 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 1,744 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 12 critic

A dedicated FBI agent recalls the agency's battles against the Klan, organized crime and Communist spies.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Michael 'Chip' Hardesty
George Crandall
Nick Adams ...
John Gilbert 'Jack' Graham
Diane Jergens ...
Jennie Hardesty
Jean Willes ...
Joyce Taylor ...
Anne Hardesty
Victor Millan ...
Harry Dakins
Fay Roope ...
Dwight McCutcheon
Ed Prentiss ...
U.S. Marshal
Robert Gist ...
Medicine Salesman
Buzz Martin ...
Mike Hardesty
Ken Mayer ...
Casket Salesman (as Kenneth Mayer)


The story of the FBI unfolds through the eyes of one of its agents. During his career he investigates gangsters, swindlers, the klu klux klan, Nazi agents and cold war spies. Written by Col Needham <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The fury of America's fight for decency ! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

October 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The FBI Story  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The character of Sam Crandall is loosely based on FBI agent Sam Cowley, who worked for Melvin Purvis and was killed in a shootout with Baby Face Nelson--who was also killed--in the Little Bohemia Raid of 1934 near Mercer, Wisconsin. See more »


The movie shows George "Machine Gun" Kelly as being among the last 1930's era hoodlum to be arrested. In reality, he was the first to be arrested or killed by the FBI. He was captured in September of 1933, long before the arrests/kills of John Dillinger (July 1934), "Pretty Boy" Floyd (October 1934), "Baby Face" Nelson (November 1934), "Ma" Barker (January 1935), and Alvin Karpis (January 1936). See more »


John Gilbert Graham: [after being arrested for murder] In case I get any mail, you can send it to Canon City Prison for the next month or so. After that you can send it to Hell!
See more »


Bye Bye Blackbird
Music by Ray Henderson
Played as background music during the Indian sequence
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User Reviews

An FBI propaganda film that paints an idealized picture of the bureau.
20 June 2007 | by (Central City, Kentucky) – See all my reviews

The film as entertainment is very good and Jimmy Stewart is excellent as Chip Hardesty, with well done co-starring turns by Vera Miles and Murray Hamilton. But the film, directed by legendary director Mervyn Leroy, was constantly vetted and script approval as well as every aspect of the film, down to clothing, was closely watched and controlled by J. Edgar Hoover. Not that J. Edgar Hoover didn't have something to be proud of. His management of the bureau from 1924 to his death crated on of the finest investigative services in the world. But by 1959 Hoover was already beginning to worry about being forced out and had already started to collect dossiers on powerful people to make sure and protect his little kingdom. And he was determined to make sure that no motion picture showed even a single wart about the bureau. The films shows only continued successes and glosses over the failures which occurred, and the bureau's part in the witch hunts of the early 1950's. Enjoy the story, but with tongue firmly in cheek.

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Darn good movie fnj2002
About the Other Comment leesamuel100
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