The FBI Story (1959)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, History  |  October 1959 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 2,026 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 12 critic

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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
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
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:

Geheimagent des FBI  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Jack Graham airliner bombing piece is basically correct, and Graham's real name is used. See more »


Ma Barker did not lead the Barker gang. Alvin Karpas did. She never participated in any of the robberies. FBI agents surrounded her house and Fred did open fire. Ma Barker was killed in the crossfire, not blasting away at FBI agents. The story was manufactured after a public outcry of federal agents gunning down an old woman. See more »


John Michael Hardesty: [Opening narration] Webster's International Dictionary defines murder as the unlawful taking of human life by another human being. On a November evening in 1955 the definition became obsolete. A mass murder was being planned.
See more »


Featured in Matilda (1996) See more »


I'll String Along with You
Music by Harry Warren
Played on the radio in the car
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User Reviews

Dated and Disappointing Propaganda
23 December 2007 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

After resolving a case related to an explosion of an airplane with forty-nine casualties by a swindler using state-of-art technique, the experienced agent Chip Hardesty (James Stewart) gives a lecture at FBI Headquarter in Washington. He tells the story of the agency entwined with his own personal life since 1924, when FBI was a bureaucratic department that gave employment to god nephews of politicians. Along the years, the agency modernizes and faces Ku Klux Klan; deaths of Indians enriched with oil; the organized crime, when the agents are authorized to use weapons for the first time; the period of World War II; and the Cold War, acting as a counter-espionage agency. In his personal life, he gets married with Lucy Ann Hardesty (Vera Miles); they have three children; he loses his best friend and also agent Sam Crandall (Murray Hamilton), killed in action; his marriage has a crisis due to his dedication to the Bureau; his older daughter gets married; and he loses his son in World War II.

"The FBI Story" is a dated and disappointing propaganda of the FBI of Mr. J. Edgar Hoover, who certainly sponsored this flick. The idea is to show that the omnipotent and powerful FBI is composed by human beings, with flaws and family like any other ordinary American person. Chip and Lucy are the typical middle-class American family of the 50's. However, this film is bureaucratic and too long, and does not bring any emotion to the viewer, in spite of the good performance of James Stewart. The greetings in the very end are ridiculous. The DVD released in Brazil by Ocean distributor has a total lack of synchronization between sound and image. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "A História do FBI" ("The FBI Story")

14 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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