6.6/10
2,449
43 user 12 critic

The FBI Story (1959)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, History | October 1959 (USA)
A dedicated FBI agent recalls the agency's battles against the Klan, organized crime and Communist spies.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Star major league pitcher Monty Stratton loses a leg in a hunting accident, but becomes determined to leave the game on his own terms.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: James Stewart, June Allyson, Frank Morgan
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

David Marshall Williams is sent to a prison farm where he works in the tool shop and eventually develops the precursor of the famous M-1 Carbine automatic rifle used in World War II.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: James Stewart, Jean Hagen, Wendell Corey
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Charles 'Slim' Lindbergh struggles to finance and design an airplane that will make his New York to Paris flight the first solo transatlantic crossing.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: James Stewart, Murray Hamilton, Patricia Smith
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Biography of bandleader Glenn Miller from his beginnings to his death over the English Channel in December 1944.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, June Allyson, Harry Morgan
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A US Army Major stationed in East China in 1944 is ordered to blow up military installations in order to slow down the advancing Japanese Army.

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Lisa Lu, Glenn Corbett
Certificate: GP Comedy | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An aging cowboy finds to his embarrassment that the successful business he has inherited from his brother is actually a house of prostitution.

Director: Gene Kelly
Stars: James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Shirley Jones
Shenandoah (1965)
Drama | War | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During the Civil War, a Virginia farmer and his family vow to remain neutral, but one of the sons is captured by Union soldiers, sending the farmer to his rescue.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: James Stewart, Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An ex-pilot and current baseballer is recalled into the U.S. Air Force and assumes an increasingly important role in Cold War deterrence.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, June Allyson, Frank Lovejoy
The Jackpot (1950)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Bill Lawrence wins a slew of prizes on a radio quiz program. His happiness is short-lived when he discovers he'll have to sell the prizes in order to pay the taxes on them.

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: James Stewart, Barbara Hale, James Gleason
Thunder Bay (1953)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Shrimpers and oilmen clash when an ambitious wildcatter begins constructing an off-shore oilrig.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Joanne Dru, Gilbert Roland
Comedy | Romance | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A modern-day witch likes her neighbor but despises his fiancée, so she enchants him to love her instead, only to fall in love with him for real.

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Chicago reporter P.J. McNeal re-opens a ten year old murder case.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: James Stewart, Richard Conte, Lee J. Cobb
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
George Crandall
...
...
Jennie Hardesty
...
Anna Sage
...
Anne Hardesty
Victor Millan ...
Mario
...
Harry Dakins
Fay Roope ...
Dwight McCutcheon
...
U.S. Marshal
...
Medicine Salesman
Buzz Martin ...
Mike Hardesty
...
Casket Salesman (as Kenneth Mayer)
Edit

Storyline

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 <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You are crouched in a basement stairway opposite a theatre in Chicago. Keep your eyes on that FBI man across the street. He has set the trap for deadly public enemy, John Dillinger... See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Geheimagent des FBI  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Two FBI agents were on the set at all times. See more »

Goofs

Before exploding, the DC7 silhouetted in flight had the navigation lights in the wrong places. The red belly light was way forward. Also the red and green wingtip lights were on the wrong sides. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Spin-off The F.B.I. (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Ten Little Indians
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played as background music during the Indian sequence
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Good entertainment, but that's all
27 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

This is an entertaining "history" of the FBI, but it should be viewed as fiction, because that's exactly what it is. What else could it be when J. Edgar Hoover personally approved and had a cameo role in the production. James Stewart is excellent, as usual, and the supporting cast, except for the talentless Vera Miles, is good. Murray Hamilton is especially good in a supporting role as Stewart's partner and best friend. The FBI accomplishments that the film highlights are undoubtedly all true. What is significant is what it leaves out.

One of the most shameful parts of the film is the depiction of the killing of John Dillinger. It is portrayed pretty much as it happened, but no mention at all is made of Melvin Purvis, the Chicago Bureau Chief who headed the operation. Instead, the operation is depicted as if the fictional Chip Hardesty were running it. It has been said that Hoover was jealous of the publicity that Purvis received after Dillinger was killed; Purvis was subsequently transferred to a remote outpost, and shortly afterward left the FBI. This is no doubt why Purvis was never mentioned in the film. But this viewer, at least, paused to think that if Purvis was treated this way, what about all the agents who conducted all the other operations depicted in the film. Were they also completely ignored and replaced by the fictional Hardesty.

The film is probably accurate in its portrayal of FBI activity up through the end of WWII. However, after that point, the film would have us believe that the only threat facing the US came from international communism, which is no doubt what Hoover believed. Never mind the Mafia. Never mind the lynchings that were still going on in the South. Never mind that blacks were being intimidated to keep them from voting in much of the South. I don't know if the FBI had started wiretapping Martin Luther King by the time this film was made, but if not, it wasn't very long afterward that it started.

As I said at the outset, this is pretty good entertainment, but it should be viewed as the sanitized fictionalization that it is.


34 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 43 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Academy Awards Anarchy With Jordan Horowitz

La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz recounts the moment his movie was mistakenly awarded an Oscar. Plus, "The IMDb Show" finds out who your celebrity doppelgangers are.

Watch now