J. Edgar (2011) - Plot Summary Poster


Plot Summary

  • Biopic of J. Edgar Hoover told by Hoover as he recalls his career for a biography. Early in his career, Hoover fixated on Communists, anarchists and any other revolutionary taking action against the U.S. government. He slowly builds the agency's reputation, becoming the sole arbiter of who gets hired and fired. One of his hires is Clyde Tolson who is quickly promoted to Assistant Director and would be Hoover's confidant and companion for the rest of Hoover's life. Hoover's memories have him playing a greater role in the many high profile cases the FBI was involved in - the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, the arrest of bank robbers like John Dillinger - and also show him to be quite adept at manipulating the various politicians he's worked with over his career, thanks in large part to his secret files.

    - Written by garykmcd
  • Near the end of his career, J. Edgar Hoover, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - the first person in this position - dictates the biography of his career from 1919 onward to a fellow agent, as he feels the "bad guys" get all the press, thus glorifying crime. His story generally focuses on his battle against the red insurgence of Communism in the United States. It also highlights the advancement of investigation over his tenure, increasingly using science as proof. What he wants as the centerpiece of his biography is the kidnapping case of Charles A. Lindbergh's infant, despite the scribe's belief that the outcome was questionable. However, much of what Hoover describes are highly exaggerated versions of the truth, done largely to portray himself as strong and not to embarrass himself, especially in light of public scrutiny on him, both professionally and personally. Many of his battles have been with people in authority, such as the eight presidents he served under as FBI Director. As such, he kept private files on many people as information to use against them if need be, those files which were well known to his enemies. Much of what he talks about is framed by his relationships with those few people who have been by his side for most of his career: his mother, Anna Marie Hoover, who always saw great things for her son, but who would rather not have a son at all than have one who was a "daffodil"; his personal secretary, Helen Gandy, who vowed to protect him at all cost; and Clyde Tolson, the FBI Associate Director, who was more than just a right hand man and friend.

    - Written by Huggo
  • J. Edgar Hoover was the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for nearly 50 years. Hoover was feared, admired, reviled and revered, a man who could distort the truth as easily as he upheld it. His methods were at once ruthless and heroic, with the admiration of the world his most coveted prize. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life.

    - Written by Warner Brothers
  • J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly 50 years, looks back on his professional and personal life.

    - Written by Anonymous


The film opens with Hoover ( ) in his office during his later years. He asks that a writer ( ) be let in...

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