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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Greatest crimefighters of the nation - on their most exciting assignments - from Chicago's underworld to jungle ambush in South America. Filmed on location to capture each thrilling aspect of it's best-selling story! See more »
The scene were Whitey changes trains to elude the agents is set at the Bowling Green Station in lower Manhattan but was actually filmed at the unused Court Street station in Brooklyn, now the home of the New York City Transit Museum. See more »
In the shot where Chip, standing around the piano while the group sings "Oh, You Beautiful Doll", sees his wife reading the telegram notifying them of the death of their son, the others around the piano are clearly not singing in sync with the song as heard on the soundtrack. See more »
John Michael Hardesty:
On Sunday morning he left the house. He couldn't be going to work. Since he was a Communist, we knew he wasn't going to church.
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"The FBI Story" tries to tell the story of the evolution of the FBI over 35 years, through the eyes of a veteran agent, Chip Hardesty (James Stewart). It spins off into several segments covering Hardesty's career. There's a segment on the Klu Klux Klan (with nary an African American in sight), one showing the cheating of native Americans out of their oil leases in Texas and several brief run-ins with the well known gangsters of the 1930s.
Inrerspersed with these episodes are home life interludes where Stewart's character turns into George Bailey ("Its a Wonderful Life" (1946)). He meets and marries Lucy (Vera Miles) and we follow their lives through the birth of three children, a miscarriage, a separation and a war time tragedy.
Told in a documentary style, this film, in my opinion is far too long at 149 minutes. The action sequences, such as they are, are brief and with no character development of the gangsters. They are simply confronted by the FBI and either arrested or gunned down. The Hardesty character is hardly involved in these segments and he does not confront any of the gangsters directly.
The at home sequences while well played, look like something out of "Father Knows Best", the popular TV series of the day. Another thing I found unusual was the fact that Stewart and Miles basically carry the whole film. Other characters appear briefly then either get killed off or disappear altogether. While Stewart and Miles do their best, they hardly seem to have aged 35 years over the course of the story. And there are no name actors to speak of in the supporting cast. Murray Hamilton, Larry Pennell and Nick Adams do appear briefly, but were not that well known in 1959.
James Cagney's "G-Men" (1935) covered the FBI's early years much better.
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