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J. Edgar (2011)

Trailer
2:32 | Trailer
J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly fifty years, looks back on his professional and personal life.

Director:

Clint Eastwood
Reviews
Popularity
3,273 ( 112)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonardo DiCaprio ... J. Edgar Hoover
Josh Hamilton ... Robert Irwin
Geoff Pierson ... Mitchell Palmer
Cheryl Lawson Cheryl Lawson ... Palmer's Wife
Kaitlyn Dever ... Palmer's Daughter
Brady Matthews ... Inspector
Gunner Wright ... Dwight Eisenhower
David A. Cooper ... Franklin Roosevelt
Ed Westwick ... Agent Smith
Naomi Watts ... Helen Gandy
Kelly Lester ... Head Secretary
Jack Donner ... Edgar's Father
Judi Dench ... Annie Hoover
Dylan Burns ... Hoover as a Child
Jordan Bridges ... Labor Dept. Lawyer
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Storyline

Biopic of J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio) 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 (Armie Hammer), who is quickly promoted to Assistant Director and was 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 in which the F.B.I. was involved, 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 with whom he worked over his career, thanks in large part to his secret files. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Powerful Man in the World


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There was actually a huge fight between J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson in a hotel during one of their trips. According to producer and director Clint Eastwood, there are several testimonies of maids that talked about the room being destroyed after the discussion. However, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black dramatized the content of the argument. See more »

Goofs

When the doctor gives the older Hoover his injections, you can easily see that he never actually pushes the plunger of the syringe. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
J. Edgar Hoover: Let me tell you something. The SCLC has direct Communist ties. Even great men can be corrupted, can't they? Communism is not a political party. It is a disease. It corrupts the soul, turning men, even the gentlest of men, into vicious evil tyrants.
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Soundtracks

At Sundown
Written by Walter Donaldson
Performed by George Olsen and his Music
Courtesy of RCA
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
Dark and slow... literally
4 April 2012 | by scifisuedeSee all my reviews

This is an interesting film for me, mostly because I take interest in both history and forensic investigation (i.e. CSI). I'm also a fan of DiCaprio's more recent films, and I had high hopes in this one. However, the actor who stole the show was, surprisingly, Armie Hammer. DiCaprio's fake accent and old makeup weren't believable at all to me, which was distracting... and I ended up feeling that he's DiCaprio instead of J. Edgar. Hammer on the other hand, was magnificent. It was mostly his scenes that saved this film for me - his scenes were the only ones that made me FEEL something.

The rest of the film was just there - it just went on, telling one story after another, as flat as DiCaprio's narration tone. And most of the time, I found myself wondering: why is this film so freaking dark? Why do the characters do everything in unnaturally dark environment? I understand that maybe it's some kind of symbolism, but whose office is ever that poorly-lit during working hours? What family eats their dinner in the dark - even with unlit candles on the table? I found myself thinking, why won't you guys just light up those candles already?

It was Armie Hammer who managed to bring some soul amidst this history-book-ish storytelling. It was shocking to see his emotions in the hotel scene - I felt truly touched by his performance. It felt like a burst of colours in a monochromatic film. Even in other scenes, he manages to tell a huge part of Tolson's stories, feelings and emotions merely through his eyes. I understood more from his eyes than from the long train of heavy words in DiCaprio's fake-accented narration.

In the end, it did keep my attention although it might be because I have a higher tolerance for historical documentaries than most people (as evident by how my friends were already rolling around doing other things a few minutes into the film). And it IS a good story, even though it's being told slowly, heavily, and in darkness... literally.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 November 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hoover See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,217,324, 13 November 2011

Gross USA:

$37,306,030

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$84,920,539
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Datasat | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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