Tuesday, October 18, 2011

10-16-11: The Cliff Notes of J. Edgar Hoover

THE PRIVATE FILES OF J. EDGAR HOOVER (1977) ***1/2 D: Larry Cohen. Broderick Crawford, Michael Parks, Rip Torn, Jose Ferrer,

Written and directed by Larry Cohen(Q, It's Alive, The Stuff), this biopic chronicles J. Edgar Hoover's reign as America's "Top Cop" from the late 20's to his death in the late 70's.

The picture plays like a Cliff Notes version of Hoover's decades long run as the director of the FBI. Highlighting many key moments in history and looking at what Hoover was doing at the time. It briefly delves into the man's private life looking at his failed relationships, his relationship with his mother and his relationship with the few close friends he had.

The performances are solid across the board. Crawford is particularly good as Hoover. He really conveys the angst and weight that his position entails. Michael Parks is also quite good as Bobby Kennedy.

Overall, it's a decent biopic that while it isn't the all-encompassing tale one would expect it does a good enough job of showing you what you need to see about the man and his mission.

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