As the face of law enforcement in the United States for almost 50 years, J. Edgar Hoover was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career, and his life.
- John Edgar Hoover: Leonardo DiCaprio
- Helen Gandy: Naomi Watts
- Clyde Tolson: Armie Hammer
- Charles Lindbergh: Josh Lucas
- Robert Irwin: Josh Hamilton
- Anna Marie Hoover: Judi Dench
- Mitchell Palmer: Geoff Pierson
- Dwight Eisenhower: Gunner Wright
- Colonel Schwarzkopf: Dermot Mulroney
- Palmer’s Daughter: Kaitlyn Dever
- Walter Lyle: Adam Driver
- Agent Smith: Ed Westwick
- Emma Goldman: Jessica Hecht
- Albert Osborne: Denis O’Hare
- Lela Rogers: Lea Thompson
- Bruno Hauptmann: Damon Herriman
- Edgar’s Niece: Sadie Calvano
- Anita Colby: Amanda Schull
- Roosevelt’s Secretary: Roberta Bassin
- Shirley Temple: Emily Alyn Lind
- Bombing Witness: Barbara Keegan
- FBI Agent: Gerald Downey
- Robert Kennedy: Jeffrey Donovan
- Raymond Caffrey: Geoff Stults
- Young Boy: Thomas Langston
- Agent Sisk: Lea Coco
- Prosecutor Wilentz: Aaron Lazar
- Palmer’s Wife: Cheryl Lawson
- Inspector: Brady Matthews
- Franklin Roosevelt: David A. Cooper
- Head Secretary: Kelly Lester
- Edgar’s Father: Jack Donner
- Hoover as a Child: Dylan Burns
- Caminetti: Jack Axelrod
- Bureau Agent (1919): Michael James Faradie
- Agent Stokes: Josh Stamberg
- Inspector Schell: Christian Clemenson
- Secret Service Officer: Billy Smith
- Harlan Fiske Stone: Ken Howard
- John Condon: Zach Grenier
- Young Agent: Johnny Cicco
- Restaurant Host: Steve Monroe
- Arthur Koehler: Stephen Root
- Attorney General: Gary Werntz
- Senator Friendly: David Clennon
- Senator McKellar: Michael O’Neill
- Fred Hunter: Eric Larkin
- William Mahan: Eric Frentzel
- Stork Club Band: Kyle Eastwood
- Agent One: Gregory Hoyt
- Baker’s Wife: Jenny Phagan
- Bronx Baker: Chris Caputo
- African American Woman (as Shannon McClain): Shannon McClain Robertson
- Lindbergh Nanny (uncredited): Leslie Augustine
- Starlet (uncredited): Fileena Bahris
- Lucille Ball (uncredited): Jennipher Foster
- Gangster’s Moll (uncredited): Belinda Gosbee
- Secretary (uncredited): Elizabeth Karr
- Self (archive footage) (uncredited): Martin Luther King Jr.
- Hollywood Starlet (uncredited): Lindsay Lucas-Bartlett
- Self (archive footage) (uncredited): Pat Nixon
- Self (archive footage) (uncredited): Richard Nixon
- Racetrack Gambler (uncredited): Jamie Noel
- Agent Garrison: Miles Fisher
- Edgar’s Mother’s Doctor: Robert Fleet
- Radical Citizen (uncredited): Emily Banks
- Agent Williams: Scot Carlisle
- Music: Clint Eastwood
- Editor: Joel Cox
- Producer: Brian Grazer
- Director of Photography: Tom Stern
- Costume Design: Deborah Hopper
- Production Design: James J. Murakami
- Producer: Robert Lorenz
- Casting: Fiona Weir
- Art Direction: Patrick M. Sullivan
- Stunts: Matthew R. Anderson
- Executive Producer: Erica Huggins
- Executive Producer: Tim Moore
- Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
- Stunt Coordinator: Buddy Van Horn
- Editor: Gary D. Roach
- Stunts: Chuck Waters
- Writer: Dustin Lance Black
- Art Direction: Greg Berry
- Sound Re-Recording Mixer: Gregg Rudloff
- Assistant Sound Editor: Kevin Murray
- Stunts: Jacob Chambers
- Stunts: Brian Avery
- Stunts: Justin Gant
- r96sk: A bit of a bore, is ‘J. Edgar’.
Leonardo DiCaprio puts in a very good performance as the titular character and his co-stars are all solid, but I just found the way that the story is told to be lacklustre. There aren’t, at least for me, any memorable scenes and I wasn’t invested in the plot at any point really. It’s semi-watchable, but goes on for too long to be passably so.
It does, as noted, have a neat cast list, with Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts and Judi Dench, among others, involved behind DiCaprio. I think they all give their best, with any issues I have with this 2011 release being away from them. Two duds in a row to start the 2010s from Mr. Eastwood; in my humble opinion, of course.
- GenerationofSwine: My only real complaint about Leonardo DiCaprio is that he looks like, well, Leonardo DiCaprio and that is a shame given that given that he doesn’t play Lenardo DiCaprio, he plays whoever the script says he is and we all think he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread because of that.
Except in J. Edgar where, for the first real time, DiCaprio doesn’t look like DiCaprio, he looks a lot like the cross-dressing fascist he’s portraying.
And being Leo, he acts like him too.
THANK YOU. For once the studio didn’t bank on his face and it paid out.
So we not only get to see Leo acting the part, but for the first time we get to really see him looking the part too and the last time he did that was in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.” And on top of it all we have Clint Eastwood directing and, honestly, not a fan of him as an actor, love him as a director.
Given his politics I walked in thinking Right Wing Love Story…I walked out with “honest depiction” and that helps a lot.
Not only does that help, but the scandal around Hoover’s sexuality was done appropriately, that is to say it didn’t take center stage, J. Edgar did…and, as I said, you were watching J. Edgar and not Leo doing his best to be the man while having to still look like himself.
it’s just a win all around…except it could have benefited for time. Trim it down a bit. I know he’s hugely important to history and Eastwood is a great director with a great cast but…it got a bit long in the tooth at places and that hurt the flow of the film.
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