J. Edgar: Impact on the criminal Justice SystemMorgan EddyMartin 2December 2017Abstract
Eddy 2This following paper researches three topics from the 2011 film J. Edgar directed by Clint Eastwood, which, based on this research, will show how accurately the film portrayed thesetopics in Hollywood compared to history. Firstly, the film J. Edgar will be compared to how the emergence of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in American history positively impacted the criminal justice system in the United States in the early- mid 20th century. Then, the film’s portrayal of the 1919 Red Scare involving radical immigrants in American history and how it negatively impacted the government’s dealing with radical foreign immigrants in the early 20th century. Finally, J. Edgar is compared to how the Federal Bureau of Investigation was positively impacted by forensic science in American history, which allowed the FBI to catch criminals more effectively in investigations during the early 20th century. In the film J. Edgar, there are many examples of these three topics including the Lindbergh Kidnapping, the Palmer Raids, and the creation of the FBI Laboratory. Overall, history is more accurate than the filmportrayal of eventsdue to some inaccuracies and missing information in the movie.
Eddy 3Part I: The StoryIn the late 1960’s, J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio), the director of the FBI is in his office. Hoover is having a flashback and talks about 1919, when the house of his first boss, A. Mitchell Palmer (Geoff Pierson), exploded by a bomb made by radical communists. Back to present time, he is talking to writer Agent Smith (Ed Westwick) in his office so he can write a story about the origin of the FBI for the public. Edgar tells the story of himself on a “date” with Helen Grandy (Naomi Watts), on which they went to the Library of Congress. Edgar proposed toMs. Grandy, who rejects him, but still agrees to become his secretary. Back to the present time, Edgar talks about the threat of immigrants and that if there is no proof of a crime immigrants can’t be deported back to their country. Edgar then talks about Emma Goldman (Jessica Hecht), ahero in the radical communist movement, and how he wants to expose Ms. Goldman make her eligible for deportation because of her radical anarchist claims. This gives Hoover a flashback to February 14th, 1920 when Hoover drives to Paterson, NJ to catch all the other radical’s red handed. Hoover finds the bomber reasonable for the destruction of Mr. Palmer’s house; he arrests4,000 communist radicals and deports 500 of them back to their country. After that investigation U.S. Attorney General Harlan F. Stone (Ken Howard), gave Edgar the job of director of the FBI. This later leads to Hoover meeting Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer), whom he immediately interviewed and hired as his assistant.