The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover

According to Larry Cohen, who wrote, produced and directed this $3 million look at America's top cop, J. Edgar Hoover was a public relations gimmick. As a vindictive, puritanical paranoid he shipped agents off to Knoxville for reading Playboy magazine. Privately, he was a mama's boy and a homosexual who got his jollies by sitting in the dark with a bottle of bourbon and a tape recorder playing the sounds of a powerful government official's hotel liaisons.

With:
Broderick Crawford Jose Ferrer Michael Parks Ronee Blakely Rip Torn Celeste Holm

According to Larry Cohen, who wrote, produced and directed this $3 million look at America’s top cop, J. Edgar Hoover was a public relations gimmick. As a vindictive, puritanical paranoid he shipped agents off to Knoxville for reading Playboy magazine. Privately, he was a mama’s boy and a homosexual who got his jollies by sitting in the dark with a bottle of bourbon and a tape recorder playing the sounds of a powerful government official’s hotel liaisons.

This may be the motion picture industry’s first historical horror story. Cohen has adopted two visual styles. There’s the ‘backlot look’ used to reenact great moments in J. Edgar Hoover’s life, like the shooting of John Dillinger in front of the Biograph Theatre in Chicago and Hoover’s first arrest.

Then there’s the documentary look: Hoover in the FBI building; that’s the real FBI building. Hoover in the apartment of his lifelong friend Lionel McCoy; that’s the real McCoy’s apartment.

He also knew enough to cast Broderick Crawford in the lead. As Hoover, the jowly Crawford turns in a fine performance. However, the remainder of the performances, starting with Michael Parks’ Robert Kennedy, are grotesque attempts to mimic well known public officials.

The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover

Production: Larco. Director Larry Cohen; Producer Larry Cohen; Screenplay Larry Cohen; Camera Paul Glickman; Editor Christopher Lebenzon; Music Miklos Rozsa; Art Director Cathy Davis

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1977. Running time: 112 MIN.

With: Broderick Crawford Jose Ferrer Michael Parks Ronee Blakely Rip Torn Celeste Holm

More Film

  • Durban FilmMart Celebrates Women as Industry

    Durban FilmMart Celebrates Women as Industry Still Struggles With Transformation

    According to Larry Cohen, who wrote, produced and directed this $3 million look at America’s top cop, J. Edgar Hoover was a public relations gimmick. As a vindictive, puritanical paranoid he shipped agents off to Knoxville for reading Playboy magazine. Privately, he was a mama’s boy and a homosexual who got his jollies by sitting […]

  • MayFair, directed by Sara Blecher

    Sara Blecher’s ‘Mayfair’ Brings Feminine Gaze to Gangster Tale

    According to Larry Cohen, who wrote, produced and directed this $3 million look at America’s top cop, J. Edgar Hoover was a public relations gimmick. As a vindictive, puritanical paranoid he shipped agents off to Knoxville for reading Playboy magazine. Privately, he was a mama’s boy and a homosexual who got his jollies by sitting […]

  • Todd Brown, XYZ Films

    African Finance Under Spotlight at Durban FilmMart  

    According to Larry Cohen, who wrote, produced and directed this $3 million look at America’s top cop, J. Edgar Hoover was a public relations gimmick. As a vindictive, puritanical paranoid he shipped agents off to Knoxville for reading Playboy magazine. Privately, he was a mama’s boy and a homosexual who got his jollies by sitting […]

  • Ryan Reynolds'Deadpool' panel, Comic-Con International, San

    Ryan Reynolds Wants to Explore Deadpool's Bisexuality in Future Films

    According to Larry Cohen, who wrote, produced and directed this $3 million look at America’s top cop, J. Edgar Hoover was a public relations gimmick. As a vindictive, puritanical paranoid he shipped agents off to Knoxville for reading Playboy magazine. Privately, he was a mama’s boy and a homosexual who got his jollies by sitting […]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9243328q)From

    Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Restaurant Critic, Dies at 57

    According to Larry Cohen, who wrote, produced and directed this $3 million look at America’s top cop, J. Edgar Hoover was a public relations gimmick. As a vindictive, puritanical paranoid he shipped agents off to Knoxville for reading Playboy magazine. Privately, he was a mama’s boy and a homosexual who got his jollies by sitting […]

  • Johnny Depp Amber Heard

    Johnny Depp, Amber Heard Appear Moments Apart at WB's Comic-Con Panel

    According to Larry Cohen, who wrote, produced and directed this $3 million look at America’s top cop, J. Edgar Hoover was a public relations gimmick. As a vindictive, puritanical paranoid he shipped agents off to Knoxville for reading Playboy magazine. Privately, he was a mama’s boy and a homosexual who got his jollies by sitting […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content