November 9, 2011
Citizen J. Edgar?
A friend who knew that I saw a press screening of director Clint Eastwood's heavily-promoted new movie J. Edgar asked if it was worth seeing or politically skewed. I answered, "Both, unfortunately." The film opens today in a few major cities, and it will be released nationally on Friday. J. Edgar Hoover's public image in media popular culture, unnaturally perfect from the 1930s through the 1950s when he put himself forward as the embodiment of the Bureau, has fallen precipitously since his death, under sustained attack by political and cultural foes. The new movie portrays him as neither a monster or a hero, but as a deeply flawed figure in American history. (See Elise Cooper's article, "The Real J. Edgar Hoover," for more on the film's skewing of Hoover's life.) One of the principal focuses of Hoover's many enemies has been the innuendo that J. Edgar Hoover and his assistant for decades, Clyde Tolson, had some sort of homosexual relationship, even though there...(Read Full Article)