The FBI Story

The FBI Story

James Stewart
Director: Mervyn LeRoy Cast: James Stewart
James Stewart
, Vera Miles
Vera Miles
, Murray Hamilton
Murray Hamilton
Mervyn LeRoy


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If Warner Bros.' pageantlike The FBI Story resembles an episode of Jack Webb's Dragnet at times, it's probably because the screenplay was by veteran Dragnet scrivener Richard L. Breen. The film meticulously details the history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, from its formation in 1924 to the present day (1959, that is). The story is told through the eyes of FBI agent Chip Hardesty (James Stewart), who narrates the film. We see the FBI tackling such villains as the Ku Klux Klan, the mob, the Nazis and the communists. Subplots include the struggle by the federal agents to be given permission to carry firearms, a plight driven home when Hardesty's best friend (Murray Hamilton) is killed by gun-toting Baby Face Nelson (William Phipps). Offsetting moments like these are scenes of Hardesty's home life with his wife Lucy (Vera Miles), who at first opposed her husband's joining the bureau but who later becomesJ. Edgar Hoover's biggest fan. Excessively sentimental at times (it seems that the Hardesty family can never hold a party without receiving a terse telegram announcing yet another personal tragedy) and saddled with a rambling, stop-and-start continuity, the overall success of The FBI Story hinges upon its individual episodes, including a wowser of a pre-credits sequence involving matricidal mad bomber John Graham (Nick Adams). Since the film was made at a time when the FBI was considered to be of spotless reputation, don't expect to see any scenes of the bureau wiretapping civil rights leaders--or, for that matter, J. Edgar Hoover prancing around in drag.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/20/2018
UPC: 0888574770778
Original Release: 1959
Rating: NR
Source: Warner Archives
Time: 2:29:00
Sales rank: 9,265

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Stewart Chip Hardesty
Vera Miles Lucy Hardesty
Murray Hamilton Sam Crandall
Larry Pennell George Crandall
Nick Adams Jack Graham
Diane Jergens Jennie Hardesty
Jean Willes Anna Sage
Joyce Taylor Anne Hardesty
Victor Millan Mario
Parley Baer Harry Dakins
Fay Roope McCutcheon
Ed Prentiss US Marshal
Robert Gist Medicine Salesman
Buzz Martin Mike Hardesty
Ken Mayer Casket Salesman
Paul Genge Suspect
Ann Doran Mrs. Ballard
Scott Peters John Dillinger
William Phipps Baby Face Nelson
Forrest Taylor Wedding Minister

Technical Credits
Mervyn LeRoy Director,Producer
Philip W. Anderson Editor
Gordon Bau Makeup
John Beckman Art Director
Joseph Biroc Cinematographer
Richard L. Breen Screenwriter
Ralph S. Hurst Set Decoration/Design
M.A. Merrick Sound/Sound Designer
Adele Palmer Costumes/Costume Designer
David Silver Asst. Director
Max Steiner Score Composer
John Twist Screenwriter
Derek N. Twist Screenwriter

Customer Reviews

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The FBI Story 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although many of the inside looks of the FBI are dated for today's standards, it gives a wonderful story of an agent with a wife unwilling to lose him to the dangerous position. Jimmy Stewart and Vera Miles have great chemistry (the would have been pair in Vertigo had the Miles had not become pregnant). Great story with Jimmy Stewart giving an extremely heartfelt and strong performance as the agent\patriarch of the film.