Clint Eastwood ain’t Dirty Harry

Discussion in 'Media & Commentators' started by Flanders, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. Flanders

    Flanders Well-Known Member

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    The film about Margaret Thatcher, starring Meryl Street, is sure to be controversial when it is released; more so in the UK than here. Not to be outdone, Hollywood has the film J. Edgar; already controversial here in the US if the early reviews are any indication.

    Here’s the link to Rex Reed’s review:


    J. Edgar, the Man, Was as Pissy as J. Edgar, the Film, Is Passionless and Plot-Starved
    You might be better off spying on neighbors than Clint Eastwood’s unforgivable squandering of a great opportunity
    By Rex Reed 11/08 7:00pm

    http://www.observer.com/2011/11/j-e...gar-the-man-was-passionless-and-plot-starved/

    Hoover is still controversial close to 40 years after his death. I find that interesting because he was not a head of state, nor any of the types that makes for lasting controversy. I don’t see how a movie can capture more than a shadow of the man. There was so much to Hoover for those of us who grew up with his positive public image; that was long before Lefties painted their ugly picture.

    In 2003 Ann Coulter named five men liberals hate the most:


    On our nation's birthday, it is appropriate to honor the five men who did the most to defend our freedom in the last century. The names are easy to remember they are the five men most loathed by liberals: Joseph McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover, Richard Nixon, Whittaker Chambers and Ronald Reagan.

    Liberal alternative patriotism
    Ann Coulter
    July 3, 2003

    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=1139

    The movie J. Edgar tells me Coulter’s list is still accurate.

    Liberals are masters of the smear tactic and the politics of personal destruction. So why can’t conservatives see that liberals do it because because those tactics work? J. Edgar Hoover joins the Founding Fathers in that liberals waited until after they were dead. In Hoover’s case discretion was the better part of valor; liberals didn’t have the guts when he was alive.

    I don’t know if the movie J. Edgar resurrects Jean Seberg (1938-1979). Way back when Vince Foster’s death was hot news, I pointed out that seven years after J. Edger Hoover (1895-1972) passed away liberals blamed him for the suicide of that troubled actress, yet everybody on the Left went bonkers when the Clintons were blamed for having Vince Foster murdered then labeling it suicide.

    Incidentally, at the time I said that accusing the Clintons of murdering Foster did them a favor. The charge of murder is quickly dismissed without proof as was the case with Foster; whereas, suicide always ends up in the realms of speculation and interpretation for decades after the event à la Jean Seberg and Hoover. Clinton detractors could have gotten much more milage out of a suicide charge.

    I must say that Clint Eastwood disappointed me. Based on his public statements over the years, I always saw him as standup guy in real life who was perfect playing tough cop Dirty Harry. Now, I’m not so sure. His part in setting the tone for J. Edgar is less than admirable.

    Anyway, the enclosed article in two parts is the best I’ve read so far:


    November 9, 2011
    Citizen J. Edgar?
    By Thomas Lifson

    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 is no actual evidence of such. The biographical facts are clear, while the implications are less certain. Tolson worked as Hoover's closest assistant for decades, and the two men ate lunch together nearly every day and vacationed together, and when Hoover died, Tolson inherited his house. The two men are buried near each other, but not next to each other, in the Congressional Cemetery.

    Quite clearly, they were good pals, enjoyed each others' company, and trusted few others as they did each other. That on its own does not necessarily make them homosexuals. There was a time, not all that distant in the past, when chastity was admired and assumed to be a possibility, even for a lifetime. This is, of course, unimaginable to those who live in the world of Hollywood or New York.

    Director Eastwood and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (who wrote Milk) actually do leave open the faint possibility that Hoover was a chaste male of no particular sexual drive. In the film's portrayal, he clearly looks upon marriage as a useful life arrangement, not a romantic endeavor. Tolson, who is a dandy and who teaches Hoover to dress better, is much more strongly implied to be either an active or latent (as they used to say) homosexual, but even in his case, the possibility (however remote) of a nonsexual relationship is preserved.

    The film never shows any homosexual activity between the two, but it does more than nod in that direction. In a very dramatic scene, when Hoover tells Tolson that he is thinking that it is time for the director of the FBI to get a wife for himself, Tolson goes crazy as if he were a rejected lover, and it gets violently physical between the two. This is entirely imaginary, though a key to understanding the mystery of the two men's relationship as the film would have it. In the modern mind, the repression of sexuality of any sort is held to be traumatic and a source of distortion and trouble -- a theme first propounded by anthropoligist Margaret Mead and seized upon by the libertine left as self-evident truth, despite the many grave errors in Mead's original research.

    Furtheriung the image of a repressed homosexual, Hoover is depicted as a classic momma's boy, domimated by his widowed mother, with whom he in fact lived into adulthood in the family's D.C. house. Leonardo DiCaprio does a superb job in the title role and will almost certainly receive at least a nomination for an Academy AwardTM. Under current modish sexual assumptions, any adult male without a wife or history of girlfriends is presumed to be a homosexual. When a figure from the past is involved, nudges, winks, and snickers are deployed. That is certainly how the screening audience I sat with last Friday in San Francisco took the movie, guffawing and jeering at moments where the two men were framed tenderly, hinting, to those inclined to believe that adult sexual impulses are irresistible, at something more to follow in the bedroom that the filmmakers modestly omitted, much as they used to do in post-Production Code Hollywood. The person sitting next to me disappointedly remarked at the end, "No cavorting!" Indeed, the homosexuality was implied, but never stated.

    One of the most notorious slurs against Hoover is that he was a crossdresser, an allegation that is based on the words of one woman quoted in a book -- slender basis for such an allegation. But this accustaion received enormous publicity when first aired in the early 1990s. The film does not go so far as to show Hoover out in public, but it does acknowledge the slur in a somewhat touching scene following his mother's death, when Hoover goes through her personal effects and holds a dress of hers up against his body.

    Eastwood adopted the basic narrative structure of Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, with the time frame jumping around the decades, portraying the life of his central character through a series of non-chronological vignettes. Instead of a reporter piecing together the story of a man recently deceased, J. Edgar begins late in Hoover's career, in the 1960s (as he bugs Martin Luther King, Jr.) and has the elderly Hoover dictate his memoirs to an FBI agent scribe. Both directors invented the inner lives of their characters. But of course, Eastwood keeps the name of his subject, while Welles, who faced a living William Randolph Hearst, delicately disguised his subject as Charles Foster Kane.
     
  2. Flanders

    Flanders Well-Known Member

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    PART TWO:

    Among the other hits Hoover takes in the movie, his penchant for grabbing credit (of which he was guilty at times) is on display, as is his eagerness to know the intimate details of Martin Luther Kings's extracurricular sex life (which itself is portrayed in the movie, and for which the film gets points for honesty). The nature of the communist and anarchist threat to America following World War I is also dramatically displayed, launching Hoover's rise and justifying his lifelong antisubversive crusade.

    I am certain that Eastwood and Black both believe that they have been fair to their subject and have drawn a portrait somewhere in the middle, between Hoover admirers' and Hoover haters' versions of the man. They will no doubt be attacked in predictable quarters for not portraying Hoover as more of a vicious monster or an active hypocritical homosexual, rather than as a flawed, but undeniably great man.

    Technically, the film is excellent. The principal characters portrayed by DiCaprio, Naomi Watts (as Hoover's longtime secretary Helen Gandy), and Armie Hammer (as Tolson) are all done superbly. Hammer, who won much attention in the movie The Social Network portraying the unsympathetic Winkelvoss twins, is actually the great grandson of oilman, art collector, and Soviet agent Armand Hammer, himself the subject of considerable investigation by Hoover.

    For better or (more likely) worse, high-budget biopics have the ability to define historic figures more powerfully than historians, at least in the short and medium terms. The portrait here of J. Edgar Hoover is far from cartoonish and contains enough balance that it is likely to be accepted as gospel by many people around the world for decades. It is therefore, like it or not, an important movie. It is also, artistically, quite a good movie as well, whatever injustice it may have done to the memory of its subject.

    See also: J. Edgar The Film Falls For KGB Disinformation

    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/11/citizen_j_edgar.html
     
  3. Blackrook

    Blackrook Banned

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    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/11/j_edgar_the_film_falls_for_kgb_disinformation.html
    The KGB did a number on Pope Pius XII as well.

    Communists are evil.
     
  4. Flanders

    Flanders Well-Known Member

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  5. PatriotNews

    PatriotNews Well-Known Member

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    When the left tries to demonize people, they will accuse them of being homosexual, but then they pretend to celebrate homosexuality.

    Most libs when pressed had to confess:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Flanders

    Flanders Well-Known Member

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    For years I’ve been saying never let the Democrats come anywhere near the intelligence community. The documentary about William Colby coupled with the hatchet job on J. Edgar Hoover prompted one question in my mind: Who do I want in charge of important agencies, men like Colby and Hoover or the people Democrats put in charge?

    I’m not sure if the Colby film will ever be shown on TV, or handled by Netflix. I’d like to see it if it becomes available in either venue.

    Here’s a video showing Colby taking heat from people who could not be trusted to defend this country under any circumstance. That includes Republican Howard Baker who turned on Nixon at the drop of a hat. Notice that shadowy violations of the law in defense of America in Vietnam sent the Left over the edge. Those are the very people who were betraying this country in Vietnam for communism.


    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM1p0Mlhs7c&feature=player_detailpage"]THE MAN NOBODY KNEW: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby Trailer - YouTube[/ame]

    If you watched the video you heard that assassinations are pure evil. So what does snuffing Osama bin Laden and Gaddafi say about Hussein & Company? And where is the Left’s moral outrage in defense of a principle if assassinations are so terrible? And let’s not forget the Left’s whining about waterboarding and Abu Ghraib.

    Don’t get me wrong, I was in favor of offing bin Laden, but Gaddafi is another matter entirely.
    Parenthetically, I get the feeling that the fictional character Jason Bourne was based on a young William Colby in a roundabout way to make the CIA look bad.

    Bottom line: America never lost when the Colbys and the Hoovers were looking out for the country.


    Colby and Hoover on Film
    By Mark Tooley on 11.15.11 @ 6:07AM

    Two enigmatic public servants whose importance may be beyond contemporary America's ken.

    The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby is an extraordinary documentary about the long-time CIA operative who led the agency amid the post-Watergate scandals that almost destroyed it. It remarkably resembles The Good Shepherd, the 2006 fictional film about a dedicated Cold War spy across the years, right down to their eerily similar white brick colonial houses in leafy D.C. area neighborhoods. But the real life Colby and his wife are far more interesting than the characters played by Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie. Working for the CIA's predecessor, the OSS, during WWII, Colby parachuted into Nazi-occupied France and Norway to help the Resistance. After briefly working at the law firm of former OSS chief "Wild Bill" Donovan, Colby joined the CIA and helped Italy's Christian Democrats against the Soviet-backed Communists during the 1950s. He presided over U.S. covert assistance to South Vietnam in the 1960s, personally befriending doomed President Ngo Dinh Diem, and later organizing the "Phoenix Program" that neutralized Viet Cong killers. Colby took the helm at CIA as President Richard Nixon was collapsing and revelations about CIA's own scandals were fast emerging. He struggled for candor with endless Congressional hearings without betraying CIA assets and operations. Senator Frank Church's melodramatically waving a pistol before cameras to illustrate CIA assassination schemes iconically illustrated the nation's masochistic desire to castrate the CIA even as Soviet power was surging.

    Appropriately for an old spook, Colby died somewhat mysteriously in 1996, his body recovered after he'd gone missing for several days, having apparently fallen from a canoe at his Maryland vacation home. His son produced this film to explore who his enigmatic father really was, without fully finding a satisfactory answer. Colby, a devout Catholic sometimes known as the "warrior-priest," was zealously devoted to his vocation of defending America, first from Nazism, and then from Communism. Like many of his "greatest generation," he was driven by duty and was not emotionally expressive, often exasperating his more introspective Baby Boomer children.

    Most delightfully in the film, Colby's wife of 40 years, a very perceptive and spry octogenarian, is interviewed at length. She shared his Catholicism and devotion to the CIA. The whole Colby family met with President Diem shortly before his assassination during a coup countenanced by the Kennedy Administration. Mrs. Colby struggled with the moral compromises and largely shared her husband's confidence that the greater good required America's victory in the Cold War. Other interviewees include old CIA colleagues, former allied intelligence chiefs, and such familiars as Bob Woodward, Brent Scowcroft, Donald Rumsfeld, and Bud MacFarlane.

    Colby bore up mightily during the congressional investigations of 1975 but never had the Ford Administration's full confidence. After the 1976 Langley ceremony installing his successor George Bush, Colby drove off alone in his somewhat battered looking car. He practiced law and consulted, abruptly divorcing his wife in 1984, then marrying a younger woman. Colby portrays his father as friendless and tragic.

    Perhaps. Twenty years ago, easily finding his number in the phone book, I invited Colby to speak about his newly published Vietnam memoir to my Methodist church outside Washington. "I'm not even sure I'll be alive then," he laughingly said of the date several months away. He enthusiastically appeared at the church breakfast, sharing his strategic analysis of the post-Cold War world. The most charming man I've ever met, he left us all feeling like his new best friends, though of course none of us would see him again. Colby concluded by describing his recent visit to Moscow, recently freed from communism, and where he was now ignored as merely a tourist. After walking around the sites of Red Square, he smilingly realized he had conducted his own "personal victory tour."

    Colby lived long enough to witness the fall of the two great tyrannies against which he had dedicated his life. He seemed more vindicated than tragic. His son describes him at life's end as no longer interested in living longer. If so, it's because his full life was completed.

    J. Edgar is another film about a zealous public servant whose life was about as long as Colby's but, who unlike his CIA colleague, never retired and never allowed marriage or family to distract him from his exclusive love for the FBI. The sexual orientation of the lifelong bachelor who was often seen with his FBI deputy director Clyde Tolson is the topic of endless prurient fascination. How director Clint Eastwood would handle Hoover's personal life provoked much speculation.

    The answer is that mostly Hoover was what he appeared to be, a tireless bureaucrat who created a public image and carefully lived within its parameters. More unfairly treated is Tolson, prissily portrayed by Armie Hammer, who earns a stern rebuff when he plants an unwanted kiss on Hoover. In Eastwood's telling, Hoover was warped into a lonely, repressed figure by his controlling mother. An affair with actress Dorothy Lamour is briefly alluded to. Otherwise, Hoover grimly bulldozes through most of the 20th century as America's most powerful lawman, relying on Tolson and his ardently dedicated secretary of 54 years, Helen Gandy, portrayed by Naomi Watts. As the unshakeable ruling Trinity of the FBI, they were unassailable. Upon Hoover's death, Gandy dutifully shredded documents, while Tolson inherited Hoover's house, allowing their chief to take many of his secrets to the grave.

    Leonardo DiCaprio is surprisingly effective as Hoover, perhaps the best dramatized portrayal ever. Even his make-up works as Hoover becomes jowlier and heavier across six decades. Scenes from the teens, 1920s, 1930s, 1960s, and 1970s are evocatively captured. Hoover's watching various presidential inaugural precessions on Pennsylvania Avenue from his Justice Department balcony capture his power and timelessness across eight presidencies.

    There are historical errors of course. Hoover is shown preparing to blackmail a newly elected FDR with an FBI dossier on First Lady Eleanor's supposed hotel tryst with a young leftist companion. This actual encounter was years later, and the report, which turned out to be false, was shared with FDR after Hoover already had formed a strong alliance with the President, who apparently never discouraged his FBI director from surveilling his wife or her leftist friends. Hoover is also shown dictating a nasty anonymous letter to Martin Luther King about his sexual infidelities. That letter was actually composed by an FBI subordinate whom Hoover later fired. As former Hoover associate Cartha "Deke" DeLoach recalled in his own memoir, Hoover would have been "horrified" by the letter, which was "not his style." Eastwood reportedly consulted DeLoach for the film but seems to have ignored his counsel here.

    That Hoover was supremely dedicated to the FBI's independence is captured by the film's portrayal of his dismissive comments about Joe McCarthy and his fears of a Nixon presidency. After Hoover's death, a foul-mouthed Nixon is portrayed ordering seizure of the legendary files. Too late! Helen Gandy was already completing one of her last acts of devotion to her chief.

    Hoover and Colby, both uncomplaining and unself-reflective public servants during the 20th century's greatest conflicts, are difficult for contemporary times to understand. But whatever their faults, America weathered a tumultuous century partly because of such men.

    http://spectator.org/archives/2011/11/15/colby-and-hoover-on-film
     
  7. Margot

    Margot Account closed, not banned

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  8. Flanders

    Flanders Well-Known Member

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    To Margot: I can guess where that thought originated. So what are your own thoughts on William Colby?
     

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