I just treated myself to watching The FBI Story in the midst of a very busy Saturday…my cat fell asleep on my lap and there I was….and I am SO glad I did.

Jimmy Stewart plays the FBI agent who tells his story in the Bureau…..some of the lines were SO good in this movie I had to share them with you.  For example, one of his very dearest friends dies in the line of duty….in front of him.   As the man’s dying, he says how hard this will be on his son, who’d already lost his mother at a young age, and how ‘rude’ he’d think they were for both leaving him as a boy….”I didn’t mean to be so rude.”  I thought that was gorgeous.

Did you know the Bureau agents didn’t carry GUNS till Pretty Boy Floyd days?  I sure didn’t.  Finally, the Congress passed a bill protecting OUR GUYS…what a novel idea!  It was astonishing to see the agents set up mafia gang members and shoot them, no questions asked, based only on what they had on them.   There’s another novel idea we could make good use of these days.  I mean, think twice about killing Baby Face Nelson?

Did you know that within 24 hours after Pearl Harbor’s attack, the Bureau had rounded up about 3,500 enemy aliens they had in their sights?   Rounded up and deported.  ANOTHER novel idea I like.

Then, near the end, his son dies at Iwo Jima…a terrible scene…..the parents are stunned and grief stricken and the agent’s wife says “Do they die quickly?”   Jimmy Stewart says he thinks they usually do…  She says “no time for a prayer?” and he says that his father used to say it was good enough even if you just started a prayer…and finished it in person. Amen.

I highly recommend this film…the dialogue’s fabulous. Not a GREAT film but a memorable and important one with terrific lines (when, early in their marriage, the wife loses a baby and can’t have more, he says to her “well, if you want a president for a child, it’ll have to be from this bunch of 3 we already have!”).  A great thing to watch when you have “NOTHING TO DO.” 🙂

(Please weigh in on the post below, and read the good comments, too)


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14 Responses to THE FBI STORY

  1. Frank Fiore says:

    Saw this movie many years ago. A great movie. The movies made at this time gave us a rationale approach to the problems of the world. Good guys were good and bad guys were bad. That was the consensus then. No harping like we do today. I still wonder if my grandchildren will live in an America that was portrayed in the movies of the 40s and 50s.


  2. geeez2014 says:

    Hi, Frank, thanks for coming by. It IS a great movie but not a BIG Great movie…not Casablanca, Wuthering Heights, etc….I know you know what I mean.
    I loved it.
    And yes, GOOD GUYS WERE GOOD AND BAD GUYS WERE BAD. ANd you could shoot the bad guys and didn’t get hauled into prison yourself. another novel idea !

    Sadly, your grandchildren are well past living in that America already…..I am associated with a private Christian high school which has an excellent arts department I often substitute in…I’ve thought for a long time that a segment on old films in their film class would be a real eye opener…showing films like this one which showed GOOD and BAD and true patriotism, films like Pride and Prejudice, where boys could see women were actually lovely and smart and cherished ‘in the day’, etc. In my dreams!


  3. cube says:

    The kind of movie that makes me yearn for the old days when we could trust the FBI and the other alphabet agencies, such as the CIA which is now run by a used-to-be communist & a self-professed moslem. Makes me sick to think of how far we’ve fallen in this country.


  4. Kid says:

    Sounds like a good movie Z. If you like violence, The Equalizer with Denzel is great and I hear they’re making a sequel.


  5. geeez2014 says:

    cube, that was my feeling throughout the movie…made me sick to see where we are now in comparison.
    Something I neglected to add was how the TCM ‘hostess’ talked about the film afterwards..” it was clearly an FBI promotion film…” very disdainfully. It was, in a sense, it clearly showed how well the agents work and how astonishing headquarters are, with SO many test capabilities, etc…blew my mind! But TCM OFTEN denigrates goodness, any film that’s pro American’s accused of being biased toward America. Happens ALL the time on TCM.

    Kid, I’m not BIG on violence, but I’d like to see The Equalizer…I’m not against it 🙂
    This film showed murders of gangsters, but….not big violence, if you know what I mean.
    terrific film. SO good to ‘be back then’ for a while.

    IMAGINE that the FBI wasn’t ARMED until the early THIRTIES?!!


  6. Baysider says:

    Oh my, the power of a 10 pound animal. 🙂


  7. geeez2014 says:

    Baysider, she DOES have POWER 🙂


  8. Mal says:

    I remember the movie, but don’t recall if I saw it. I always liked Jimmy Stewart. I recall when he played the part of Lincoln, and in one court scene where he was questioning a witness named John Cass, he asked him if anyone calls him “Jack”, to which he said yes, and Lincoln (Stewart) said good! Then I’ll just call you Jack Cass and everybody in the courtroom laughed. He also played Glenn Miller as well as Charles Lindbergh. I really miss seeing him.


  9. geeez2014 says:

    Mal, it’s said that Stewart only did the FBI film if he could do the Lindbergh film.
    He delivers lines SO WELL in this film…he’s really fantastic


  10. Jimmy Stewart (Brigadier General Stewart) was a bigger hero in real life than any character he played.
    Piloting a bomber through the war and staying on in the reserves while carrying on his career.
    Strategic Air Command.
    I’d love to see a biopic.
    And The Man Who Knew Too Much. Vertigo. Harvey.


  11. Silverlady says:

    Last month my husband & I went on a Wed. to a monthly hangar lunch at a small WWII air museum midway between Tallulah, La. (Yes, there really is a town by that name!) & Vicksburg, Ms. The guest speaker was Robert Matzen who wrote ‘MISSION JIMMY STEWART & THE FIGHT FOR EUROPE’. The book covered his early career, but it was mostly about his time as a bomber pilot during the war. Excellent speaker, & had a live on-screen connection with a WWII veteran up north to whom questions could be directed. He said that Stewart was never called ‘Jimmy’, but James or Stewart, & that he really had to fight for the assignment he wanted, but when the war was over he was a changed man.

    Mr. Matzen was there for 4 days, so on Sat. we went down for the crawfish boil. His talk was shorter, & finally he said it was time to meet his very first crawdad. He’s from Pa. He was a very good sport about it, but it was the first time I’ve ever seen anybody eat one of the potatoes boiled with the critters with a fork. It’s all hands for crawdads, aka mudbugs.

    He wrote another book, one about Carole Lombard, ‘FIREBALL’, & even climbed the mountain where her plane had crashed. He told me that had the pilot gone 200 feet one side or the other they would have missed the peak. She was not supposed to be on the flight, as other passengers had been kicked off to make room for military men, but she insisted. With her were her mother & another man, publicist, agent, or something .


  12. Kid says:

    Ed, Exactly. he was a bomber(B17?) pilot in WWII. No one, especially he ever mentioned it. He flew as a guest on a B52 mission over Vietnam as his last military related flight.
    None of the WWII vets ever talked about WWII, my Dad included. Supreme Class.


  13. geeez2014 says:

    Mal, it’s said that Stewart only did the FBI film if he could do the Lindbergh film.
    He delivers lines SO WELL in this film…he’s really fantastic

    SAW Jessie Watters tonight…he had a REALLY classy comment about Bill O’Reilly’s show…”Change is hard…I am grateful for all I learned on The Factor…” Brother, that was perfectly said..not controversial, not too corny, doesn’t show his cards. I’m really impressed with this and what Tucker’s Carlson’s comments were about it the other night. THOSE are class acts.


  14. Mal says:

    I didn’t know that, Z, about his conditional acceptance for the part.
    I liked him portraying Glenn Miller in The Glenn Miller Story with June Allyson as his wife. Also when he played in Orchestra Wives. Remember that one?


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