J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly 50 years, looks back on his professional and personal life.

J. Edgar Hoover: Do I kill everything that I love?
Congressman: But your agency is already one of the most well-funded in Washington, is it not?
J. Edgar Hoover: Yes, that is true sir, but our car and bank robbery recoveries totaled 6.5 million last year, and our budget is only, well, 2 million. Unlike other departments in Washington, we actually run a profit.
Annie Hoover: [Contemptuously to Edgar] I would rather have a dead son than a daffodil for a son.
J. Edgar Hoover: What's important at this time is to re-clarify the difference between hero and villain.
J. Edgar Hoover: McCarthy was an opportunist not a patriot.
Agent Stokes: The crimes we are investigating aren't crimes, they are ideas.
J. Edgar Hoover: [to his doctor] If you ever denigrate me in front of my staff like that again, I'll have you railroaded out of your profession. You understand?
Harlan Fiske Stone: Lower the treble, son, you didn't call this meeting, I did.
J. Edgar Hoover: It's easy to be the expert if you're the only person in the world with any interest.
Clyde Tolson: He does also claim he can tell as much from a cut of wood as a doctor can from an autopsy.
J. Edgar Hoover: Ah.
Clyde Tolson: He has, um, social difficulties.
J. Edgar Hoover: He is mentally ill, isn't he?
Clyde Tolson: He's only as mad as you are - sir.
Annie Hoover: We are the sinners, Edgar. We tolerated lawlessness in the land until it grew to diabolical proportions.
J. Edgar Hoover: No one freely shares power in Washington, D.C.
J. Edgar Hoover: Find Agent Purvis. He is to be demoted or, better yet, fired.
J. Edgar Hoover: I don't need to tell you that, what determines a man's legacy is often what isn't seen.
Helen Gandy: The Bureau is stronger than just you and me now. Your child is sure and keeps the country safe.
J. Edgar Hoover: It's time we at least have one thing the bad guys don't.
Clyde Tolson: Decorating skills?
Agent Stokes: Is it a date?
J. Edgar Hoover: I think so, I think so. I'm going to show her my old card catalog system at the Library of Congress.
[first lines]
J. Edgar Hoover: Let me tell you something. The SCLC has direct Communist ties. Even great men can be corrupted, can't they? Communism is not a political party. It is a disease. It corrupts the soul, turning men, even the gentlest of men, into vicious evil tyrants.
[J. Edgar Hoover arrives home to go to bed]
J. Edgar Hoover: [narrating] The very essence of our democracy is rooted in a belief in the worth of the individual. That life has meaning that transcends any man-made system, that love is the greatest force on earth... far more enduring than hatred or the unnatural divisions of mankind.
[later in the night Annie Hoover passes away, Edgar is alone in his bedroom and wakes up to grab his rosary]
Annie Hoover: [in the air he hears his mothers voice] Stay strong, Edgar.
[Edgar then goes to the mirror as his mother helped teach him to, to get over his childhood stutter, holding out and dressing into his mothers shirt]
Annie Hoover: [again in the air Edgar hears his mothers voice] You stay strong, Edgar.
J. Edgar Hoover: [Edgar screams out and tears apart his rosary in a frantic shiver] Stay strong! Uhh!
[Edgar finally collapses in tears and curls himself in a ball]
[Edgar looks out his balcony window at the newly elected President Richard Nixon, who drives down the crowded street of American citizens]
J. Edgar Hoover: [narrating] When morals decline and good men do nothing, evil flourishes. Every citizen has a duty to learn of this that threatens his home, his children. A society uninterested and unwilling to learn from the past is doomed. We must never forget our history. We must never lower our guard. Even today, there are organizations that have America as their prime target. They would destroy the safety and the happiness of every individual and thrust us into a condition of lawlessness, immorality that passes the imagination.
[J. Edgar Hoover approaches secretary Helen Gandy for the first time in the hall]
Head Secretary: Good morning, John.
J. Edgar Hoover: Good morning.
Head Secretary: Mr. Palmer has asked that you attend the emergency meeting today.
J. Edgar Hoover: Miss Gladwell, please remember... It's Mr. Hoover.
Head Secretary: Two o'clock. Don't be too early this time. It's as rude as being tardy.
J. Edgar Hoover: And who is this lovely addition to the secretarial pool.
Head Secretary: Helen, introduce yourself.
Helen Gandy: Pleased to meet you Mr. Hoover. I'm Helen Gandy.
J. Edgar Hoover: Pleased to meet you Miss Gandy. Welcome to the department of justice. You can notify Mr. Palmer that I will attend.
Helen Gandy: Of course.
[the two walk separate ways with a smile on their face]
[J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson discuss over dinner about the first time they ever met]
Clyde Tolson: Edgar... you can lie to everyone else, the whole world, for you own sake... and for the sake of the bureau, but you cannot lie to me.
J. Edgar Hoover: I should've never given you your job, Clyde. You know that? You weren't even qualified. You remember the day you came in for your interview.
Clyde Tolson: I do.
J. Edgar Hoover: You walked into my office and you fixed my window, you picked up my handkerchief. You handed it to me. You remember why I was sweating, Clyde?
Clyde Tolson: It's because you were exercising.
J. Edgar Hoover: No, I was... I was sweating because I... I knew at that very moment...
[Clyde hands Hoover his handkerchief from the dinner table]
J. Edgar Hoover: ... I knew at that very moment that I... I needed you. And I've never needed anyone else in my entire life. Not like that. So I began to perspire.
Clyde Tolson: I know.
Clyde Tolson: [Edgar grabs for his stomach and gasps] Edgar, are you all right?
J. Edgar Hoover: Yes, yes it's - it's just indigestion, Clyde. Let's go to dinner tomorrow night, shall we? Our old corner booth.
Clyde Tolson: Perhaps if I feel better.
J. Edgar Hoover: Yes. And you must - you must. We have a great many things to discuss. And now I can't trust anyone else at the bureau right now. I can only depend on you.
Clyde Tolson: [Edgar walks up to Clyde and holds onto his hand, kissing is forehead] Thank you, Edgar.
J. Edgar Hoover: [Edgar leaves the handkerchief in Clyde's hand] Good night, Clyde.
Clyde Tolson: Good night, Edgar.
[Edgar walks off and Clyde holds Edgar's handkerchief to his cheek]
[J. Edgar Hoover meets the child actress, Shirley Temple, at the movie house in front of reporters]
Reporter: Miss Temple!
Shirley Temple: Mr. Hoover, I was wondering if you would join my police force.
J. Edgar Hoover: Why, yes, Miss Temple. If you agree to be an honorary G-Woman and give me one little kiss.
Shirley Temple: I don't know if your wife would approve, Mr. Hoover.
J. Edgar Hoover: But, you see, I still live with my mother.
[both chuckle]
Shirley Temple: Oh, Okay!
[Miss Temple kisses him on the cheek under the flash of cameras]
[J. Edgar Hoover and Helen Gandy are on a date in the public library]
J. Edgar Hoover: Well, would you like to stay here, or go somewhere else?
Helen Gandy: It's up to you.
Helen Gandy: [Edgar chuckles and makes an attempt to kiss Helen] Mr. Hoover. I'm not sure where you think this is headed.
J. Edgar Hoover: Right, of course. Miss Gandy.
[Edgar holds out his hand to hers and gets on one knee]
J. Edgar Hoover: I know we've only known each other a brief time, but you would make the finest of companions. Your strength, and your character, and your education.
Helen Gandy: Are you poking fun at me?
J. Edgar Hoover: No. No, no, no. No, no, of course not.
Helen Gandy: Then please, Mr. Hoover, stand up.
J. Edgar Hoover: I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't share this with any of the other women at the typing pool.
Helen Gandy: No, of course not.
J. Edgar Hoover: All right. May I ask what - what - what particular flaw you seem to find in my character?
Helen Gandy: No. We just met.
J. Edgar Hoover: Right, of course. But I believe that I am a fast and accurate judge of character. We've gone out three times, but I don't need more. Most people do, but I don't. I see people right off for what they are. And please, call me Edgar. It's what my mother uses.
Helen Gandy: Edgar?
J. Edgar Hoover: Yes?
Helen Gandy: Can you keep a secret?
J. Edgar Hoover: Yes. Of course. You have my word.
Helen Gandy: I'm not interested in getting married. My work comes first.
J. Edgar Hoover: Hmm. Then perhaps you would consider a position as my personal secretary.
Helen Gandy: [chuckles and nods] Yes.
J. Edgar Hoover: [Edgar smiles] Shall we.
Albert Osborne: Is that all, Mr. Hoover? I have a 2:30 class to teach.
J. Edgar Hoover: No, you don't. Consider your pay doubled; you now work for your country. Congratulations, Dr. Osborne.
[last lines]
J. Edgar Hoover: Funny how even the dearest face will fade away in time, but most clearly I remember your eyes with a sort of teasing smile in them and the feeling of that soft spot just northeast of the corner of your mouth.

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