Directed by Hollywood legend Mervyn LeRoy, this riveting drama tells the story of the FBI by tracing the career of agent Chip Hardesty (James Stewart) from 1924 to 1959. Hardesty battles the Ku Klux Klan; famous gangsters such as Baby Face Nelson, Ma Barker and John Dillinger; and an assortment of Nazis, communists and terrorists. Doubtful about his career at first, the veteran agent’s wife, Lucy (Vera Miles), ultimately embraces the bureau.
The great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906 was a tragedy for Mervyn Leroy. While he and his father managed to survive, they lost everything they had. To make money, Leroy sold newspapers and entered talent contests as a singer. When he enter vaudeville, his act was LeRoy and Cooper – Two Kids and a Piano. After the act broke up, he contacted his cousin, Jesse L. Lasky, and went to work in Hollywood. He worked in costumes, the film lab and as a camera assistant before becoming a comedy gag writer and part-time actor in silent films. His next step was as a director, and he turned out his first effort, No Place to Go (1927), before scoring his first unqualified hit with Harold Teen (1928). Earning $1,000 per week by the end of that year, he was nicknamed “The Boy Wonder” of Warners, where his pictures were profitable lightweights. His motto, to paraphrase Shakespeare, was “Good stories make good movies.” LeRoy rounded out the decade assigned to more lightweights, such as Naughty… read more
An interview with Christian Broutin, designer of the celebrated poster for Jules and Jim as well as 100 other posters.