I’ve been reading the reviews of the new movie J. Edgar and I am surprised to learn that some of the critics are panning it. For example: this review. To me, J. Edgar is one of the best movies ever made, if not THE best. The problem is that the story of J. Edgar is told through the eyes of the director, 81-year-old Clint Eastwood. Younger people may not agree with Eastwood’s interpretation of events.
Here is a quote from another review:
It’s the graying Hoover we meet first, dictating his somewhat suspect memoir to a series of young agent-stenographers because he feels that “it’s time this generation learned my side of the story.”
That story begins with a rarely examined event in American history, the 1919 Palmer raids against anarchists and other supposed radicals. In response to a series of bombings, U.S. Atty. Gen. A. Mitchell Palmer in effect took the law into his own hands, collaborating with the 24-year-old Hoover and the newly formed FBI to attack people for their ideas without evidence of crimes. It’s the first of several examples we see in the film of what can happen when unchecked governmental power falls into the hands of the ruthless and the self-righteous, when influential people believe, as Hoover did, that “sometimes you need to bend the rules a little to keep our country safe.”
There is an early scene in the movie when Emma Goldman, a famous anarchist and radical, is shown in court where she refuses to answer questions. In 1919, she was just out of prison after serving a two year sentence for “conspiring to induce men not to register for the draft.” Not a single review, that I have read, mentioned the Emma Goldman character. Why is Emma Goldman important? Emma Goldman was deported to Russia because America didn’t want Bolsheviks, anarchists and radicals back in those days. If she were alive today, Emma would be leading the Occupy Wall Street movement and she would be a hero to the progressives.
Before I went to see the movie on Friday, I imagined that the plot would dwell on the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King, Jr. They were included, but the most important plot thread was the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby in March 1932. In one scene of the movie, the discovery of the body of the 18-month-old baby is shown. The body was decomposed and nothing was left but a skeleton; it was found near a road and within sight of the house. There is a brief moment when the skeleton is shown with the white Lindbergh house visible in the background. The movie does not show, nor mention, that any effort had been made to bury the body. Who kills a baby and then leaves the evidence behind, where it can easily be found?
Let’s go back to 1919 and 1920 when the majority of people in America were against the Bolsheviks and radicals. In 1919, Anton Drexler and Dietrich Eckart had just formed the German Worker’s Party, which later became the NSDAP (Nazi) party. In America, Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh were the leading supporters of Nazi ideology. In other words, Lindbergh was one of the earliest Nazi sympathizers.
The investigation of the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby lasted more than two years. Then a German-American named Bruno Richard Hauptmann was arrested and charged with the crime. The trial, which lasted from January 2, 1935 to February 13, 1935, was followed closely by millions of Americans. Hauptmann was found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to death, but strangely Hauptmann never confessed to the crime. He maintained his innocence until the end. Could he have been framed for the crime? Why would someone want to frame a German-American for the crime of the century?
The point of all this is that some people believe that the kidnapping and killing of the Lindbergh baby was a crime of revenge against Charles Lindbergh because he was a big supporter of Germany; he was what would be called a “white supremacist” today. He made many trips to Germany and even had a German mistress who bore three of his children. Like Heinrich Himmler, he believed that white men should have as many children as possible, taking a mistress if necessary.
In the Wikipedia article about the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby, it is mentioned that the body of the baby was found 4.5 miles from the house. The movie J. Edgar shows that the body was found within sight of the house.
Wikipedia says this about the alleged attempt to bury the body of the Lindbergh baby:
The left leg and both hands were missing, and there were signs that the body had been chewed on by various animals as well as indications that someone had made an attempt to hastily bury the body.
The movie J. Edgar does not show that a hasty attempt was made to conceal the crime by burying the body. No, the movie shows what really happened: the body was left out and many people still believe today that this was a crime of revenge against Charles Lindbergh for his beliefs.