Clint Eastwood's 'J. Edgar': CinemaCon premieres clip starring Leonardo DiCaprio

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Image Credit: PhamousFotos/Splash News

It’s hard to look at Leonardo DiCaprio and see the bulldog FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, but in one short clip of the Clint Eastwood movie that premiered at CinemaCon, the actor shows his chops.

And in this case, I mean that literally. There seems to be something different about his face. It’s jowlier, even though the scene is from the early ’30s, when Hoover was still relatively young. It doesn’t look like exterior makeup, but perhaps some dental addition that adjusts the shape of his cheeks. In any case, DiCaprio acquits himself well as the camera slowly inches in on that slightly different, yet very familiar face.

Hoover is testifying before Congress, advocating for the power to compile the National Fingerprint Database, an initiative that might seem logical and reasonable, though he is using a famous case from the time to strike fear in the heart of anyone listening to his words: The Lindbergh Baby disappearance.

“Bring all the fingerprints in this country to my office so that we may create a central file to help arm our agents so that they may have a fighting chance against the sub-machine guns of some of the most dangerous characters in the history of American criminality. And I urge you to do this in the name of little Lindy, because if he can be taken, then what child is safe? … If we cannot aid in his safe return, then what use are we?”

There is a musical, almost hypnotic quality to his words, with intense emphasis on certain words that breaks the flow. It reminded me of the gritted cadences of Burt Lancaster. Though it was only a brief look at J. Edgar, it shows both the noble ambitions of the national lawman and his manipulative, invasive tendencies.

For more film film news, follow Anthony Breznican on Twitter @Breznican.

Read more:
Clint Eastwood’s Hoover biopic: Most handsome male cast ever?

Comments (26 total) Add your comment
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  • disappointed

    DiCaprio should play Hoover and Hughes in American Tabloid. It would be the role of a lifetime.

    • Adwina Lambert

      over-rated, over-exposed chubby-faced actor with a wide forehead should just retire tee-hee!

  • Justin

    I’ve been waiting for DiCaprio and Eastwood to team up. I’m so excited!

  • Andrew

    I am really hoping that Eastwood finishes ‘J. Edgar’ in time for a late 2011 release (but I’d rather it not be rushed). Definitely one of my most anticipated upcoming films. Bring on DiCaprio, Naomi Watts, and Armie Hammer!

  • Chelsea

    Maybe this will finally be the movie that clinches the Oscar for DiCaprio.

    • Lorie

      Fingers crossed!

    • Dee Jones

      This has Oscar stinch all over it! lol

    • Cat

      He’ll definitely get at least a nomination.

    • SC

      Clint is currently tied with Martin Scorsese for fourth place among the directors who have directed the most Oscar-winning performances (five apiece); so I like DiCaprio’s chances.

    • Yasmine

      I liked the film, yet I left feeling the movie left much that I wtaend to know/understand about this man unanswered, incomplete. I came away withMore questions than answers .He was A sad figure lonely isolated repressed deceitful some would say, evil.On the other hand, he must have been very smart visionary. He probably did great work for the country BUT power seems to have corrupted his vision and mission I didn’t need this movie to tell me that. RIP

  • Lydia Roberts

    I wish that Billy Crudup played Hoover again in this and make it a spin-off from Public Enemies (2009).

    • Rory

      I thought Billy Crudup was really terrific there too.

  • Helena

    Sounds great , thanks, Anthony

  • Bob

    Eastwood seems to make everybody better? That speaks well for Leo! Hoover was Way more powerful than most people realize? In his job over the years he managed to get dirt on just about everybody? Lots of presidents tried to fire him or get him to retire & he told them all to go pound sand with no repercussions?? Like to see someone get away with That today??

  • Karen Moore

    Cant wait for J Edgar to be released in Australia. Go Leo and get that Oscar!!

  • Jan

    Where can i watch the clip????

  • PNK

    Can’t wait! Leo is amazing, so is Clint. This is reminding me of both Shutter Island and The Aviator – both stellar from Mr. DeCaprio.
    And we also have Devil In the White City coming, yowzer!

  • Brock

    How can the clip be from the “early ’20s” if it references the Lindbergh kidnapping, which didn’t occur until 1932???

    • Sue1

      You took the ??? right out of my mouth.

      • Anthony Breznican

        Nice catch, Brock and Sue1. Sorry about that typo, but fixed now.

  • Lizzy

    434-547-3611

  • mara

    Leo is the most talented actor on this planet!!!!!!! I wish him a happy life, good films and Oscars

  • Tina G.

    I wish Leo and Clint had chosen to make a movie about a more worthwhile subject matter. I mean, learning about Hoover is not going to better anyone’s life, is it? All it will do is show us once again what a gifted actor Leo is and how good Clint is as a filmmaker. I wish they would work together again on a movie about, maybe, the people behind Greenpeace. That would be worth watching.

    • Kelcie

      “All it will do is show us once again what a gifted actor Leo is and how good Clint is as a filmmaker.” Ehh… isn’t that the point of most movies?!

  • Emmanuel Lynn

    OMG, do you see whats transpiring in Syria? In spite of a brutal government crackdown, the demonstrations continue

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