FBI: CRIMINAL PURSUIT profiles the modern Federal Bureau of Investigation and explores the determination required to solve some of the most mystifying cases of the 21st Century. The challenges range from combating arsonists to tracking down terrorists, and the goal is always to bring the culprits to justice. This series not only showcases the heroes behind high-profile investigations, but the role high-tech investigative techniques play in solving these extraordinary cases.
Runtime: 60 minutes
FBI: Criminal Pursuit - Federal Bureau of Investigation portrayal in media - Netflix
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been a staple of American popular culture since its christening in 1935. That year also marked the beginning of the popular “G-Man” phenomenon that helped establish the Bureau's image, beginning with the aptly titled James Cagney movie, G Men. Although the detective novel and other police-related entertainment had long enthralled audiences, the FBI itself can take some of the credit for its media prominence. J. Edgar Hoover, the Bureau's “patriarch”, took an active interest to ensure that it was not only well represented in the media, but also that the FBI was depicted in a heroic, positive light and that the message, “crime doesn't pay”, was blatantly conveyed to audiences. The context, naturally, has changed profoundly since the 1930s “war on crime”, and especially so since Hoover's death in 1972.
FBI: Criminal Pursuit - Films - Netflix
Warner Brothers' G Men (1935) was a deliberate attempt to rehabilitate crime movies by transforming the “gangster movie”, wherein criminal protagonists were shown as leading exciting, affluent lives and living above the law, into stories where the heroic G-Man, or FBI agent, triumphs against the nefarious criminal underworld. The title of the movie is from a term allegedly coined by Machine Gun Kelly and appropriated by J. Edgar Hoover as a name for his federal agents that would strike fear in the hearts of criminals. According to the FBI's own history, Machine Gun Kelly “was caught without a machine gun in his hands and cringed before the federal agents and pleaded, 'Don't shoot, G-Men! Don't shoot, G-Men!'” James Cagney was recruited for the lead role as the well educated and incorruptible Brick Davis. G Men was essentially intended as a corrective to the film that catapulted Cagney to fame, The Public Enemy (1931). Just as he adopted G-Man as a badge of honor for his men, J. Edgar Hoover also attempted to re-invent the “Public Enemy” label by referring to the most notorious criminals as “public rat number one”. The G-Men concept was extended in the 1940s to include the Junior G-Men film serials. The Dead End Kids, a group of wisecracking New York City street toughs who appeared in numerous films, were transformed into amateur detectives, helping the FBI solve cases. Walk East on Beacon! (1952), produced by Columbia Pictures and starring George Murphy, portrays the activities of the Bureau in their hunt for Communist spies in Boston. Released during the height of 1950s anti-Communist hysteria in the United States, the film's pedantic narrative, its presentation in the style of a documentary, and its basis in a story written by J. Edgar Hoover himself and published in Reader's Digest, indicates it is blatant propaganda. Samuel Fuller's Pickup on South Street (1953) aroused the ire of J. Edgar Hoover, who met with Fuller and Darryl F. Zanuck of 20th Century Fox to express his disapproval of many aspects of the film. Zanuck refused to make the changes Hoover demanded, and consequently, the advertising for the film had to remove all references to the F.B.I. The FBI Story (1959), produced by Warner Bros. and director Mervyn LeRoy, relates the history of the FBI from the point of view of a fictitious character, Chip Hardesty (played by James Stewart). FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover served as consultant on this film, which forced director LeRoy to reshoot several scenes that did not meet with the FBI's approval. Producer Robert Evans claimed that during production of The President's Analyst (1967), he was visited by FBI Special Agents who told him that due to its unflattering depiction of the FBI, the Bureau wanted the film altered or canceled. However, Evans refused either to stop or to make changes to The President's Analyst. Only when pressure came from his studio did he change the FBI to the FBR and CIA to CEA by redubbing the voice track. Evans believed his telephone was monitored by the Bureau from then on. FEDS (1988), starring Rebecca De Mornay alongside Mary Gross, although a comedy, provides insight into how women train at the FBI Academy. This movie had a limited release and could only be found on VHS as of August 2009. Mississippi Burning (1988) is a fictionalized account of the investigation into an actual civil rights murder case, the murders of three civil rights workers in the state of Mississippi in 1964. The Silence of the Lambs (1991), starring Jodie Foster as FBI Trainee Clarice Starling, in pursuit of the transsexual serial killer Buffalo Bill and the cannibalistic serial killer Anthony Hopkins' Dr. Hannibal Lecter (played by Anthony Hopkins), is a movie sequel to Manhunter (1986), the first film adaptation of the 1981 Red Dragon. The 1991 film received five Academy Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor for Hopkins, and Best Actress for Jodie Foster, and spawned another sequel, Hannibal (2001), and a remake of Red Dragon (2002) starring Edward Norton and Harvey Keitel. Point Break (1991) is based on the true story of undercover FBI agent Johnny Utah, who is sanctioned by the FBI to learn surfing in order to infiltrate a gang of thieves. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), a prequel/sequel to the television series Twin Peaks, includes the character Special Agent Dale Cooper as well as several other FBI agents, but to a more limited degree than in the television series. Michael Apted directed Incident at Oglala (1992), a documentary about the deaths of FBI agents Jack R. Coler and Ronald A. Williams on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the summer of 1975, in conjunction with the movie Thunderheart (1992). Panther (1995) portrays the FBI in a negative fashion as a crooked and racist organization that interacted with the Mafia to subdue the Black Panther Party. Donnie Brasco (1997) is based on the true story of undercover FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone's infiltrating the mafia. Face/Off (1997) stars John Travolta as FBI special agent Sean Archer, who must undergo a surgery that gives him the face of ruthless terrorist Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) in order to stop a bomb planted by Castor from leveling Los Angeles. However, things go wrong when Castor wakes up from his coma and steals Archer's face, then begins to implant himself in Archer's family and job. The Siege (1998), starring Denzel Washington, Tony Shalhoub, Annette Bening and Bruce Willis, is based on the FBI's modern efforts to crack down on terrorism and gives a hypothetical idea of what would happen if there were a series of consecutive terrorist attacks in New York City. The ideas in the plot would ultimately come true with the 9/11 attacks. The X-Files: Fight The Future (1998) follows agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Red Dragon (2002), a prequel to The Silence of the Lambs (1991), stars Edward Norton as FBI profiler, agent Will Graham, and Anthony Hopkins reprising his role as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The films Saw IV (2007), Saw V (2008), and Saw VI (2009) featured three agents (Peter Strahm, Lindsey Perez, and Dan Erickson), all of them falling victim to the Jigsaw Killer. The action film Transformers (2007) includes the FBI conducting a SWAT-style raid, arresting and then interrogating two of the human protagonists. Untraceable (2008) stars Diane Lane as an FBI Cyber Crimes agent who is after a serial killer who hooks his victims up to machines set up to where the speed in which his victims die, corresponds to the number of views the live internet stream of the victims receives. The Indian movie New York (2009) depicts an innocent student who is detained arbitrarily by the FBI and is severely tortured for nine months. Public Enemies (2009) is a partially fictionalized account of the BOI's pursuit of John Dillinger, starring Johnny Depp as Dillinger and Christian Bale as Melvin Purvis. In Time (2011) portrays a futuristic version of the FBI, whose mission is to hunt down a poor young laborer, Will Silas, whom they believe murdered an extremely wealthy elderly businessman, Henry Hamilton. In this film, the FBI are known as the Timekeepers instead of Agents. American Hustle (2013) portrays a fictionalized version of the ABSCAM operation, with special agents portrayed by Bradley Cooper and Louis C.K.. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) is based on the criminal stock broker, Jordan Belfort, and his arrest by the FBI. Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House (2017) is based on Mark Felt, the FBI administrator who became the informant Deep Throat during the events and reporting of the Watergate scandal in the mid-1970s.
FBI: Criminal Pursuit - References - Netflix