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The FBI On The Silver Screen


Welcome back to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Andrea Seabrook.

(Soundbite of music)

SEABROOK: One hundred years ago today Attorney General Charles Bonaparte recruited a handful of investigators from the Secret Service. They would form a new branch of the Justice Department - the Federal Bureau of Investigation was born.

(Soundbite of "'G' Men")

Unidentified Man #1: Like many, another success story, this one had humble beginnings.

SEABROOK: It's a story that really inspired Hollywood.

(Soundbite of movie "'G' Men")

Unidentified Man #1: I'm going to take you back to those days and show you a motion picture about a man named Brick Davis who was in the bureau. It's the daddy of all FBI pictures. The first one to call as G-Men.

SEABROOK: "'G' Men" have been a staple in Hollywood ever since there was a Hollywood. So, here are a few of our favorite FBI flicks.

(Soundbite of movie "'G' Men")

Unidentified Man #2: I heard something about you today, lawyer.

Unidentified Man #3: You did? What?

Unidentified Man #2: You're gonna a big G-Man.

Unidentified Man #3: That's right.

Unidentified Man #2: You're gonna be dumped in a ditch, stool pigeon. Remember to keep your tin badge in Washington. If you come around here sticking your puss in our affairs you'll get a belly full of this. Now, beat it.

(Soundbite of movie "Point Break")

Mr. KEANU REEVES (Actor): (As FBI Special Agent Johnny Utah) What's his problem? We're handling our caseload; I'm surfing on my own time.

Mr. GARY BUSEY (Actor): (As FBI Special Agent Angelo Pappas): I know, just don't rub Harp's nose in it.

Mr. KEANU REEVES (Actor): (As FBI Special Agent Johnny Utah) Look, Angelo, you think I'd join the FBI to learn to surf?

(Soundbite of movie "Breach")

Ms. LAURA LINNEY (Actor): (As Kate Burroughs) You're being tasked to headquarters where you'll be riding the desk of an agent named Robert Hanssen. He's a traitor, Eric. Started spying for the Russians, we think, in 1985.

Mr. Ryan Phillippe (Actor): (As Eric O'Neill) What if he's smarter than I am?

Ms. LAURA LINNEY (Actor): (As Kate Burroughs) He was smarter than all.

(Soundbite of movie "Silence of the Lambs")

Ms. JODIE FOSTER (Actor): (As Clarice Starling) Dr. Lechter, my name is Clarice Starling. May I speak with you?

Mr. ANTHONY HOPKINS (Actor): (As Hannibal Lechter) You're one of Jack Crawford's, aren't you?

Ms. FOSTER: (As Clarice Starling) I'm still in training at the Academy.

Mr. HOPKINS: (As Hannibal Lechter) Jack Crawford sent a trainee to me.

(Soundbite of movie "Catch Me If You Can")

Mr. TOM HANKS (Actor): (As Carl Hanratty) You're scared because I'm getting close. I know you - you rented that car in Shreveport and you stayed in that hotel in Lake Charles. You want to run, be my guest.

Mr. LEONARDO DICAPRIO (Actor): (As Frank Abagnale Jr.) Stop chasing me.

Mr. HANKS: (As Carl Hanratty) I can't stop. It's my job.

SEABROOK: Just a few of the great FBI moments in movie history. We heard from "'G' Men," "Point Break," "Breach," "Silence of the Lambs" and "Catch Me If You Can." What are your favorite FBI movies? Visit and click Contact Us to send us a note with FBI Movie in the subject line.

(Soundbite of music) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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