Hoover cross-dressing story looks shabby

Out of theaters and out on DVD now, the biopic “J. Edgar” was roundly panned by critics, including American Studies professor Tom Doherty, quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s article “Hoover cross-dressing story looks shabby“:

With the opening of the film “J. Edgar,” however, the transvestite legend is likely to get fresh legs. While the movie sidesteps any reference to cross-dressing parties the G-man is alleged to have attended, it does include a poignant scene of a deeply grieving Hoover caressing, then donning, his just-deceased mother’s necklace and dress.

Why the obsession with Hoover in a dress?

It’s “the sheer snicker-inducing incongruity of the visual … the delicious irony in the spectacle of the man who kept everyone else’s secrets having such a transgressive one of his own,” said Thomas Doherty, a Brandeis University professor and author of “Cold War, Cool Medium: Television, McCarthyism, and American Culture.”

Leave a comment if you’ve seen the movie. What did you think?


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