Directed by Leslie H. Martinson (1966’s Batman: The Movie), the black-and-white, documentary-style picture carries the endorsement of the FBI and a plot about a bomb implanted in the suitcase of one of three guys involved in Uncle Sam’s missile program. It’s discovered and defused successfully mid-flight, and on the ground, the agents swing into action to find the culprit.
As they go about their business, narrator William Woodson breaks in as needed to fill in audiences on the various elements, procedures and tactics related to the bureau’s work. It’s like a crash course in FBI 101. For instance, don’t you dare use the Red Cross emblem inappropriately, or the FBI will be on you like flies on poo.
Initial scenes that set the story in action may remind viewers of Robert Stack’s preparation sequence in Airplane! Also funny is how outdated the men’s views of women are; no movie I’ve seen in recent memory has done so much to belittle the better sex. Then again, consider the era: Gender confusion and J. Edgar Hoover simply went hand-in-hand. —Rod Lott
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• The FBI: The First Season: Part One DVD review