Friday, May 14, 2010

Reel People: David Strathairn is William J. Flynn

The film is No God, No Master, written and directed by Terry Green.

William J. Flynn
William Flynn was born in New York City in 1867. After graduating high school he became a member of the Secret Service of the United States. He then went on to work for the city of New York reorganizing their detective agency, and then was made director of the US Secret Service.

During WWI, he served under Woodrow Wilson as the Chief of the United States Railroad Secret Service, where his primary role was to fight against threats of sabotage.

It wasn't but a couple years after the end of WWI, that in 1919 Flynn was appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation. Flynn, the fourth man to have this title (the FBI was formed in 1908).

William Flynn's specialty as the leading detective in the nation was to find and stop social anarchist. He had tendency to identify those with the intentions of destroying government and social society through means of bombs and sabotage of important people and institutions.

One of the first things Flynn did in this position of bureau director (the first to use the title) was to help push for importance of the National Vehicle Theft Act which made it easier to prosecute criminals who crossed state lines.

During his time as director of the FBI, the arrest of Ferdinando Nicola Sacco and Bertalameo Vanzetti where arrested in what would be come the very well known and controversial Sacco and Venzetti trial. Sacco and Venzetti's trial became well known because these two Italian's had no criminal record prior to the being arrested for murder, and had trials that many would view as unfair.

In 1921 Flynn resigned from the bureau, stating a need to attend to personal business matters.

He died of a heart attack in 1928.

No God, No Master

This independent film, No God, No Master, stars David Strathairn as this head of the Bureau of Investigation.

Strathairn previously worked with director Green in the 2006 film Heavens Fall, the true story about an attorney who defends 9 black men accused of rape in the South.

No God, No Master
also stars lesser known Alessandro Mario and James Madio as the Italian criminals Vinzetti and Sacco. Other famous historical features come into play in this film including Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, John D. Rockefeller, and J. Edgar Hoover.

Will previous Oscar nominee David Strathairn's portrayal of this anarchy fighting detective have any chance for an Oscar nomination/win for portraying this Real (Reel) Person?

Photo credit, Strathairn pictured left next to Sam Witwer who plays Eugenio Ravarini


Okie said...

Sounds like a cool story. I'll have to keep an eye out for the flick. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

Anonymous said...

Oh GOd the spelling. It's Bartolomeo Vanzetti