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The Red Menace (1949)

A disillusioned, bitter ex-GI gets involved with the Communist party, and winds up falling in love with one of his "instructors." At first true believers, they realize their mistake when ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Nina Petrovka (as Hanne Axman)
...
...
Shepard Menken ...
Henry Solomon
Lester Luther ...
Earl Partridge
William Lally ...
Jack Tyler (as William J. Lally)
Lloyd G. Davies ...
Inspector O'Toole
...
Reachi
Leo Cleary ...
Father O'Leary
Kay Riehl ...
Mrs. O'Flaherty
William Martell ...
Immigration Insp. Riggs
James Harrington ...
Martin Vejac
Duke Williams ...
Sam Wright
Napoleon Simpson ...
Tom Wright
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Storyline

A disillusioned, bitter ex-GI gets involved with the Communist party, and winds up falling in love with one of his "instructors." At first true believers, they realize their mistake when they witness Party leaders murder a member who questions the party's principles. They try to leave the party, but are marked for murder and hunted by the party's assassins. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Release Date:

1 August 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Underground Spy  »

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| (1950 re-release)

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(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Quotes

[first lines]
Nina Petrovka: No... Don't let them... I'm afraid.
Bill Jones: Nina, stop it. It's me, Bill! They can't get us now.
Nina Petrovka: They're gonna kill us!
Bill Jones: Nina... Get a hold of yourself. Snap out of it.
Nina Petrovka: That same dream. Those frightening, sadistic faiths chasing me. Turning guns at me.
Bill Jones: It's nothing to worry about. They can't get us out here.
Nina Petrovka: You don't really believe that. You know we can't get away.
Bill Jones: They haven't caught us yet, have they?
Nina Petrovka: No, but... they are real! Oh please Bill, let me get myself up. It isn't you they're ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Red Hollywood (1996) See more »

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Second Thoughts
8 November 2017 | by See all my reviews

For the most part it seems that it was the small studios that made the worst of the anti-Communist films from post World War II. In this case it was Republic Pictures of Herbert J. Yates home of the B western cowboy heroes who inflicted this one on the American public.

The Red Menace has the future object Our Miss Brooks's affection Robert Rockwell as a disillusioned GI who just got rooked by some sharpie real estate crooks over a plot of land to build a house. The lack of housing for returning veterans was a major domestic issue in the Truman years, no less a conservative than Robert A. Taft sponsored a government program to aid in housing construction.

An equally sharp talent scout for the US Communist Party spots Rockwell making a complaint and recruits him into the party. He's enthusiastic at first but then sees that this crowd really intrudes on every aspect and thought one might have. Getting also disillusioned is Hannah Axman as they see one by one people who deviate get dealt with severely.

It's not even that some of what is put forth here is completely untrue. It was that in 1949 some reactionary politicians usually belonging to the GOP saw the Russian spy scandals as a chance to stamp out liberal thought to the left of Walter Winchell. So we had the HUAC hearings and a year later Joe McCarthy looking for an issue to hang his re- election to the Senate on discovered The Red Menace.

Two of the supporting players in the cast really stand out. First Lester Luther as the top commissar in the USA comes off like a poor man's Edward Arnold. Secondly Betty Lou Gerson when her alias is exposed by Immigration goes full blown mad in a scene that Bette Davis might have done in a better picture.

For a good anti-Communist film I recommend Trial which starred Glenn Ford and Arthur Kennedy. The Red Menace is about as menacing as Dennis.


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