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I Was a Communist for the FBI (1951)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 5 May 1951 (USA)
In Pittsburgh, PA, an F.B.I. agent works to undermine the Communist party, but his brothers and his teenage boy thinks he's a real Red.

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(screenplay), (article) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Matt Cvetic
...
Eve Merrick
...
Mason
...
Jim Blandon
...
Ken Crowley
Konstantin Shayne ...
Gerhardt Eisler
...
Joe Cvetic
...
Harmon (as Eddie Norris)
...
Dick Cvetic
Hugh Sanders ...
Clyde Garson
Hope Kramer ...
Ruth Cvetic
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Storyline

The FBI infiltrates one of their agents in the US Communist Party. This causes big problems in the normal life of the agent. Nobody knows that he is with the FBI, neither his family. Written by Luis Carvacho <lcarvach@lascar.puc.cl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

I know a hundred secrets... and each one is worth my life! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 May 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Am fost un Comunist in slujba FBI-ului  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Communist Party USA was established in 1919. In 1921 it changed its name to The Workers Party of America. It was banned in 1954 by an act of Congress (the Communist Control Act of 1954). At its peak in 1944 the membership rose to 80.000 members but by mid-1950s it dropped to only 5000 members, including 1500 FBI informants. See more »

Goofs

Eve's blouse has a large bow tied at her neck with long ends hanging down her front. These long ends alternate between hanging outside her coat and being tucked inside her coat between shots during her scene in Cvetic's apartment. See more »

Quotes

Gerhardt Eisler: This section produces more steel than all the rest of the country put together. Move Pittsburgh an inch and we can move this country a mile. But, er, Pittsburgh is too quiet, too peaceful. To bring about the victory of Communism in America, we must incite riots, discontent, open warfare among the people. That is the purpose of tonight's meeting.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Fifties (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Hollywood Honors HUAC
29 October 2016 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Slickly produced propaganda film from Warner Bros. Stong-jawed, stone-faced Frank Lovejoy is perfectly cast as true-blue undercover agent for the FBI, Matt Cvetic. Loosely based on Cvetic's book, the movie shows him penetrating upper echelons of the American communist party. Produced in 1951 at the height of the McCarthy purges, the movie's one-dimensional content should surprise no one.

A couple aspects, however, did surprise me. First, the visuals don't really underscore the propaganda content. Communists are not framed in usual low-key shadowy lighting, e.g. The Iron Curtain (1948), which would emphasize their sinister nature. Instead everyone gets the benefit of bright light framing. Also, the commies are just as nice looking, Hollywood style, as the FBI. That's really surprising, given the industry's habit of uglifying baddies. Thus, each aspect tends to humanize the Cold War enemy in unexpected ways, at least visually. Second, note how all the men are clothed in spiffy suits whether workers in union halls or whoever. No proletarian shirts and dungarees here. My guess is the producers wanted a prosperous looking working class no different in dress than their bosses. I doubt that uniform costuming like this happens by accident.

That this Hollywood creation could actually win an Oscar as best documentary is a kind of sick joke and a telling product of its time. My general point is that viewers should be on utmost guard when taking either historical or political wisdom from a Hollywood commercial product. Just because we don't have a ministry of truth doesn't mean our leading institutions don't act in concert when their common interests (here it's private capital) are threatened. And that goes for any developed country, whether communist or capitalist.

Anyway, the movie's now little more than an obscure artifact. Still, for thoughtful folks, it remains a good object lesson in America's 1951 version of Pravda.


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