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I Was a Communist for the F.B.I. (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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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:

Sensation-Upon-Sensation! The whole undercover operation of the most danger-laden assignment in the entire history of the F.B.I.! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 May 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Was a Communist for the FBI  »

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

Early in the film there's a shot at an airport where we see planes moving outside a window. The outside shot is flipped: the "PAN AMERICAN" logo on the side of the plane is backwards. 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: The Fear & the Dream (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
the real story must have been more interesting
30 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of the best things about this reds-under-the-bed drama is Frank Lovejoy, an inscrutable actor who neatly inhabits the role of Matt Cvetic, an FBI mole planted in the Pittsburgh branch of the Communist Party during World War 2 and its Cold War aftermath. For the first two thirds of the film he stalks the screen imperturbably, the victim of suspicion from his fellow Party members and often open hostility from his very own family - churchgoing, patriotic Slovenian immigrants who are appalled by his connections to the Communist Party. His own son (Ron Hagerthy) can barely stand the sight of him. When his masquerade begins to unravel he gets emotional, but within limits. He never loses self-control entirely like Paul Lukas in the similarly themed Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939), and he is handy with his fists and agile enough to jump out of perilous situations. He is consistently believable, though just at the borderline of wooden. Lacking in charm and magnetism, he nevertheless can carry a film. It's a tough order to play a father who must convince the world, his son included, that he is indeed a member of the widely despised Communist Party, when in fact he is fighting to undermine its influence from within for what he believes is the good of his family and humanity. Quite a conflict, and potentially the stuff of great drama. Although the strongest moments in this film are between Lovejoy and his teen-aged son, we never quite believe that a family man could live such an intensely duplicitous life for as long as Cvetic did without an explosion occurring much sooner. It is somehow too pat. In depicting Cvetic as a spotless hero, the filmmakers have surgically removed too many rough edges, contradictions and loose ends and we are left with a propagandistic symbol instead of a man.


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