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I Was a Communist for the F.B.I. (1951)

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.

Director:

Gordon Douglas

Writers:

Crane Wilbur (screenplay), Matt Cvetic (article) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Frank Lovejoy ... Matt Cvetic
Dorothy Hart ... Eve Merrick
Philip Carey ... Mason
James Millican ... Jim Blandon
Richard Webb ... Ken Crowley
Konstantin Shayne ... Gerhardt Eisler
Paul Picerni ... Joe Cvetic
Edward Norris ... Harmon (as Eddie Norris)
Ron Hagerthy ... Dick Cvetic
Hugh Sanders ... Clyde Garson
Hope Kramer 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 had to sell out my own girl -- so would you! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 May 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Was a Communist for the FBI See more »

Filming Locations:

Pittsburgh ,Pennsylvania, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

Referenced in Hollywood on Trial (1976) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A man on a mission
11 July 2001 | by KuRt-33See all my reviews

Frank Lovejoy starred in two classics: he had a minor part in "House of Wax" and was one of the main characters in Ida Lupino's film noir "The Hitch-Hiker". In "I Was A Communist For The FBI" he plays Matt Cvetic, a Slovenian last name which makes it all the more likely that Cvetic would turn into a communist. Well, that's at least what the film tries to tell you.

It is 1951 and McCarthy has started the war on the new enemy, the communists. It was a 'war' that would mark lots of 50s movies. Some movies had subtle criticism (e.g. "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"), some were overtly against communism: in "Invaders from Mars" the communists were evil aliens, in "I Was A Communist For The FBI" they were just evil. The communists wanted to start riots which would lead to Americans fighting other Americans according to this movie by Gordon Douglas (who is also the director of the Frank Sinatra thriller "The Lady in Cement" and the giant ants movie "Them!"). Why? Well, if everyone would fight, one would applaud communism for being the new order that would have brought peace to the streets of America. Well, if they say so.

The movie is so anti-communism that at times you are feeling you are watching a parody. Well, it isn't, all is meant with a straight face. We follow the life of Matt Cvetic, an FBI agent who pretends to be a communist. We see how he is despised by his family (even his son) and how he can't tell anyone of the Great Mission he is on. He cannot tell them he is risking his neck to save the country.

As ridiculous as all this might seem, if you can ignore the propaganda of this movie, you are left with a fairly decent movie. It may be difficult to watch this film nowadays and think lots of people believed the message of this movie, but it's even more difficult that this movie was nominated for an Oscar in 1952. The category? Best Documentary. Really.


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