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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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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Mason
...
...
Ken Crowley
...
...
Joe Cvetic
...
Harmon (as Eddie Norris)
...
Dick Cvetic
...
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

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I had to sell out my own girl -- so would you! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

5 May 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Was a Communist for the FBI  »

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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: A very enjoyable evening. Close the door. Blandon, you did exceedingly well
Jim Blandon: [chuckles] Thanks. Those niggers ate it up, didn't they?
Matt Cvetic: You mean, Negroes, don't you, Jim?
Jim Blandon: [shrugs] Only when I'm trying to sell them the party line
Gerhardt Eisler: They're very useful comrades
Matt Cvetic: There's going to be trouble on the streets tonight
Jim Blandon: Well, if there isn't, I've been wasting the Party's time. Anyone want a drink? Do you mind?
Gerhardt Eisler: Go ahead
Jim Blandon: Comrades, comrades! You know, Matt calls them comrades too, only he believes it. You see, Matt...
[...]
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User Reviews

 
the real story must have been more interesting
30 January 2010 | by 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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