American Playhouse (1981– )
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Concealed Enemies, Part I: Suspicion 

A dramatized account of the actual events that led to the 1950 conviction of former U.S. State Department official Alger Hiss of perjury before a federal grand jury and his resulting ... See full summary »

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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Father John Cronin
... Whittaker Chambers
... Alger Hiss
... Priscilla Hiss
Jamie E. Pierce ... Tony Hiss
... Hiss's Secretary
Kurt Knudson ... Walter Sarnoff
... Richard M. Nixon
... Karl Mundt
MacIntyre Dixon ... John McDowell
Lee Wallace ... Ben Mandel
... Louis Russell
... F. Edward Hebert
... John E. Rankin
Wayne Tippit ... Robert Stripling
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A dramatized account of the actual events that led to the 1950 conviction of former U.S. State Department official Alger Hiss of perjury before a federal grand jury and his resulting imprisonment. Written by Anonymous

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7 May 1984 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

a forgotten treasure
8 October 2003 | by See all my reviews

American Playhouse was a great PBS Channel that produced high quality programming before HBO and Lifetime television did it. I first saw Concealed Enemies when it was orginally broadcast and saw it once in a repeat. I wish they would put it out on video because it is grade A drama all the way thruough. John Harkins and Edward Hermann were wonderful as Alger Hiss and his mysterious accuser Whittaker Chambers. Hermann captured Hiss's stuffiness and pomposity very well. You sense his arrogance and he truly believes he is going to get away with it. We all know that Hiss was convicted and went to prison, but you are still on the edge of your seat because of the first class script and fine acting. They capture the mood in the America of 1948 wonderfully when everyone was worried about Communist subversion in the government. You have to remember that this was after World War II and we were very paranoid about Russia and mysterious "Iron Curtain". Everyone was suspect it seems. Peter Riegert is a wonderful character actor who really shines as Richard Nixon, then a Republican memeber of the House Un-American Activities Committee. It was Nixon more then anyone else that pressed the case against Hiss and demanded that the charges against him either be proved or disproved. Riegert looks a lot like a young Nixon and captures his spirit as well. The only thing was that Nixon wrote a book called Six Crises about his life and mentioned the Hiss case in it. He portrayed himself as calm and rational throughout, a real profile in courage. It didn't happen that way in real life, Nixon believed Hiss guilty, but he also feared the case could ruin his career. He was a nervous wreck and times and Riegert caputres that very well. One funny inside Joke in the film is where Allen Dulles and his brother John Foster Dulles are talking and one says to the other "You know there is every reason to believe Dewey will be President before the year is over". As you may recall Harry Truman pulled off one of the biggest political miracles of all time when he beat Dewey that year. We always need to remember the McCarthy era and this film certainly helps. By the way, there is every reason to believe that Hiss really was a spy for the Russians. After his release from prison, he basically spent the rest of his life trying to "prove" his innocence, but all the evidence points to his guilt.


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