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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.

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:

This was it ..the end of a nine year manhunt-- or the end of a hero! 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

Frank Lovejoy and Paul Picerni, who play brothers, would work again for Gordon Douglas two years later in 'She's Back On Broadway.' 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

 
Red Cover
26 May 2004 | by sol-kaySee all my reviews

****SPOILERS**** Living in the shadows despised and hated by his family and friends Matt Cvetic, Frank Lovejoy, made the ultimate sacrifice in the war against the Communist menace that threatened America and the free world back in the late 1940's and early 1950's. Matt became a Communist but a Communist for the FBI.

Based on the true story of undercover agent Matt Cvetic the movie is about a Pittsburgh steel worker and union representative and member of the Communist party. Matt risked his life and safety as well as the lives and safety of his friends and family for nine years to get the goods on the Communist party and put them behind bars for a long long time. Yet for all that time Matt was not only a man without a country but a man without a soul as well.

Matt working undercover gets the evidence on his commie cohorts but not after he's involved in killing two commies who tried to kill him and his girlfriend Eva; as well as him being charged with the murder of an FBI agent. An FBI man That the commies, that Matt killed in self-defense, really murdered. Matt's also provided in the movie with a fellow traveler love-interest Eve Merrick, Dorothy Heart, who's a teacher, undermining the American youth, in Matt's son's Dick, Ron Hegerthy, high school.

You at first think that Eve is an undercover agent like Matt is when he accidentally drops his wallet, when Matt's brother Joe(Paul Picerni) slugs him for having the nerve to attend their mother's funeral. Matt's wallet has a letter to his son telling him the truth about himself that Eve picked up. You later realize that Eve really was a commie but saw the light and got religious after seeing just how low those rotten Reds can go to achieve their wretched aims.

Watching the Communists in action in the movie shows how their only really interested in creating chaos hatred and destruction among the working-class people. The Commies have not the least interest at all in getting the people to love and respect each other or to help them economically. This is the usual Commie trick that they always like to pull, in helping the working class, like they kept boasting over and over in the movie but to only use them to farther their goals.

The Commies are so cold and unfeeling, even to each other, and were more then willing to rat out and even have fellow members murdered for the slightest infraction against "The Movement". These back-stabbing actions on their part made you wonder why anyone normal would want to join such a sleazy organization in the first place? Even Matt as hard as he tried had trouble convincing people in the movie, as well as the movie audience,that he was really a Communist! Matt acted so forced and phony as a slimly and in your face fanatical Communist that he looked almost embarrassed in his efforts in trying to be one.

It was good to see in the end of the movie Matt get a couple of good licks in by belting his commie comrade boss Blandon, James Millican, who attacked him in the courthouse after exposing him and his Commie organization. It was also good to see Matt put the rest of Baldon's rotten Commie crew away with his undercover testimony as well. And most of all it was also very rewarding for Matt to have his friends and family finally realize just what a really great American he was. In Matt letting them on that he was a Commie only to get the Commies that he was involved with, who were trying to undermine and destroy America, their just reward.

Obviously " I was a Communist for the FBI" is an over-the-top movie about Communism in America back during the Cold War. Yet at the time of it's release, 1951, there was a Hot War going on in Korea not just against the Communist North Koreans but the Communist Chinese. It was the Red Chinese who provided the manpower for the North Korean Communists to the point were they were over 80% of the ground forces fighting the US troops there. There was also USSR, the Evil Cummmunist Empire, also providing the North Koreans with experienced jet-pilots, who shot down hundreds of USAF combat planes and helicopters. Knowing all this one can easily forgive the extreme dislike and antipathy shown against the Communist in the film back in those days.


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