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I Was a Communist for the FBI (1951)

Philip Carey, Dorothy Hart Frank Lovejoy , Gordon Douglas  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Philip Carey, Dorothy Hart Frank Lovejoy
  • Directors: Gordon Douglas
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • DVD Release Date: July 21, 2009
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002DQQ96S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,477 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "I Was a Communist for the FBI" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Based on a true story, this documentary-style caper film follows a federal agent on a dangerous assignment -- he must go underground to flush out a nefarious spy ring. Leonard Maltin praises this suspenseful political tales as "low key, and effective." Starring Frank Lovejoy ("Home of the Brave," "House of Wax"), favorite '50s quiz show guest Dorothy Hart and Philip Carey ("Calamity Jane," "Dead Ringer").

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Undercover On The Homefront September 14, 2010
This is a review for I WAS A COMMUNIST FOR THE F.B.I. (1951) directed by Gordon Douglas. I WAS A COMMUNIST FOR THE F.B.I. is the story of Pittsburgh steel worker and union official Matt Cvetic, played by Frank Lovejoy, who joined the Communist Party U.S.A. as an undercover agent at the government's request. When his communist membership became well known Cvetic lost his friends and was shunned by his family, including his teen- aged son.
Eventually he meets his son's high school teacher and becomes involved with her even though she, too, is a party member. Despite his actual political convictions Cvetic continues recruiting and otherwise working for the communist party until the day comes when he is slated to testify against the Pittsburgh party officials
and after nine years underground he is allowed to reveal himself to everyone he knows.

The only place I have seen I WAS A COMMUNIST FOR THE F.B.I.called a film noir is a book titled "Death On The Cheap: The Lost B Movies Of Film Noir"by Arthur Lyons and even there it is just listed, not really discussed.
However, I believe that a noir case can be made for this film by pointing out that the protagonist, Matt Cvetic, after nine years undercover is scorned by just about everyone he knows but still stays in Pittsburgh and takes all the hatred and sheer dislike and distrust apparently turning the other cheek most every time. Just because he has a greater purpose, to expose the party when, and only when, our government gives him the order. If that isn't a hellish existence, almost losing himself in the abyss of hatred and paranoia,and fighting himself to suppress his true feelings just about every day, I don't know what is.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film. March 16, 2012
By Brian
Matt Cvetic(Frank Lovejoy)is a steel worker in Pittsburg and a leading head of the communist party.Hes really working for the FBI.Matts contact man is agent Ken Crowley(Richard Webb)
From Russia, comes Gerhardt Eisler(Konstantin Shayne)who is pleased with Franks work in the party and gives him an important promotion.Franks comrade,Jim Blandon(James Milligan)puts him in touch with Eve Merrick(Dorothy Hart)another member of the party working with other red teachers in the schools.Shes told by Blandon to keep an eye on Matt,but instead she falls for him.
Matts son,Dick(Ron Hagerthy)and Matts brother Joe(Paul Picerni)hate Matt thinking hes a traditor and want nothing to do with him.The only one outside the FBI that knows the truth is the local priest(Roy Roberts)who has a letter Matt wrote telling the truth.When Matts mother dies,Joe sees Matt at the funeral and beats him up.To make matters worse the letter is stolen by Eve when the priest breaks up the fight.
Good chase scene in a tunnel with Matt and Eve being chased by two red gunmen.
This is also one of the Top Film Noirs of all time.
Dont Miss.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Warner Brothers August 28, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this movie as a child on TV. I looked for it for years on VHS and finally on DVD. I was told that WB was embarrassed about this film. Referred to it as an exploitation film. Finally someone in the archives said, "hey this helps chronicle a part of an era." Frank Lovejoy is marvelous in the part.
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Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film is about an FBI agent, Matt Cvetic, who is under deep cover in order to infiltrate the Communist Party of the USA. He spends nine years working his way into the inner circle of the CPUSA in Pittsburg at a time when American communists were being used to subvert several agencies of the Federal government as well as formenting labor and race conflicts among the working class. Based on a true story, this movie offers insight into how the Party operated in the United States: injuring, killing or otherwise silencing those who oppose them, citing Freedom of Speech and other American rights to cloak themselves in false patriotism and filibustering to get their way in legitimate unions. Although very Hollywood, this film is still an excellent movie that does justice to those men and women who watched for subversion during the Cold War.
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