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Frank Lovejoy starred in two classics: he had a minor part in "House of
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
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
We see how he is despised by his family (even his son) and how he can't
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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