I Was A Communist For The Fbi

  • 1951
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Lovejoy, a common Pittsburgh steelworker, is recruited by the FBI to infiltrate his union, which, in reality, is a Communist organization that has been trying to increase its membership among the disenfranchised laborers. At a big Communist convention Lovejoy is shocked to find the Red leaders gorging themselves on caviar and champagne while boasting that...read more

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Lovejoy, a common Pittsburgh steelworker, is recruited by the FBI to infiltrate his union, which, in reality, is a Communist organization that has been trying to increase its membership among the disenfranchised laborers. At a big Communist convention Lovejoy is shocked to find the Red

leaders gorging themselves on caviar and champagne while boasting that when they take over America, everyone will live the good life. The scene confirms the evil duplicity of the Communists, who spout populist propaganda while living high on the hog from the rank-and-file's union dues. Of course,

living this double life takes its toll on the noble Lovejoy, who cannot even confide in his worried wife, lest he blow his cover. Lovejoy's apparently Communist leanings cause tension between him and his all-American brother, who thinks his sibling has gone "pinko" and worries that his nephew's

young mind will be corrupted. Bigger things are at stake, however, and Lovejoy works hard to save the political consciousness of Hart, a naive schoolteacher who has been seduced by the Communists. Eventually Hart comes to her America-First senses and is saved from the clutches of the Reds after

Lovejoy kills one of her recruiters. Having done his job to keep the Red Menace from under the beds of common Americans, Lovejoy can finally reveal his true-blue sympathies to his relieved family. Viewed as a mature social drama, I WAS A COMMUNIST FOR THE F.B.I. is a reprehensible film that

portrays labor unions, intellectuals, schoolteachers, and independent-minded people as potentially dangerous Communist dupes who, through their stupidity, could destroy the very fabric of American life. Supposedly based on the memoirs of the real-life Matt Cvetic, who spent years undercover for

the FBI, joining scores of Communist organizations and providing Washington with nearly a thousand names of supposed threatening subversives, I WAS A COMMUNIST FOR THE F.B.I. is totally self-serving, panders to thoughtless paranoia, and was produced by Hollywood to placate Joe McCarthy and the

House Committee on Un-American Activities. In fact, Hollywood was so desperate to convince the public of its sincerity that the film was nominated by the Motion Picture Academy for Best Documentary of 1951. Thankfully, hindsight has taken the edge off the film and it remains a disturbing curio of

an era that has--one hopes--passed.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Lovejoy, a common Pittsburgh steelworker, is recruited by the FBI to infiltrate his union, which, in reality, is a Communist organization that has been trying to increase its membership among the disenfranchised laborers. At a big Communist convention Love… (more)

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