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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


directed by Gordon Douglas
USA 1951


Twelve years ago, Warner Brothers let loose a hot and lurid blast at Nazi agents in this country with their "Confessions of a Nazi Spy." Now they are blasting Communist agents with equal fervor and alarm in a hissing and horrendous spy film called "I Was a Communist for the F. B. I." Based on the magazine memoirs of Matt Cvetic, a Pittsburgh steel worker who actually did some sleuthing for the Federal bureau as a "plant" in a Communist cell, this film is an erratic amalgam of exciting journalistic report, conventional "chase" melodrama, patriotic chest-thumping and reckless "red" smears. Riding a wave of public interest, it opened at the Strand yesterday.

In many respects, this heated item bears comparison to the hearings before the House Un-American Activities Committee—which, incidentally, it extols. For in telling its story of a valiant patriot who silently endures the contempt of his son, his brothers and his neighbors while he poses as a loyal Communist, it tosses off dangerous innuendos and creates some ugly bugaboos in the process of sifting the details of how the Communists bore from within.

Excerpt from the NY Times May 3rd, 1951 located HERE


Theatrical Release: 2 May 1951 (premiere, USA) ; 5 May 1951 (General release, USA)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Archive Collection - DVD-R) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:22:51

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.5 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Warner Archives Promo

DVD Release Date: March 22, 2009
Keep Case

Chapters 9



Available for purchase or download HERE but only if you reside in the continental United States.

This is our first review of a Warner Archives disc - a new made-on-demand service available from Warner that currently only being sold at their Online store (more reviews are coming). There are a few drawbacks to this service:

1. The discs are being burned on DVD-R instead of being pressed at the plant, but Warner is using the best possible DVD-R media and is standing behind their product.

2. Most of the transfers being sold at this time are interlaced and not progressive. It's unfortunate, but hopefully they will correct this for later releases.

3. High price point. Current price for each disc is $19.95, which is too steep for a non-progressive DVD-R. So far they've been having multiple coupons and sales that can bring the price for each disc lower. You still have an option to download the movie, but for $14.95 each title that may have some compatibility issues - it's even less atractive than DVD-R for $5 more.



The film in question, I Was a Communist for the FBI, is of acceptable transfer quality. The picture, overall, is clean - I found only a few instances of dirt and marks on the image ex. below capture #5. Some shots are very grainy, but in general I was quite happy with image on my large-screen TV. It looked much better than the broadcasts on TCM (I guess, until they go High Definition). The sound is clear 2.0 Mono, but unfortunately there are no subtitles or closed captioning on any discs. At lower price point, this disc comes highly recommended as rarely seen 'red menace' film noir.

 - Gregory Meshman


DVD Menus


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:


Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC


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