Radio Broadcast Espionage Thriller Drama, produced 1952-54
The series capitalized on America's Second Red Scare and the era of McCarthyism. In many ways the series reflected the Film Noir genre of Detective movies; the radio show was actually a takeoff on a film of the same name. Seventy-eight (78) radio broadcasts were produced. Although asked for input as well as endorsement, the F.B.I. made it a point to not cooperate with the production.
Anti-Communist hysteria was at a peak during as taping began, and by the end of 1952, I Was a Communist for the F.B.I. was scheduled on more than 600 stations nationwide. The Show was a well done and well financed endeavor, and worth preservation for that reason alone. A big selling point was that the show was based on the real life adventures of Matt Cvetic.played by Dana Andrews.
The Man at the center of these stories faced double edged conflicts; Cvetic constantly jockeyed for information, walking a tightrope among suspicious Party Officials who would laughingly have him shot as a traitor if they found his true mission. All the while he is shunned by his family and community. He cannot reveal his mission to them because they may accidentally betray him, so they heap him with scorn as a traitor to his country and all they hold dear.
The tribulations faced by Cvetic character on the show would be reflected in later years as historians deal with The Controversy surrounding the real life of Matt Cvetic. The early 1950s was a time of prosperity, but also a time of growing fear. The Cold War was in its early stages, the Soviet Union had just developed their own Atomic Weapon, and Senator Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee were holding hearings investigating a growing Communist infiltration of American life. The Times bear as much investigation as the individuals who lived them.
I Was a Communist For the F.B.I. will be a treat for fans of Radio Detective Drama. The film version starred Frank Lovejoy, while hollywood actor Dana Andrews gives the radio show a dose of glamour as he closes each episode:
"I was a Communist, a Communist for the F.B.I. I walk alone..."