old time radio: Listen to The Show

Dana AndrewsBecause the premise of the show is based on the Cold War fears that gripped the nation in the middle of the last Century, it is easy to dismiss the radio production of I Was a Communist for the F.B.I. as a simple propaganda program. This is missing the true value of the production. Although the producers were not above taking advantage of wide spread fears to sell a radio show, their purpose was to sell a quality program, and Frederick W.  Ziv had a reputation of putting together High Quality productions.

Ziv had a formula for success' develop great programming, back it with terrific writers and excellent talent, then hype it as far as he could. The budget for I Was a Communist for the F.B.I. was $12,000 weekly.Ziv financed his productions out of pocket, and was able to hire the best of Hollywood talent for the highest production values. He would "bet the farm" on most of his new productions, but he was able to recoup his investment and build a considerable profit through marketing and promotion of his syndicated productions.

The show is an espionage/crime thriller with elements of film noir presented on the radio.  The hero leads a double life, and his life is threatened in every episode. He is supported by agents of the F.B.I., but it is his life on the line, and the bad guys are out of their reach. The hero is on his own. Only luck, wits, and faith in American virtue will bring him through. In each episode, Dana Andrews ominously invokes the shows tag line- "I Walk Alone."

You can find every episode of I Was a Communist for the F.B.I, and many more espionage thrillers, from Old Time Radio.


I Was A Communist for the FBI