A number of anti-communist films

Posted on Październik 16, 2007

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October 14, 2007
By J.R. Dunn

A number of anti-communist films were made in Hollywood during the late
40s through the 50s, many of them featuring well-known names and of high
quality. Almost none are available today. This is no accident, comrades.

We owe a nod of thanks to Thomas Lifson for alerting us to yesterday’s
rare showing of the anti-communist thriller, The Woman on Pier 13 (AKA,
I Married A Communist).

Pier 13 is far from unique.

It’s easy to understand why Man on a Tightrope (1953) went down the
memory hole, directed as it was by the Joe McCarthy of the film world,
that demon in human form, Elia Kazan. Tightrope, along with On the
Waterfront, was part of Kazan’s campaign against the dogma he’d once
espoused. The film, dealing with a Czechoslovakian circus troupe
plotting to escape the miseries of Soviet occupation, is a rarity in its
portrayal of life behind the iron curtain. A point of interest lies in
the fact that the screenplay was written by Robert Sherwood, a former
FDR speechwriter and possibly the sole member of Roosevelt’s retinue
with a clear understanding of communism.

Night People (1954) deals with Soviet espionage in Berlin. An Army
intelligence officer must handle a crisis involving the kidnapping of a
GI amid ever-multiplying complications. The real pleasure of this one is
that the officer is played (with considerable conviction, too) by
liberal icon Gregory Peck. At one point, Peck cusses out the New York
Times for misreporting an incident. Not something you see every day in
film.

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Posted in: Lifson