The Red Menace

1949

Action / Drama / Film-Noir

0
IMDb Rating 4.7 10 107

Synopsis


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Cast

Jimmy Hawkins as Jimmy
Betty Lou Gerson as Yvonne Kraus
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611.09 MB
1280*720
English
Unrated
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 3 / 1
1.3 GB
1920*1080
English
Unrated
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 1 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer 3 / 10

It ain't exactly subtle....but it IS entertaining.

"The Red Menace" is a super-cheap exposé on Communists in America who were working towards the destruction of the country back in 1949. None of the actors in this Republic B-movie are folks you'll recognize...which shows what confidence the studio had in this movie!

The film begins with a couple driving from California into Arizona. The lady, in particular, is very nervous and you learn via a LONG flashback what it's all about and why she's worried. Bill Jones (Robert Rockwell) is an angry WWII vet. His bitterness attracts the attention of a Communist recruiter who gets him hooked up with folks who seduce him gradually into embracing Communism...and they use women to do this gentle 'guidance'. However, while Bill soon becomes a full-fledged Commie, some of the women working to convert him towards this system are beginning to have their doubts...particularly when they see how vicious their superiors are in dealing with dissent. Bill, too, begins to see how the Party is filled with jerks...folks who couldn't care less about truth or equality.

So is this film any good? Well, yes and no. As a history teacher, I must point out that there was a Communist Party USA and many of their tactics shown in the film are pretty realistic...despite how we tend to look on the Red Scare as almost comical today. This would especially be true of the Party just before WWII--when folks went from being lionized to demonized by them. But it also comes off as a bit over- earnest...a bit too trite as well---especially at the barf-inducing ending. Subtle, it sure isn't...but it is entertaining. So, despite low production values, it does keep your interest.

I noticed one review compared this to "Reefer Madness". Well, that's their opinion, but I felt "The Red Menace" had much, much better production values and isn't even close to being as schlocky as "Reefer Madness" or "Sex Madness" (by the same production company). This film is much slicker by comparison...though I gotta admit that speech at the INS office near the end of the film was amazingly over the top...and a bit reminiscent of the guy playing the piano in "Reefer Madness".

Reviewed by mark.waltz 2 / 10

The grandpa of absurd Anti-Communist melodramas.

This horribly written propaganda piece was obviously intended to be a scare tactic to warn America's rebellious young the dangers awaiting them if they joined the Communist party. Using the cynical Robert Rockwell as the story's protagonist and sap manipulated into joining the party, the film immediately shows its disgust with its topic by a Crime Does Not Pay style of narration where you often can't tell if it is the narrator speaking or a character on the other side of the camera.

One dimensional characters show signs of insanity, evidenced by the sudden breakdown of the tough female commander played by Betty Lou Gerson, best known for her voice of Cruella de Ville. Future Ed Wood star Barbara Fuller plays a party member whose bible thumping mother compares her to Mary Magdelene. She had better material when she handed Wood her sweater in "Glen or Glenda". Her character's plight involves aiding her poet boyfriend who becomes persona non grata when his latest work offends party leaders. "Bullwinkle's" Boris and Natasha must have had a field day watching this.

Reviewed by kapelusznik18 6 / 10

This is the United States not a Police State!

***SPOILERS*** Over the top anti-communist movie has the members of the US Communists Party or "Commies" as they were called then made out to be far worst and dangerous then their fellow travelers in Moscow as well as Eastern Europe. Were made to believe that the "Commies" in the USA were so brazen and out in the open not hiding in the dark like rats and cockroaches by going so far as murdering any member of the party that has second thoughts about how great their objectives, in creating a workers paradise in America, really is or better yet isn't.

There's the just discharged from the US Army Bill Jones, Robert Rockwell, who feels he's getting a raw deal from the government by allowing him to get screwed by a real-estate agent who robbed him out of his life savings. It's not long that Bill ends up gravitating, but not quite joining, the US Communist Party that offers him as well as his fellow returning from WWII GI's a better life. It's Communist honcho Nina Petrovka, Hanna Axman, who serves as Bill's controller showing him just how great the ideas of Marx Lennon & Stalin are for the working class in America. It's doesn't take long for Nina not Bill, who seems to have trouble grasping reality, to see what a bunch of lowlife and lying creeps these "Commies" really are.

It's no surprise that both Bill, who finally gets the message, and Nina checked out of the party and are seen running for their lives, by car, to Arizona to escape being murdered by their fellow Communist party members. That's what happened to Tony Roachi, Norman Budd, who in trying to quite the party, in seeing what it really stands for, was beaten to death by a couple of "Commie" goons and made into a martyr in blaming those against Communism, like the John Burke Society, for his murder. There's also the sad case of Commie poet laureate Henry Solomon, Shepard Menken, who tried to be honest in his writings about 20th century world history and the Communist part in it, which was anything but enlightening, that had him kicked out of the party and blackmailed in not being able, despite his talents as an excellent writer, to find a good paying job. The last straw for Solomon was when his fellow Communist Party member and lover Mollie O'Flaherty, Barbara Fuller, career as a Communist agitator ended because of her associating with him getting the pink slip, from the party,and ended up on poverty row in her not being able to get a job that pushed Henry off the edge. The edge of a the ledge of a five story building, at the Communist Party headquarters, where he jumped head first through the window to his death.

It was the FBI and US Justice Department to finally put an end to the Communists in the movie by using their own feelings of invincibility against them. And it was big mouth Communist fanatic Greta Block, Betty Lou Greson, who when exposed as being really Communist instigator Yvonne Kraus who in fact murdered her, and stole Greta's identity, along with her Commie cohorts in Mexico City ten years ago that put an end to her and the Communist party that she so fanatically served. As for Bill & Nina they got a free pass in given a second chance in getting their act or lives together by the US Government and become loyal American citizens; Something that they by being disloyal to the Communist Party in the USSR would have ended up them being put in front of a firing squad or sent on a life long stay to a Gulag in far off Siberia.

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