In an era when some officials sought to weed out Communists real and imagined, Hollywood made numerous films that exploited the times. Among them: I Was a Communist for the FBI and this film - originally titled I Married a Communist.
A future of happiness awaits San Francisco shipping executive Brad Collins (Robert Ryan) and his new bride (Laraine Day).Yet Brad's past could undo everything. Back in his days as a dockworker, he was an activist member of the Communist Party. Now the Party has resurfaced like a bad dream in Brad's life, putting the screws on and threatening to spill his past if he doesn't play ball and stir up a labor strike.
In an era when some officials sought to weed out Communists real and imagined, Hollywood made numerous films that exploited the times. Among them: Big Jim McLain, Invasion USA, I Was a Communist for the FBI and this film - arguably the most hyperbolic of all - originally titled I Married a Communist.
There's propaganda aplenty in RKO's I MARRIED A COMMUNIST, the first of producer Howard R. Hughes's many anti-Red broadsides. Robert Ryan plays shipping executive Brad Collins, whose youthful flirtations with certain left-wing causes have made him ripe for plucking by Commie cell leader Vanning (Thomas Gomez). Threatening to reveal Collins' "pinko" past, Vanning orders the executive to deliberately sabotage the shipping industry in the Frisco Bay area. Other characters essential to the plotline are Collins' wife Nan (Laraine Day), who knows nothing of her husband's politics, and his idealistic brother-in-law Don (John Agar) who spouts Marxist dogma at the drop of a hat. Apparently at a loss as to how to depict communist villainy, the screenwriters hark back on the gangster films of the 1930s, notably in the scene where a hapless stoolie (the inevitable Paul Guilfoyle) is taken for a ride. When the title I MARRIED A COMMUNIST proved an audience turn-off during previews, the film was rechristened THE WOMAN ON PIER 13.
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