A Common Trick Used by Communists

Abby Zimet

Chapter 7,842 in the never-ending saga of FBI idiocies uncovers a memo charging that Frank Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life" represents an attempt to "discredit bankers" and "malign the upper class...as mean and despicable characters," the most insidious commie plot of all. And we pay for this.

Capra Was A Commie Simp

by digby

other day I wrote an indignant post about Glenn Beck appropriating
"It's A Wonderful Life" for his bizarroworld capitalist philosophy, but I
didn't realize that the FBI had determined that the movie was a
subversive Commie plot:

To: The Director

D.M. Ladd



Never Miss a Beat.

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is submitted herewith the running memorandum concerning Communist
infiltration of the motion picture industry which has been brought up to
date as of May 26, 1947....

With regard to the picture "It's a
Wonderful Life", [redacted] stated in substance that the film
represented rather obvious attempts to discredit bankers by casting
Lionel Barrymore as a "scrooge-type" so that he would be the most hated
man in the picture. This, according to these sources, is a common trick
used by Communists.

In addition, [redacted] stated that, in his
opinion, this picture deliberately maligned the upper class, attempting
to show the people who had money were mean and despicable characters.
[redacted] related that if he made this picture portraying the banker,
he would have shown this individual to have been following the rules as
laid down by the State Bank Examiner in connection with making loans.
Further, [redacted] stated that the scene wouldn't have "suffered at
all" in portraying the banker as a man who was protecting funds put in
his care by private individuals and adhering to the rules governing the
loan of that money rather than portraying the part as it was shown. In
summary, [redacted] stated that it was not necessary to make the banker
such a mean character and "I would never have done it that way."

recalled that approximately 15 years ago, the picture entitled "The
Letter" was made in Russia and was later shown in this country. He
recalled that in this Russian picture, an individual who had lost his
self-respect as well as that of his friends and neighbors because of
drunkenness, was given one last chance to redeem himself by going to the
bank to get some money to pay off a debt. The old man was a sympathetic
character and was so pleased at his opportunity that he was extremely
nervous, inferring he might lose the letter of credit or the money
itself. In summary, the old man made the journey of several days
duration to the bank and with no mishap until he fell asleep on the
homeward journey because of his determination to succeed. On this
occasion the package of money dropped out of his pocket. Upon arriving
home, the old man was so chagrined he hung himself. The next day someone
returned the package of money to his wife saying it had been found.
[redacted] draws a parallel of this scene and that of the picture
previously discussed, showing that Thomas Mitchell who played the part
of the man losing the money in the Capra picture suffered the same
consequences as the man in the Russian picture in that Mitchell was too
old a man to go out and make money to pay off his debt to the banker.

I suppose this is common knowledge, but it escaped my notice until now. Some things never change.

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