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The opening title cards reads: "I Was a Communist for the F.B.I. Based on the experiences of Matt Cvetic as told to Pete Martin and published in The Saturday Evening Post." Voice-over narration, spoken by Frank Lovejoy as Cvetic, is heard at the beginning of the film. January and February 1951 Hollywood Reporter news items add Don Blackman, Russ Conway and Harlan Warde to the cast. Their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. According to a February 1951 Hollywood Reporter news item, 2,000 extras were hired for the strike sequences.
Warner Bros. production notes state that some scenes were shot on location at Burbank High School in Burbank, CA, and that the Bunker Hill area of downtown Los Angeles was to be used for exterior neighborhood shots, but was not because the houses were torn down to build the Hollywood Freeway. The set for the final courtroom scene was designed using authentic photographs and drawings of the room in the House of Representatives building where the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) held its hearings. A special trailer for the film, featuring James Millican, was made to target college students, according to a January 1951 Hollywood Reporter news item. The film, one of the first to deal with HUAC, epitomized Hollywood's response to the threat of Communism, and the title and style of the film was often parodied in later film and television productions. The picture received an Academy Award nomination in the Documentary (Feature) category.