Synopsis by Hal Erickson
One of the most famous of the anti-communist tracts of the late 1940s, Republic's The Red Menace plays like a merciless lampoon of the genre when seen today. After a portentous introduction by one Lloyd G. Davies, described as a member of the Los Angeles City Council, the film concentrates on disgruntled ex-GI Bill Jones (Robert Rockwell). Having been victimized by crooked real estate agents, Jones turns to the government for help, only to come away empty-handed and mad as a wet hen. Obviously, the susceptible Jones is ripe for plucking by the American Communist Party. Using slogans, bribes and even sex to recruit disenfranchised souls like Jones, the dirty Reds hope to spread their poison to the entire U.S. of A. Fortunately, Jones and another commie dupe, schoolteacher Nina Petrovka (Hanne Axman), smarten up just in time. The HUAC and Joe McCarthy needn't have searched so diligently for subversives: according to The Red Menace, all they would have had to do was arrest anyone wearing a baggy suit or sporting a bad haircut. Some modern-day viewers begin laughing the moment the opening title of Red Menace, wherein an animated octopus wraps its tentacles around the Free World, fades into view.
anti-Communism, Communism, loot, party, sex, survivor, veteran [military]