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Tag: It’s a Wonderful Life

FBI Once Believed Christmas Classic ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ Was Communist Propaganda

1946 movie classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Watching the 1946 movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” is a staple for millions of American families during the holidays.

But the Christmas classic that earned five Oscar nominations became a preoccupation of the FBI because then-Director J. Edgar Hoover believed the movie was an anti-american propaganda tool, according to a memo written by a social agent about so-called “communist infiltration” of the movie industry, the Independent reports

The movie was one of more than 200 films feared to be a weapon of communist propaganda.

The FBI believed the film’s two screenwriters, Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, “were very close to known Communists and on one occasion in the recent past . . . practically lived with known Communists and were observed” eating lunch every day with “known Communists.”

An agent who watched the movie said it “represented a rather obvious attempt to discredit bankers.”

The hunt for communists is part of the FBI’s dark history under Hoover, who was notoriously paranoid of anti-American propaganda.

The FBI Listed ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ As Communist Propaganda Intended to Malign the Upper Class

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a Christmas classic that has brought countless families together since the film’s release in 1946. 

But the FBI saw something far more sinister – Communist propaganda that “deliberately maligned the upper class,” according to Quartz.com., which cites a 1947 FBI report.

You see, Mr. Potter, the depraved banker who brings George Bailey close to bankruptcy and suicide “represented a rather obvious attempt to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a ‘scrooge-type’ so that he would be the most hated man in the picture.”

According to the FBI, it’s “a common trick used by communists.”

What the FBI apparently neglected to note was that George and Peter Bailey also are bankers.

“I think Mr. Capra’s picture, though it had a banker as villain, could not be properly called a Communist picture,” film critic John Charles Moffitt testified at the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. “It showed that the power of money can be used oppressively, and it can be used benevolently.”

It wasn’t uncommon in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s for the FBI to accused filmmakers of creating Communist propaganda.