Is it some kind of joke that Gordon Douglas’s I Was a Communist for the F.B.I., from 1951, was nominated for a 1952 Academy Award for Best Documentary? (My copy of Inside Oscar reveals nothing.) I know the film is inspired by real events, but its hysterical obsession with communism makes it a not-so-distant cousin to the equally manufactured but infinitely funnier Reefer Madness. Frank Lovejoy stars as Matt Cvetic, an F.B.I. informant who’s rejected by his brother and son—take a look at the kid’s jiggling Adam’s apple in the final scene—because they think he’s really a communist. Unwatchable except for a strike sequence that (unintentionally) illustrates how fascists exploit the very people they try to uplift, the film—given its brick-to-the-head temperament—could have been ghostwritten by Joseph McCartney. Robert Parrish’s little-seen The Mob, from 1948, is nominally better. Broderick Crawford stars as a cop who goes undercover as an ex-con longshoreman to hunt an elusive mob boss. The finale is exciting but Parrish squanders the opportunity to bring the film’s pompous displays of authority to vibrant visual life.