Monday, February 7, 2011

Review: This is Your FBI

Stacy Harris, radio crime czar
This is Your FBI is one of the cranked-out government propaganda shows that came out in 1940's. Along with Gangbusters, these two programs double-teamed the public into thinking that the FBI could do no wrong.

Almost every episode has the same formula: A real government official, who seems nervous, reads a script in a stiff, mechanical way and tells us what a tough case this was to crack. A monotone narrator (who probably doubles for the film projector voice in middle school health class) tells us about the situation. Bit actors (no stars) work hard with a flimsy script and prove how stupid crime is. Government official comes back on and nervously reads from script telling us that crime does not pay and fugitives will be caught. Narrator tells you how crime doesn't pay and wants you to tune in next week.

While that may seem a bit hard, that's exactly what happens.

While no stars are in the series, usually Stacy Harris shows up as an FBI investigator in most shows. He's a second-fiddle actor but I've always liked his work, which included stints on both the radio and television broadcasts of Dragnet.

After all of this, I'm sure you think I am panning the show. Actually, I enjoy the show very much. Maybe it's the fact that it's corny that's so intriguing. Or maybe it's how much fun I have thinking people used to be captivated and frightened at the thought of, "FBI."

Either way, the show works. It's not great by any stretch but it's entertaining. For show quality, I would give it 2 stars out of 5. But as far as overall entertainment, I'd give it 3 and half stars.


  1. I enjoy the show. I like it better than FBI in Peace and War. It has been in our cue and I am waiting for Stacy Harris to appear. Do you when he first stars in the show? When listening to XM he was always on the show. I downloaded from Mystery and so far no Harris. It is funny how you want a particular actor to appear. Same for me with Broadway Is My Beat and I am sure some others. Back to the FBI. During the 50s the FBI were intimidating. It was an image presented by Hoover. When the FBI took over from the police, look out. I tend to agree with your assessment of the show.

  2. Let' see... it looks his first appearance may have been September 21, 1945, at least, that's the first time I see him noted.

    Yeah the FBI was a big deal in the 30's-50's. It's presented the same way on film as well during that era.


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