Guilty of Treason

Guilty of Treason is a 1950 American drama film directed by Felix E. Feist and starring Charles Bickford, Bonita Granville and Paul Kelly. Also known by the alternative title Treason, it is an anti-communist and anti-Soviet film about the story of József Mindszenty, a Roman Catholic cardinal from Hungary.[1] Mindszenty spoke out against the Nazi occupation of his country during World War II, as well as the later Communist regime. Because of his opposition to the Soviet regime, Mindszenty was arrested and tortured. After his release, he took refuge in the US Embassy in Budapest for many years, maintaining his support for the Hungarians who wanted an end to the Russian occupation.

Guilty of Treason
Directed byFelix E. Feist
Produced byRobert Golden
Jack Wrather
Written byEmmet Lavery
StarringCharles Bickford
Bonita Granville
Paul Kelly
Richard Derr
Music byEmil Newman
Hugo Friedhofer
CinematographyJohn L. Russell
Edited byWalter A. Thompson
Freedom Productions
Distributed byEagle-Lion Films
Release date
February 20, 1950
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited States


The film uses the framing device of a speech to members of the Overseas Press Club of America by a journalist who has just returned from Budapest where he witnessed the treason trial of Mindszenty. He also tells the story of Stephanie Varna, a young teacher who decides to stake a moral stand against Communism despite her love for a Russian officer.


The film was inspired by the book As We See Russia written by members of the Overseas Press Club. It was produced by the Anglo-American company Eagle-Lion. Art Direction was by the German emigre Rudi Feld. It was part of a cycle of anti-communist British and American films released in the late 1940s and early 1950s as the Cold War intensified. Mindszenty's story was portrayed again in the 1955 British film The Prisoner.

Main cast


  • Shaw, Tony. Hollywood's Cold War. Edinburgh University Press, 2007.


  1. Shaw p.110
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