Spy Culture Documents

Files and documents on military, intelligence and other government involvement in and support to the entertainment industry.

‘James Bond is my favorite anyway’ – CIA on Request for Film Production Assistance

In 1981 White House aide Joe Holmes contacted the CIA as part of his scheme to encourage the production of 'pro-hero' movies and TV series.  A Hollywood studio wanted CIA assistance for a spy film but CIA Director Bill Casey refused the request.  Internal Agency memos reveal that they were ...
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CIA Open Source Records on Executive Action

Executive Action is perhaps the most famous conspiracy thriller about the John Kennedy assassination, with the exception of Oliver Stone's JFK.  Recently released CIA records in the CREST database show that they were keeping an eye the production and how it was being received.  The articles even detail how the ...
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Secret Government file on Intelligence-Supported Documentary The Red Under the Bed

The 1973 ITV documentary The Red Under the Bed helped convict the Shrewsbury 24 by accusing them of being communists for their role in leading the 1972 Building Workers Strike.  A file from the office of then-Prime Minister Ted Heath confirms that the documentary was not just encouraged by the ...
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How the Pentagon rewrote Goldeneye

Goldeneye is possibly the best of the Pierce Brosnan James Bond films, but like two others in the Brosnan period it relied on US military support.  This entailed the Pentagon reviewing the script and demanding two changes - one political, one promotional - in exchange for helping to shoot one ...
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The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World

From the Donald Trump school of naming things came The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World, a 1965 spoof of the James Bond movies.  Like many 1960s spy thrillers The Second Best Secret Agent was on the radar of the CIA. Licensed to Kill The movie began ...
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Top Secret File on Government Censorship of Panorama

In the summer of 1980 the BBC's flagship documentary series Panorama was developing a TV special about British intelligence.  This was the first film of its kind, and perhaps unsurprisingly Thatcher's government was not happy about it.  Downing Street put pressure on the film-makers via BBC Director-General Ian Threthowan, and ...
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