Spy Culture Documents

‘Well Dressed Negroes’ and ‘Dignified Natives’ – How Luigi Luraschi Rewrote Movies for the CIA

In 1953, in the early weeks of the Eisenhower administration, the CIA conducted an operation to alter the content of Hollywood films to help promote positive images of America to foreign audiences.  A series of letters addressed to a CIA officer named 'Owen' were written by an executive at Paramount ...
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‘No Overt Recognition of the Force as Marines’ – Marine Corps folder on assistance to Die Another Day

Die Another Day is widely considered to be one of the worst James Bond films ever made.  It's the one with the invisible car in the ice cave and Halle Berry.  The production got limited supported from the US Marine Corps, who recently released a short folder to me from ...
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NSA emails on Enemy of the State

Paranoid thriller Enemy of the State provoked such a reaction within the NSA that they instigated a large PR campaign to counter public perceptions of a surveillance agency running wild.  NSA emails show that even while the movie was being made, agency employees were unhappy about the producers filming from ...
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‘Would Only Encourage Snickers and Derision’ – CIA Review of Screenplay for The CIA

In 1969 the CIA obtained a copy of The CIA, a screenplay being developed at Universal Studios, written by William Woodfield and Allan Balter.  Woodfield and Balter were perhaps best known for writing the TV series of Mission: Impossible, until they had a well-publicised falling out with series creator Bruce ...
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What Connects Jack Valenti, E Howard Hunt and The Godfather?

On the face of it former CIA officer, Watergate burglar and confessed JFK assassin E Howard Hunt shouldn't have had much to do with former MPAA president Jack Valenti.  They both served in WW2 (Hunt in the OSS, Valenti in the Army Air Forces) and both died in 2007.  They ...
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‘All my projects are merging’ – CIA emails on Covert Affairs

Covert Affairs was a not particularly original spy series telling the tale of an attractive young woman who is thrust into the world of CIA black operations.  It lasted for five seasons, mostly because it starred Piper Perabo and people like Piper Perabo.  Perabo's character Annie Walker is loosely based ...
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